Hotel Asia / Hotel Asea
Nr Wat Phiphetaram
Rates: $4 to $20
Stayed there: Feb 7th and 8th 2009
I ended up here as the Chaaya hotel had failed to collect me from the bus station. And when I walked there, they’d not saved me the promised room for two nights either. I walked round to the Royal Hotel, but their cheapest was $7. However, their sister hotel – the Asia/Asea (it’s spelled both ways in various places) – had some for $5 so I went for a look.
It’s pretty much standard fare around here. The room I got was on the 3rd floor and quite spacious. Two double beds with firm mattresses, blankets and towels. The en-suite bathroom has a cold shower and western toilet. Fan rather than air-con (more expensive rooms have this if you need it), cable TV with about 20 English-speaking channels.
The staff seemed fairly helpful, and were happy to sort travel tickets for me.
There’s no bar, but a fridge in reception with cans at 3000R (soft drinks) to $1 (beer). Internet access is 3000R per hour (there’s a place round the corner charging half this rate) via two aging PCs, though I was offered the chance to plug my laptop in. This would necessitate unplugging one of the PCs, so I didn’t get round to doing it.
Krong Koh Kong
Koh Kong Riverside
Krong Koh Kong
Rates: 100 baht for a room with a double bed, 150 baht for two beds. No en-suite.
Stayed there: Jan 30th 2009
This isn’t where we wanted to end up, but is where the taxi driver took us. Still, for 100 baht (150 for a room with two beds) you get a large room with a desk, power socket, fan and somewhere to sleep. The beds are about the hardest thing I’ve slept on since the last time I snatched some Z’s on the tiles at Stansted Airport.
Claire locked her keys in her room and I easily unlocked the door using mine. However, her key wouldn’t open my door. Just check the lock yourself before committing to a room.
The shared shower gave a good blast of water, but the electric part wasn’t working so it wasn’t hot. The loo was western, but no loo roll supplied, and the water after a shower sat for ages before draining away. I recommend getting in there first.
Food from the attached restaurant was tasty, but the portions were a little small. I guess this is where they make their money as you can eat more for less down the road. However, their pancakes are awesome!
Overall… well, it ticks the required boxes but there is undoubtedly better available in town.
Koh Kong Guest House
Krong Koh Kong
Phone (Thai): +66 086-3315310
Phone (Cambodia): +855 016-286669 or +855 099-800200
Rates: 150 baht for en-suite with a double bed
Further down the road towards the Asean Hotel than the Riverside, this place looks lovely from outside with an upstairs bar and impressive decor. We had a quick look at the rooms, but we’d already checked into the other place. The ones here were smaller, but more comfortable-looking and en-suite.
The restaurant was far better than the Riverside – both cheaper and with larger portions. To be fair, though, the pancakes at the Riverside kick ass. We enjoyed a beer and watched some TV (surprise – they had football on), but our impressions were good. Were we ever to come back through Krong Koh Kong, both of us would pick this place over the Riverside. Even if partly just to annoy the the taxi drivers who seem to get a commission from the other place.
OKAY Guest House
Tel: 012 920556
Rates: $2 (dorm) to $15 (aircon room) and everything in between
Stayed there: Feb 3rd to 6th 2009
First impressions weren’t great as it seemed OKAY were trying to convince me and two Dutch girls to share a room at $5 each per night. The girls didn’t want to share and I didn’t want to pay $5 when I knew they had dorms – which was told were full. Once they said “no” and walked off, a dorm bed was suddenly free. It was the last one and I took it.
My bed was a large single/small double. Mattress was OK (no bugs) but with no sheets other than the slip covering the mattress. Everyone else got a towel included, but I didn’t – but I could live with that. Mine was also the only one with no mozzie net, but also the only non-bunk.
The loo is down the stairs, through staff sleeping quarters (no lights) and into the back yard. It’s very basic – western flush and a cold shower – but does the job. Hey, it’s two bucks.
There’s a big balcony with comfy chairs outside of the dorm where I’m writing this review. My bed fan is a stand-up job so I’ve pulled it round to the outside to keep me cool and blow away the mozzies. All good.
I can’t comment on the other accommodation other than the glimpses I’ve caught through the doors. They look good from what I’ve seen.
Bus trips and so forth that they organise are reasonably priced and a cinch to book.
