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While it might not have quite the plethora of accommodation that Siem Reap offers, Phnom Penh will not leave you out on the streets. From uber-trendy design hotels on the riverfront to hidden-jem boutique guesthouses tucked away down quiet streets, there is something for everyone in the country’s capital. The following are my top picks for where to stay in Phnom Penh.

Budget / Counting Pennies

The Mad Monkey
The Mad Monkey is an up and coming hotspot in Phnom Penh. Since the dissolution of the Boeung Kak lake district, there is no longer a Khao San Road style backpacker ghetto of Phnom Penh, meaning the Lonely Planet-toting masses are still looking for a new place to settle. My money is on the Mad Monkey.

The Mad Monkey Phnom Penh

The Mad Monkey is still a work in process, but you will quickly be charmed into forgiving any just-opened glitches. The genuinely friendly staff remembered our names after a week away, while the up-for-a-party owners took us to Oktoberfest and out to local clubs. Rooms are clean and comfortable, and the restaurant and bar are delicious, if a bit pricey. At the moment, the rooftop bar is closed due to unresolved noise issues, but don’t fret, the bar of the also popular Top Banana hostel is only moments away. And the owners of both have teamed up to offer a new Party Boat down the Tonle Sap every Sunday.

The Mad Monkey Phnom Penh

My favorite detail is the fun house feel to the staircases, which local artists are painting with colorful murals. Don’t delay in booking- when this place inevitably makes it into the next edition of Lonely Planet, it’s going to be even tougher to secure a room. Dorms $7, Rooms $14-20, 26 Street 240, BKK1 District, phnompenhhostels.com

The Mad Monkey Phnom Penh

 

Alibi Guesthouse
The Alibi Guesthouse is tucked down a side street of Sothearos Boulevard in a beautiful old French villa. It is centrally located just moments away from the Royal Palace, saving you lots of tuk-tuk rides! Rooms are bright and airy, and the villa itself is very elegant.

Alibi Guesthouse Phnom Penh

Alibi Guesthouse Phnom Penh

There is a lovely garden patio area where breakfast is served in the morning and a pool table beckons in the evening. Alibi is geared more towards families and those heading to bed early, as we had trouble getting in one night when we came home late. The owner speaks French and English. $15-27, Sothearos Blvd, alibiguesthouse.com

Alibi Guesthouse Phnom Penh

 

Midrange / Treat Yourself

Blue Lime
Featuring poured concrete furniture, a gorgeous pool and style to spare, Blue Lime is a minimalist design lover’s dream.  The garden and salt water pool area, featuring salt from the nearby Kampot region, is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast, order a cocktail from the bar, or unwind after a day exploring the city. For more watery goodness, four of the rooms have their own private plunge pool.

Blue Lime Phnom Penh

Rooms are sleek, modern and minimalist and despite the concrete design scheme feature plush bedding. Balconies provide another space for relaxation. The staff is not only endearing but helpful, and when they didn’t know the answer to a question they took the time to find it. Note: Blue Lime is adult only and all guests should be over 16. $40-85, 42 Street 19z, bluelime.asia

Blue Lime Phnom Penh

Blue Lime Phnom Penh

Boddhi Tree Aram
Tucked down a quiet alley just a stone’s throw from the Silver Palace is Boddhi Tree Aram, a 12 room boutique hotel that defines urban oasis. Rooms are light, airy and elegant, and beds are in the running for the most comfortable in Phnom Penh. Common areas, both indoor and out, are dripping in style and invite you to while an afternoon away tucked in a corner with a good book.

Boddhi Tree Aram Phnom Penh

The best part about staying at Boddhi Tree is that it takes it’s status as a socially responsible enterprise seriously: over 90% of staff come from charity training programs, food is organic, local, and responsibly grown, and sustainability is at the forefront with recycling programs, energy conservation and recycled materials used wherever possible. Chatting with the lovely staff is sure to be a highlight of a stay here.

Boddhi Tree Aram Phnom Penh

There are two other properties in the Boddhi Tree family: Del Gusto and Umma, which uphold the same social principles at a more budget friendly price point.

