Phnom Penh is a sophisticated little city when it comes to accommodation, with a burgeoning boutique hotel scene and plenty of chic sleeps, ranging from the contemporary The Quay to the pared-back style of The Pavilion.
Sadly, we didn’t get to settle in for very long this trip and try any holiday rentals in Phnom Penh (next time), but we did get to experience some beautiful hotels that fit our ‘home away from home’ style. The hotels below had friendly, welcoming staff, lots of character, loads of space, and are the types of hotels that you’d be happy to check into for a while.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal
Once upon a time, the grand old Raffles Hotel Le Royal was the fashionable spot in town. For eighty years, royalty, diplomats and celebrities slept soundly in its elegant old high-ceilinged rooms, lounged by the colossal swimming pools (yes, there are two!), and sipped cocktails to the sounds of piano keys tinkling in the colonial-era Elephant Bar (review here). We got to sleep very soundly and sip a cocktail, but sadly our busy schedule didn’t allow us to do any lazing by the pool. 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. www.raffles.com
Located amidst lush gardens behind high walls in a restored 1920s French mansion and set around an enticing turquoise swimming pool, The Pavilion has plenty of charm. Its’ simply decorated, whitewashed rooms are accented by bright colours, and some have private plunge pools. The same owner is currently transforming another historic villa into a boutique hotel called The Plantation, due to open by the end of this year so look out for that one. 227, 19 Street, Phnom Penh. www.thepavilion.asia
By contrast, sleek, modern and minimalist, The Quay on busy Sisowath Quay is like a Scandinavian design hotel. Its stylish, hi-tech rooms sport Minotto beds, Arne Jacobsen Egg Chairs, and enormous black granite bathrooms. There’s a cool lobby café-restaurant called Chow at street level, serving up Asian fusion food, and on the breezy rooftop a buzzy bar with a jacuzzi and stunning Mekong River and Tonle Sap views (reviews here). 277 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh. www.thequayhotel.com
We almost stayed at the hip 240 on 240 Street, near the Royal Palace, but we had to change our plans and return a little earlier. I did go and check out this place and I loved what I saw. The individually decorated rooms are light, bright and spacious, with bold accents in the form of cushions and features, and the light-filled building boasts a funky café cum organic food shop and an art gallery (see this post). 240 Street itself is an increasingly cool address that’s fun to explore. 83, 240 Street, Phnom Penh. www.the240.asia
Also worth checking out…
River 108 Not far from The Quay, new boutique hotel River 108, on 108 Street, has a glam Art Deco-inspired style, with silver and gold accents, and, like the Quay, rooms with spacious terraces and river vistas. Cnr 108 Street & Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh. river108.com
Lebiz Hotel There are no watery views here from these minimalist rooms unfortunately, but the rooms at the front have a fascinating outlook onto bustling 128 Street and Central Market (see this post) is just seconds away. Downstairs there’s a multimedia library and café-bar (see this post). 79F, 128 Street, Phnom Penh. www.lebizhotel.com
Have you stayed at any of these hotels in Phnom Penh? How did you find them? Or did you stay somewhere else that you loved? Tips welcome. Don’t know about you, but we’ll definitely be heading back.