Quiet and comfort in a great location
22s Street 29, BKK1, Phnom Penh T: (023) 634 8008, (023) 221 322 F: (023) 221 311
In a classically-styled building, safely hidden away behind high walls, Jasmine Hotel, which used to be known as Monument Hotel, gives off an air of exclusivity that is not reflected in the price. Although it’s small, there are certain things Jasmine Hotel likes to do big. There’s the impossibly large entrance gate, and the ear to ear smiles from staff as you walk in. Even better, they don’t miss the little things that make your stay that little bit extra special — candles at night around the saltwater pool and expensively soft linen.
In a residential neighbourhood with a hip bar and restaurant quarter just around the corner, and just four minutes’ walk to Independence Monument, the hotel is well located. The riverside, Royal Palace and National Museum are all a brief tuk tuk ride away, and BKK1, with its plethora of bars and restaurants to choose from just a short stroll. But the peace and quiet mean it’s easy to forget you’re slap bang in the middle of a capital city.
The 23 air con rooms manage a balance between homely and crisply clean, with fabulously comfy beds, white wooden wardrobes and pretty yet practical lamps and easy chairs. The walk-in shower is generously sized and partitioned from the rest of the colourful en-suite bathroom. Standard twin or double rooms don’t have much of a view, so if you’re picky about a panorama, you’ll need to upgrade to a deluxe, with a balcony overlooking the pool.
Complimentary buffet breakfast is served until 10:30 in the unpretentious fourth floor cafe. This was being renovated when we visited, so we can’t comment on what it may turn out like — hopefully better. The elevation provides interesting views across Phnom Penh’s rooftops, while the lack of a lift means your appetite will be sharpened by the climb upstairs. There’s also a bar next to the guest-only pool, pleasant for a dip after a dusty day. Staff can arrange tours and transfers for you, or make bookings at Bodia Spa.
We did find there to be a little incongruity between the overall classical and stylish feel of the hotel and the wall of colourful handprints that greets you when you walk into the lobby; a rather gauche feature more commonly found on hostel walls, where it looks kind of cute. Here, well, context can be so important sometimes.
Given the hotel’s overall feel, it tends to attract couples, business travellers and older families — the stairs and open pool make it tricky for those with young kids. The happy hour cocktails and a relaxed vibe make this a good hideaway, but if you’re in search of a party, you’ll need to travel to find it.
If you’re not a water baby, the pool-less Willow Boutique, one street away on Street 21, has more spacious rooms at similar prices.
By Abigail Gilbert
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.