We never stayed at the Pich Chida - and I might have got the name slightly wrong - but only because they ddn't have enough rooms for our group.
The guest house is right by the upper of the two reservoirs to the north of the airport, down in the valley. It has al been opened very recently, and they are still building some rooms.
There are rooms in the main building, each quite spacious and with fans. These rooms also have hot water (although as everywhere in Sen Monorem, this might be a relative thing!). There are about eight separate rooms next to the restaurant that are wooden and much more atmospheric but do not have hot water. Pity.
The restaurant is the star attraction, and the kitchen alongside is spotlessly clean: you could eat your dinner off the floor inside, which is more than can be said of most places in town.
The food was fresh and a bit more varied than the staple menus in most places here.
The dining area is on a wide verandah, with views across the vegetable garden and the groves of trees above the lower reservoir.
Centrally located (on the way up the hill into the town), the Prich Kiri is an atmospheric and friendly little place with about ten cabins in a garden. The open terrace is a great place to while away the evening ....or the morning....and the food is generally good. They have an endless supply of bananas as well. The only downside is the motley collection of dogs constantly begging for food.
The rooms are pleasant enough - they grow on you. The shower room is very basic and the hot water never gets hot (and the lights dim when you use it!). In my roon, the taps, the toilet and the shower all leaked all over the place constantly, but there was something quite rustic and cute about the place.
Note that this and any other place in the centre of town gets affected by the garbage that is lying around in large quantities: the wind picks up, the garbage gets into the air and the smell can be rather unpleasant. After five nights, we moved up to the Arun Rea on the ridge outside town where the air was a lot fresher!
The Long Vibol Guest House is alongside the airport runway, through the town centre (and right at the roundabout). It's probably the best known place in town. There are two rows of rooms although you don't get the same level of privacy at Prich Kiri or Arun Rea.
The gardens at Long Vibol are lovely, and there are tables set among the trees....great for watching the sun go down with a beer in hand.
We were unimpressed with the quality of food at Long Vibol though..it's OK but you can get better at other places in town.
The Arun Rea Guest House lies on the ridge on the way into town on the Snuol road. You really can't miss it as it is the first big complex on the way down the hill into town.
The Arun Rea II (the only Arun Rea guest house....Arun Rea I was the family's first guest house, now no longer being used) was the first guest house in Sen Monorem. The Khmer owners, from Kampong Cham, leave the hotel management to the irresistibly charming Vicha and his younger brother Brosna. Nothng is impossible for these two hard-working guys, and they are ably assisted by Chia, Jamrun (the cook), Lyee and Raa.
There are three rows of wooden cabins, all with mosquito net windows and erratic hot water. Like all guest houses locally, the hot water is supplied by electric wall heaters and these are difficult to operate so that you get enough hot water to shower. The trick is to get them to bol up a bucket of hot water then use the shower to add lukewarm water to the bucket as you wash.
The Arun Rea is on the ridge so it cna get extremely windy here in the dry season, and so quite cold at night. Vicha can arrange extra blankets for you. The rooms are not automatically cleaned every day unless you insist. Given the dust (and soot from forest fires) in the dry season, I'd recommend that you ask for the rooms ti be cleaned each day!
Vicha can arrange trips to local villages, local waterfalls and can also arrange elephant rides and elephant treks.
If you need power during the day, just ask for it and he will switch on the smaller generator, but the main generator operates generally only in the evening.
Behind the cabins, the ridge slopes down to a stream, and just above that a beautiful little cashew tree orchard...sadly burnt by a bushfire while we were there.
As a focal point, Sen Monorem has a lot of guest houses and a couple of bigger hotels, but the guest houses get most of the trade. Generally, and unzurprisingly, the smaller guest houses are family run - some of them by Bunong people, and the large complexes of chalets are run by Khmers or foreigners. The guest houses up on the ridge to the south of town are good value, but a long walk from the town. The town itself has a serious garbage problem and when combined with the dust and high winds, it can feel distinctly unhealthy; the guest houses out of town are generally higher up, so the winds are stronger but it keeps the place fresh.
Although the town has electricity at somewhat vague and varying times, most of the guest houses have power all evening and can arrange for power during the day if you need it. As a rule of thumb, you get the most hot water in the late afternoon. The wall-mounted water heaters are not very effective and will provide the hottest water when the tank-stored water has already been heated up by the sun during the day. Having a shower in the morning can be a grim experience: cold water and a cold wind whipping through the bathroom.
Sort by: Most recent | Most helpful