The big thing that OKAY has going for it is a backpacker atmosphere while not being in the backpacker area which I gather is not that great. The main restaurant area is always busy as they show CNN or films (The Killing Fields is an obvious staple) and serve some very good and reasonably priced grub.
As ever, you get what you pay for. And two bucks for a bed and a cold shower is pretty fair. My only issue is a lack of lockers in the dorm, though I saw a sign saying they exist elsewhere – at least “safety deposit boxes” which may not be big enough for more than your passport etc.
#22 St 136
Sangkat Phsar Kandal I
Stayed there: July 17th & 18th 2008
There’s plenty of choice of where to stay and how much in Phnom Penh. Last time I used the lovely Sunday Guest House, but it was a little far out so this time we opted for somewhere closer to the river front. After scouring the guide books we settled on the Nordic House – which funnily enough is owned by a man from Norway.
It wasn’t cheap, but the rooms were superb and newly decorated. Aircon, cable TV, wi-fi, superb new bathrooms and comfy beds. The staff were great, too, even making us up a packed lunch for our journey on our last day.
One issue is that if you’re over average height – mind your head! The ceilings of the rooms are about 6′ in height (my head just touched them), but the bathroom we had was even shorter meaning you had to bend over when in the shower. Kind of quaint if you’re only there for a day or two, and it makes for some novelty photos.
The room was serviced daily and fresh toothpaste, brushes, soap and towels provided. The chap who ran it happened to be there when we arrived and was very pleasant.
My only quibble is their “free” wireless. You’ll need a keycode to use it, which is fine, and agree to some terms and conditions mainly pertaining to the kind of stuff you’re thinking of downloading. Also fine. There is also a download limit per day of your stay and a fairly hefty charge if you go over this. With the nature of web pages and Windows Updates coming down the line unbidden, this is kind of harsh though probably stems from the House’s internet connection being a limited one. The rules you agree to don’t make it clear that this isn’t actually a download limit – it’s a data transfer limit irrespective of direction. Leah exceeded it swiftly by uploading some photos, which we didn’t realise. Just something to watch for.
Otherwise, a lovely place and in a very good location.
Sunday Guest House
97 Ph 141
Psar O Russei area
Stayed there: May 13th to 15th 2007
Rates: $4 to $15 varying from small with fan to large with aircon
We booked two rooms here. I had a single and Amy had a double as there were no singles left. Both seemed remarkably similar, though Amy’s had a higher ceiling. Otherwise there seemed no difference for the small increase in price.
The staff were superb, with excellent English spoken and a great knowledge of the surrounding area. Posters advertise basic and complex excursions (anything from two to ten sights in a day), charities, film times and so on. The films are shown at 7pm in the downstairs bar/diner and are the standard Killing Fields and so on. The TV used is a nice big flat screen, and there’s a stack of DVDs to pick from as well.
The food is the usual you get to expect around here. Decent quality and very slightly dearer than most tourist cafes.
No complaints about the bed in my room which was large and comfy. The aircon worked a treat and the TV had cable, so I even got to watch the last couple of games of the season on ESPN.
Internet is available for what seems to be the standard price in Phnomh Penh of $1/hour. A laundry service is also available.
Quibbles? Minor. The batteries in my TV remote weren’t working and I had no bed sheets. The problem I had was that I didn’t discover these issues until I headed for bed and the reception had closed for the night. Fortunately, the TV had buttons on it and my sleeping bag did me well as a light duvet.
Bou Savy Guest House
Route 6 (Airport Road)
Slore Kram village
Phone: (855) 63 964 967
Stayed there: July 15th and 16th 2008
Rates: $6 to $18 depending on AC/fan and room size. We paid $13.50 per night for a twin with aircon (promotion on till October giving 10% off). All prices include breakfast.
Short review: great place.
Long review: Staff are friendly and make you feel welcome the moment you set foot in the place. There’s a free drink when you arrive and help getting your luggage to your room if you need it.
The rooms are huge and include satellite telly, hot shower, aircon (if you request it), a fridge and toiletries. No complaints about the beds or sheets – comfortable and clean. Rooms are serviced every day, as well.
Their restaurant does good food and the breakfasts are nice, though small and simple. Of course, if you want more then feel free to buy more! The prices are reasonable enough.
