Jan 11 2013
If you’re looking for luxury in the heart of Ochheuteal beach, OC Hotel is looking for you. Part of the trend towards more upmarket hotels in Sihanoukville catering to couples, families and other visitors who want to combine comfort with travel, it’s not for the budget-conscious backpacker, but may be a reasonably priced alternative to Sihanoukville’s Sokha Resort or Independence Hotel.
The OC dubs itself as the “boutique hotel on White Sand Beach” in Sihanoukville. Both of these claims are a little misleading. Even the old wing at the back of the hotel is relatively large by Sihanoukville standards and now that they’ve added the new wing, there are now a total of 66 to choose from. And the OC is not really on the beach, either. It’s actually located on Tola Street, about 100 metres behind Sihanoukville’s beachside Mithona Street.
While there’s something to be said for an ocean view from a deluxe suite, the OC’s greatest attraction is arguably its swimming pool area. The infinity-edge pool is inviting enough, but the poolside cabanas are enough to keep you hanging out on the spacious hotel grounds all day. If you’re the kind of traveller who uses a hotel room primarily for sleeping and spends most of the daylight hours outdoors, one of the standard rooms in the old wing can save you some money and still give you access to all the facilities at ground level.
Finding out exactly what those room rates are turned out to be a challenge. As I approached the reception desk, an apparently more senior member of the staff inserted herself between me and the receptionist. I asked her what the rates were and was told they were booked out, which wasn’t really answering my question. Undeterred, I said, “That’s okay. I’d like to know anyway, for my blog.”She offered to have someone print out a price sheet for me and then took me outside to show me the amenities. When I asked about the restaurant, she informed me that it was really only for breakfast and they had a restaurant across the street. I can’t tell you which one it is because there are dozens along that stretch of Tola Street.
After wandering around taking photos, 10 minutes’ later there was still no price sheet for me and I was asked to sit down and wait; another apparently senior member of the staff unapologetically offered me a business card and told me to look the rates up online.
So, on their website I learned that they have an impressive array of room options, ranging from standard twin or double rooms right up to studio suites. Rooms include air-con, wide-screen TVs with both cable and satellite channels, hot water, fridges, kettles and safety boxes. While room rates were also listed, I was a little dubious about them, since they still listed a special Water Festival rate from 2011-2012.
In true investigative journalistic style, I returned to the hotel the next day and enquired again about the rates. After explaining why I didn’t quite trust what I’d read online, I was told that rooms in the old wing start at $36 and those in the new wing start at $60.
You may have better luck dealing with the staff if you come after the high season or next year, when they have a little more experience under their belts. Meanwhile, I recommend booking online to minimise exposure to the reception staff and trying the restaurants and cafes on Tola Street instead of taking a chance on the hotel restaurant. Don’t forget to bring your bathers, too. That pool makes up for a lot of little inconveniences. Too bad it’s for paying guests only and not for annoying bloggers looking for information.
Street 23 Tola, Sangkat 4
Ochheuteal Beach, Sihanouk Ville, Cambodia
T: (034) 933 658
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