Cambodia’s worst-kept secret, Kampot is a quietly captivating town with a habit of creeping up on travellers until you realise you’ve stayed longer than intended. Whether you’re seeking riverside relaxation, or something a little closer to what’s happening in town, Kampot has rich, and good value, pickings. The salt mine workers roundabout. This is the link between The Columns and Ny Ny... Read our full review of Where to stay in Kampot.
Kampot is a small place and pretty much everything is within walking distance of the centre of town and the river. Within the town centre are a bunch of backpacker-orientated guesthouses along with a few smart flashpacker spots. Waterfront hangouts from the grungy to the gorgeous can also be found out of town heading north on both sides of the Kampot River.
Long a backpacker favourite, the Magic Sponge was in the throes of extensive renovations when we last visited in early 2016, with an aim of moving up in the world. Warm and welcoming William, the owner, was good enough to take us around for a sneak-peek, though we won't be able to vouch for the finished result. What we did see though was impressive. He's upscaling the rooms to appeal to a more... Read our full review of Magic Sponge Guesthouse.
This is easily the best and most professionally run riverside option in downtown Kampot. The name is a bit of a tongue twister — it comes from a Rudyard Kipling short story about a spunky little mongoose — but the seven smart ground-floor rooms in this converted rice barn will certainly stick in your mind. Laid out with a subtly Asian theme, the air-con rooms are comfortable with firm... Read our full review of Rikitikitavi.
This gorgeous neo-colonial building caught our eye as we walked past one day, then further investigation revealed the presence of Raclette on the menu, confirming all the good vibes that had just been generated. Auberge du Soleil is lovely, but simple with just three nicely turned out rooms above a very sweet, and popular, restaurant serving up lots of Swiss specialties. The atmosphere is... Read our full review of Auberge du Soleil.
Sixty metres down the dirt road past the new bridge, Natural Bungalows offers a flashier stay than the name suggests. Quality guest rooms are spread throughout wooden houses arranged in a large tropical garden with butterflies and fruit trees, making this a great family or couples stay. A shady bar and restaurant faces onto the river with views to Bokor mountain, and the resort also has its own... Read our full review of Natural Bungalows.
Located in downtown Kampot, just above the Salt Mine Workers roundabout, the bright orange Ny Ny is a great choice if the room is more important than a cool vibe or hangout space. This is a classic example of a Khmer guesthouse at its best - 27 spotless rooms with air-con or fan arranged over three floors. Rooms come with comfortable mattresses, TV, WiFi and hot water shower, with fresh drinking... Read our full review of Ny Ny Guesthouse.
Pure elegance defines this gorgeous restored French colonial building, with airy high ceilings, tasteful design, and romantic airs with a neo-Mediterranean feel. The Columns had the most polished, sophisticated feel of any of the properties that we visited in Kampot. The atmosphere is created by lots of white, open space, gently curving lines and artful splashes of vibrant colour, all beautifully... Read our full review of The Columns.
Bokor Mountain Lodge is solid central choice, though perhaps a littler shabbier than we’d like. The lodge has changed hands and opened and closed a couple of times over the years, and currently the FCC group owns the place, which is not to say that it is up to the same standards as you’ll find at the FCC in Phnom Penh. Rooms come either with or without river views, while all are air-con and... Read our full review of Bokor Mountain Lodge.
As of early 2016, Makk is a brand spanking new boutique hotel with a view right out on to the river from its first floor bar, and within a minute’s walk of downtown Kampot. Makk Hotel is small, with just eight rooms that are sleekly designed with plenty of smooth, moulded concrete, platform beds and smart design touches. All the rooms come with flatscreen TV, mini bar and fridge. There is... Read our full review of Makk Hotel .
It's almost impossible to fault this standard Cambodian-style guesthouse with simple, spotlessly clean rooms and super-helpful service. Just opposite the drop-off for the Giant Ibis bus service, Raksmey Kampuchea is only five minutes' walk from the riverside, but has prices that are miles apart for simple, unadorned rooms that will meet anyone’s basic needs. The staff could not have been more... Read our full review of Raksmey Kampuchea Guesthouse.
While the bulk of Kampot's accommodation is downtown, there are a selection of waterfront hangouts -- from the grungy to the gorgeous -- which can be found heading north on both sides of the Kampot River.
Out of town and a little off the beaten track, Ganesha Resort is a retreat favoured by long-staying artists and writers, as well as returning guests. A very large plot ensures privacy with accommodations being buried within a beautifully maintained tropical garden, with ample space between them. The main house, an imposing wooden, stone and thatch affair, has the cheapest rooms and an excellent... Read our full review of Ganesha Kampot.
Les Manguiers is a hidden away riverside retreat a couple of kilometres north of the new bridge, and is, to our eyes, the best family resort in Kampot. Arriving there is something of an experience, as the first things you are likely to spot are the sheep — a very rare sight in Cambodia — whose job appears to be to keep the extensive, shady lawns clipped. A range of separate buildings, each... Read our full review of Les Manguiers.
A joint Khmer-Western venture, Naga House is the cool kid on the riverside block and a super-loungey hangout. There's a friendly atmosphere and an emphasis on fun, with relaxed days and weekend party nights with live music on the deck overlooking the river. Naga House and next door’s Banyan Tree share the gigs with Banyan hosting live music on Fridays and Naga on Saturdays. Popular with... Read our full review of Naga House.
There’s something in the Kampot air that encourages relaxation, and The Greenhouse has distilled it, and then improved it by adding some fabulous food to the mix too. Located four kilometres outside of Kampot, near the Teuk Chhou rapids on the west riverside, and down a quiet, rutted countryside lane, this tranquil spot is carefully designed for maximum unwinding. It’s a great place to... Read our full review of The Greenhouse.
Next door to Les Mangiers on the river, Villa Vedici is less family-oriented and country living, more resort chic, with a bit of a party vibe thrown in. It's a popular weekend haunt for expats, drawn by the sunny pool and water sports, basketball court, petanque and DVD library. Several buildings are dotted around the manicured garden and it's worth having a look around to find which of the 13... Read our full review of Villa Vedici.
If Banyan Tree isn't chilled out enough, just keep on heading north on the zoo road and you'll eventually reach Arcadia, formerly Utopia. Bought by an enterprising young fellow from Tipperary in 2012, this seriously hidden-away spot is on the west bank of Kampot River around seven kilometres north of town, and he’s put a lot into doing it up. Aside from eating and drinking while laying... Read our full review of Arcadia Backpackers.
A super low-key atmosphere prevails at this riverside hangout just a kilometre along the road to the Teuk Chhou rapids. Acquired by new owners — it used to be the go-to backpacker destination, Boddhi Villa — they’ve kept the vibe, the Friday night parties, and the overall friendly atmosphere. if you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is not the spot. Parties, though, they can do.... Read our full review of Banyan Tree .