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James W
Castle Hill, Australia

A Little Slice of Heaven on Earth

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 8 Jun 2016via mobile
Palm Beach is no 5 star resort, it is authentic, and we had an experience of a lifetime.

We stayed in one of the "tree house" bungalows which they call the "honeymoon suite" which is nestled high up at the tree top with panoramic views over the ocean. The inside of the bungalow has a feature wall which is actually part of the tree trunk. At night you can sit on the balcony under the moonlight just listening to the waves crashing just below. Now I travel quite regularly for my work often staying in 5 star hotels all around the world, but this has to be the most special place I have ever had the pleasure to stay in.

One afternoon we took a boat cruise around the island and there was a spectacular sunset and the people surrounding me were so beautiful and genuine that I felt like I was with my family than the people who run the resort. It was one of those moments when the penny dropped and you realise this is what relaxing and having a true holiday is all about and what I have been searching for.

This resort is located in one of the most remote parts of the island and on most nights on one side it is so quiet you can have the whole beach to yourself. One night we decided to take a skinny dip under the stars and we swam out far enough to see the plankton which glows like sparklers under the water. It was an experience so out of this world it felt like a little slice of heaven on earth.

One afternoon we took a short boat trip to Preaek Svey, a nearby village where the locals live in shacks made out of corrugated iron and old timber slats built over the water on rickety timber stilts. The people here don't have much at all but from walking around the village I was infected with their contentedness.

In all we booked our stay for 3 nights but somehow ended up staying for 10. We could have easily stayed for 100, time has no meaning here. We made friends there for life and unforgettable experiences. Now that isn't something that happens to you everyday.

Palm Beach is a place to go if you feel like going somewhere to escape the rat race for a while.
Date of stay: May 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Reviewed 3 June 2016

A painfully slow ferry fueling our anticipation of the island finally let us get the first glimpse of the place. I couldn't believe my eyes - for the price I had paid, the place looked out of a luxury travel magazine. Then... the boat jerked left a bit, then a bit more... and then we finally saw the quay where we were going to get offloaded. Our Khmer captain told us what we saw first was Song Sa, something I may not afford in this lifetime.
Okay... so the Palm Beach Resort. It is so rustic... it's as if you've cast away and are living on some undiscovered island. There's no electricity, no wi-fi (therefore), no transport, no roads, nothing really - which is the greatest part. Well, it's not so empty. There's the restaurant, which is kind a' well appointed. The little bungalows are nice too.
The owner/manager Mr. Rick is mmm... a person you'd enjoy with if you get along. I had a great time chatting away into the night with him and the number of cocktails he made for me. Food is good too - typical SE Asian sea food.
CREATURE WARNING! There are geckos. And they're huge. And they're all over the place. They're harmless. But, I am petrified of them. Some kind a' like them.
Okay, so, the resort has palms and hammocks... and you can read a book with a cocktail or a beer, or simply snooze all afternoon. There are Kayaks and the ocean is calm and shallow, so it's perfect to paddle around in the mornings.
CREATURE ALERT! Be careful if you try to swim or jump off the kayak in the shallow areas. There are sea urchins, and their spines sting.
In the night, there's this beach towards the other side of the restaurant, where the sea is shallow for quite a distance. Take a flashlight and walk in. There you get to see the fluorescent plankton. It is something else. Must experience it.
CREATURE CAUTION: Sand flies have a painful sting and scratching the itch is very painful and not a pretty sight. Carry insect repellents.

So, we didn't really think of the super luxury Song Sa next door (actually it's another island) for as long as we were at this (Palm Beach Resort) place. The return ferry was a smaller boat with a lot of backpackers. It was slower than the one that got us to the island. So slow, that we missed our flight out of Sihanoukville to Angkor. Nevertheless, the experience was a memorable one.

FINAL ADVISE: I heard that there is a lot of investment coming to the island from Chinese businessmen, and the island would end up becoming a Koh Samui and lose all it's natural, cut-off charm.