Trip organisation, bus tickets and so on are sorted quickly and at a great price. There’s almost always someone kicking about who can tuk-tuk you into town as well. And don’t think they’ll rip you off with the “we’ll add it to your bill” trick. The opposite – when we left, we had to remind them of things they’d forgotten to charge us for!
A lovely building, with great rooms and in a quiet spot a short tuk-tuk (or 10-minute speedy walk) from the heart of the town. Recommended.
NH6 West Area
Stayed there: May 10th to 12th 2007
Rates: $2 at my end of things up to $15
The rooms here vary massively. Mine hit the basics I require and that was it. A bed, a lock on the door and no marauding radioactive cockroaches or UXBs.
The first impression, before I got there, had the shine taken off when my airport pickup didn’t arrive. I shared a taxi with some other backpackers and go there a few minutes later. On my arrival the staff were hugely apologetic – it was just one of those things. My paperwork hadn’t been printed out and my flight had been missed. A free bottle of water helped ease my concerns.
For $2 a night, I got as mentioned above. A room with a fan, a bed (fairly soft mattress after my experiences in Laos) and a lightbulb that wasn’t quite as bright as I’d have preferred. I was also near the front and therefore the main road so it was good that I had earplugs.
The earplugs, however, didn’t prevent me being woken at 5am for two nights in a row but selfish neighbours. The walls are very thin and “open” across the top. Therefore, noise travels remarkably easily and both sets of travellers I had next door must have been rising early to catch buses. Certainly on both days I had to put up with furniture being shifted, rustling bags, loud conversation, shouting and the resultant lack of sleep.
There were two shared bathrooms, both with lukewarm showers and otherwise acceptable facilities. The upstairs bathroom is definitely the better one with a much more powerful shower. No toilet roll is provided – bring your own. The more expensive rooms are en-suite.
Locationwise it’s fine. Ten minutes brisk walk will get you to Bar Street and there are shops and restaurants and banks and everything nearby.
Internet was available for $1.50 per hour (you can get it for 50c a five minute walk away) and there was a free pool table in the comfy bar area. The restaurant was a bit overpriced compared to what you could get a short walk away, but the food was very good.
You can shop around a lot in Siem Reap. A girl I met on the plane was on the other side of the street and for $10 a night had a room with cable TV, aircon and a fridge – and breakfast. A guy I met on the same plane came with me to Jasmine and paid $12 for a comfy aircon, but no telly, fridge or breakfast. It depends on what you want. For $2, what do you expect?
Serendipity Beach Road
Tel: 012 981 918
Rates: $10 to $40 depending on room size and how busy they are. We arrived early evening and got a large air-con twin for $18!
Stayed there: Jan 31st 2009
A friendly and very well-built place with lovely staff. We’d traipsed for ages trying to find somewhere that wasn’t too expensive and Thida’s was about the 20th we’d approached. We were looking for the cheapest rooms, but they’d all gone. The young lady on reception saw our pligth – and likely realised that nobody else would be coming along later – so let us have a very large room for a bargain $18 between us.
It came equipped with TV (and 30+ channels, some in English), DVD player, two large double beds, towels, en-suite shower (hot water), western loo, toilet roll, toothbrushes and aircon. It’s also in a good location, about 50m from the beach.
The shower was a little weedy pressurewise, but was hot and the room was clean. The bed furniture included some nice cabinets with lockable drawers for valuables. They’d not survive a hefty crowbarring, but better than nothing at all.
More a hotel than a guest house, it’s only a shame there’s no wi-fi as there is in a few of the places nearby. Still, it was a great price for a great room.
Our second, and cheaper, room was on the ground floor. It wasn’t too noisy despite being on the main thoroughfare into and out of the hotel. Spacewise, it was far smaller than our posh top floor room, but big enough for the two double beds – though their mattresses were far thinner than those in the nicer room.
A fan replaced the aircon, though we still had both a TV with cable and a DVD player. The shower and bathroom were down the corridor (in fairness, only about 5m further away than the one in the previous room!), but the shower was lukewarm rather than the nice electric one we’d had for the night before.
The loo was blocked during the day as someone had been chucking toilet paper down it (use the bin!) but this was cleared and sorted very quickly once the staff were made aware.
It certainly looks like to get what you pay for in Sihanoukville – whether going between guest houses or hopping about within the same one. One thing I will say about Thida’s though is that the staff are lovely!