We recently visited the coastal Cambodian city of Sihanoukville and have compiled our top 3 places to stay. Each property is located in one of three distinctively different parts of the region – Independence Beach, Otres II Beach and Koh Rong Island.
Dara Independence Hotel
The Dara Independence Hotel offers the ultimate seaside resort experience. The historical hotel sits on a vast property featuring three restaurants, a private beach, two swimming pools, fitness centre and health spa. Located at Independence Beach, the resort is a convenient 10 minute drive from either the Sihanoukville Port – for ferries departing to Koh Rong Island, Sokha Beach & Pub street beach and the city centre of Sihanoukville.
Built in 1964, the hotel played host to jet setters the world over including former U.S First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. After the decades of turmoil in the country that followed the hotel was beautifully restored to its former glory in 2004.
The main building offers large 52 well-appointed rooms including 6 suites with the pièce de résistance – The Jacqueline Kennedy suite. The Sea Side Villa Complex boasts 76 rooms including: Studios, Family Suites, Sea Pavilions, Premier Villas & 2 bedroom Pool Villas. Guests will enjoy sea views, private balconies, and private spa or pool (depending on room selection).
For those seeking the peaceful seclusion of Otres beach II – we recommend Naia Resort. A chic and modern hotel, the “boutique resort” strikes a perfect balance that is suitable for all travellers from families to honeymooners alike. Guests will enjoy stunning views of the beach and surrounding islands with dining options including their poolside bar and beach restaurant. Naia serves the only seafood BBQ in Otres Beach II.
The resort offers 32 spacious rooms – 30 of which include a balcony or terrace. All stylishly decorated with a fresh white and green 1950s style theme. Offering Garden or Sea Views, the room types include Superior, Deluxe, Family Rooms & Suites and Junior Suites. A variety of activities can be arranged by hotel staff including boat excursions, snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding, diving and horse riding. The resort is also a short distance from the Ream National Park where visitors can enjoy trekking through jungle and admiring local wildlife.
Sok San Resort
On the perfectly white sands of Koh Rong Island sits the Sok San Beach Resort. Newly opened, the resort was originally the film set of American and French versions of the hit TV show Survivor. As such, this stunning property is one of the most ‘untouched’ resort locations in the region. With a slightly rustic charm to its façade, the range of chalets, rooms and villas include all the comforts you would expect from a four-star hotel. All rooms are just steps from the beach making this idyllic resort the perfect setting for any holiday from family vacations to honeymoons. Guests can enjoy fresh seafood BBQ and other Khmer delights at the La Terrasse restaurant – again, beachside of course.
Sok San resort is accessible by the resort’s private speedboat service, just 45 minutes from Sihanoukville Port. Currently bookings made direct on Sok San Resort’s website entitle guests to a 50% discount on their transfers. A helicopter service is also on offer to provide aerial tours of Koh Rong as well as transfers directly from Phnom Penh to the resort. Whilst staying on this virtually isolated paradise, guests will have plenty to occupy their time with a range of activities on offer including diving, sailing, ATV tours, fishing and cooking classes. With crystal clear waters and perfect white sand beaches this is a postcard destination you can’t go past.
For more information about Koh Rong island, visit the official Koh Rong travel guide here.
Economy Traveller travelled to Sihanoukville as a guest of AirAsia on their inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur.