Arunras Hotel & Restaurant
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.
The hotel is huge (by local standards), with 58 clean, spacious and well-maintained rooms done up in a surprisingly old-fashioned style (note the wonderful control console for lights and so on, which looks like it was lifted straight out of the 1950s). Some of the rooms have baths for tired, templed-out bones. 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, though rooms on the top floors may be affected by the karaoke bar on the fifth. The staff were helpful and many spoke excellent English. They will be able to help you with any forward travel or site-seeing arrangements that you need. A restaurant downstairs serves up an enormous 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. The karaoke bar has a bit of a dodgy reputation, so approach with caution.
If you've got an extra buck or two to spend, the Guesthouse next door is a good option. Rooms are smaller, but modern, clean and the beds are comfortable; bathrooms are however cold water only. You also have the main hotel restaurant within stair-stumbling reach but you're a safer distance from the karaoke. Fan-cooled rooms go for $8, air-con ones are $12.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Dbl fan private bathroom, low season: US$7, high season US$7. Notes: Cold water.
Room: Dbl air-con private bathroom, low season: US$10, high season US$10. Notes: Cold water shower. $15 with hot water and bath.