We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Friendly people, great pool” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Circa 51

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Save
You added Circa 51 to your Saves list
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
CHICAGO, IL
1 review
“Friendly people, great pool”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

We stayed at Circa 51 for a month while we were volunteering at a local hospital. We wanted a pool as it is hard to walk on the uneven sidewalks and we didn't always have time to go to the Park. Our concern was no kitchen as we were often too tired to go out. The staff would assist us in ordering food from a local restaurant and then serve it when it arrived. We ate on the balcony- no wasted time. The pool is immaculate! Our room was fabulous. We saw all the rooms and we didn't like only one. The staff is friendly and helpful led by the manager Magid who is on site much of the day always ready to help. We already have reservations for next year as it is fills up quickly.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

304 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    184
    89
    19
    8
    4
See reviews for
50
96
44
20
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
Venice, Italy
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

We stayed 3 nights at Circa51 and liked it very much. It is located close to the Royal Palace and National Museum and also to some good restaurants and bars but is very quiet, our room was clean and spacious and also had a safety box, the pool was extremely pleasant and refreshing.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2011

I stayed here for 2 weeks, and it was a pleasure. The staff were so friendly and helpful, a very big thank you to Sun Li, Suriya, Leena, and Ream, they wernt just staff they became my good friends. As for Mahjid and his partener Evette, thier hospitality was second to none.Indeed I was offered the chance to stay in thier loveley home for a few days at no charge at all. Thank you all for making my stay so memorable. Jim.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Toronto Ontario
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

There was a bit of a miscommunication when we called and requested for a pick up at the bus station. We were told that they didn't do pick ups so when we got to the station, we decided to just go with the 1st tuk tuk driver among the sea of drivers. We drove around in circles for a long time because there weren't clear signs for the hotel. When we finally found it, the manager told us that they had sent a driver for us afterall because they felt bad.

We were greeted by the very friendly resident dog, Max, checked in very quickly by the friendly staff and welcomed with a refreshing drink. The place looked like a refurbished colonial home with lots of character. I loved the pool and how the rooms overlooked it. Our room was spacious and had old school white decorative grills on the windows and raw silk curtains. It was very cozy and welcoming.

We got so lazy one night, we decided to order from the inhouse restaurant. We didn't regret it...the Pakistiani food was amazing! They brought the food right into our room coz we wanted to watch TV and eat in bed. I have to say it was one of the best meals we had in Cambodia.

The staff were so helpful and accomodation...breakfast was more than adequate and they fed us till we were full!

On the last day, eventhough we were supposed to check out at noon, they allowed us to stay in there to freshen up since our flight was at night. That was a very thoughtful gesture because we got to shower and relax for a bit before heading out to the airport.

My fav things about the hotel was Max, the lovely dog who greeted u whenever u walked into the hotel and the amazingly great Pakistani food! Thank you Mahjid and your staff for your hospitality!

The only negative things were the hot water ran out quickly so I couldn't enjoy a long hot shower. Plus they only gave 1 roll of toilet paper a day. The bed was also quite hard. The hotel is also quite out of the way but a tuk tuk driver is always parked outside the high walls so getting around isn't that big of a problem.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2011

