But with the recent swell of restaurants in Kampot town (not to mention long-time favorites like caffeination station Cafe Espresso), the $4+ bumpy tuktuk rides from these lush compounds along dusty country roads are not something we fancy doing a few times a day during a relaxing Kampot get-away. So we find ourselves more frequently making the choice to staying in town, especially now that we can look forward to staying at bARACA Rooms just as much as to going to our favorite restaurants and watering holes.
Many of the guesthouses in Kampot are decent but unremarkable. But bARACA is great value, simple and stylish. A converted shophouse, the ground floor is a bar that features a changing assortment of homemade tapas from 5 to 11 p.m. every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The three double rooms and one family room are on the first floor, and guests can exit through a back door during the day when the bar is closed. The style is easy-going but creative and brings together local and international elements through bright mediterranean blues, yellows and reds, vintage floor tiles, and upcycled cooking oil cans for lamp shades.
The smaller double rooms are $12, the larger double room with hot water is $16 and the family room (two double beds) is $20. There is no air-conditioning, but rooms are all equipped with fans, mosquito nets, en suite bathrooms and WiFi. Be warned that rooms can be a bit noisy, so bring a pair of earplugs if you are a light sleeper.
The bright rooms, combined with the tapas menu downstairs, makes you feel like you’ve entered a wormhole connecting southern Cambodia with southern Europe in the best way. The balcony on the back is just big enough for the folding chair or to lean on the railing and look out over the neighborhood rooftops. Being a block away from the river and two blocks from the Old Market is perfect for exploration of Kampot’s dining establishments new and old.
The four rooms fill up quickly, so book well ahead of your trip.
#7 Street 726, Kampot
T: 011 290 434