Oct 16 2012
Molly Malone’s location in the absolute thick of the bar scene in Siem Reap — look up as you walk from lively Pub Street toward Sivatha Boulevard, the town’s main shopping street, and you’ll see the signs — makes it a great choice if you want a midrange guesthouse with a friendly bar, a decent restaurant and a better than average room.
Molly Malone’s is housed in a broad-fronted, three-storey 1960s building and has a huge ground floor bar, with stripped wooden floorboards and dark wood furniture, opening onto a palm-filled, wicker-furnished terrace overlooking the narrow terracotta pavement. Assorted Irish paraphernalia, from Guinness posters to street signs adorn the walls and display shelves, and the friendly Khmer staff help to create a cool but welcoming ambiance.
Twelve rooms are located on two floors above the bar — five standard doubles ($25), two standard twins ($25), two family rooms sleeping three people in a double and wide single bed ($35), two deluxe doubles with bath as well as shower ($30 and $35, the more expensive having a large corner bath) and a single, also with wide single bed ($20).
All rooms are clean and spacious, with the exception of the single which is bit on the cosy side, and all have external windows and very high ceilings, making them lighter than the average tropics hotel room. The decor is neutral, with off-white walls — that’s deliberately off-white, not dirty off-white — and brightly coloured framed prints. Bed clothes are cotton, also in neutral creams and light browns. Even the security bars on the windows are thoughtfully painted cream. Some might call it bland, but with so many Cambodian hotel rooms verging on the psychedelic, it’s a restful relief.
Furniture is matching hard wood and includes four-poster beds with firm mattresses, bedside lamps, wardrobe, desk and chair, full length mirror, fridge, cable TV, free WiFi, air-con and ceiling fans. Every room has its own ensuite with hot shower and Western toilet, and rooms are replenished daily with soap, shampoo, shower gel, disposable toothbrushes and toothpaste. A bottle of complimentary mineral water is also provided daily for each guest.
On the first floor landing a large seating area, with a comfy if lived-in sofa and armchairs, and large coffee table, leads to a communal balcony running along the full width of the building. On the top floor, all but one of the rooms are accessed from a large, partly covered roof terrace with excellent views across the city. Potted palms, guava and frangipani bushes, wicker and wrought iron terrace furniture make this a great spot to catch some rays, watch the sunset over the rooftops with a cold beer, or spy on the partying crowds along nearby Pub Street.
Breakfast is not included in the room rate, but for $2.50 you can enjoy tea or coffee, fruit juice and either toast with honey, jam or marmalade; fresh fruit salad, muesli and yoghurt; cheese or ham omelette; or bacon, eggs and toast. Other options include the Molly Malone’s mega-fry, consisting of two sausages, two eggs, two rashers of bacon, fried tomatoes, baked beans, toast, tea or coffee and fruit juice for just $6.50. The tea is good and strong, the bacon and eggs taste like they did when you were a kid and generally the breakfasts here are so good that many expats come here for a weekend treat.
The restaurant menu is huge and covers both traditional Khmer and Western food, including Australian steaks. It’s not the cheapest in town but the food is reliable and well cooked. If you don’t want to eat in your hotel, then there are literally hundreds of restaurants to choose from on your doorstep, whatever your budget.
As with any good Irish pub, Molly Malone’s plays host to live music once or twice a week depending on the season, which means if you are light sleeper it’s probably not the best place to stay if you are planning dawn pilgrimages to Angkor Wat. Although having said that, on my recent stay the live band was packing up by 23:30, and I am assured that with the exception of St Patrick’s Day the music is always off by midnight.
Even if you’re not staying here, you might be interested in their twice monthly charity pub quiz which usually attracts a good, mixed crowd.
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub and Guest House
T: (063) 963 533
F: (063) 965 576
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