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 with unique decor and prices, dot the riverside landscape, all centred by a large open-air building that houses the restaurant and bar. While accommodation is available in the main two-storey house at the north end of the property, the best option here is the wooden houses spread throughout, you guessed it, a mango grove. The last time we visited, they were fully booked, so we couldn’t get in to see the rooms again. However, on first inspection we found these bungalows to be spacious, private and countryside cute — but some of the cold water bathrooms are disappointing. The larger two- and three-bedroom stilt houses are newer and more chic, with lounge areas great for families. A dining area and several wooden porches for lounging hang over the river, facing the sunset.
The more active will be keen to hire the kayaks, which are available to scoot around on the river, and if your timing's right, the river is aglow with phosphorescence at night making for a special swimming experience. Les Manguiers is perhaps a little overpriced for the standard, particularly given its isolation, but if you're after a few sleepy days by the river you could do far worse. Popular with Phnom Penh expat families, it can get busy on weekends -- especially holiday weekends -- when the kids compete with the geese in the noisy stakes.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Dbl fan share bathroom, low season: US$12, high season US$12. Notes: In main house
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: US$34, high season US$34. Notes:
Room: Family room, low season: US$85, high season US$85. Notes: Three bedrooms