|Can you spot the Hotel entrance?|
Going to the Khmer temples of Cambodia has been a great experience so far. I loved Siem Reap area and all the temples up there and I loved the Khmer temples in Central and Southern Cambodia. Traveling for weeks requires good Hotel stays as well and so far I have always been happy to very happy about my heavenly sleeps in Cambodia. However, my pick in Phnom Penh was a total disaster and almost brings down the whole experience of visiting beautiful temples and monasteries of the Kingdom of Cambodia!
I picked the Frangipani Fine Arts Hotel in Phnom Penh for my two week stay. The reason for picking it was a) Location and b) excellent ratings by customers in booking.com
The Hotel's room price was not cheap compared to other Hotels in Phnom Penh. I paid 70$ per night and for that I would have gotten The Hotel Cambodiana at the river or for 20$ more even the Imperial Garden Villa and Hotel with an awesome view over the river. Both 4 star Hotels in booking.com, however I did not know these Hotels at the time of my reservation.
However the location is the only good thing about this Hotel. It is very very overrated and I usually do not blog about Hotels, but this bad experience deserves it's own blog here!
I booked a Junior Suite for my stay, which is a 35 square meter room with two separate beds. I had my tour guide staying with me because we were going to temples and monasteries every day, so I booked the room for two people. The room was positively large with lots of space. My personal measurement is my large suitcase...if it fits in and I can open it without any problems I am happy :-) The beds were large and comfortable. Two chairs and a small table gave us options to sit in the room and wait for a monsoon rain to finish. A wooden board with the TV served also as an option to set up my laptop and do my Internet updates and blogs. There was no extra desk available though.
|One open shelf for everything - no drawers|
There was no single shelf, cabinet, nightstand or any drawers available, which meant that I had to live out of my suitcase for two weeks. There was absolutely no space to store my things, my cloths or items I bought during my stay, other than my suitcase. That is a problem most "designer hotels" have. The designers obviously never stayed in this hotel and if they did, they did not check in with cloths and other things which would usually be stored in a drawer. There was only one wooden hanging device on the wall, but everything would hang out in the open, so not an option for underwear etc.
|Nice but very slippery|
Concrete, like the whole room and the rest of the hotel, I did not give it much thought, until I had to use it. It was only then that I noticed that there was no door between the room and the bathroom, just a curtain, which was even open on the top and the bottom. So there was absolutely no privacy when using the bathroom/toilet, which some people might have no problem with but I did not like it at all.
The bathtub looked nice but when I used it the first day I realized what some people commented before on booking.com - it was very slippery. There is no way to hold on to anything and I slipped many times in the next two weeks and was just lucky that I did not fall and break something.
|Can you spot the amenities?|
The amenities in the bathroom where the absolute bare minimum one can imagine! Two tiny pieces of soap, one tiny container for bath gel and one tiny container for shampoo. That was it. No cotton balls, no comb, no shaving devices....nothing, but a shower cap which was useless in my case. The shampoo and the bath gel was barely enough for one person to get you through the day in a hot and humid climate, but is was not enough for two people. And to top it up, it was refilled only. So, if you did not use it up 100% you ended up with a tiny bit of bath gel for the next day and we decided to go out and buy our own bottle of shower gel. On my second last day here the cleaning personnel did not even refill anything anymore, so for the last two days there was nothing left.
The Internet worked fine and was free of charge. The TV program was also a bare minimum. No movie channel except FOX. CNN and Asian Channel News were my only entertainment to get me through the rainy days.
Whats in a view?
|Hotel with no view!|
I booked the Frangipani Fine Arts Hotel for it's location next to the Royal Palace and the National Museum. I was on the second floor and I had absolutely NO view at all. Looking out the window provided me with rundown houses where local people lived and they were so close that I could watch them taking a shower in their bathrooms. The rest was an ugly and tiny inner courtyard with barbed wire everywhere. Naturally you woke up at 5:50am when the kitchen and the "restaurant" started moving things around because the courtyard just echoed every single sound upwards to the rooms. Walking in and out of the Hotel, the view was not any better, just more barbed wire fence everywhere. At times it reminded me of the S21 prison we visited during my stay here :-(
|Prison or Hotel?|
The view of the Hotel from the street is non existent. If you do not know where the Hotel is, you will never find it. Only a tiny sign on the other side of the street gives you the idea that it must be here somewhere. You then walk through the space between two houses on the street side and reach the lobby. So, I guess on the positive side, there is no street noise either.
I will get to my check-in experience, the service, food etc in my next post and it is NOT going to be a pretty one ;-)