The 252

The 252 is a boutique hotel in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The hotel is owned and run by French/Swiss managers, but purposefully they tried to put some touch of Khmer tradition in the decor, so the hotel and its rooms were quite nicely decorated with a mix of modern and traditional interior design. The hotel is located on the 252nd street in Phnom Penh (thus the name of the hotel). It’s located a bit further out from many of the tourist hotels that are located closer to the Sisowath Quay (the area near the river that’s popular with tourists — similar to Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand), but it’s close enough that you can just take tuk-tuk for about USD $2 to get there or pretty much all major tourist attractions in the city.

We found out about The 252 when we looked for hotel to stay at in Phnom Penh on TripAdvisor. The 252 was ranked pretty high for hotels in Phnom Penh, and many reviewers gave it nice comments about their stay there. In some cases where there were complaints or negative experience, the hotel management actually provided response — I thought that was nice that they actually cared about the feedback/reviews that people gave. The price for the room was a bit higher than some others that we also looked at, but it was still quite reasonable.

When we arrived at The 252, the first thing we noticed was that the hotel was somewhat low key and hidden behind tall walls from outside. When we opened the front gate and came in, we saw immediately the pool with chairs around and the shaded outdoor seating for the hotel’s restaurant. It’s a nice, somewhat secluded oasis in there, quite a contrast from the hustle and bustle of the city you just right outside its wall.

Our room was one of the 19 rooms the hotel had, and we were situated on the third floor of the hotel. It was a nicely-decorated room; somewhat minimalist in style. We had good night sleep for both of the nights we stayed there, though at times we could hear some noise of construction or simply daily life going on in the neighborhood. They tried to block those with their walls, but we’re right in the middle of an urban city, so I don’t think it’s avoidable. In the morning, we also could smell Khmer cooking from a nearby kitchen — I wasn’t sure if it was the hotel’s kitchen or their neighbors. It gave a unique feel of staying in urban Phnom Penh — though some visitors looking for total isolation / seclusion may not be happy with it.

The hotel manager and staff were also very hospitable and helpful during our stay. When we arrived, we had a little problem using the TV and the safety box in our room. I went to the front desk to ask, and the manager actually went with us to our room to help us out. On the second day of our stay, we had a little mishap in our logistics to start the day. The hotel staff helped me contact our tour company to get things straighten out (we booked the two separately, so they didn’t have any relation to our tour itinerary). And on our last day, when we had to leave very early in the morning before the restaurant was open, they prepared carry-out breakfast for us the night before, so we could just come to the front desk and ask for our carry-out breakfast before we left. Overall, it was another excellent stay at a boutique hotel during this trip to Southeast Asia.

The photo below was taken from the seating area near the pool. You can see the nice pool with some seating areas around, and in the background you could see the high walls that completely block the view from the outside in and vice versa.

The 252

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