Room tip: Choose the bungalows away from the restaurant.
Date of stay: July 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank AshwinGarde
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.
Reviewed 17 May 2016

Unlike other resorts on Kohrong this one is secluded and by itself.
A peaceful haven with long unspoilt beaches on either side of the resort. Don't go for only one or two nights, because you will be sorry and extend.
The owners, Moraya and Roy look after you real well, the staff is friendly and always there toattend to your wishes.
Ah-sey behind the bar gives excellent and friendly service.
One feels at home and can relax.
The accomodation was great with 24 hour/day electricity.
Our 4 nights were over much too fast.....

Date of stay: May 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
3  Thank mpsunseekers
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.
Reviewed 9 May 2016 via mobile

The room was good and reasonable for the prices but i was having some difficult time checking out. The owner (believe me) was extremely rude. This was not my first time staying in a bungalow on an island but this was my worst experienced. I booked my stayed for 2 night and had to leave after the first one because I just can't take it how everything there was so dry and unfriendly. Usually people in Cambodia are friendly and helpful but this guy (who is a foreigner that own the bugalow) was totally rude. He asked me to pay when I checked out because I booked my stay through trip advisor and the money haven't go to his account so I have to pay. I wasn't sure how that worked because I printed the receipt out and told him that how could you not recieve any money or at least should've let me know at the very first moment once I checked in. But this was later and I was expect a nice helpful conversation but the owner was totally off. Anyway he told me I could check my bank account to see if they already charge or not (God knows I'm on the freaking island and how could I check my bank account right away). I was totally be fine to pay him if he is a professional hospitality but this guy was a jerk.
Since I don't want any problem so I paid him anyway and leave after one night.
This trip could've been much better if I stay at a different places!

Date of stay: May 2016
Trip type: Travelled solo
1  Thank Siraneth S
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.
Reviewed 27 April 2016 via mobile

We read up about Palm Beach and saw some some rave and then not so good reviews so weren't too sure what to expect. Our first impressions weren't so good - their Palm beach ferry had broken down, so we were put on a supply boat that left the dock over an hour late, and we're just so excited to get to paradise! We arrived and were met with delicious welcome drinks and very friendly locals. Also we were upgraded to their honeymoon suite as we were the only people on the island for the night so we're very happy and felt welcome. The breakfast and food in general was really great! The next two mornings we were really eager to explore the island, but they had rented their long tail boat out and there was only one canoe for one person so we really didn't feel like there was any effort made in helping us explore the island, we really had to push for tips for how to get to the best beaches, but a 2 hour hike in the hottest month wasn't encouraged and there weren't any arrangements with locals etc that could help us more. The main beach was a bit rocky but it was just a little walk to a nice rock free beach, fairly clean though on our mini hike we came across some serious rubbish dumps. Our second morning we were asked to move back into the bungalow we had previously booked and found ourselves sharing it with a family of geckos and a rather large lizard we nicknamed leather face. There were also some serious holes in the bungalow and bathroom door - which makes me feel in general that though the resort is really nicely laid out and there are some nice chill areas, there still needs some upkeep... The pool was dirty too. All in all we're glad we went because we met some interesting people and made some great memories, but I'm not sure we'd be back...

Date of stay: April 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4  Thank Danielle I
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.
Reviewed 27 April 2016 via mobile

Where to even start? The ferry ride over to the island was beautiful and then when we arrived we were completely taken aback by how breathtaking the resort is! We were welcomed with a welcome drink by Mireille and the staff who were all very helpful carrying our bags to the bungalows. We got a beach view bungalow and the views were stunning, one word to describe this place: PARADISE. We originally booked for 5 nights but ended up staying for 8 because we loved it so much. The food was the best I've had in Cambodia, Ah Sey was a darling and made us always feel comfortable, put up with our awkward orders and always greeted us with a smile. We took the boat trip where we snorkelled, went fishing with a beer can and line, then watched the sunset and finished the perfect day by swimming with the fluorescent plankton! It was serene. The days fly by sitting on the beach sunbathing and listening to the tide. Our time here wouldn't have been the same if it wasn't for the staff, Mireille, Ah Sey, Rik and Riko. We were invited to celebrate a Cambodian birthday on one of the nights, it was so nice to be involved by the Cambodian people and to say we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves would be an understatement. If only we could spend the rest of our trip here... Order the carbonara, it's the best I've ever had but not on the menu! Great value for money and would definitely recommend staying for a week or more! I'll definitely be back ...

Date of stay: April 2016
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank Laura 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.
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