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Richard T
Birmingham, United Kingdom

New year in paradise

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 15 Feb 2020via mobile
Last stop on our Cambodian trip.
Flew in to Sihanoukville to a bit of a building site. Our taxi transfer to the port was mile after mile of construction. The city is growing very quickly (probably too quickly).
Fortunately we were staying on the island of Koh Rong an hours boat transfer to paradise.
The Royal Sands is beautiful. We had 2 beach bungalows which were exceptional in every way. 30 seconds to the sea a huge comfortable bed, indoor and outdoor showers.
Food is good (although a little repetitive) except for the New Year’s Eve meal and an exceptional barbecue evening.
The geography of the resort means it rarely seems busy, the isolated location might be a little quiet for some.
There are excursions which are well run and enjoyable.
We went snorkelling and canoeing.
This all comes with a price tag so factor that in (or bring supplies).
Date of stay: January 2020
Trip type: Travelled with family
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Ivo Scheunemann, Other at The Royal Sands Koh Rong, responded to this review
Responded 21 Feb 2020
Dear L7649Qrichardt,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and we are so happy to read that you enjoyed your stay at the Royal Sands Koh Rong.
We look forward to be part again on a future vacation where you can again relax and enjoy our beautiful paradise.

Warm regards

Ivo Scheunemann
Operations Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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Reviewed 13 February 2020 via mobile

Our room/ villa was 420 we did not have a pool but were 2nd line from the beach not certain if a villa with pool is actually worth it!. A very short walk to the sea. The room has everything you expect from a 5 star hotel,each room has a large decking area outside for you to enjoy. However we noted that some decks had sun loungers some didn’t. We didn’t. It would be good to have had a sun lounger.The resort was very quiet only about 20%occupancy. The beach and sea are fantastic. Yes there are sandflies but you need to cover up with DEET and you will be ok. It is true the food and drink is VERY expensive. Similar price to a London hotel. A small bottle of local beer $4 the cheapest wine $45. Average starter $16 and main $35. On previous reviews one reason for the high prices is that it covers” all service charge and tax “I would question this as each bill you sign for has the additional line of “ tip” to allow you to add additional service charge to the already added service charge.! Of course you do not have to add any additional service charge. The food is good. The chef is very keen to talk to guests and share his enthusiasm. There is no where else to walk to or dine at but no real need as everything is in the resort. We did the snorkel tour, the kayaking and I went fishing. ( bottom fishing for red snapper. v small ) the chef cooked them for us. The excursions are also not cheap. Kayaking in the mangroves $45 each. It appears very few guests do any of the activities. The staff are all very polite and try very hard to look after guests. They have a little more to learn about 5 star service but are eager to provide a high level of service. Can’t really fault the place apart from the cost! Don’t bother going if you are on a budget!

Date of stay: February 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4  Thank brian081
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ivo Scheunemann, Other at The Royal Sands Koh Rong, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2020

Dear brian081,

Thank you very much for sharing your review and we are glad to learn that you enjoyed your villa and our food.
We appreciate you sharing some points that we should improve in, which we will discuss with the team.

We hope to welcome you back in the future.

Best regards

Ivo Scheunemann
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2020

The end of out wonderful holiday spent here for 2 glorious days. The food was great and the pool was magnificent. The service was exemplary. We loved our outdoor/indoor shower. My only negative was the sand flies but they are not the fault of the hotel! and they do provide insect repellant in the rooms which I have to say smelt lovely not like the usual.

Date of stay: February 2020
1  Thank Valerie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Explore52869749502, Operations Manager at The Royal Sands Koh Rong, responded to this reviewResponded 12 February 2020

Dear Valerie B,

Thank you so very much for sharing your experience on this forum. We loved to welcome you to The Royal Sands Koh Rong and we look forward to be part again on a future vacation.
Warm regards

