Friday, April 20, 2012

Where to stay (or not) in Phnom Penh - Modern City Hotel

I'm not sure why this hotel is under the heading of a B & B/Inn on's a hotel!

We had been booked in at Sary's Guesthouse for months prior, having made arrangments directly, with Sary by emails. All was going well until they failed to collect us from the bus station, a trade off in lieu of our free airport pick-up. So in a tuk tuk we jumped and found our own way. On arriving...big apologies for renting out our room!!! for the first of our three night stay. 

I really wanted to stay there, it looked clean and somewhat stylish for a boutique hotel, but their failure to offer good customer service, left us a trifle PO'ed. Sary directed our tuk tuk driver to the Modern City Hotel in the next street. The staff were extremely busy when we arrived, but as helpful as they could be amongst the flurry of guests at the reception counter.

For the same price of US$20 per night we took a room, without breakfast, which was not an option. I am certain think we paid too much. The building itself would have looked quite striking in its day, with wide, wide corridors opening onto a spacious balcony and hefty timber balustrades lining the internal staircase, made of some kind of sparkling black terrazzo.

The rooms are huge, with massive wardrobes (with doors that didn't close) and it would take little to make them simple, but smart.
A fresh coat of paint, a vigorous scrub of the bathroom and its corners (too much mold and someone else's blue liquid soap left behind, above the red dot)...
..a little thought put into the blue air conditioning overflow pipe which seems to defy gravity and runs along the bedroom walls, emptying out constantly onto the bathroom floor, redifining the term 'wet bathroom'...
...not to mention our neighbour's condute making a quick entry and exit above our shower.
There was also water on the floor, from the fridge. The staff were quick to mop it up and solve the problem with a large orange plastic bag to catch the leakage?????? :(
The hotel is in a good location, a short walk to the river front, cafes, bars, restaurants and museum etc.
The lobby has a large sitting area and small alfresco dining section just outside the entrance. The prices on the menu are very reasonable and the food, not bad at all.
We had no issue with noise during our stay unlike some other reviews, on Tripadvisor. Would I stay there again, probably not. The area has many small, cheapish hotels and I'd try my luck at one of them.

Whenever I stay in another country where the standard of living is poorer than my homeland, I do count my blessings and wonder if I really do have a right to complain about anything, even (sometimes) if I'm paying.

What do you think?

Previous Cambodia related posts
So what’s new (for us) to eat?

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


Martyn said... Best Blogger Tips

The bedroom decor at the Modern City Hotel does look a bit cheap and square but at 600 baht a night I don't think anyone could really complain. At least the food menu was up to standard and a short stroll to a picturesque river has got to add a little bit of value to the hotel itself.

Reading your review I'd give the hotel a miss myself but wouldn't complain if it was the only one available.

DanPloy said... Best Blogger Tips

I couldn't stay there. Twin beds!

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

I've found (in Thailand also) that the price of a hotel is not necessarily indicative of the quality of the hotel. We've paid the same amount of money (not much) for both outstanding and woeful accommodation. It's a bit of a lucky dip when travelling and has got to be down right terrible for us to venture out and find alternate digs. A case of the devil you know ;)

I really don't mind 'basic', but I do mind 'not clean'.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@DanPloy You sound just like Stray. I don't know how many times he's high tailed it back down to reception to swap to a room with one bed. Just so happens one of these beds is a king single and the other, a mai bpen rai na kha ;)

Catherine said... Best Blogger Tips

"All was going well until they failed to collect us" ... "On arriving...big apologies for renting out our room!"

"What do you think?"

Ouch. I thought I had it bad when I didn't get a pick up in Siem Reap. But not even having a room is awful. When you've been traveling all you want to do is relax and de-stress!

I did get an upgrade. But, it left a bad taste in my mouth when the manager tried to make their snafu my fault. I pointed out that I sent 3-4 emails to clarify a pickup, so him trying to shift the blame looked pretty silly. And unprofessional.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Cat, I emailed Sary the day before from Sihanoukville, as promised in my original booking, to notify him of our arrival time. When we arrived he acknowledged he'd received it, but could not reply, some sort of glitch??????????????

I think in our travels we've only upped and left a hotel twice, once due to boredom (very dull part of town indeed) and once due to horrible conditions.

We probably should have abandoned a couple of others, but that's the last thing you feel like doing, as you point out, relaxing and destressing is on the top of the list...and sometimes the our hotels have been prepaid :(

DanPloy said... Best Blogger Tips

'Just so happens one of these beds is a king single and the other, a queen...'

Oh good, You never know who else might turn up.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@DanPloy :|

I'm sure the extra bedding comes in handy for some folk, especially after seeing how many family members go in and out of hotel rooms in SE Asia.

Catherine said... Best Blogger Tips

Ah, the email glitch... I've had that happen to me before. I could see the emails but the replies refuse to go. Frustrating.