If you’d rather stay in the city centre, then have no fear, as there are still plenty of great places to choose from. Wherever you stay in the city, it’s compact enough that you’ll be within walking distance of the two most popular areas: the Riverfront and the Old French Quarter. Both areas have a lively atmosphere and are home to most of the recommended restaurants and bars.
Backpackers should try either Pepe & the Viking (St 735, dorms US$6, private room USD8) or Mad Monkey Republic (St 730, dorms USD5, double room USD10) for fun, food, and cheap beds. The Mad Monkey even has a pool, which is quite the rarity in Kampot!
For those of you with a slightly bigger budget, there are a number of hotels and guesthouses in the centre offering great value for money. A firm favourite with many, Rikitikitavi (Riverside Road, double room USD48, family room from USD58) has excellent views over the river, superb food and two for one sunset cocktails.
There’s also Mea Culpa (44 Sovansokar, double rooms from USD25) just outside the city centre, which is very good value and is famous for its wood-fired pizzas. Or, if you’re searching for a more romantic and sophisticated atmosphere, The Column (37 Phoum 1 Ouksophear, double rooms from USD48) is a beautiful French colonial hotel right in the city centre. Its high ceilings and elegant design are bound to impress, plus its café with outdoor seating is the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon people watching.
Upriver from Kampot
For those of you looking to unwind, there are lots of accommodation options several kilometres upriver of Kampot, from backpacker getaways to family-friendly resorts.
If you are on a tight budget, Banyan Tree (Tuek Chhu Road, dorms US$3, double bungalows from US$8) is right on the river, has a great chilled-out vibe, and live music every Friday night.
Arcadia (Tuek Chhu Road, dorms from USD7, double room USD20) is another great backpacker hideaway, but it’s a bit further out of town, so transport costs need to be considered.
Food lovers, on the other hand, should head straight for GreenHouse (St. Toek Chhu, bungalows from USD25), which has twelve bungalows set in a beautiful tropical garden setting. Although we didn’t stay here, we did have dinner here one evening, and we weren’t disappointed. They offer an excellent menu of Cambodian and French dishes, and they even make their own bread!
Those of you with families should consider Les Manguiers (Prey Thnot Village, room with shared bathroom USD11.50, 3 bedroom house USD85), a resort with plenty of activities on offer. Kids will be kept busy with swimming in the river, water sports and a volleyball court.
Other similar resorts include Villa Vedici (Kampong Treng, double rooms from USD30, family condo from USD55, family house USD125) and Champa Lodge (Kampong Kreang Village, lodges from USD46).
Wherever you decide to stay, you’re bound to fall in love with Kampot and stay much longer than you intended to. As previously suggested, why not try spending a few nights in the city centre, and then retreat to one of the resorts for some riverside relaxation? Just remember, most of the accommodations are on the small side, so if you have your heart set on a particular one, make sure to book in advance!