Location: Riverside (street 130)
Price: $23/night (booking.com)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Fitness Center: No
Restaurant/Bar: Yes (free breakfast)
Free WiFi: Yes
Guest Friendly: Yes
Poker players are constantly coming in to Phnom Penh looking for great hotel deals. Although I live in the city, from time to time I will require a room as well just in order to catch up on some sleep and get some work done. Not wanting to spend too much I usually look for something under $30, but this week was pleasantly surprised to find one under $25. I booked the City Center Hotel, Phnom Penh for only $23 and that price included breakfast. For that price I got the standard room with no windows, which is to be expected. The first thing that I noticed and that I should mention is their level of service. Nearly everyone on the staff spoke perfect English and was very attentive to every need and question. I ultimately gave this hotel a 3.5 out of 5 rating, a rating earned largely on the backs of their excellent staff.
As for the room itself, the space is very basic and when I say space I am being generous as it is quite small. There was just enough room for the bed, a small desk, even a smaller TV and the restroom. Everything worked in the room and the bed was quite soft, which was a pleasant surprise when compared to most hotels in the city that come with hard mattresses. The restroom was another surprise as it almost seemed to be bigger than the living space. It had quite a nice shower with hot water and strong pressure. The one real drawback for me was that the entire hotel was non-smoking, meaning I could not do it in my room nor even in the lobby. Even in the middle of the night if I wanted to smoke I had to put my clothes on and take the elevator to go outside. I did not factor this when coming up with my final score as I realize this is a positive to many people.
This is a guest friendly hotel and when looking at the composition of the guests that point becomes obvious. It is centrally located to the riverside area on street 130 so it is not hard to guess why this hotel is popular with men, especially when considering the price. I did not see a single woman that was staying in the hotel and I must say that while I think this establishment is perfectly safe, it may not be the ideal spot for single female travelers. I did not wake up in time for the free breakfast the next morning, but purchased it anyway as I was very hungry. If this is usually free then that is another huge positive for this hotel as the portions were plentiful giving it great value and also quite delicious for a simple breakfast.
Against common wisdom the hotel was actually very quiet and conducive to sleep. I would not call it a great hotel for getting work done, neither in the room itself nor in any of the common spaces. For about $10-$15 more one can find better spots on the riverside. But in the end the City Center Hotel, Phnom Penh is a good value spot for those looking to stay close to all the riverside for under $25.