With views over Kampot River and the Elephant Mountains, Rikitikitavi’s balcony bar is the highlight of this guesthouse, converted from a rice barn into a boutique hotel. Beautifully decorated rooms, great food and cocktails, and friendly staff make it one of the best options in town.
Occupying a prime spot on the riverfront, Rikitikitavi is a couple of minutes’ walk from many of Kampot’s bars and restaurants. It’s easy to explore the river up to Teuk Chhou rapids, as well as Bokor Hill Station (24 miles/38km away), Kampot’s pepper plantations and seaside town Kep, a scenic journey in itself. Kampot is two-and-a-half hours from Phnom Penh, and around two hours from Sihanoukville. A train service connects Kampot to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville (currently Fri-Sun only).
Style & character
Named after the endearing mongoose in Rudyard Kipling’s short story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the evocative name complements this heritage property. It’s undergone various identities – wooden rice barn, theatre, home to an ex-governor of Kampot – before a British and Dutch couple, Dom and Denise, opened the guesthouse in 2006. There’s great attention to detail and a wonderfully airy terrace restaurant and bar.
Service & facilities
Staff are friendly and relaxed, and willing to take guests to and from Kampot, as well as on sunset boat trips and sightseeing tours of local pepper plantations and caves. A popular day trip is Bokor Hill Station, which takes in the abandoned colonial buildings scattered around the national park. The owners are often around, and happy to share tips. Other facilities include on-site laundry and hundreds of film and documentary DVDs for guest use.
- Room service
You’ll find well-chosen fabrics, vintage art, and good-quality linen in the six, spacious double rooms. Each has a small private patio, four-poster bed, good shower in a super-clean bathroom, air-conditioning, fan, and TV with DVD player. Other facilities include a mini-fridge, tea/coffee-making facilities and a safe large enough to store a 13” laptop. There is also a twin room and one family room, each sleeping four.
Food & drink
The terrace restaurant and balcony bar is a Kampot favourite. Food is top-notch, made with fresh produce from the markets, locally baked bread, and carefully sourced meat. Khmer curries are delicious or try the Kampot pepper chicken sandwich and savoury pancakes, while fish and seafood are bought daily from local fisherman.
From 5-7pm, two-for-one cocktails attract locals, guests and expats; there’s an impressive whisky selection, and a good, predominantly New World, wine menu. Try their shakes for a refreshing non-alcoholic option. Top picks at breakfast are the herb omelette, crepes, and granola; and there’s English breakfast tea in addition to Lipton’s.
No baby cots but extra beds (proper, not camp beds) can be added to most rooms ($10/£8 per person, including breakfast) and the family room with one king-size and two single beds, and twin room with two queen-size beds, each sleep four. There’s no kids’ menu, but they’re amenable to requests. Their free-to-borrow DVDs include numerous family films.
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