By Courtney Ridgel
If you desire tropical white sand beaches without Thailand’s crowds and pricey hotels, look no further than Cambodia’s Lazy Beach Hotel – a beautiful property on the island of Koh Rong Saloem, off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Julia Cuthbertson and Carlos Jimenez traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia for their honeymoon in March. In Cambodia they discovered a private paradise at the Lazy Beach Hotel and shared their experience below:
Lazy Beach, located on Koh Rong Saloem island in the Gulf of Thailand, was the perfect island getaway to cap off a fabulous trip. The slow 2.5 hour boat ride from Sihanoukville was just the beginning of a few days that were fabulously slow and restful. We were greeted at the dock by Chris, the wonderful owner, who brought us to the bar for a welcome drink and to meet the staff.
Our bungalow, positioned about 50 feet from the beach, came complete with 2 hammocks and a sitting area on a large porch, and 2 queen sized beds outfitted with mosquito nets. Although the bungalows are being renovated, ours was an older model, and harkened back to a simpler and more rustic lifestyle. The property generator only turns on from around 4 or 5 p.m. until dawn, so you can charge electronics and use the fan at night, but not during the day. WiFi has not yet arrived to the island and I am hoping it stays this way. We had two friendly (and stunning) spotted gecko friends that alternated between our porch and our bathroom the whole time.
The rustic nature of Lazy Beach was appealing to us from the beginning and was definitely what made our experience there so special. Without any programmed activities, emails to check, pictures to post or high-end amenities, the hardest decision to make was where to be… lazy. Whether snorkeling, reading, lounging, playing cards, or going for a walk, we were utterly relaxed but never bored. One day we walked 20 minutes to Saracen Bay, a beautiful beach on the other side of the island, and the next we did a short (and vertical) hike up to a lookout point that gave us the most spectacular views of Lazy Beach and beyond. The last night we went swimming after dinner and were amazing by all of the bio-luminescent plankton that surrounded us.
The bar and restaurant is in a large, beautiful and recently renovated villa and the kitchen is open continuously all day. The menu is varied, with a mix of traditional Cambodian and Asian dishes and some more international/western offerings as well. We thought the food was absolutely delicious, and we enjoyed eating it while lounging in all of the different areas of the villa. Wandering up from the beach for an afternoon smoothie became a quick habit of ours. The staff was lovely, service was quick, and they were extremely accommodating.
Chris, the owner, told us that development on the island is happening at lightning speed (which we could see in Saracen Bay). For now, Lazy Beach is the only resort on this particular bay and we hope it stays this way for as long as possible. It felt like true luxury to find ourselves, at times, completely alone on such a beautiful beach in the warmest, most inviting country.