Photo: Downtown Kompong Thom.

Where to stay in Kompong Thom

Kompong Thom

Despite long being off the tourist radar, guesthouses that cater to a more international market are developing in Kompong Thom, which even has its first boutique hotel now. Standards are still not as high as Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, but they’re getting there.

Democrat St, Kompong Thom
US$35 to 75

Sambor Village

# Democrat St, Kompong Thom T: (062) 961 391

Tropical gardens bursting with flowers, pretty chalets with romantically decorated rooms, a moderately-sized shady pool and a modern restaurant in a traditional Khmer villa: this is Kompong Thom’s Sambor Village.

Yes please to a pool.

Yes please to a pool. Photo: Stuart McDonald

When someone first mentioned that Kompong Thom now has a boutique hotel, many eyebrows had to be retrieved from the ceilings of Siem Reap; but it’s not just there, it’s booming. With limited rooms, the resort is popular with tour groups and we would strongly recommend booking well in advance in the high season—even if it is not a terrific value proposition.

Rooms are in duplex concrete chalets scattered through the above-mentioned lovely gardens. Rooms are of a good size, with a decent four poster bed with a draped mosquito net, bedside lamps, a desk, minibar, air-con and a standing fan. Other facilities include tea and coffee making equipment and free WiFi (which works). Each room also has a small deck also furnished with a table and chair setting, where, depending on your room, you can enjoy a view of the garden. The bathroom is modern and clean, though ours came with no complimentary amenities (nor bum gun!).

A garden chalet at Sambor Village.

A garden chalet at Sambor Village. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The restaurant is set in a Khmer style wooden house overlooking the pool, with an open-air lounge setting downstairs and upstairs given over to a spacious terrace restaurant. This upper floor is also where a quite decent breakfast buffet is served. Both western and Khmer dishes are on offer and our dinner here was good—try the roast eggplant with pork. Drinks, including a selection of cocktails are also reasonably priced.

Owned by the same team behind Villa Langka in Phnom Penh, Sambor Village is popular with tour groups and we got the feeling that the staff, while not unfriendly, certainly preferred dealing with tour groups rather than individual travellers. Service and information given was given short and shrift, but not quite to the point of rudeness. The resort can arrange sunset boat trips, but only when there is enough water in the river—in February we were told not possible.

Rooms are comfortable and spacious.

Rooms are comfortable and spacious. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Coming straight off the back of inspecting a bunch of hotels in Phnom Penh around the $50 bracket, Sambor Village did not strike us as a great value proposition (shop around online and you may find a slightly lower rate, rates vary a bit day to day it seems, with some discounts for booking well in advance)—but if you would really prefer a pool and like an environment where near all the guests may be in tour groups, then, if it fits with your budget, go for it.

More information

Walk–in rates (US$): 48—76
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 104º53'43.04" E, 12º42'39.2" N

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National Road 6, north of the bridge, Kompong Thom
Under US$10

Seng Chhenghorn Guesthouse

# National Road 6, north of the bridge, Kompong Thom T: (099) 222 723

While somewhat inconveniently situated a five to ten minute walk to the north of Kompong Thom’s double bridge, the Seng Chhenghorn Guesthouse (SCH among friends) is a well-run, friendly budget spot.

Big, blue and easy to find.

Big, blue and easy to find. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The four floor bright blue hotel is hard to miss and coming from the bridge you’ll find it on your right, just before Wat Kompong Thom on your left. We found the staff to be friendly and while some of them speak limited English, they try hard.

Rooms are set across four floors and you’ll most likely be dispatched to the top floor (don’t worry there is a lift) which is a good deal as there is a large open air terrace at the rear side of the floor. Screaming out to be a bar or cafe, there isn’t much going on, but the staff downstairs will happily sell you a few drinks to enjoy up here—the views at sunrise, with Phnom Santuk to your right in the distance, are quite pretty.

Rooms are straightforward fair and very well kept.

Rooms are straightforward fair and very well kept. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Rooms are above typical mini-hotel standards. We had a piping hot shower in our immaculate bathroom, which came loaded with enough free toiletries for a family of 18. The tile-floored room was of a good size and included a desk, minibar (unstocked) complimentary coffee and water. Other facilities include air-con (in the air-con rooms), cable TV and fetching 3D art.

The staff downstairs can assist with onwards travel arrangements and for tuk tuks to Sambor Prei Kuk or Phnom Santuk ($15 and $12 respectively). They advertise motorbike hire, but said that was not actually possible when we rolled through in early 2019.

We love the view out back.

We love the view out back. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The one negative here is the location. It is a five to ten minute walk (350m apparently) to the bridge and market from here, which isn’t too bad in the scheme of things but is not overly pleasant in the midday heat. If you’d prefer something closer to town, consider Vimean Sovann Guesthouse which is a similar distance to the south of the river, but we think here is considerably better. If the location doesn’t bother you, this is solid value.

More information

Walk–in rates (US$): 9—15
Book online: Agoda | Booking
Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 104º53'12.25" E, 12º43'12.29" N

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Corner National Route 6 and Sereipheap St, Kompong Thom
Under US$10

Arunras Hotel

# Corner National Route 6 and Sereipheap St, Kompong Thom T: (012) 836 107

One of the longest-running of Kompong Thom’s hotels, the Arunras holds a soft spot in the minds of most people who pass through Kompong Thom on a regular basis because of its ability to deliver the basics in a consistent manner.

Central and easy to find.

Central and easy to find. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The hotel is huge (by local standards), with over 50 clean, spacious and well-maintained rooms done up in a pleasing, though somewhat dated style. Some of the rooms have baths for tired, templed-out bones, though we’re not sure how often those baths really get used. One side has balconies, which will lend more light, and look out to Sereipheap Street. This is likely to be noisier, especially on the lower floors. Facilities include free WiFi, clean, hot water bathrooms, TV and, at least in the rooms we were shown, art on the wall—though not 3D art, you’ll have to head to SCH for that.

The staff were helpful and spoke good English. They will be able to help you with any forward travel or sight-seeing arrangements that you need and they can put you in touch with a motorcycle rental guy ($8 a day). Fan-cooled rooms go for $6 to $8, air-con ones are $12 to $14. Overall this is an inoffensive and reliable spot with an uber-central location. As far as we could tell the hotel cannot be booked online, but the chances of it actually being full ... ever ... are quite low, so just show up.

Rooms are good value.

Rooms are good value. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The very popular restaurant downstairs serves up an vast menu of Khmer and some Western food. As the principal hub for traffic between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, we can’t imagine how many meals they turn out every single day, and while the food won’t earn them any Michelin stars, it is a reliable option for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

More information

Walk–in rates (US$): 6—12

Maps: Apple | Google
GPS: 104º53'18.7" E, 12º42'41.06" N

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Kompong Thom.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Kompong Thom.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Kompong Thom.
 Read up on how to get to Kompong Thom, or book your transport online with Camboticket.
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