Apr 21 2013
Bursting out in a blast of modernist white from a sandwich of more traditional-looking Phnom Penh riverfront properties, The Quay Hotel is surprisingly easy to miss as you walk past. Set slap-bang in the middle of riverside‘s bars and restaurants, this boutique hotel is well placed for sightseeing, close by the Royal Palace and a 10-minute wander to Central Market and Wat Phnom.
With just 16 rooms, The Quay Hotel is modest in size but delivers with panache. A funkily-lit ground floor restaurant serves Asian and Mediterranean cuisine while the lovely rooftop bar/restaurant has a perfectly petite plunge pool, ideal for sitting and sipping a cocktail during the 16:00-20:30 happy hours. WiFi is available throughout and lift access makes the views easier to appreciate.
Although each room type provides a modern, clean living space and a freshly-cooked breakfast, there are significant differences between the standard and “panoramic suite” rooms, not least the price. The eight standard rooms, at the back of the hotel, are well-equipped with a TV, mini-fridge, safe, air-con and tadpole-shaped ceiling fan — everything, in fact, but windows. Natural light is provided through frosted glass and generally the effect is cosy rather than claustrophobic. Expect a sensory workout from the big abstract art, wooden floors and deep pile rugs in the sleeping area, and the contrastingly cool stone floors and slate-tiled walls of the impeccably designed bathrooms.
The pricier panoramic suites are set apart by the picture windows and private balconies for making the most of the river views. An enormous TV with DVD player is there to distract you if you tire of watching boats, promenaders and aerobic classes. The ‘suites’ don’t have separate rooms, but the space is large enough that the big bed looks almost dinky. A lounge area fits between the balcony and the bed, and there’s a built-in desk if you have work to catch up on. The en suite bathroom features a classy monochrome bathtub and separate shower, with the same attention to design detail as the standard rooms.
If you can’t get in at The Quay, there are several similarly priced hotels along the riverside strip, although many have opted for the traditional wood and silk approach to decor. Budget travellers can make the most of the hotel’s rooftop happy hours, but will probably prefer to stay in a cheaper guesthouse on the roads running back from the river. If you’ve a hankering for a balcony on a medium budget, try the Pillar Hotel at the northern end of riverside.
We were quoted $80 for a standard room and $130 for the suite, but check the hotel’s website and Agoda for special deals.
277 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
T: (023) 224 894
F: (023) 224 893
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