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the 252 3.0

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Review Summary

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  • Located on a quiet side street near the trendy BKK1 neighborhood
  • Walking distance to a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars
  • Photographer owner has decorated hotel with vibrant photos
  • All rooms have flat-screen TVs and iPod docks and speakers
  • One-thousand movie library available for instant download
  • Swimming pool with cabanas and drink service
  • Small poolside restaurant and bar
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout


  • Some decor might be too minimalist for some
  • No elevator
  • Breakfast not included with the rooms unless booking directly

Bottom Line

The 252 is a mid-range boutique hotel with 19 rooms, located off of two of Phnom Penh's main drags and just outside of the trendy BKK1 neighborhood. Rooms here are fairly basic, either furnished in minimalist concrete or wood decor with contemporary Khmer touches. The hotel has a swimming pool that takes up most of its grounds, with sala cabanas on one side of the pool, and a small restaurant and bar on the other side. It's a comfy little spot, but properties like Blue Lime, close to the National Museum, offer more value for the dollar.

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Simple, quiet boutique hotel with artful touches

The 252 doesn’t have much space, and most of it is devoted to the swimming pool and its charming small pavilions in the garden. From the outside, the hotel is almost hidden. A single sign and a closed gate reveal nothing of what lies inside. The pool and garden front the low-rise white building, with a few potted trees and plants flanking the entrance into the small and spartan lobby area. A pair of concrete desks -- one for check-in, and the other for travel and tour information -- stand to the side and there isn't anywhere to sit and enjoy the cold towel and welcome drink. The lobby is brightened up bright green walls and lovely photographs of Cambodian life. The owner of the hotel is a photographer, and he’s got some captivating images to check out -- it's a welcome personal touch at a hotel that prides itself on being a home away from home. Guests here run the gamut from couples and families to solo travelers and business guests.


On a quiet side street near trendy BKK1 neighborhood

The 252 is centrally located in Phnom Penh, close to plenty of restaurants, bars, shops, and tourist sights. The hotel sits on a quiet side street, just a block away from busy Monivong and Sihanouk Boulevards, two of the city's major arteries. There is a large Lucky Supermarket, the city's biggest, just around the corner, and it's a 10-minute stroll over to the BKK1 neighborhood, noted for its happening restaurant and bar scene. The Royal Palace and riverside are a five-minute tuk-tuk ride from here, and there is easy access to the airport, which is about a 35-minute drive from the hotel. Street 252, where the hotel is located, has a few other boutique hotels along it, but also has plenty of local flavor -- there's lots of Khmer eateries up and down the road, and market stalls with fresh coconuts on Monivong Boulevard at the end of the bock.


Simple rooms with bright pops of color

Rooms here are more spacious than at many boutique hotels across Phnom Penh. They are clean and quiet, but fairly basic, and not all guests will be enamored of the minimalist concrete design in most rooms. Rooms on the first two floors embrace urban minimalism, and feature concrete floors as well as concrete desks and storage spaces in contemporary, geometric shapes. Bright colors liven up the spaces, ranging from green to marigold, and cut-out light fixtures lend a bit of personality. Otherwise, rooms have no wall art, and bright patterned curtains, throw pillows, and bed runners are the only other object of visual interest. There is narrow bench seating built into one wall, and beds have cotton linens and are comfortable enough, but there no blankets. The rooms on the top floor have wood floors and furniture, but the look is even more simple than lower floor rooms. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, iPod and iPhone docks, minibars, electric hot water kettles, and tiny safes. Contemporary bathrooms feature more glazed concrete and large vanities have raised sinks and modern fixtures. All bathrooms have showers only. It may be worth upgrading to Deluxe Rooms, as they have small balconies.


Garden swimming pool plus restaurant and bar

The 252 has a lovely swimming pool, which takes up most of the grounds between the front gate and the lobby. The pool stays open 24 hours a day for those returning from a sweaty night out in the city. A row of sala beds with purple pillows, long cushions, and small tables line one side of the pool -- they are a great chill-out option for guests. On the other side of the pool is the hotel's small restaurant and bar, where all-day dining is served and includes both Khmer and international dishes. The hotel claims to make some of the best mojitos in town, and the bar has a popular happy hour every night. Only rooms booked directly with the hotel include free breakfast, which is a choice of eggs, bacon, toast, and fresh fruit or cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Both breakfasts include a mini-baguette, fruit juice, and coffee or tea. The hotel has a database of 1000 movies that can be downloaded to guests' computers or to TVs in guest rooms. Parking and Wi-Fi are free of charge. Airport transfers and travel services can also be arranged. 

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