Needs some better lovin
Long Beach, M'Pai Bei, Koh Rong Samloem. Booking office: Serendipity Beach Rd, Sihanoukville T: (012) 606 646
Koh Rong Samloem Villas (Eco Sea) have moved from their previous location on the other side of M'pai Bei village where Sunset Bungalows now calls home to the stunning 1.2km Long beach, a 10-minute walk from the village.
They have their own pier, the second stop on the fast boat from Sihanoukville before M'Pay Bei, possibly because the development company for the island has a base out here and they come out from time to time.
With the village a walk away the bungalows feel very secluded. The obvious negative about the beach, however, is that there are a handful of imposing signs put up by the development company littering in-between the pine and palm trees. Still, it's possibly better than whatever they are going to put up next. We also saw rubbish on the beach, but the marine conservationists based on the island assured us it only arrived a few days before with tidal currents, and would get washed out again soon.
The bungalows still look new, having been built in early 2013, with a choice between a cluster of basic, overpriced jungle villas or a row of sturdy wooden constructions facing the sea with fully glazed fronts, ensuite bathrooms, balconies and queen-size beds. Definitely opt for the latter, the sea view bungalows. These are the swankiest bungalows on this part of Koh Rong Samloem -- double the price of Sunset Bungalows in M'Pay Bei village. We liked their matching blue sheets, blue hammocks, blue floor mats and blue chair cushions, which felt like someone had actually put some thought into their finish. A generator provides power from 18:00 until late in the evening.
The folk we met staying here complained to us about a lack of cleanliness, broken hammocks and completely non-existent management – they seemed to have tired of waking staff up to get any attention. We would say attentive staff is not uncommon when everyone's on island time, but the issue of cleanliness is more of a concern and made us hesitant to get excited about the resort. It seemed like the kind of place that has potential but hasn't been given all the care it needs. If you do stay here, however, there are alternative places to eat in M'Pay Bei Village so you needn't rely only on what they have available.
Diving and snorkelling activities are provided by EcoSea Dive's centre at the end of the private jetty and accommodation prices are discounted for divers. Eco Sea also created an artificial reef just off the bay here in mid-2014 by (deliberately) sinking a boat.
By Caroline Major
Last updated on 4th December, 2014.
This PDF travel guide is now available for download via Gumroad. To get your guide, click through here (or below). You'll then be prompted for your email address, (and in the case of paid-for guides, payment details) and Gumroad will then email you a link you can use to immediately download the guide.