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a 1960's era former residence....

A stay at Circa 51 is a step back in time to Cambodia’s ‘golden age’ – when Cambodia was considered the ‘Pearl of the East’. 


The residence was built around 1967 by one of Cambodia's foremost architects - Mam Sophana -  in the unique modernist Khmer architectural style that was blossoming at the time.  This style of architecture flourished during the fifteen years of prosperity after Cambodia gained independence from the French (1953).  Throughout the renovations we have tried to keep as much of the original pieces (including original french style tiling, decorative window frames, etc) as possible and attempted to stay true to the original style of the building.  Even the checker-board tiles in the reception area, which were once used as the house's garage parking area, have been retained for their character and original style.

The building has a rich historic past - it was built for the then Prime Minister of Cambodia.  It has been used as a press propaganda center and it once belonged to Princess Bopha Devi - sister of the current King of Cambodia, and a famed traditional Cambodian ballet dancer. 

These types of villas are generally not recognized as architecturally important within Cambodia even today, and many have been demolished in the name of development. The idea for Circa 51 was born when the hotel owners (an Australian and Pakistani couple) came across this amazing property in the heart of the city, and could see it's potential for revival.  Few of these types of buildings with gardens are to be found in the city today.  

After renovations and the addition of a swimming pool, the residence today maintains its architectural charm and bespeaks of a by-gone era, offering visitors a unique glimpse into how people may have lived during Cambodia’s heyday.  An eclectic mix of art deco, antique and modern furnishings ensures comfortable yet stylish surroundings; combined with technological offerings like LCD televisions, DVD players, cable and complimentary wifi. 

If intimate, interesting and historic is what you are looking for, Circa 51 is the perfect choice.

  • Please note that we have a part-time dog and a full-time cat who are incredibly friendly. If you have a dog phobia, just request for the dog to be sent home!
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                                           Princess Bopha Devi

                                           Princess Bopha Devi

Our Philosophy

Circa 51 Boutique Residence is a family-run business that strives to support Cambodian people and products, as well us promoting Cambodia's rich history and culture. Almost all of the furnishings have been sourced in Cambodia and we work hard to ensure that all of our fresh produce served from our cafe are locally sourced. 

As a very small operation of only 10 rooms, we are able to offer personalised services and assist you in creating the best schedule for you to get the most out of your stay in Phnom Penh. As residents of the wonderful city of Phnom Penh for more than a decade, we have an in-depth knowledge of the city and all it has to offer.

We are family friendly and have suites that can cater for up to a family of four people.  We stand absolutely AGAINST sex-tourism - we have a no sex-tourism policy, which is enforced strictly. 

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Charming boulevards of old Phnom Penh during the Colonial period.

Charming boulevards of old Phnom Penh during the Colonial period.

Wide, tree-lined Norodom Boulevard, with the tip of Wat Phnom in the background, 1960s

Wide, tree-lined Norodom Boulevard, with the tip of Wat Phnom in the background, 1960s