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“Basic and shabby with expensive breakfasts but very helpful staff”

Encounters Hostel & Guesthouse
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Encounters Hostel & Guesthouse
Ranked #76 of 318 Phnom Penh B&B and Inns
Derbyshire
Level Contributor
274 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Basic and shabby with expensive breakfasts but very helpful staff”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2012

Coming from Vietnam, where all the hostels in this price range are immaculate, provide computers for guest use, a tv and fridge in the en-suite rooms and good value food, this was a bit of a culture shock. The place is a bit of a curates egg - good in parts - with the best parts being that it is safe and secure and the staff couldn't be more helpful and friendly. But the lobby looks like a disaster zone, the rooms are clean but basic, the breakfasts are over twice the price of those in Vietnam (and four times the price of the stalls down the road) and generally speaking the place is not good value compared not only with Vietnam but also with the wonderful (Bou Savy) guesthouse we are in at present in Seam Reap.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JJHDerbyshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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26 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    5
    11
    7
    1
    2
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Families
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6
6
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2012

This hostel is a pretty good choice in Phnom Penh. It was fairly clean, the service was friendly and the location was alright. It's about a 5 minute walk to the waterfront. I remember the beds being a little uncomfortable but nothing to write home about. I met some cool people while I was there, so that's a plus.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Benjamin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2011

I would agree generally with the majority of comments made about the hostel-to be honest it was a decent enough place-basic but good location.
WARNING!!! When we first arrived we were told by Martin that we should not take our bags out at night as there had been a number of people who had had their bags snatched. On this advice, for the first time on our travels, my friends and I stupidly left our valuables in the locked lockers. Prior to this my iphone was always carried on me and my cash was locked in one of my bags or also carried on me. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the next day 4 of us noticed that our apple products (iphones, ipod and ipod touch) and cash had been taken from the lockers-all which had been locked.
We were all a little shocked and upset, we had been in a carefree and maybe too trusting traveller;s bubble until then! However I did not expect to get something stolen from a locked locker!!! Martin then asked us to lie to the police (telling us to say that our bags had all been snatched at different times and asking us to pay for one of his workers to come and translate for us). It seemed that he did not want the police to investigate the theft at the hostel. He kept on telling us that he "knew the system" and that things worked differently in Cambodia. It was shared that if we told the truth then the police would want to start an investigation which would take days and then we would not be able to get a report for our insurers for days. We had already planned to leave the next day and it seemed that he was trying to stall us going to the police saying the police station was closed and that his friend was coming to help us (and on at least 2 occassions this "friend" did not turn up!). He frequently spoke in cambodian to his workers as they appeared to be working out a plan and at one stage became particularly annoyed and stressed with us when we told him we did not want to tell his story.
We should have gone straight to the embassay however hindsight is a wonderful thing! This was all very stressful as we did not want to lie to the police so we decided together to go to the police on our own and tell the truth-Martin however insisted that he came with us. Initially the police were not at the station and Martin explained that this was as it was raining and that it could take all day for them to turn up. My Cousin then called the Embassay and they sent a police man straight away. It took just over an hour for them to take our statement and write us a report. Martin stayed quiet throughout the interview and then at the end began to joke with the policeman. When we left the station we saw him giving the policeman some money I guess to "lose" the reportand avoid an investigation at the hostel!!!
I cannot share how stressful this all was and how stupid we felt for initially trusting Martin. We were so confused as to whether we should do what he said or go with what we believed was right. It made a really unfortunate situation worse and lost us a day in the capital.
Finally to make things worse my travel insurance did not cover my iphone and today I received a letter saying that my £300 of cash cannot be paid back as Insure and Go only cover money if it was on me in person or locked in a saftey deposit box!!!! So it was an expensive few nights accomodation all in all!!! So please bear this in mind if staying-always avoid lockers as ironically they tell the theives where your valuables are!! and always keep your wits about you when travelling!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
6 Thank 123elj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Phnom Penh hotels

Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2011

Location is pretty good, short walk to river, markets, restaurants and bars. Friendly and informative host. Very simple, sleeping on the matrace on the floor. Rooms no windows, just dorm. Shower dirty, no warm water!!! No fresh towels daily, free washing if u stay two nights +
Cheaper breakfast in MEKONG RIVER bar, 10 min walk from this place along the river $2.75 all u can eat buffet breaky and free wifi

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank K8skiworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
150 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2011

We were delighted to stay in this hostel on our travels through Cambodia. It wa nice and clean, Martin the manager is excellent. Great help and advice and he knows Cambodia really well. Nice to have a biased opinion of everything.
His team are great, always smiling and willing to help. Food is available, a nice drinks system is available to customers and FREE laundry service. (We were delighted with this and took full advantage!!!) You can book all tours here and they'll sort your Vietnamese visa out if you want, it being only $1/2 more expensive than the embassy. (so handy)

The fault I did find was, because we are a couple we decided to book the double room. On arrival we were told we don't need a locker cos we have the room to ourselves and can lock it. A great secure lock on the door, clicks three times to ensure it won't be kicked in or anything. That wasn't our problem, what was is that on two occassions we returned to our room knowing that someone had been in there. The lights had been left on or the lock was locked a different way. We've always had everything valuable on us so we know nothing of importance could have been taken but just to let others know.

All in all a great place, location, assistance, etc but be careful!!

p.s. Let Martin know in advance and he'll send a free pick up from the train or bus.

F.Y.I. Nomads and Encounters are the same hostel.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Molly_Mackers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
191 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2011

Felt safe and welcomed when we arrived and Martin, who runs it gave us loads of useful tips on local stiff like how much to pay for Tuk Tuks straight away. Also booked our onward bus really cheaply. The room was fine-big, beds okay, very clean. The cafe in front of the nomads section is a great place to hang out in the evenings and meet people. And the free Tuk Tuk from the station was greatly appreciated! Also free laundry and wifi.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank killtacos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kent
Level Contributor
67 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2011

* The sign outside says Nomads - confusing and you can walk right past
* Mattress on floor, but felt as though wood ran length ways down the middle - very uncomfortable
* Lockers, which are tiny, are situated outside of dorm
* No secure fixed in dorm to attach your luggage to
* Hooks for mosquito nets - but way too high to reach
* Only 1 light for the whole dorm - disturbing everyone
* Toilet, basin and shower all together - therefore only one person can use at a time
* Shower poor quality - no hot water
* Very noisy area - poor sleep quality, if any
* Wifi did not work in the building

Plus Points:
* It was clean
* Good location
* Martin was helpful

There are better hostels in the area, charging the same rate but much better quality

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 627432
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Encounters Hostel & Guesthouse

Property: Encounters Hostel & Guesthouse
Address: 89, Street 108, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Phnom Penh
Hotel Style:
Ranked #76 of 318 B&Bs / Inns in Phnom Penh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
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