Oct 09 2012
You know you’re on the way to some place special when you reach the hilltop road that leads to Sihanoukville’s Pagoda Rocks Boutique Resort. The air becomes fragrant and trees provide shade for your short journey. It gets even better as you pass mysterious staircases and Buddhist icons on the side of the road. And you won’t be disappointed when you finally arrive at this delightful mini-resort that takes its name from its nearest neighbour, Wat Leu.
Pagoda Rocks bills itself as a “haven of tranquility in a garden setting” and that just about sums it up. The first thing that will catch your eye as you enter the grounds will be the glimmering infinity swimming pool. Look a little more closely and you might catch a glimpse of one of the bungalows tucked away among the trees on the hillside.
Designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape, from the outside, the bungalows appear more modest than they are. Inside, the polished timber floors, king-sized beds and tasteful furnishings will put an end to any initial doubts you may have about their comfort or style.
The bungalows at Pagoda Rocks are meant to be lived in, not just slept in. Every bungalow has an ocean view balcony. Flat screen cable TV, a DVD player and free WiFi will ensure you’re not without entertainment or contact with the outside world. A fridge and minibar offer instant refreshment or you can ask the staff to deliver a full meal to your room. All rooms are air-con and have separate en suites with hot water showers and/or baths.
If there’s one drawback to staying here, it may be that you won’t want to leave. Between the comfort of your bungalow, the pool and the assortment of delicious international dishes on offer in the open-air restaurant, there is little reason to explore Sihanoukville.
Should you decide you want a change of scenery, you can take a short walk up the hill and across the road to Wat Leu or take your choice of modes of transportation for longer excursions. Mountain bikes are free to use, motorbikes can be rented cheaply, or you can take a tuk tuk or taxi into town. The staff can also arrange private car or minibus tours outside of town or boat trips to the islands for you.
At US$60 per night during the high season (November-April), Pagoda Rocks is not budget accommodation, but it’s good value in comparison with other similarly priced Sihanoukville accommodation. A 20 percent low season (May-October) discount makes it even better value. Originally, there were only nine bungalows at Pagoda Rocks, but its popularity compelled Som (you can call him Sam), the owner, to add five more bungalows and a family suite in 2012.
Pagoda Rocks Boutique Resort will appeal to couples, families and small groups looking for a mellow, retreat-like atmosphere more than to those who come to Sihanoukville to party. If that sounds like you and you’re planning on coming in the high season, book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Pagoda Rocks Boutique Resort
Village 3, Quarter 1
T: (077) 524 275
F: (034) 939 222
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