Value Score Poor Value
Good For Solo
The Himawari Hotel is in a truly fabulous position on the waterfront, looking out across the junctiion of the Tonle Sap and the Mekong. While it's a modern building, it is not as imposing or as obtrusive as the neighbouring Cambodiana.
The Himawari has good points and bad points and I have very mixed feelings about staying here.
Firstly, the rooms are enormous and lacking in character - maybe this isn't such a big deal, but I just felt that the space was used as an excuse to pump up the rates (US$85 per night). I had to move rooms because there was no hot water in the bathroom (yes...I did use the immersion heater switch and waited an hour!). Then there was little hot water in the second room. It was fixed later, but I feel that this is unacceptable.
There is wirless internet, but it is at an unacceptably high cost - US$28 for one day. This is extortionate, even in Cambodia.
The bar and room service closes at 10.30pm, which is surprising for a hotel that clearly aims at the 4-star market.
Overall, I was somewhat disappointed with the Himawari, but probably would stay again - for the location.
Unique Quality: The Himawari woould be particularly good for families as most of the rooms are apartments with 2 bedrooms and a well-equipped kitchen and with a washng machine for doing your own laundry. Unsurprisingly, quite a few of the apartments are used by long-term corporate residents. If you are staying long-term - and can get a long-term deal on price (of both room and internet access) ths could be good value for money.
Now for those of you interested in Corporate Social Responsibilty, there is another twist to this hotel. The Himawari has signed up to the UN Global Compact. Now ordinarly, this might be something to specificly congratulate, but when I checked (see lnk above), the Himawari had not submitted a single one of the required documents nor reported on progress towards its commitments. I am, terefore, sceptical about the motives for its joining the Global Compact.
UPDATE: It is difficult to describe how BAD the Internet is at this hotel. They charge a truly massive US$28 per day and I had to get the IT Manager to sort out problems no less than 4 times in one day. Five of us had constant problems and we reckoned that we had Internet access only for around two hours during the 24 hour period. This is disgraceful. The InterContinental may be bland and badly located in the city, but the Inernet worked perfectly and it was free. Hmmmmm.
Bluntly, if you need Internet access, then avoid the Himawari. It is extortionately expensive, it required the services of the hotel's IT manager to log on every time, the sgnal strength is appalling (even if the wireless node is located inside your room!) and it keeps dropping out every ten minutes. Refund? Forget it. Hopeless.This is a forgiveable situation in a cheap guesthouse, but the Himawari is one of Phnom Penh's top hotels
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