Boddhi Tree Aram Phnom Penh

Daily meditation and yoga classes enhance the peaceful mood here. Special touches include a delicious complimentary breakfast, fresh flowers in the room, silk robes, and complimentary use of the swimming pool and gym at the Himawari Hotel. $68-82, #70, Street 244, boddhitree.com

Boddhi Tree Aram Phnom Penh

Boddhi Tree Aram Phnom Penh

Top End / Rolling In It

The Quay
The Quay takes its name from its 5 star location on the Sisowath Quay, overlooking the river that is the defining characteristic of Phnom Penh. Traditional decor is eschewed for a modern, almost space age theme. Of the hotel’s 16 rooms, standard ones don’t feature views or windows, but Panorama Suites feature sweeping views of the Tonle Sap and the Mekong Rivers. The Quay is “carbon friendly” and takes part in many green initiatives.

The Quay Phnom Penh

If you can’t afford to stay at this super stylish hotel, you can at least have dinner or a drink in one of its two restaurants, one of which is located on the rooftop. From $85/130, Sisowath Quay, thequayhotel.com

The Quay Phnom Penh

Disclaimer: I was hosted by The Mad Monkey, Alibi Guesthouse, and Boddhi Tree in exchange for reviews. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I have also personally stayed at Blue Lime. Photos of  The Quay are courtesy of their website.

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20 comments… add one

  • Dad
    December 5 2011

    Who is that handsome guy looking over his shoulder at the Blue Lime pool?

    • Alex
      December 6 2011

      Just some model I found hanging around that day :)

  • The last two places I WILL be staying at thank you! ;-)

    • Alex
      December 6 2011

      Oh, Andi… you would simply love Boddhi Tree! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… get yourself to Cambodia!

  • K.C. Gleaton
    December 6 2011

    Looks like beautiful places.

    I have a trip planned in the spring, but have yet to make my lodging reservations; I will be sure to consider these as well.

    Thanks again!

    • Alex
      December 6 2011

      Be sure to check out my post on where to stay in Siem Reap as well! Congratulations on booking a trip to Cambodia- I’m sure you will love it.

  • I survived in Cambodia
    July 20 2012

    The quay is a good hotel with nice view, but this hotel dont have cambodian touch.. :(
    I survived in Cambodia recently posted..How to survive in Cambodia?

    • Alex
      July 20 2012

      Its true, The Quay is a very modern property. I love it though!

  • Anidha
    July 30 2012

    Alex,
    Thanks for this awesome write-up.
    Very helpful for my trip to PP in 2 weeks’ time.

    Do you also have suggestions on what to see in PP besides the famous touristy spots like the killing fields, etc?

  • namy
    October 7 2013

    Really helpful for my next visit!

    • Alex
      October 8 2013

      Happy to help! Thanks for reading!

  • Shouri
    November 10 2013

    Fantastic reviews Alex. Thank you very much. Heading to Cambodia in December!

    Shouri

    • Alex
      November 12 2013

      You’re so welcome Shouri! Enjoy Cambodia… it’s one of my favorite places in the world!

  • Adrian Haylock
    March 3 2014

    All these places look amazing. I have got to admit the Mad Monkey looks really clean and I like that style of decoration in a room. I have considered going to Phnom Penh before and I think this had just helped me make up my mind.

    • Alex
      March 3 2014

      I adore Phnom Penh! The Mad Monkey is an awesome choice :) Enjoy your trip!

  • Carlo Cretaro
    March 8 2014

    Hi Alex,

    Great info on accommodation, we’ll be visiting Phnom Penh in the next few days and will check out some of the places that you’ve mentioned above.

    Thanks for the info :)
    Carlo Cretaro recently posted..Travel Tales with Gianna and Ivana – Nomad is Beautiful

    • Alex
      March 8 2014

      Hey Carlo! Glad this was helpful! Enjoy one of my favorite cities in Southeast Asia!

  • sasi
    May 8 2014

    Thanks alot for the information.

    • Alex
      May 11 2014

      You’re welcome Sasi, hope it was helpful!

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