Ivo Scheunemann
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2020

We spent three wonderful days at this lovely resort, with white sand beach, clear azure water and stunning sunsets.
Even before we arrived at the resort, we got a feel of the kind of service we could expect. We were supposed to arrive at Sihanoukville by plane from Phnom Penh and then take the last boat at 3 pm from Sihanoukville to the Royal Sands Resort. Our flight from Phnom was delayed by hours and there was no way we could make the 3 pm boat to Koh Rong. One option, was to take the delayed flight, stay overnight at Sihanoukville, and go to Koh Rong the next day. The other was to travel by road to Sihanoukville and try to get to Koh Rong the same day. We contacted the resort. There was no way we could make the 3 pm resort boat by the land route, but the resort agreed to arrange a private boat, at huge additional cost, if we could make it to the Sihanoukville pier by 5 pm. We decided to take the risk, got our checked baggage out and hired a car for Sihanoukville, all with exceptional help from the airline staff.
On our way to Sihanoukville, the resort staff were in constant touch with us, monitoring our progress. Half way through our journey, we were given the very welcome news that the resort management had decided to provide a resort boat for us, at the normal cost, in stead of arranging a private boat at exorbitant cost. As we neared Sihanoukville, our contact switched to the staff of the Golden Sands at the Sihanoukville pier and the lady there guided our driver expertly on the route to the pier. We were getting dangerously close to the 5 pm deadline. Finally, the pier lady came out in her motor bike to meet our car and guide us to the pier. It was 5.20 pm when we arrived. We were loaded quickly on to the boat and set off for the resort. The cold towels and refreshments on the boat were very welcome after our nearly 5 hour road journey. When we arrived at the resort, we were met by the General Manager and Operations Manager and transferred quickly to our villas.
We had two adjacent beach front villas right on the beach. The villas are spacious, well maintained and with all necessary amenities, including tea, coffee and cookies. We also had indoor and outdoor showers. The sitting arrangement on the porch was nice. Housekeeping was excellent and prompt. The turn down service was good: the rooms were cleaned again, necessary because of the sand, towels replaced and water replenished. Constant changing of the beach towels was very welcome.
The highlight for us was the beach, with its wonderful white sand and clear azure water. We spent much time there, after breakfast and in the afternoons till sunset. Sunsets in Koh Rong are spectacular.
The Golden Sands has 2 restaurants. The Ocean restaurant which serves breakfast and dinner, is excellent. The buffet breakfast spread is lavish and this is one of the few places where I could have Eggs Benedict made just the way I wanted. At dinner the food was good and the service prompt; the cocktails were also made well. Food though good is pricey, but this is not unexpected in an expensive resort with a hostage clientele.
We were disappointed with the other restaurant, the Chill Bar with its paper napkins, poor cocktails and food that appeared to be re heated rather than freshly made. Given the high standards of the Golden Sands in all other aspects, the Chill Bar just does not seem to fit.
The resort has a good spa. We found the prices reasonable here, compared to the price of everything else.
A wonderful place to unwind and relax, if one can afford it.

Date of stay: January 2020
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank ayubq2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Explore52869749502, Operations Manager at The Royal Sands Koh Rong, responded to this reviewResponded 8 February 2020

Dear ayubq2013,

Thank you very much for your kind review and it was such a pleasure meeting you. We are so happy to read that you have enjoyed The Royal Sands. Also thank you for your feedback on Chill, which we will address with the team and improve our service.

Warm regards,

Ivo Scheunemann
Operations Manager

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Reviewed 23 January 2020

1st thing you learn is that the beach is dangerous because of sand flys 2nd everthing is twice the price .3rd there is no shade at pool side 4th if they have no wine at the bar but loads at the resterant and you complain nothing will be diffrent 5th breakfast is open air buffet with everything under a lid without a discription . 6th if you are the only guests at the bar you will have to listen to the staff's choice of music even if you get it changed 4 times in an hour . 7th the manager can't get staff to work on the Island so has given up trying to change anything .

Room tip: stay on main land
Date of stay: December 2019
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank beerandchips
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Explore52869749502, Operations Manager at The Royal Sands Koh Rong, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2020

Dear beerandchips,

Thank you for your stay with us and for your review. We are very sorry that your stay did not meet your expectations. We are actually a little surprised about your review, as we have met with you during your stay and explained some of the points.

1st the beach is not at all dangerous. We do on and off have sand flies. We brief and recommend all guests upon arrival to use insect repellent should they wish to spend the day on the beach, to avoid any surprises after.
2nd Our politic of pricing: first we include all taxes and service charge and we also need to include the cost of logistics, as you have noticed the island is far away from civilization and from food suppliers. Respecting hygiene and standards has also a cost.
In order to make you happy we have offered during your stay one dinner to compensate your bad feeling.
3rd as you can see even on pictures on TripAdvisor, we do have umbrellas around our pool.
4th due to the remote location unfortunately there is a chance that we do run out of items. Never the less we did offer you an alternative to the wine you requested.
5th yes all our restaurants are open air, as this is our concept and clearly written on our website. All our guests appreciate sitting outside in this climate.
6th we deeply apologized for the incident with the music. We do have our standard with the music and as this was the time of the shift change the new staff put the music back to the standard before he was informed about your request.
7th it is difficult to recruit all staff needed from the island, but we do get very good employees in Cambodia and are implementing lots of training for our staff.

Again our deepest apology that our Resort was not what you expected.

Best regards

Ivo Scheunemann
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2020

From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty! The staff were genuinely friendly and went above and beyond to ensure we had an enjoyable and memorable stay. A special thank you to Roop the food and beverage manager, who made us feel so special with the tailor made menus and dinner on the beach he arranged for us. The villas are spacious and are well maintained. We will definitely be coming back but will book a villa with a private pool next time. Thanks to all the staff who looked after us. I would recommend this resort to everyone looking for peace and quiet on a beautiful beach, away from the hustle and bustle of the city!

Room tip: If you can stretch to it, book a villa with a pool!
Date of stay: December 2019
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank lubes444
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Explore52869749502, Operations Manager at The Royal Sands Koh Rong, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2020

Dear lubes444,

Thank you very much for your review and for noticing some of the touches of services.

We so much look forward to welcoming you back.

All the best

Ivo Scheunemann
Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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