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Old 18th August 2007, 09:20 AM
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Default Where to Stay in Sihanoukville

This is my first trip to Cambodia. I have two weeks to spend and have decided to stay for two nights in Sihanoukville, just to see what itís like and get some downtime on the beach. I arrive on a Sunday, from Phnom Penh, and leave on the Tuesday. My problem is deciding which beach/hotel to stay at and would really appreciate some advice on this.

I am past the backpacking phase of my life, and would like something more comfortable and private, with good plumbing and aircon. Small, pretty and well-run is good. This being the beach, proximity to actual beach is an advantage. As for the beach itself, it should preferably not be overcrowded and definitely be clean.

Hereís what Iíve narrowed down for myself so far, from my research online, and what my concerns are:

Sokha Beach is the cleanest and most private, but Sokha Beach Resort, while the most modern and luxurious, is probably boring and generic. I donít mind paying top dollar but would rather not do so for bland. However this is the safest bet so itís my backup plan.

Of the rest, Independence Beach seems to be the quietest beach of that stretch. Iíve read that the Independence Hotel is reopening, as a boutique hotel cum spa, or will have reopened by the time I travel (which is in December). This will at least be an interesting choice, for its architecture and interior design, but I worry whether everything will be up and running by then and, most importantly, what the state of the plumbing is like after so many years (sorry, minor obsession). Also, Iíve read that itís quiet on weekdays; I wonder if itís crowded on Sundays. And then there are the usual rumours that plague old buildings, especially ones with a pastÖ Still itís tempting.

I have yet to come across reviews of other hotels, in this forum and elsewhere, which fit my requirements. The recommendations seem to be based on other criteria i.e. rustic and cheap, clean and cheap, good company and cheap, good food and cheap.

Am I wrong? Are there other places I should consider? Should I pick the Independence Hotel or the Sokha Beach Resort?

Just as a reference Ė some of my favourite hotels elsewhere include Tegal Sari and Taman Sari in Bali. Airconditioned, nice bathrooms, comfortable beds, pretty dťcor, swimming pools, no TV, and less than US$50 per room night.
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Old 20th August 2007, 06:57 PM
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Well I'm a budget traveller but have a look at this place. on The Digital Orchidee Guesthouse
I stayed there about 3 years ago for the princely sum of $10/night A friend I was with paid $15 for some reason, perhaps it's my charm or it could have been the fact she had a room on a lower floor. There are more expensive rooms with direct access to the pool if you prefer. The room I had was nicer than the one with the loud wallpaper on that website...I guess they are all decorated differently!

For the price it was excellent value...very well maintained rooms (and decent plumbing), a brand new swimming pool, not far from some decent restaurants and a few minutes stroll from Ochheuteal Beach. You can walk to quieter stretches of beach with hardly a soul on them. Not 5* luxury but it had the character you seem to want without being a crumbling ruin.

Even though it wasn't very well known (not in LP at the time I don't think though it might be now) it was quite popular with people "in the know" for obvious reasons. The owner of the hotel I stayed in in Phnom Penh recommended it to me and said she stayed there herself. So I'd advise booking in advance. And although it was fairly full it was quiet there.

Just a suggestion anyway.
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Last edited by Fio; 20th August 2007 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 23rd August 2007, 01:08 PM
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Default thanks...

... for your reply. I read about Orchidee on the Tripadvisor board, but there were some less than enthusiastic comments about it there. That's been the problem with planning the accommodation for Sihanoukville. There doesn't seem to be any consensus! Anyone else wanna weigh in on this?
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Old 26th August 2007, 12:33 PM
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Here is my observation of the beaches and some good places to stay.

Victory Beach is over two kilometers long and narrow. This is the favorite of the backpackers with cheap guest houses on the hill above. There are a couple of good hotels, the Holiday Palace which has an excellent Thai restaurant and nice casino. Also the fairly new Peak Hotel. The beach itself is in my opinion is the least attractive of them all.

Independence Beach is fairly long but the sandy area is quite narrow, making it best when the tide is low. Overlooking this is at the northern end is the newly renovated Independence Hotel said to be opening late 2007. This hotel is not cheap ($100+range) and has a pool. Also the more modest Sea Breeze and New Beach hotels are here.
Sokha Beach is probably the best beach and that is where the 4 star Sokha Beach Resort is. It covers the most of the beach and is for hotel guests only. No *beggars and touts here. Nice Pool

Ochheuteal Beach (known as Serendipity Beach at the northern end) is long and narrow and very developed with many restaurants and bars. It appeals to visitors seeking middle to upper range facilities on the beach but there are also budget guesthouse and bungalows right on the beach. It is a very popular and busy spot. Here you will find the upper mid range Seaside, Crystal and Golden Sand (pool) hotels and the less costly but good Holiday and Jasmine hotels .

Otres Beach is a really lovely beach with hardly any people but you need transportation to get here. There are no hotels and this is a perfect spot to get away from the crowds and be by yourself for awhile. Just make sure that you arrange for a moto back from here.

Hope this helps
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Old 26th August 2007, 01:01 PM
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Actually Otres Beach is the quieter stretches of beach I referred to in my earlier post. I found it quite easy to walk there from Occheuteal Beach myself but maybe it's too far for some. Here is some additional info Tales of Asia - Sihanoukville Guide
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Last edited by Fio; 26th August 2007 at 01:04 PM.
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