Every expat in Phnom Penh has a favourite pool. Lush greenery; cool, clean water; a shady place to sit in relative solitude – Phnom Penh pools aren’t just for swimming in. Resort pools are an immersive oasis in an overbearing city, a great place to meet friends, and if you work remotely, a poolside lounge makes an ideal office space.
While there are a handful of public pools in Phnom Penh, hotel pools are definitely your best bet if you value water hygiene, clean towels and nice decor. Some prioritise guests (either by reserving seating or barring public entry during busy periods), but all of the below are open to casual drop-ins, and I’ve never been turned away. Most hotels charge a drop-in rate that is waived when you spend a certain amount on food and drink, which isn’t difficult when the cocktails and tapas are flowing. Here’s my guide to four of Phnom Penh’s best hotel pools (plus a few photos from my local to whet your appetite…)
1– Patio Hotel, Street Pasteur
Cost: Free when you spend $7 on tapas and drinks. Cocktails range from $3-$5.
Seating etc: Limited number of sunbeds.
Water quality: Excellent – the pool is 16m and located on the 8th floor (infinity-pool style) with views of the Independence Monument. A nifty boardwalk cuts through the pool, connecting guests to the restaurant downstairs.
2– Villa Langka, Street 282
Cost: Free when you spend $7.50 on food and drink.
Seating etc: Limited number of sunbeds; not always shaded. This hotel is a favourite for families, so you might have to share the pool with a few excited children.
Water quality: Good.
3– Rambutan Resort (pictured), Street 71
Cost: Free when you spend $7.50 on food and drink. Cocktails cost $4; snacks start from $3.
Seating etc: Plenty of sunbeds and tables in the nearby restaurant. Shady and unlimited free towels. Away from the city centre, this hotel is marketed for couples, so you’re not likely to see any kids around.
Water quality: Excellent – cool, clean and chlorinated!
4– Villa Samnang Boutique Hotel, Street 302
Cost: $5 entry fee for non-guests; includes a soft drink and towel hire. The service here isn’t fantastic, and there is often some confusion among staff as to whether this fee applies or not.
Seating etc: Minimal. The pool is shaded but there’s not much room to move around the edges. This hotel is located in a popular backpacker area and often busy as a result.
Water quality: Average.
Have you been out for a dip in Phnom Penh recently? Or maybe your hotel had a particularly nice pool. Please share your recommendations in the comments below!