Find your little slice of heaven on Koh Rong Sanloem at Paradise Villas.
Paradise Villas was one of the first resorts to come to Saracen Bay. The accommodation makes for a peaceful, quiet retreat where there’s (almost) nothing to do but relax. Located on the fishermen’s pier on the end of the beach, these well-designed bungalows will make you feel like you’re in your own personal Shangri-la.
The owner, Rudy, was in Sri Lanka when the 2004 tsunami hit, and he was badly injured. When he recovered, he decided he wasn’t going to waste any more time before making a move to paradise. His first paradise was on Koh Rong, but as the island became more developed he decided to carve out another little utopia, this time on Koh Rong Sanloem.
During his five years on Koh Rong Rudy perfected his bungalow design, and the ones at Paradise Villas are his finest work. The beachfront villas have private terraces for lounging and direct access to the beach. In addition to the full-sized bed with mosquito net, there are two sofa platforms for reclining — technically they are two single beds, but they’re more suitable for lying around doing nothing. The outdoor bathrooms are wonderful, completely enclosed but with stone showers open to the sky and offering a secluded, open-air saltwater shower. The garden-view villas are much the same, only smaller and without the sea views.
One of the nice things about Paradise Villas is that the bungalows aren’t jammed in too close together, so if it’s peace and quiet you’re after, you’ll be able to enjoy it here.
Although the villas are beautiful, there are still reminders that you’re on an island far from the mainland. There’s electricity only from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. — enough time to charge your devices and keep the fan running at night — and there’s no WiFi. (If internet is important to you, pick up a Smart SIM card before heading over; they have cheap 4G data packages.)
Small garden-view villas have one full-size bed and one “sofa” bed; the latter is more of a lounging area, but could sleep one in a pinch. The larger beachfront villas have one full-size bed and two of these sofa areas.
The restaurant and bar offer more opportunities to chill out. With lots of space for lounging and an eclectic soundtrack of world music and non-intrusive electronica, it’s a nice place to spend the day when you’re sick of the beach. They also have snorkel gear and kayaks to rent, and it’s possible to go on nature walks around the place to check out some of Koh Rong Sanloem’s wildlife.
If you stay at Paradise Villas, it’s best to take the Cambodia Island Speed Ferry (TBC), as they drop off at the pier directly next to Paradise. If you take Speed Ferry Cambodia, it’s a 30-minute walk, or Paradise can organize a boat to pick you up for $7. (More on how to get to Koh Rong Sanloem.)
We were quoted the following prices at Paradise Villas, Koh Rong Sanloem:
- Garden-view villas: $45 in high season, between $25 and $35 in low season
- Beachfront villas: Up to $80 high season, between $45 and $65 in low season
Saracen Bay, Koh Rong Sanloem
Booking office: Mick and Craig’s restaurant, Serendipity beach Road, Sihanoukville
T: 096 954 8599
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