The Quay Hotel - Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Boutique Hotel

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Rooms & Suites: 16

What is, hands down, the most chic hotel in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh is also the easiest to miss. Tucked atop the dazzling white Chow restaurant – its resident Asian fusion eatery that draws a crowd of its own...

the newly-opened 16-room Quay Hotel wedged along the bars of the capital's bustling riverfront is so inobtrusive you can walk right by it, barely noticing the tiny gem that rises five stories above. However, you can't stay long in the city without hearing about this hot spot: the sister venture of the group that runs the FCC -- the city's most hopping bar/restaurant -- the Quay Hotel is the hottest property in town, a trendy boutique sleepery that is “carbon-friendly” and so sublimely works its space that guests are prone to squeeze every minute out of their room, only occasionally appearing on the rooftop bar only to say how cool the digs are, before they disappear back to them.

Designed by Gary Fell of Gfab Architects, the sleepery that opened in May 2008 marries natural materials – limestone floors, granite-edged tubs, wood balconies – with space-age furnishings to create a compact yet airy space that would work well as an apartment. The eight panaromic suites boast balconies and river-spilling views: light streaming in from the balcony is maximalized by stepped room design and clever use of glass creating a long linear brilliance illuminates even the farthest point away – the spacious stone-wrapped bathroom with deep tub and free standing rainshower, where mirrors reflect interesting views – like of one's feet.

From behind the comfy Minotto beds, a teakwood work station with built-in minibar and coffee making area offers plenty of room to spread out – and if you are lacking a laptop, you can easily rent one by the hour from reception; in the super-cozy mini-living room that stretches out in front of the sleeping area, two curvaceous and modernistic Arne Jacobson chairs in white leather beckon the technology-loving who may spend hours watching movies on the oversized flat screen TV or bobbing off to tunes from the sound-surround system, while feasting on Chow's creative dishes – jungle curries, pepper-spiked lobster cakes, flower teas that blossom, energizing anti-oxidant juices made with wheatgrass. Should you wish to divide the room – or block the light from the balcony – merely push the button for mid-room curtain closing. Neutral tones and angled origami-like ceilings produce an ultra-soothing effect that might be described as "Earth meet Jetsons" – and that guarantees that will you too may have little desire to leave your space for the night, except to check out the jetsetters partying on the rooftop who will eye you enviously upon hearing that you've landed a room in this tiny hotel that is often booked solid by urbanites following the festive scene that's unfolding in once-forgotten Phnom Penh.

Written by Melissa Rossi, August 2008.

Trip Type

Romantic Getaway


National Museum - 500 metres Silver Pagoda - 500 metres Royal Palace - 500 metres Central Market - 3 km (2 miles) Russian Market - 7 km (4.5 miles)


Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH)

High Season

November through April