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“I was not really sure I got to the hotel I booked...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Circa 51

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Circa 51
3.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   #155, corner of Streets 51 and 222, Phnom Penh 0000, Cambodia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 233 Hotels in Phnom Penh
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Roma
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“I was not really sure I got to the hotel I booked...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

I spent 3 night at Circa 51 at the end of a fantastic 2 weeks trip in Cambodia. I really wanted to stay in a very nice boutique hotel before leaving this fantastic country. That's why I read all reviews in Tripadvisor, compared with 3 or 4 other boutique hotels and so on.
Unfortunately my experience was far below expectations. I rated here "average" for some aspects it was poor.
The hotels itself has a high potential. Nice building from the 60's, nice pool, quite busy (and a bit noisy) area but overall acceptable. The issue is that the hotel looks so dirty, unwelcoming, so "not boutique". I don't want to say that the place is dirty, but the looks is that. Probably the floor (white and bordeaux) is still the original one. This is fine but the white looks greyish / beige so when you get in the hotel you are not sure if it is very dirty or very old. In any case not nice.
The walls are supposed to be white but also in this case not really a nice clean white. The lights very dull. The rooms are very spacious but again you don't have the feeling to get into a boutique hotel.
Also the service is not very professional. We asked for recommendations for dinner and they sent us to 2 restaurants both closed. A professional staff would have asked if we wanted to reserve or in any case would have called to make sure that the place was open.
Same not professional approach at breakfast: <<Today we have a speacia: bacon and sausages>> We both ordered the special but then the girl came nack from the kitchen telling us that the sausages were finished. It was only 8 o' clock...
As I said, the place could be very nice but they should refresh the walls, change lights and floor, significantly improve the staff. I would give 5 to the place (location, building, potential), 2 to the staff... average let's say 3. Unfortunately prices were not so good either: higher than other hotels looking much better. I hope that the staff will take this review as an incentive to improve and get closer to the potential that Circa 51 has.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CambodiaGina, Owner at Circa 51, responded to this review, November 21, 2011
Thank you for your feedback; we are sorry that the accommodations did not reach your expectations. It's certainly true that the floors - though clean - are not shiney and new - they are the original tiles from the 1960's throughout the public areas. We have them cleaned professionally; and we have taken note of your comments and scheduled an immediate service. I'm also very sorry that the restaurants recommended to you were closed - i believe that you visited during the water festival when much of Phnom Penh closes down - restaurants that are usually open can close their doors without any notice. Our staff are always very happy to make restaurant reservations and do so regularly - you only have to request it. We have also taken note regarding the sauages being finished; and will seek to make improvements and conduct retraining with the staff. Thanks again for your comments; it might also be a good idea to communicate directly to the manager at the hotel when you are displeased so that so that immediate measures can be taken to improve your stay.
Circa 51 Team
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304 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
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English first
Nice, France
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2011

We use trip Advisor a lot, but i never take time to write a review. But i thinks this really to warn the people about the Circa 51 Hotel.
The room was ok, no special and not really clean, the hotel is really noisy with the street 51 (a lot of traffic during the rush hours). It's was impossible to use the pool during us stay, the green color was not really nice.
After that we have staying one night there, we tell the manager that we can't stay there while this is really too noisy, we have originally a reservation for 3 nights, but my girl friend was not sleeping.
When we tell the Manager that we want to go a other quiet hotel, i don't recognize the street 51 is really noisy during the night (close to the night live area with a lot of bar and prostitution), he become really hungry and warm us that if we go to other hotel he will ask the other hotel to charge us the room at Circa 51! He try to take in my photo bag pack my Passport to keep it.
Incredible but true, the Manager follow our tuktuk during more as 20mn to look where we was going! After that we arrive to the Blue lime Hotel to process the checking for a room that we have reserved by phone 2 hours before. The Circa 51 Manager was jumped into the reception, and begin to explain the reception that they should charge more for give them back the room that we cancel. After 40mn discussion, the Manager from the Blue lime arrive and as refuse to give us a room while he was too afraid by the Circa 51 Manager. We go out for looking for a other hotel, and we take one of bag pack lock and put it on the wheel of the Manager motorbike.
We was really afraid about this dangerous guy! Go away from this noisy place, you have much better in Phnom Penh like the Villa Langka (where we stay 5 nights), the kabiki (where we stay 1 night) and the excellent Kabiki where we are staying until today after one week in Siem Reap.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CambodiaGina, Owner at Circa 51, responded to this review, December 14, 2011
This was a very interesting, albeit baffling, review for us. The gentleman owner of the property was outside of the country during October, and therefore only myself (a female) and the receptionists and shift managers (also all female) are the only people manning the reception. I'm afraid that neither myself nor our other (female) managers/receptionists are aware of your terrible experience. The story is certainly very alarming, it would be most appreciated if you could contact us directly via the hotel email address to discuss. I would be more than happy to bring in the police to help investigate such worrying allegations.
Yvette
Owner/Manager Circa 51
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

