Some beautiful options
With fewer options than other destinations in Cambodia, rooms are a little pricier than elsewhere too, but for many the peace and quiet, and the food, more than compensate.
Families should make a beeline for Veranda Natural Resort. This expansive and long-running hotel has two pools, a kids’ play area, a cafe with tons of books, and plenty to entertain children in between brownies and other sugar-highs from the in-house bakery.
If Veranda is full, which is often the case despite it having more rooms than almost anywhere else in Kampot, then another good family option is Le Flamboyant, which also has two pools, a kids’ climbing frame, huge gardens, and a resident grass-clipping pony to entertain everyone.
Le Bout du Monde has a family bungalow that sleeps up to six in their lovely terraced hillside gardens. Prices start at $120 in low season. They also have a small naturally filtered pool. Down on the beach, The Beach House has family rooms that sleep up to four starting at $85 a night.
Families on a tighter budget could make for Brise de Kep, which has a family room that sleeps up to four people for $55. They have a gorgeous location, right on the sea with an ocean view restaurant and small but pretty garden area.
Pool fiends could head for Veranda, which has a large, tree-fringed pool which is open to the public for $8. Vanna Hill Resort is a little further down on the same hill, and has a huge pool that is open to the public for $5, which drops to $3 if you order drinks or food from the bar. Spring Valley Resort‘s pool, which is small and shady, and very sweet, is also open to the public, with only a requirement that you order food or drink from the bar/ restaurant.
If you absolutely positively have to be on the beach, then Saravoan or The Beach House are your best (only) shots. They offer surprisingly good value, considering the quality of what they offer and their location, with prices starting at $35 a night.
Or, you could take it a step further and head out for a night or two completely away from it all on Koh Tonsay, where you’ll find basic beachside grass and wooden huts from as little as $6 a night.
If budget is your primary parameter, then head to Kepmandou, where you’ll find $3 dorms within a stone’s throw of the sea. As you can imagine, the conditions are basic, but they have a small gym and host parties from time to time.
If you’ve got a little more cash to splash, we loved Bacoma Guesthouse, not just because the rooms were very sweet, spotlessly clean and set in beautiful gardens (even the shared bathrooms were lovely), but also because the manager, Dara, was such an absolute legend when it came to sorting out anything. The resident kittens helped too.
Of course, if money is no object then Knai Bang Chatt is the only address you need to know. Beautiful grounds right on the sea with five gorgeous 1950s and 1950s-style villas, and a dreamy infinity pool make up this special hotel. And while that’s the bricks and mortar of it, the service here is pretty exceptional too.
Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.
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Our top 10 places to stay in and around Kep