Riverfront, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
A swish hotel in the heart of town with fabulous views of river and city from every suite, plus a delicious brasserie and hip rooftop bar
Phnom Penh stands on the Mekong at its conflux with the Tonle Sap, a view that is sweetly framed from your balcony at Amanjaya, with bustling Sisowath Quay - La Croisette of Indochina - stretching south before you. It is a lively spot in the middle of a happening town, with the dazzling Royal Palace a short stroll west and a host of good restaurants on your doorstep.

As for Amanjaya, this small and lively city hotel delivers exactly what you’d want of it: heaps of comfort, an easy style, good food and drink and excellent service. There’s a big brasserie downstairs, a rooftop bar with stunning views and an enticing cocktail menu, and 21 excellent suites that offer really good value for money. All come with fancy bathrooms, spacious sitting areas, comfortable kingsize beds and French windows that open onto splendid balconies. Wander the streets outside and find bars, markets, museums and temples. A stylish little hotel in the heart of a vibrant city.


  • Fantastic location, within walking distance of many attractions and restaurants
  • The grand suites with their sparkling bathrooms are great value for money
  • Spectacular views of the Tonle Sap and the Mekong from your balcony, plus some rooms overlook Wat Ounalom
  • This is an exciting town, very much in its ascendancy, and there’s lots to do
  • The staff go the extra mile


  • Some noise floats up from the street; go for rooms on the upper floors
  • You need to specify when booking if you want a non-smoking room
  • Watch out for slippery wood floors when you get out of the bath!
  • We've had reports of slow and sullen service in the restaurant
  • Being so close to the water mosquitos can sometimes be a problem, but the hotel will provide spray on request

Best time to go

The rainy seasons runs from May to October, with September and October seeing most of the rain. February-June is the hottest time. January and February are the driest months. November to January is the coolest time of year, but temperatures can easily reach 30 degrees.

Our top tips

Pack plenty of US dollars, the unofficial local currency, in small denominations. Banks and bureaux de change in-country offer extortionate rates, and the few ATMs in Phnom Penh charge another 2 per cent per withdrawal.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 21
  • Restaurant + bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Car and driver service


The 21 suites offer an airy traditional style, with loads of space to hide the usual accoutrements of travel. Excellent bathrooms with separate showers are a real treat, too.

The rooms are split over 3 floors, so if you want to avoid the noise of the street, try to book one higher up the ladder. They are all pretty much identical in design, the only difference being size. There are 3 huge Deluxe Suites, and 3 Panoramic Suites on the curve of the building with long wraparound balconies, but we stayed in one of the 15 Junior Suites and thought it something of a palace, so don’t feel you need to splash out to get what you want. All rooms have balconies with super views of the Tonle Sap at its conflux with the Mekong, and bustling Sisowath Quay runs beneath.

You get pressed rosewood floors, creamy yellow walls, desks and modem points, TVs and minibars hidden away in pretty cabinets. There are chunky wooden sofas and armchairs, silky curtains, old prints and contemporary oils. Beds are wrapped in crisp white linen and turned down for you at night. Bathrooms are also big. They come with rather fancy Terrazzo baths and separate power showers. Robes and slippers, air con and bowls of fruit are the finishing touches. Excellent.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


The KWest brassiere, located on the ground floor, overlooks the Tonle Sap river and has a small terrace. Breakfast is served informally in here from a menu: freshly-sliced fruits and freshly-squeezed juice, yoghurts and pastries, bacon and eggs. For lunch and dinner the menu very much favours Western dishes (fish and chips, club sandwich, French onion soup, barbequed tiger prawns). They also do a good line in steaks.

The hotel’s gem, however, is the rooftop bar - Le Moon. It’s open from 5-11pm and serves an enticing range of finger food, such as chicken satay, pork skewers, spring rolls and dumplings, as well as offering an exceptional cocktail menu which is the perfect antidote do a day exploring the city in the heat.

Spin around the city and you'll find some stylish restaurants serving great Khmer food. Best of the lot is Mallis, where you either eat around an extremely pretty ornamental pond or trade the view for air con on the first floor. Nearer to home is Metro (100m from the front door), where you can stop for a drink or dig into modern European cooking, overlooking the river. If you head off to see Wat Phnom (a temple on Phnom Penh’s only hill), drop into Raffles on your way back for a cocktail in the Elephant Bar; the piano plays at night.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Rooftop bar
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Visit Wat Ounalom, 50 paces from the front door. One of Buddha’s eyebrows is stored in a stupa here!
  • The Royal Palace is a must-see, for its tumbling golden roofs and well-kept gardens. It dates to 1866 (and replaced the original of 1434) and highlights include the Throne Room, the Silver Pagoda and a 17th-century emerald Buddha. Visitors must dress conservatively
  • Pay your respects at S-21, also known as Tuol Sleng. This erstwhile high school has a bloody past as the prison where the Khmer Rouge tortured many of its inmates before sending those who survived to their death in the Killing Fields. It’s not a happy place, but it is an important one, and it survives pretty much as it was 30 years ago
  • Take a tuk-tuk to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Just 14km southwest of the town, this was the final resting place of S-21’s prisoners. 17,000 people died here and you'll see mass graves plus a memorial tower filled with skulls. It's a shocking reminder of Pol-Pot's regime and well worth going to
  • Visit the Russian Market. Not a place to pick up an AK-47, but just about everything else you can think of. Hardcore shoppers will love it
  • Don't miss the National Museum for its fine collection of Khmer sculpture and friezes. Its magnificent terracotta exterior elates
  • Take a motorbike tour around town and experience the frenetic pace of life in Phnom Penh. Vast portraits of the royals are everywhere and there's no such thing as a Highway Code - it's pretty exhilarating

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures


Children are welcome and will enjoy exploring such a fascinating city and exotic culture. Under 12s stay for free. Over 12s in extra bed sharing a room at an extra cost. Cots are available free of charge in all suites.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

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