Great location in the middle of town. The property will give you a feel of the past. Service was great. The staff and owner are really friendly people. I would highly recommend this property to whoever travelling to phnom penh !

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights in october. The hotel is small, friendly & well located in Phnom Penh. The riverside area is just $2 in a tuk tuk to reach.

I booked last minute and Yvette was very helpful communicating via email.

The room was large & clean with all the amenities you need. It's not international hotel standard but it does not claim to be.

The breakfast was good with the best omelette we had in asia, they actually season when cooking which is unusual here. Well done to the chef!

Yvette & Majid are very friendly and take time to help with restaurant reccommendations etc. Yvette even left a message for me with an update on the weather in Siem Reap (our next destination) You don't get that kind of personal serive in a large hotel.

The staff are great and their english was good, special thanks to Sorya who is an asset to the hotel.

The pool was lovely & clean, we saw the pool boy clean in the morning so I have no idea what the previous reviewer is talking about... possibly as the tiles were green instead of the usual turquoise he mistook that for dirty. I can assure you the pool was immaculate and the water clear.

Again re the previous review, it is a city & you should expect a little noise but we never experienced anything that would have kept us awake or annoyed us.

Don't pay any notice & stay here, it really is very nice.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2011

If your looking for a clean, comfortable room. AC, DVD with free movies, free WiFi, free breakfast, a very pleasant/helpful staff, and a glorious outdoor pool then look no further. Circa 51 has it all. And I haven't even mentioned access to great meals for lunch/dinner either cooked on site or delivered from Circa's sister restaurant, Safron. Thank you, Circa for a wonderful two weeks!

Room Tip: Room #3 is very comfortable for the solo traveler.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ledbury, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

This is a small hotel hidden away behind a gate but in a very central location. It is in an interesting converted building but has had modern facilities carefully added. The real difference though is the owner and staff who really do try to help you in whatever way you need. The rooms (at least the one we had) are large and well furnished while keeping the uncluttered look you want to remain cool.
Good pool and our rate included a good breakfast where you choose what you want from a list that should suit most people.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawson City, Yukon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2011

I am a bit remiss in writing my review as I was there in Dec. last year and then again in Mar. 2011. I was traveling during that very bad storm on the east coast in N.Y. that shut down the airport for many hours. I missed my flight and therefore, missed my connector to Phnom Penh. Agoda refused to help me at all, so I took my chances by emailing Circa 51 directly. What customer service! Yvette was so very helpful by setting up my partner before I arrived (even though his name was not on reservation), and once I arrived, they upgraded us to such a beautiful room. The bathrooms are not only exceptional in there cleanliness, but beautiful. The air con works consistently, and the T.V. has great English channels. As you can tell by the pics, the furniture is designed to compliment the architecture.
The staff and management were so very welcoming and took care of our every need, that our one night stay turned into a 5 nights!
The breakfast is the best that I have experienced in Cambodia with the fruit being extremely fresh, the bread is changed every other day and the preserves taste like home. Dinners were delightful and sitting in the pool lounge in the evening with a chilled glass of wine looking over the pool, you would think that you are a million miles away from the main city. Also, it's location is a 2 minute tuk tuk ride to riverfront.
Each and every staff member made you feel welcome at any time of the day or night, with their room attendants being of the caliber of Raffles.
Our return trip was just as lovely and we were welcomed back like family.
A very big thank you to Majid, Yvette and their family, friends and fabulous staff! I can hardly wait to return!
Trust me, book now, you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Circa 51

Address: #155, corner of Streets 51 and 222, Phnom Penh 0000, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Phnom Penh
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Phnom Penh
#17 Romantic Hotel in Phnom Penh
#22 Business Hotel in Phnom Penh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Circa 51 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Circa 51 Hotel Phnom Penh

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