Review: Diamond Palace II Hotel In Phnom Penh
Just a short walk from Phnom Penh’s revamped riverfront area is the clean and quiet Diamond Palace II Hotel.
We were hosted at this lovely little hotel for a night by AsiaRooms.com and I don’t think we could have chosen a place that better suited our needs.
First up (even though we stayed free), the hotel fits our usual travel budget, with rooms starting from US$25/night.
Second, it has family-friendly facilities, such as 24-hour reception, non-smoking rooms, free high-speed internet, a babysitting service (which we didn’t have time to test) and a doctor on call. It’s these little things that give parents, including not-very-good-at-planning parents like us, the peace of mind to expect that every member of the family will survive the trip relatively unscathed.
Our room was very cosy with Miss M’s “special small bed” squeezed in beside our queen. She was very taken with the Minnie Mouse sheets of her “special small bed” and didn’t stop talking about them for days.
The bathroom was a basic Asian bathroom, the type I call a splash room. It was clean and the shower hose was in good repair, so the water came out in a nice neat spray, unlike some of the budget places I have stayed in which require EVERYTHING to be removed from the room, including the towels, toilet paper and clothes, in order to keep them dry.
There were cute little sitting areas on the various floors…
… and a groovy lounge-y cafe area next to the reception desk.
Breakfast was included in the room price. The options were quite basic … but it include COFFEE which I really need to get the day started.
(For a more traditional Cambodian breakfast, try the little place a few doors down the road with no English writing on the signboard at #21, Street 178 for some amazing lort cha and kochay.)
A potential drawback for this hotel is the lack of a lift. We didn’t mind trotting up and down three flights of steps, sometimes carrying Miss M, but that could be a deal-breaker for some people.
The best feature of the Diamond Palace II Hotel was its staff. The reception desk was amazingly helpful, directing us to ATMs, a passport photo place, helping us get a tuk-tuk to the Vietnamese Embassy (so I could get a new visa) and organising a late checkout and car to take us to Siem Reap the following day. And the help was calm and rational at a time when I was feeling a bit flustered about losing a day in Phnom Penh (because we got stuck in the Mekong Delta) and maybe not having enough time to get a visa, which was the reason we were visiting Cambodia in the first place.
Even the housekeeping staff were super-friendly, distributing huge beaming smiles every time we passed someone in the corridor.
The smiling friendly attitude of the hotel staff made me forget my stress over the visa and within minutes of arriving at the hotel, all our errands were organised and we were once again in holiday mode. And that’s exactly what you want in a hotel, I think.
If we were staying a bit longer, the Diamond Palace Hotel II would have been a great base for exploring Phnom Penh’s main tourist sites. The location is great, right next door to the Royal Palace and within walking distance of museums, shops and the riverfront tourist area.
7 years ago