If you’re looking for a slice of tranquil tropical island paradise, then Koh Rong Sanloem is the place to be. With powder white sands lapped by turquoise waters, it’s easy to find an isolated spot to enjoy the beach to yourself. Or you can stop off at one of the guesthouses that dot the island’s shores and kick back with a beer overlooking a postcard-perfect setting.
Lazy Beach Resort
Bar, Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, Northern European, $$$
This is an island stalwart and is located on the less built-up side of Koh Rong Sanloem, meaning the resort is serene in its isolation. With beautiful natural surroundings, a private beach and tropical jungle, be warned because once you collapse onto one of the many hammocks at the resort, you may never want to leave. Enjoy a night cap undisturbed at Lazy Beach Resort under a canopy of twinkling stars.
Orchid Resort is one of Koh Rong Sanloem’s premier resorts, which can be spotted upon alighting the boat from Sihanoukville at Saracen Bay. With a large terraced restaurant-bar overlooking the beach, this is an idyllic spot to enjoy a drink while soaking up the infallible view. With an extensive range of beverages to choose from, this is possibly the best place on the island for a cocktail created from a selections of imported spirits.
Perched on the beachfront, Sweet Dreams Samloem (note: Koh Rong Sanloem is often mis-spelled Samloem) features a porched restaurant and bar area. Friendly customer service is offered by the Russian owners and all food is cooked fresh in the small but sufficient kitchen. The attention to detail and welcoming atmosphere makes this one of the best places to eat and drink on the island.
Like many other resorts on Koh Rong Sanloem, the unparalleled tropical island vistas are Secret Paradise’s focal point. Situated so guests can look out across the waters, the resort’s two-storey restaurant serves a selection of food and drinks to outside guests, with a cracking selection of cocktails on the menu. The resort also takes in a quaint collection of five wooden bungalows complete with ensuite bathrooms and private verandas.
If you’re backpacking or on a holiday and want to hang out with other like-minded, party-seeking travellers, then Mad Monkey is a sure bet with its handful of reputable guesthouses across Cambodia and beyond. Its Koh Rong Sanloem offering is set on its own private beach, where hammocks rest in the shallow waters, and beachfront ensuite bungalows look out onto the bay and dorm rooms. It also boasts a spacious bar and social area, and a packed agenda of daytime activities and evening events.
At GreenBlue Beach Bungalows, you can choose to sit, drink in hand, at its rooftop decks with views from the restaurant overlooking translucent waters and white sand, or you could sit on the beach and take in the idyllic scenery that envelops visitors at this simple yet stylish spot in Saracen Bay. With drinks of vibrant hues, a cocktail here is irresistible at any time of the day. Accommodation is also offered, as are various tours that take in scuba diving, an incredible plankton swimming experience and jungle treks.
Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Sunset Bungalows lives up to its name and is a prime spot to catch one of Koh Rong Sanloem’s exquisite sunsets. The resort comprises 10 bungalows, with ensuite bathrooms and private balconies, that sit on the water’s edge. A restaurant also serves a range of freshly-caught seafood, meats and Khmer and European dishes. A fully-stocked bar is also on-site.
If sipping on a beer looking out across white sands, azure waters and palm trees sounds up your street, then The One Resort is the place to be. Check in to one of the cosy bungalows, feast in the restaurant, hang at the bar and take a refreshing dip in the clear waters. Or, if you prefer, The One Resort has an infinity pool looking out over the sea.
Colourful cocktails, movie nights, music – all against the backdrop of a super-serene setting. Sounds perfect, right? Not quite. Throw into the mix some beach games, hammocks gently swinging in the sea as well as white sands, and you’re there. Octopussy Bar and retreat is home to six villas and a restaurant/bar serving up a range of creative cocktails and other drinks throughout the day and night.
Giving the beach hut concept a modern makeover, Moonlight Resort is a cool and contemporary beachside accommodation comprised of a series of futuristic pods. With 15 rooms close to the beach, the resort has a restaurant as well as on-site scuba diving and a playground, and all rooms come with AC and a private bathroom with shower. WiFi is available at reception and it also has a restaurant serving Asian and European food plus a well-stocked bar.