Circa 51 is one of an increasing number of hotels in Phnom Penh which now describe themselves as boutique properties. In many cases the term is a complete misnomer - and misleading to potential guests. And sadly, Circa 51 falls within that category. The only possible way it could be seen as a boutique hotel is if by boutique hotel, you mean it's small. That's true, it's got a handful of rooms. But a true boutique offers a certain elegance and quality, both of which are conspicuously lacking at Circa 51. The rooms are individually furnished and include a few extras you wouldn't necessarily expect to find in every hotel room. But the bathroom was very functional and the overriding impression was that the room smelt of drains. In the public areas, it all looks a bit rough and ready. Certainly the words luxurious and sumptuous don't spring to mind.
On the food side, at a genuine boutique hotel, you expect a pretty decent breakfast, but at Circa 51, it was disappointing. Sub-standard ingredients and all a little bit on the mean side; a sense that everything is strictly rationed.
The location is a little bit isolated but only a tuk-tuk ride from plenty of bars and restaurants.
The staff were friendly and helpful - but this didn't disguise the fact that the basic product needs some serious improvements.
As always, my acid test is to ask myself the question: would I be tempted to return?
Answer: No.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CambodiaGina, Owner at Circa 51, responded to this review, January 24, 2011
Thanks very much for your feedback.
Circa 51 purports to be a boutique hotel in that it is intimate, unique, eclectic and offers personalized service that big hotels do not. It is situated in a historic, quintessentially “new Khmer” architectural style building, which are fast being demolished in Phnom Penh to make way for apartment blocks and ugly modern buildings; and is one of only a few accommodations in central Phnom Penh with a sizeable garden and swimming pool. We seek to serve people looking for something different and who want to feel as if they are staying at a residence rather than a hotel. We do not purport to be specifically luxurious or sumptuous.
Regarding the drains, this is a problem we are constantly reviewing and trying to improve upon. However, Phnom Penh is built upon a system of inefficient archaic drains which have not been improved or upgraded since being built and occasionally these drains make their presence known. Most properties, including 5-star hotels in Phnom Penh suffer from this annoying problem on occasion with ground floor rooms. Unfortunately it is a reality of a still-developing country. However, we are doing our best to find solutions.
Our breakfast offers eggs (omelet or boiled), toast and locally produced tropical jams, muesli, home-made natural yoghurt with honey, tropical fresh fruit, locally produced fruit juice, tea or freshly brewed plunger coffee. It’s possible that all breakfast items may not have been offered to you – in this area we will retrain serving staff and ensure it is made clear. Any request for second servings will always be met favorably.
Thanks again, as a new hotel we value feedback in order to feed into our continuous improvement process.
Circa 51 Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hong kong
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2011

We stayed in two different hotels in Phnom Penh, so we got a chance to compare, and this wasn't the best...
The rooms are clean and spacious, staff is nice (the manager is wierd though, maybe trying to be over-friendly), the pool is absolutely great.
The problem with this hotel is that even if the rooms look Cambodia the rest doesn't. The only food that they serve is pakistanese (I think), nothing khmere at all. Which I think is a shame since khmere food is so good. And the prices for the food are so expensive for Cambodia (same prices than in Europe) and the quality is not always there.
The breakfast is also pretty poor.

This hotel has great potential, but there are too many little things that aren't quite right... it is not the best in this price range.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CambodiaGina, Manager at Circa 51, responded to this review, January 17, 2011
Thank very much for your feedback. Allow me to clarify a couple of points:
As our hotel is relatively new (just over 3 months), we do not yet have an in-house restaurant. We are working on this, and when we have the staff, equipment and skills in place we will open a restaurant where Khmer food (which I agree is great!) will certainly be featured. At present, we make available to guests a menu that is delivered from our sister restaurant, Saffron, where we can guarantee the reliability, hygiene and quality. This menu is Pakistani/Indian.
Entrees start at $3.50 and mains from $4.50 with the most expensive dish being $7 (featuring New Zealand Lamb – it has to travel a long way so it’s not cheap). We do not believe this is exorbitant for hotel menu prices, nor comparable to European hotel prices.
Additionally, within five minutes walk of the hotel there are numerous Cambodian eateries (large and small), Japanese, Italian, two Vietnamese, German and a French restaurant, so the area is very well serviced for those looking for variety.
Circa 51 Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2011

We enjoyed our stay here (trying to find it was a little difficult but look for the big poster on the wall St 51 side then enter on St 222). This was our first stop in Cambodia so we didn't really know that the street numbering was a little crazy. We were welcomed with a cold drink and very friendly service. Our room was ready within 5 mins of arrival and they'd certainly gone to some effort. There were tea light candles lit in the bedroom and bathroom and the layout of the room was lovely.

The pool was certainly the highlight of this stay. It's beautiful after a hot day walking around the city. We had an air conditioned room. Breakfast was included but was very basic and only gave the option of muesli or an omlette. Not complaining though because both were lovely options.

Tuk-tuk drivers are always parked out the front so getting around the place is not difficult. We actually walked most places easily from here. The hotel staff were very helpful organising things for us when needed though.

We would definitely recommend this hotel in Phnom Pehn.

  • Stayed January 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Circa 51? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Despegar.com, Odigeo, Agoda, Hotels.com and Expedia so you can book your Circa 51 reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Circa 51 Hotel Phnom Penh

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Circa 51, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.