Phnom Penh: Boddhi Tree Umma Guest house

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

Entrance to Boddhi Tree Umma

Looking out of the entrance from the patio. Toul Sleng Museum is vaguely visible in this picture

A small but cosy patio with lots of shrub and plants

The staircase by the side of the restaurant leads to a few rooms

A Buddha image on display at the second floor common area. Our room was to the right of the image

We booked an A/C double bedroom with en suite bathroom

The room was compact and Zen inspired. Most importantly the mirror was big enough :P

Our en suite bathroom was a slight disappointment. Firstly the water heater wasn't working at all and then, the bathroom door couldn't shut

The guest house has a small restaurant and from what we gathered from the net, it was all praises by all accounts. We gave it a try ...

Our chicken peas salad was fresh and impressive :)~

We wanted something representative of Khmer and was recommended this 'Fish Amok' - a steamed red curry soufflé. It resembled an over-sized Thai Hor Mok but has milder taste which we didn't quite take to.

We had also a Khmer style fried mixed veg ('Char Khreung' was the name). I would just said that I can't remember how it tasted as I am writing this ^_^"

It's USD15.15 for our first meal in Cambodia.


The author reserves the right not to be responsible for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided. Liability claims regarding damage caused by the use of any information provided, including any kind of information which is incomplete or incorrect,will therefore be rejected.
All offers are not-binding and without obligation. Parts of the pages or the complete publication including all offers and information might be extended, changed or partly or completely deleted by the author without separate announcement. More