Address: #50 Street 113 (Directly opposite Toul Sleng Museum)
Our room: USD32/night nett for our A/C double room with en suite bathroom (no breakfast provided)
Payment: Cash only
Originally posted: May'2008
Boddhi Tree has 3 branches (pun unintended) in Phnom Penh. Del Gusto and Umma are guesthouses which are near to each other. Aram, a boutique hotel, nicely situated across the Royal Palace.
As this was our maiden trip, we wanted a place where it is in the immediate vicinity of a prominent landmark. Umma stands up among the thorn because they are directly across the notorious Toul Sleng Genocide Museum. We supposed every Khmer, at least the drivers, would know where it is. In addition, we were also looking for a place which is economical since Phnom Penh was just a springboard for us to travel to Siem Reap. Insofar, we had no problem reaching the guesthouse from the airport (USD9) and other tourist attractions (~USD2-3) within Phnom Penh city. There was only once, a tut-tuk driver didn't seem to know where the place. We told him to send us to Toul Sleng Museum and within minutes we were at the door-steps of Umma.
To be exact, we put up at Umma twice; the night we arrived at PP and the afternoon we returned from SR. On both occasions, we were assigned to the same room. Although the room was compact, it had pretty much everything (almost) we needed. There were teething problems. Firstly, the water-heater was not working. We found out later that it was an inherent problem - the water-heater overloads the circuit which causes power trip! So there we had a white elephant sitting in the bathroom. Then it was more agony after returning from SR few days later. After 6-hours of tormenting bus-ride from SR to PP, we looked forward to a cold welcoming air-con room and a nice refreshing shower. We ran into power outage. What greeted us was an hot and stuffy room with no light, no power and needless to say, no air-con. With such intense heat, our blood was boiling, literally. After a few phone calls (the manager was at Aram) and the explanation given was nothing short of helpless. We were informed that there are frequent power outage in this area. And as a norm, the guesthouse expects 4 to 5x power interruption per week. However, he stressed that the disruption is usually short (<30mins), although in rare occasions the blackout lasted more than an hour or two.
I seriously pondered why should I pay a premium for the a/c and en-suite bathroom which we could hardly enjoy. In retrospect, it may be better off getting a room w/o a/c and uses communal bathroom!
In a nutshell
> Tastefully appointed room
> Nice food but a tad expensive
> Polite, patient and helpful staffs
> Expensive consider no water-heater, wifi and breakfast
> Frequent power outage
> Slightly away from city centre