Jan 22 2013
On the northern end of riverside, a two-minute stroll from the historical Post Office area of Phnom Penh, Pillar Hotel provides comfort and great panoramas from 11 generously sized rooms. The only drawback is the stairs workout on your way up — the price you pay for a good view!
Within easy walking distance of Wat Phnom and a 15-minute stroll to the Royal Palace and Central Market, Pillar Hotel is on the quieter end of riverside. With just 11 rooms, there’s a great staff-to-guest ratio and a friendly focus on service, organising bus tickets, hotel bookings and tours. Breakfast is included in the room rate, with a large selection of Western and Asian options served at shady tables outside. Sitting under an umbrella watching the riverside in action as you slurp a freshly ground coffee is one of the more pleasant ways to start a Phnom Penh day. Even better is to wake up and see the Tonle Sap from the comfort of your white linen bed.
There are two classes of room at the Pillar Hotel. The higher priced rooms ($50) are more spacious and bright, with picture windows and private balconies overlooking the river, giving views all the way from the Japanese bridge to where the Mekong and the Tonle Sap merge. The budget rooms ($35) over the sidestreet have a more oblique river view, and the balconies are not private although as everyone has their own, you won’t have to share. These rooms tend be a bit less airy and bright. All rooms come with WiFi access, a fridge, TV, air-con, safe and kettle, with firm mattresses and some modern-trad fusion artwork on the walls. Bathrooms are well-sized and clean. If we were being very fussy, the shower is a little disappointing in its ordinariness and the water is warm rather than hot, but it does the job.
There’s no need to stray too far from the hotel for entertainment or eating — the Night Market is a few minutes’ walk away along the riverside, and the nearby Green Vespa pub serves up beer and enormous plates of British favourites. Almost opposite is Titanic Restaurant, a fairy-lit gilded eatery that attracts visitors like moths with its well-cooked Khmer dishes and apsara dancers. Next door, the Riverside Hotel is offering half price rooms until February or March 2013, but the lack of balconies (and windows in some cases) doesn’t make for such good value.
87 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
T: 023 986588
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