This expat favorite with a private beach has been in business since 2007 and they’re still going strong.
With its own private stretch of sea and golden sand, Lazy Beach is easily the expat favorite on the Cambodian islands and a popular spot for a weekend getaway from Phnom Penh. Lazy Beach was the first business on Koh Rong Sanloem, and it is still the most well known and highly regarded. The main problem with the place is that it can be hard to get a reservation — it’s often fully booked far in advance. Just recently a new high-speed ferry has begun going straight to Lazy Beach from Sihanoukville, cutting an hour off travel time. That will doubtless make the resort even more appealing to visitors.
Lazy Beach aims to be a one-stop shop where guests can come for a weekend — or longer — and have so much to do and see that they don’t need to leave. It’s possible to hike to Saracen Bay — it’s an easy 20-minute walk through the jungle — but most guests don’t bother. Lazy Beach’s beach of the same name is more that 700 meters long (2,300 feet), a stretch that on other parts of the island would have five or six resorts on it. But Lazy Beach has mercifully avoided the development found elsewhere, and you’ll only be sharing the pine-tree-fringed beach with other guests from the resort. On all parts of the islands there’s a problem with rubbish thrown out of fishing boats washing up on shore and leaving an unappealing mess (they’re not so environmentally conscious in Cambodia yet). But the staff at Lazy Beach get up early in the morning to clean and rake the beach and keep the sands spotless.
The 20 bungalows at Lazy Beach are very simple and, for what they are, pricey at $65 per night. The no-frills wooden bungalows are fan-cooled with ensuite bathrooms and a scoop toilet. The windows are wooden, without glass or screens, but each bed has a mosquito net. At least the bungalows are large — each has two double beds and can sleep four — and they have private balconies with hammocks and benches. While the bungalows are very basic, especially for the price, what you’re paying for is the quiet seclusion of the place.
Lazy Beach welcomes children and families, and the private beach makes it great for kids because there’s nowhere to wander off to and a range of activities right there, including board games, beach volleyball, table tennis, and more. The large restaurant has lots of spots for lounging and an extensive menu of reasonably priced, large-portioned dishes that are surprisingly good for island fare. Fresh seafood can be ordered a day in advance for a beachside BBQ, and there’s a bar serving cocktails — the “Lazy Sunset” is an excellent sundowner. Lazy Beach is run by two UK expats, Chris and Rich, plus Rich’s extended Khmer family, and they have built a great resort with excellent attention to detail. Although it’s not a luxury resort, it’s still a nice place for a weekend getaway.
Lazy Beach is served by a direct slow boat that costs $10 return. The boat takes about two hours and sometimes requires wading — or swimming — when they can’t pull up directly to the beach. (They’ll keep your luggage in a dry box.) When the weather is rough they go to Saracen Bay and ask guests to walk from there; it takes about 20 minutes. A new speedboat, Buva Sea, can also drop you at Lazy Beach. The boat leaves at 2 p.m., costs $20 return, and tickets can be purchased online.
We were quoted the following prices at Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Sanloem:
- Bungalow with two double beds: $65 in high season, between $45 to $55 in low season
Bookings can be made in Sihanoukville at the Lazy Beach booking office next to Coolabah Hotel, or by calling 016 214 211 or 017 456 536 (drop the 0 and add +855 if you’re calling from abroad. If you can’t get through, send them a text.
Got a correction, suggestion, or update for one of our listings? Submit it here.
We may (or may not) earn commission on sales made through some links on this page. Learn more.