Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Bale Phnom Penh

Rates per night from$130.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD130.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Modern harmony

Setting

River of zen

Boutique hotel The Balé Phnom Penh might have sleek, modernist looks fitting of Cambodia’s ascendant capital, but its peaceful riverside location makes it feel like you’re miles from bustle of the city. Designed to have a zen-inducing effect, the bright, spacious suites overlook either the palm-flanked pool or a lawned courtyard planted with a solitary Bodhi tree, a symbol of the path to enlightenment. While we can’t promise a spiritual epiphany, you’d be hard pushed not to find inner peace after days spent luxuriating in the spa, dining on some of the city’s finest cuisine or simply watching boats slip by on the Mekong. And when you feel ready to step beyond the walls, you’ll find you can be in the midst of Phnom Penh’s Central Market or wandering the gilded palace in less than half an hour.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A welcome drink and canapés on arrival; guests staying two nights or more also get a 30 minute massage each

Facilities

Photos The Bale Phnom Penh facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Eighteen suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $130.00, excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast, an à la carte selection of American, Continental, Japanese and classic Khmer dishes.

Also

The hotel are happy to arrange private dinners in your courtyard, on your terrace or beneath the palms along the banks of the river.

At the hotel

Spa, gym, free WiFi throughout and laundry. In rooms: 24-hour butler service; flatscreen TV; Bluetooth speaker; coffee- and tea-making kit.

Our favourite rooms

The Courtyard Suites are arguably the more romantic of the two. Their sleek, walled courtyards – all of which have day-beds – are just the spot for secluded sunbathing, meditation or a private candle-lit dinner. Riverfront Suites are slightly bigger, and have a private terrace with a plunge pool overlooking the Mekong. They’re also the room of choice for families, sleeping up to three adults or two adults and two children.

Poolside

The palm-flanked pool is by the river, letting you spy on passing boats as you swim. It’s unheated, large enough for laps and is surrounded by sun loungers, parasols and cushion-strewn day-beds with shading hoods.

Spa

The hotel’s three-room spa specialises in Cambodian massage and aromatherapy, drawing on a range of traditional Khmer techniques. Guests get to personalise their treatments by choosing from a selection of natural oils and herbs, and therapists will happily tailor them to specific concerns. There’s also a small but well-equipped gym near the pool.

Packing tips

You’ll need knee-length shorts or trousers to visit temples, and don’t forget that insect repellent.

Also

The common areas shouldn’t pose problems to wheelchairs, but there aren’t any specially adapted rooms.

Children

All ages are welcome, but there aren’t any specific kiddo-friendly facilities. Up to two extra beds can be added to both room types.

Food and Drink

Photos The Bale Phnom Penh food and drink

Top Table

During the day, snag a table by the window if you want to watch the passing river traffic. On balmy nights, ask for one to be set up outside.

Dress Code

Cambodian’s aren’t particularly flashy dressers – something light and understated will hit the mark.

Hotel restaurant

With its modernist lines, shades of slate grey and tall, wood-framed windows overlooking the pool and river, Theatro has the dashing, mid-century looks to match the modern Khmer menu. Head chef Anton Ventslav has taken time-honoured dishes eaten by Cambodians for decades, added a fine-dining edge and adjusting the flavours for an international palette. The result is easily some of the best local, organic and authentically cuisine easily some of the best to be found anywhere in the capital – try the seared beef salad with soft poached egg, amaranth, turmeric flower and red tree ants; or, for a timeless Cambodian classic, the Kep crab and kampot pepper stir-fry.

Hotel bar

There’s a sleek wooden bar in the restaurant, framed with hanging greenery and watched over by a large stone buddha. The selection of wines and spirits is one of the best in the region, so you’ll have no shortage of pairings when it comes to sampling the vibrant cuisine.

Last orders

The restaurant opens for breakfast at 7.30am and stays open all the way through to 11pm.

Room service

You can order anything from the menu during restaurant hours.

Location

Photos The Bale Phnom Penh location
Address
The Bale Phnom Penh
National Road 6A, Bridge No. 8 Sangkat Bak Khaeng - Phnom Penh Cambodia
Phnom Penh
Cambodia

Planes

Phnom Penh International Airport is the one to aim for; from the UK and the continent, most people fly via Bangkok, Hong Kong or Ho Chi Minh City. From the airport, it’s a 50-minute drive to the hotel. The Smith24 team can arrange your flights and transfers; call anytime, day or night.

Automobiles

You could rent a car at the airport, but most people manage fine using taxis and tuk tuks, which are cinch to hail and friendly on the wallet, too. If you do want to hire a car, the Smith24 team can arrange it.

Worth getting out of bed for

Don’t forgo the spa even if you’re on a short visit, as you’ll be hard pushed to find one that gives you so much bang for buck without compromising on quality. Another hit with guests is the hotel’s Khmer cooking class, which begins with a visit to a market, where you’ll select fresh ingredients before returning to the hotel to whip it into traditional fare. In the city centre, there’s the Royal Palace, made up of grand buildings with gilded roofs and steep spires that reach high over the skyline. Also within the grounds is the Silver Pagoda, which has a floor covered with over 5,000 silver tiles and a glass case holding a solid gold Buddha set with over 2,000 diamonds. No visit to Phnom Penh is complete without a spin around its vast Central Market, housed in a landmark art deco hall built on a drained lake. Inside the cavernous emporium you’ll encounter a whirl of colour and scent, passing row after row of stalls piled high with everything from krama scarves to gold jewellery. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in a former Khmer Rouge prison, gives troubling insight into Pol Pot’s ruthless regime.

Local restaurants

Dedicated to restoring Cambodian cuisine to the standing it held in the country's pre-Khmer Rouge days, Malis is the place if you want to sample high-end Khmer cuisine. The kitchen team is helmed by Luu Meng, the country’s sole Master Chef, whose approach involves intensive research of national culinary traditions, combining his findings with boundary-pushing creations of his own. Another upscale option is Kravanah, serving simple but elegant Cambodian cuisine; try one of their fish curries or Mekong prawn dishes. Black Bambu has a more international offering that includes charcuterie boards, Miso-glazed salmon and Australian beef burgers.

Reviews

Photos The Bale Phnom Penh reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this city hotel in Phnom Penh and unpacked their krama scarves bought at the city’s Central Market, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside The Balé Phnom Penh in Cambodia…

Arriving at the Balé Phnom Penh feels a bit like stepping onto the path to serenity. Having driven out of the city centre and into a sleepy, tree-lined residential district, you pass through the main gate and find yourself standing in a walled passage of pink palaman sandstone, with the scent of sun-warmed lemongrass and frangipani on the air. By the time you’ve mounted the floating path that carries you across a pool of water and into the lobby, you’re no longer quite sure where the city ended and this new-found Nirvana began. None of this is an accident, of course. As modern as it may be, the hotel is built in line with the ancient principles of Feng Shui, so it’s designed to instill zen-like calm before you ever step into the spa or sink into one of the daybeds on the palm-flanked shore.

The Guestbook

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