The Aquarius Hotel & Urban Resort Phom Penh is a thoroughly modern hotel with industrial-chic rooms, friendly service and killer views from the rooftop infinity pool. You can walk to the Royal Palace, riverfront and countless bars and hotels from the location in the heart of Phnom Penh. Add good WiFi internet and a tasty breakfast at a great price and you have a winner. Read my review of the Aquarius Hotel Phnom Penh to see if it is the right fit for your stay!
Location: The Aquarius Hotel & Urban Resort is located to the East of the Royal Palace and South of Phnom Penh‘s old town, making it a convenient location to see the historic sights, walk to the river front or the many bars and restaurants in the old town. Because it’s South of the old town, it’s also convenient to the upscale neighborhood South of the Independence Monument with it’s trendy restaurants, spas and stores popular with weatlhy locals and expats! You can reach any of these places within 10 minutes by walking or a few minutes by tuk tuk or taxi. This makes it a great location for visitors to Phnom Penh! The trip from the airport by taxi will take 30-90 minutes depending on traffic.
Service: Staff at the Aquarius was consistently friendly and helpful, even by high Cambodian standards. Front desk staff spoke English well and had me checked in quickly. They offered information about the hotel and the area, making it easy for visitors new to Phnom Penh.
Housekeeping cleaned my room thoroughly and timely each day, replacing towels and amenities as needed.
Staff at the restaurant was just as friendly and attentive, keeping the buffet stocked, tables clean and coming around to offer made-to-order dishes in addition to the buffet.
I had a very early check-out to catch my flight and staff was napping in the lobby, which is pretty typical for Cambodia. Check-out was quick and without issues.
Overall, the staff was well trained, spoke English well and was attentive and friendly throughout my stay, making it a very pleasant stay!
Room: I booked a Deluxe Double room, the forth (out of five) room category. It’s a large room facing the street, with a modern, industrial decor that could be straight out of New York, San Francisco or London. Floors are dark tiles with a local pattern and walls are white with a brushed concrete accent wall. The open wardrobe, desk and shelves are made of black metal pipes and wood, all adding to that urban-chic look. Above the bed is a colorful poster with a common phrase in English and Khmer – a nice touch!
The double bed has a firm mattress and nice sheets and pillows, with two night stands in easy reach, as well as international power outlets and the a/c controls right next to it (as it should be!). A small TV is wall-mounted across from the bed.
If you need to get some work done, there is a small desk with task chair and desk lamp in the corner. The rooms come with a mini-fridge/-bar, laptop-size safe and coffee/tea facilities.
My Deluxe room had a small balcony with two chairs and a table, best suited for smokers, but not really inviting to hang out.
Next to the entrance is the vanity with a vessel-style sink on a stone counter-top, with plenty of shelves for all your stuff, a mirror and hair dryer as well as a full set of amenities. Separated by a door is the bathroom with toilet and glass enclosed shower. The black-concrete floors and white wall tiles continued the industrial look, although the floor pattern wasn’t my favorite, making it look a little worn, despite being new & clean.
Bath amenities include shampoo, conditioner and body wash, as well as hand soap, all provided in dispensers. Fragrances are a very individual choice – and I didn’t like the ones provided, but your mileage may vary…
Before picking the Aquarius hotel for my stay, I had done a sight inspection and checked out a Standard Room. It has the same industrial look and decor and offers the same double bed in a smaller room.
The bathroom has the shower and toilet in separate cubicles. The space for wardrobe, shelves or desk is limited and you don’t get a balcony, but you have same features and amenities, including mini-bar, TV, safe and tea/coffee kettle.
The free WiFi internet was good with an average speed of 4.6Mbps, although some slow downs in the evening, so don’t expect to binge-watch Netflix!
Restaurant & Amenities: The Aquarius calls itself an “Urban Resort” and the rooftop pool is probably the best feature: the infinity-edge pool is large and offers stunning views across Phnom Penh. There are mattress pads on the floor to lounge, as well as beach chairs, tables and umbrellas. The lounge pads are right next to the pool, so you can dangle your feet in the water, in case you get too hot. The pool has a glass wall to the staircase, making for an interesting view of the swimmers. Lounge music is playing throughout the day, justifying that “urban” label. It all feels a lot more like New York or Miami than a developing country city and is a nice place to hang out after a hot day touring Phnom Penh!
On the level below, you’ll find the restaurant and bar. Breakfast is served as a mix of buffet and make-to-order, with a small selection of fresh fruit, bread & pastries, coffee & juices as well as a choice of hot dishes made to order from a menu. It all adds up to a tasty breakfast.
You can order lunch and dinner as well and the bar features a pool table for some bar games! It all is open air with nice views over Phnom Penh, making it a pleasant place to hang out!
Throughout the hotel, you’ll find modern art to go with the theme – instead of the Khmer art and statues you’ll find at most local hotels.
Bottomline: The Aquarius Hotel & Urban Resort offers industrial-chic rooms with friendly service and a stunning rooftop pool at a very reasonable price of $70/night. If you are looking for a modern hotel that would be perfectly at home in New York or San Francisco, instead of Khmer art and statues or plantation style rooms, the Aquarius Hotel & Urban Resort is a great choice and very good value! Unless you need the balcony, you can save a few bucks by going with the smaller Standard or Moderate rooms – you don’t miss much! You can check current prices and book your urban resort in Phnom Penh here!