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Phnom Penh picks: as hot season comes to an end, pools to cool off in

Phnom Penh picks: as hot season comes to an end, pools to cool off in

Sizzling temperatures and periodic power cuts make for a sweaty few weeks in Cambodia. Time to head to the many pools the city has on offer. Here are some of the best.

Villa Paradiso offers spa treatments.
Villa Paradiso offers spa treatments. Vireak Mai

Villa Paradiso
If you like a spa to go with your swim, then it’s worth going to Villa Paradiso, where you have to indulge in a spa treatment in order to take a dip. Traditional Khmer massage, international beauty treatments and wellness packages are on offer in the wooden spa cabins dotted around the pool. Prices range between $20 and $40 depending on the type of massage you get, and all include the use of both the pool and the bubbling jacuzzi hot tub next to it.
The Villa Paradiso Boutique Hotel & Spa, #25-27 Street 222. Spa and pool open 9am - 9pm

Circa 51 is a family-run business.
Circa 51 is a family-run business. Scott Howes

Circa 51
For a dip with the kids, Circa 51 has a large but shallow pool equipped with floating toys. But with a relaxing setting in the garden courtyard, as well as an extensive drinks menu, the entire family can enjoy themselves by the pool. This family-run business is also known to have its golden lab roam the premises. Pool use is free for non-guests who spend at least $5 on food and drinks. Western and Cambodian food is available from around $5-10 per main course.
Circa 51, corner of Streets 51 and 222. 11am-7pm

The Patio offers stunning views of the city.
The Patio offers stunning views of the city. Hong Menea

Patio
For a slice of the Phnom Penh high-life, go to the top floor of Patio Hotel for a rooftop swim. From the seventh-floor vantage point, the pool overlooks Wat Langka and Independence Monument to the north, giving views of some of the capital’s most scenic green space. Non-guests must spend $7 on food and drink to use the pool, but that’s made easy by the extensive tapas on sale, whipped up by a chef trained at the Friends charity restaurant, and cocktails ranging from $3 to $5.
Patio Hotel and Urban Resort, #134Z Street 51.

The LyLa Center: ideal for the kids.
The LyLa Center: ideal for the kids. Scott Howes

LyLa Centre
The LyLa Center is a little out of the way – south of Russian Market next to Boeng Tra Baek – but it’s worth the trek, especially for families with little ’uns. Along with a 23-metre, four-lane lap pool and quiet sunbathing area, the recreation centre also has a kids’ lagoon featuring a big jungle-gym climbing structure with a slide, and huge mechanical bucket that periodically dumps water on thrilled children. There’s also a regular gym, sauna, spa, dance studio and cafeteria. Entry during the week is $3 for adults and $2 for children. It’s $4 for both on weekends. Ten-visit packs and memberships are available too.
LyLa Center, #36 Street 508.

Mystères & Mékong: a retreat from the hot sun.
Mystères & Mékong: a retreat from the hot sun. Vireak Mai

Mysteres & Mekong
On a quiet street close to the Royal Palace, the pool at colonial-style boutique hotel Mystères & Mékong is perfect for a calm and shady retreat. Tall trees surround the pool, blocking out the sun – so if you’re looking for a tan, better go elsewhere. Non-guests can pay $5, and use the pool for the whole day.
Mystères & Mékong, #70 Street 244. Pool open 7am - 10pm

Teav: a fashionable place to go for a dip.
Teav: a fashionable place to go for a dip. Hong Menea

Teav Boutique Hotel
Teav is a fashionable place to go for a dip. With its minimalist styling and modernist decor, you’d probably best break out the designer trunks and bikinis if you don’t want to look out of place. Lounging facilities include a few day beds and sun chairs in matching colours. While a vegetation-covered fence screens the adjoining building, there is no overhanging shade so be prepared to cop a lot of sun. The pool is located next to the restaurant so refreshments and food are close by. Use of the pool for non-guests is $5 but the fee can be waived for those who spend at least $5 on food and beverages.
Teav Boutique Hotel, #14 Street 310.

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