Price: $25 per night (booking.com)
Score: 4 out of 5
Fitness Center: No
Free WiFi: Yes
Guest Friendly: No
When I first arrived in Cambodia a little over five years ago, the One Up Banana Hotel is the very first place I ever stayed; and thank god I did. I had never traveled anywhere in the world before, Cambodia being the very first stamp on my passport. I could not have encountered a more ideal situation then staying with the nice folks at One Up. They sent a taxi to pick me up at the airport, although it was very late at 11:30 PM. And when I arrived at the hotel the entire staff greeted me, some having woken up from their naps just to do so. They escorted me to my room and made sure I had everything that I needed before going back downstairs and back to sleep. Of course I woke them up thirty minutes later to find me a tuk-tuk at 1:00 AM so I could go play poker at Nagaworld but that's neither here nor there.
Once I was in my room I was surrounded by a very comfortable surrounding. The bed was soft with fresh and clean linens and towels decorated to look like swans. The TV got perfect reception and the free WiFi was more than sufficient. There was a fridge in the room stocked with snacks and drinks and room service was available round the clock. There are several different types of rooms at One Up and I have stayed at just about every single one. The standard room has no windows but is large for a single and comes with a separate study area with a desk and a sink. The larger rooms upstairs only cost a little bit more and include a full balcony. The hotel includes a wonderful rooftop terrace where one can get a good view of the BKK1 area in Phnom Penh. It is as much a garden as a terrace as there is colorful foiliage planted everywhere. Rooms can also be rented on the roof allowing patrons to enjoy it as their front yard daily.
The hotel is ideal situated in the BKK1 area, one of the nicest areas of the capital city. There are great restaurants everywhere from chain establishments such as Dominos Pizza to hip new eateries catering to the expat clientele. There are many bars in the area as well with even a few clubs that are very tourist friendly. And if you want to get anywhere else in the city it shouldn't be more than a short $2 tuk-tuk or a $1 Grab ride. The staff at One Up are excellent as well as they are very knowledgeable about the city and can answer any of your questions. If you require any goods or services they can direct you to the right establishment and they are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. If you walk in, rooms can be had for $30, but book online and I have seen them as low as $20 per night. This is not an overnight guest friendly hotel, but everything else about this establishment is top notch and it should be on your short list of places to stay the next time you come to Phnom Penh.