Toek Chhu Street, Kampot T: (088) 886 3071
There’s something in the Kampot air that encourages relaxation, and the Greenhouse has distilled it. Located four kilometres over the bridge from Kampot town down a quiet countryside road, this tranquil spot is carefully designed for maximum unwinding. It’s a great place to commune with nature, explore the surroundings, swim before breakfast and above all, breathe.
The bar, restaurant and relaxation deck make up the Greenhouse itself, a beautiful old teak house right on the river. There’s a story to the building, which used to be a favourite Phnom Penh riverside bar, before being rescued from redevelopment and transported to Kampot. Located on a bend, you can watch the fishing vessels travel downstream on their way to work and see kids being transported from school in a longtail boat.
A deliberately small number of bungalows are spread throughout a well-tended tropical garden. Each bungalow comes with a hammock and a small deck for relaxing, a fan, double bed with mosquito net and complimentary drinking water. Shared bathroom facilities are a little walk from the accommodation, and for an extra $5 it’s worth getting your own toilet and shower. The deluxe ensuite bungalows have the prime position with the best river views and a fully kitted-out tiled bathroom with shower cubicle.
To ensure a restful stay for all, the bar closes at 23:00; this is definitely not a late night party place. Instead, guests fall asleep to the sound of frogs and insects, and make the most of the day with free bicycles, kayaks ($1 an hour for guests) and plenty of river swimming. Staff can arrange tuk tuks or motos to get into town or explore the countryside, and book onward bus tickets when you finally drag yourself away. WiFi is available in the bar but not in the bungalows — all part of the relaxation service.
The restaurant serves Khmer mains, such as pumpkin soup with Kampot pepper, and sizeable portions of salads, burgers and sandwiches. Place your order the day before for dishes such as snakehead fish coconut curry or fried crab. The Greenhouse shake, with peanut butter and chocolate, is almost a meal in itself.
The Greenhouse is popular with couples, expats and groups of friends looking for relaxation. Children are welcome, and life jackets are provided, but parents will need to be vigilant due to proximity to the water.
By Abigail Gilbert
Last updated on 17th February, 2014.