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“definitely over rated” 2 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
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“definitely over rated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

We had a similar experience to reviewer "wealthyone". Our room was not on the ground floor but wealthyone's description of his/her ground floor bathroom fits ours, except that our bathroom also had a bad smell that permeated into the bedroom. So the ground floor bathroom is definitely not the only one that has not yet been refurbished. The airconditioning in our room was inadequate so it was terribly stuffy. When we asked for a room change because of the inadequate air-conditioning, we were told that the lighting in the room was generating too much heat so we should switch off some of the lights. We thought the lighting in the room was wanting to begin with. Fortunately, and to their credit, the hotel management allowed us to leave the next day even though we had booked a 3 night stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CambodiaGina, General Manager at Circa 51, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Dear NomPen
At Circa 51 we try hard to please, and if we simply cannot then we try to find the best option for our guests, which on the odd occasion can be to allow them to cancel their booking. We could see that you did not like Circa 51 as soon as you walked in the gate as your attitude was pretty negative toward everything before you even checked into your room. We understand that you were really feeling the heat and probably not at your best, but if that is the case, it would have been best to book into a business hotel that is completely air conditioned from the beginning, rather than our residence which has a lot of open air spaces and most likely does not suit those looking for a business-type experience. I checked the air-conditioning in your suite - since the room is very big and has high ceilings it does take about 20-30 minutes to reach an agreeable temperature, i measured this at 22 degrees after 25 minutes. And indeed, the manager did mention that it would not be a good idea to sit under the bright desk lamp if you are feeling very hot and bothered. As the bathroom in that room is not as pretty as others, the price of the room had been reduced to reflect this. As a side-note, this bathroom has now been completely renovated as part of our efforts to continually improve our facilities.
Our staff made a special request to allow you to vacate the next day, which we allowed you to do even though it is clearly against our policy, which you agreed to when you booked via a third party website. As you had booked two rooms for 3 nights (the other couple did not have any complaint i believe) we lost substantially by doing this. I really believed that we had made a show of good faith to you by not charging you any cancellation fee - I'm just sorry that you could not do the same.
Circa 51 Management
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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)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

Myself and my partner stayed at Circa in December 2011....it has taken forever to write this review, apologies!
Our stay at Circa was fantastic, the staff were so welcoming and so willing to help us with anything we needed. The rooms were large and comfortable and spotless.
My boyfriend unfortunately fell ill during our time there and the staff were so helpful in letting me use the reception phone to call the hospital / arranging transport etc.
Once recovered we headed to the to the coast for Christmas, when trying to book the same room for our return to Phnom Penh, we found out that it was already booked out. We were offered a much larger room at a reduced rate which we gratefully accepted.
We were made to feel so welcome at Circa, nothing was an issue and every member of staff was so willing to help. There's a lovely atmosphere about the place and should I return to Phnom Pehn I'll definitely be back here.
Thanks for looking after us so well, Sara and Greg. x

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Sydney
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

A small, comfortable family hotel with lovely pool and clean comfortable rooms to suit in a great location. Hotel secure and very privately enclosed. Owners were regularly present there and English speaking offering friendly and helpful with pointing you in the right direction depending on what you are after. Thought it was great value for money also. Would thoroughly recommend.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
vancouver
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We booked three nights at this hotel based on the glowing review of other travellers. However, these positive reviews did not match up with our actual experience and on the whole they were overly promotional. Another guest we spoke with shared this opinion....she used the term "rough around the edges" and this was being kind.
The pictures on the website benefit greatly from having been professionally produced utilizing staging and lighting techniques. I believe the hotel has character given that it was once a stately home, however, the current operator has not invested sufficiently in upkeep and maintenance to the level necessary to make this a boutique hotel experience. My room was on the ground floor looking out at the pool. The bathroom lighting was poor, the tap badly needed repair, the walls of the shower had stains, paint was chipping and cracked....all the halmarks of neglect. The hotel has its charm, however, this kind of charm is not the kind I would ever recommend. There is another hotel in the same block called the Villa Paradis to which we had a tour and this hotel has the appearance and feel of a true boutique hotel for a few dollars more which i believe is real value for money when considering whether or not to stay at Circa 51. Bottom line, is I would not stay here again nor would i recommend it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
CambodiaGina, Owner at Circa 51, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Dear Guest
thank you for your feedback, we take it very seriously and you can be assured all your suggestions will be taken into utmost consideration. Regarding the photos - I will take your comment as a compliment since I take all the photos myself and I'm an amateur without any equipment - I simply turn all the lights on and open the curtains! It is true that the bathroom in the room you stayed in is not as nice as the other bathrooms. We have upgraded all of the bathrooms except for that room - it is slated for upgrade as soon as our busy season is finished. It's not possible to upgrade in the middle of high season since many bookings have been made many months in advance. Please note that the bathroom was only done two years ago, but unfortunately we made a mistake using pale colored terazzo in the showers as watermarks are a problem.
The other hotel that you mentioned is, i'm sure, lovely - a quick look on their website shows pool view rooms start at $90 per double. Ours start at $62. That might only be a few dollars for you, but at my reckoning it's almost 50% more.
I'm very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay. We try to please everyone but it's not always possible. Our building is more than 50 years old, which we believe gives it a unique charm, and every room is different - we are consistently trying to upgrade and improve upon the facilities and conduct regular maintenance to ensure our guests satisfaction, along with providing excellent customer service.
Circa 51 Team
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Sunshine Coast
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

We were travelling with our 19 year old daughter so had the large room with the terrace overlooking the pool for 4 nights. It was lovely, especially the overhanging tree. The pool was just the right temperature - I don't like really cold water. We liked the location (quiet) and the external wall blocking some of the traffic noise. The security guard at the gate at night was reassuring as well. The room was clean, the bed really comfy - not too hard. Bathroom great but little shower pressure. The staff were very helpful, particularly the Australian lady who spent ages giving us tips and drawing little maps so we could locate the best massages and good value restaurants and shopping. I loved the turtles in the pond. The laundry was much too expensive so we left it until our next stop. The staff went out of their way to help make our stay easier and more pleasant.

Room Tip: We loved the terrace room overlooking the pool.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Ontario
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Circa 51 for 3 nights in November 2012. This is a unique boutique hotel (only 10 or so rooms) in an interesting, not typical hotel building. The most outstanding thing about the hotel is the courtyard/pool/restaurant area. It truly is an oasis in the heart of Phnom Phen. We stayed in the ground floor room behind reception and the room was nicely decorated with a comfortable bed and a couch/sitting area. The only complaint we had about the room is that it was dark (though that did keep it cool). The staff and owners are amazing. Friendly and helpful.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Bendigo, Australia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We stayed here recently for 7 days. We were travelling with our daughter, son in law and a 12 week old baby.
It is in a great locaiton, within walking distance to Street 240 and several good restaurants and short tuk tuk ride to most major attractions. Staff are very friendly and helpful.
We had major issues with laundry because of the baby and although our laundry was done at the hotel we were not charged. Thank you Majid and Yvette!
The rooms are clean, cool and comfortable and the pool is very inviting.
Breakfast is fine but did become a bit repetitve after 6 days but then again most people usually do not stay that long.
My only small complaint was that I found the bed a bit hard - as I have always found in hotels in Cambodia.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
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
#16 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
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Also Known As:
Circa 51 Hotel Phnom Penh

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