Good location, old school lodgings
The long-running Bright Lotus offers a great location with spotless if unvarnished rooms, some with views back over the National Musuem, and a busy restaurant downstairs.
The rooms have air-con, TV, private bathrooms with hot water, and a narrow veranda that curves around the building. In the past the verandas were shared among the rooms on the floor, but that is no longer the case, with a “veranda room” getting the veranda and the rest, well, just a barred window—perhaps make friends with whoever has the veranda! The balcony is not worth the extra $7.
Rooms are of a pretty decent size and include a small desk, but mattresses are quite spongy, the linen threadbare to the point of being almost see through and the pillows limp, but if you are staying here you are staying for the location, not the rooms. On our most recent stay we couldn’t lock the window (though the window was bared) so be wary of leaving valuables within reaching distance of the window. Rooms also require navigating a rather narrow staircase—if you struggle with stairs, Bright Lotus is not for you. These issues aside, the location puts you within a short dive of the riverside, FCC, the National Museum, Royal Palace, and with a little extra legwork, stylish Street 240.
While we’ve found them friendly in the past (we have stayed here on multiple occasions) on our most recent visit the staff were pretty disinterested to say the least. Because of its proximity to so many popular tourist sites, the hassle factor in the immediate area surrounding the guesthouse can be considerable. Overall if you’re floating around the $20 bracket and don’t want to stay in a dorm, Bright Lotus remains decent—if old school—value, just a short distance from the river. Light sleepers should pack ear plugs.
Address: 22 Street 178, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 676 682; (092) 289 055;
Coordinates (for GPS): 104º55'51.24" E, 11º34'0.23" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$10 to 35
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl air-con private bathroom|
$25 with the balcony
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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