Big John's Chil-axn Hostel & BBQ


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The Hostelz.com Review

Big John's Chil-axn Hostel & BBQ is an average hostel located in the Victory Hill area of Sihanoukville with its own restaurant and rooftop bar. The owner of the hostel, Big John, is very friendly and willing to help you out with any problems.

The Location

The hostel is located on Ekareach Street, right opposite the Marina Hotel in the sleazy Victory Hill area of Sihanoukville. This area is quite a distance from the downtown area of Sihanoukville, where you will find the central market and even further away from the touristy areas of Serendipity and Orcheuteal Beach. The surrounding streets are pretty safe during the daytime, but in the evening it becomes pretty unsafe to travel by foot (you are advised to travel by tuk-tuk or motorbike). When the sun goes down, the area around the hostel is filled with working girls and sleazy old Westerners. The atmosphere of this area is completely different than that found at many other backpacker hostels.

Most of the local attractions, such as the famous Serendipity Beach, are found on the other side of town. Victory Beach is located only ten minutes' walk from the hostel, which is very sparsely populated and the ferry port to the Islands of Koh Rong/Koh Rong Saloem is located close to the hostel. The main bus station is only a five-minute tuk-tuk ride away.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel contains a variety of rooms, including mixed and female-only dorm rooms as well as double and triple rooms with different views. The hostel is split out over four different levels, with the rooftop housing the bar/restaurant and the remaining three levels containing the rooms. From the outside, the building appears to be in reasonable condition, but could do with a fresh coat of the paint; the same can be said about the interior. The hostel is kept clean and tidy, but is just a little rough around the edges. The rooms are cleaned before and after your stay and can be cleaned everyday if you wish. We stayed in a triple room with an ocean view, which contains a double bed with a bunk bed over the top of it, making the room feel very cramped. The beds are pretty comfortable, but the room does not have air conditioning, just a rotating fan attached to the wall. Finally the room is locked using a standard key and could be locked from the inside too.

The triple room has its own private bathroom, which is just a small wet room with only a toilet and power shower inside. The bathroom does not have a sink or a window but it does have a mirror on the wall and is well lit. The bathroom is clean and tidy but does feel very cramped, as it is quite a small room.

Common Spaces

This hostel has one main common area, which is the rooftop bar and restaurant, as well as the small seating area out the front of the main entrance. The rooftop bar does give an excellent view of the sunset over the ocean and it has plenty of seating too. The restaurant offers Western and Khmer cuisine at very reasonable prices and does an excellent coffee. There is also a small circular pool on the rooftop as well as small sandpit and a dartboard. Out the front of the hostel is a bench and some more seating options; there is also a smaller second bar and a burger van, neither of which were open during our stay. This hostel also has two computers on the third floor for communal use and also there is high-speed broadband throughout the hostel. The Wi-Fi is free and is one of the best things about this hostel as it reaches all the rooms. The atmosphere of this hostel is not the best, as most people do not tend to hang out there due to its location, so the hostel is pretty quiet and only used as a bed for the night.

Summary

Overall this is an average hostel that is a little rough around the edges and could do with a little bit of TLC. The atmosphere and location are not the best, but the hostel owner is very friendly and will do all he can to make sure you enjoy your stay. We recommend staying here if you ever visit Sihanoukville.
by Paulo
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
2014-01-24
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Building from the outside
Reception
Bedroom
Bathroom
Bathroom
Bathroom
Sunset from the roof

How is Big John's Chil-axn Hostel & BBQ rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
Hostelworld
(80 ratings)
52%
66%
60%
63%
HostelBookers
(38 ratings)
57%
58%
59%
63%
HostelsClub
No reviews yet.
Hostels.com
(3 ratings)
53%
46%
66%
60%
Priceline
(1 ratings)
n/a
n/a
n/a
88%
Average
54%
57%
62%
69%

Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

 
There are way better places!!!
We stayed 2 nights here, definitely too long. Located in a very strange area, it is 15tuk tuk mins and a few dollars away from the centre and the nice beach. Rooms are renovated, yes -- but still you can't deny a mouldy smell on the room. If there at least would have been proper wifi in the room. The only nice thing was the rooftop, with wifi working and good music all day and night long.
paul
Age 25, german
2013-12-22
 
I didn't want to leave
Friendly helpful staff, able to provide good information and bookings for boats to, and/or accommodation on Koh Rong and/or diving or snorkeling the islands as well as busses and bikes. Great melt in your mouth, fall off the bone, sweet and tangy BBQ Ribs and other meals, Chil-axn cocktail, affordable beer, awesome views of the ocean and islands, 600m from Victory Beach which doesn't have the beggars and touts you find on other, more tourist saturated beaches. Oh, and the firm mattresses, not cheap foam, guarantee a great nights sleep. It can get a little slow in the rainy season but with free high speed internet and wifi along with a huge common/games/tv room on the lower level, day or night rain or shine there's always something to do.
Dave
(Wales)
2012-10-19
 
Best Place to stay in Sihanoukville
We stayed here for a week and totally enjoyed our stay. Beds are excellent, Facilities are very good. This place offers whatever you are looking for. Big Bonus is the Rooftop Bar which offers great food and a mental view. Besides the atmosphere in this place is totally relaxed and CHILL. Definitely a must go in Sihanoukville!
Hannes
(german)
2012-08-01

Sorry this hostel has closed.


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