There seems to be a serious lack of information about what this place and island are like, so, here we go:
First, the island:
This is a party island, at least the east side of it is. I am ‘only’ 34 and I was in the top 3% of the oldest people on the island. The strip of hotels and bars on the east side are a prime backpacker destination, while the west side, though only 2-3 guesthouses, is where the real magic happens beach- and beauty-wise. So, if you’re an “old” lady like me, know that. You can always hike or take a boat to the west side, if you still want some nightlife, though. (I didn’t hike because I wasn’t feeling the jungle full of snakes vibe).
Music on hotel row starts at 8, gets louder at 10, and doesn’t stop til anywhere from 1 to 3 a.m. Ear plugs help.
Now the guesthouse:
* We stayed in a longhouse on the beach on the 2nd floor; there are a total of ten or so rooms in this big building up front (the bungalows are set behind on the hill). The top of the wall/ceilings are totally open and connected, so hope and pray you have courteous neighbors who don’t come home screaming and smoking at 3 a.m.
* Wifi did NOT work the 4 nights we were there, and electricity was sporadic, sometimes going off at 2 a.m., sometimes 11:30 pm. Kind of a bummer when that fan goes off, both for cooling and for white-noise :(
* Despite being relatively open to the elements, bugs were not a big problem in the room at all. We looked, no bed bugs to speak of (and my husband is pretty much a bed bug expert due to his work! I know, what a claim to fame, lol)
* Cold water shower, which was okay, but no sink, which was a little weird. I ended up liking it in the end, though, as there was a chest-high spigot you could easily wash your face in.
* While the staff was pleasant, they weren’t very present. Don’t expect too too much in the way of attention, if that’s something you need.
* We paid around $16 for the room; any more would have been criminal.
* The guesthouse is the VERY first one you encounter when coming off the pier (the slow-boat pier, at least), so that's great for those of us with a lot of luggage! By the way, the slow 2 hour ferry is pleasant, although it’s more pleasant when the waters are calm, lol.
*Food at Monkey Island up the beach (north) is absolutely fantastic. Their veggie sausages are some of the best in the world, as are the cute dogs in residence, and the staff is always fantastic. Great happy hour from 6-9, too.
*If you need a boat or a snorkeling or sunset tour, talk to Sun just 20 meters north of Monkey Island, with a stand on the beach under the pine trees. Tell him BJ & Lauren sent you.
*Your behavior: don’t be a dumb drunk, and don’t smoke in your room. 4 buildings just 3 doors down the beach straight up BURNT DOWN because of a dumb tourist on our 2nd morning. Having to pack and evacuate your hotel from a dead sleep at 6:30 a.m. because there is a raging inferno down the way is no fun (neither is losing your entire property and livelihood, I’d imagine).
All that said, Koh Rong is lovely, but know what you’re getting into. Have fun!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Island Palace Bungalows is a brand new family run guesthouse of the highest standard for Koh Rong, a developing tourist island. Koh Rong is said to be the last gem of the southeast Asian waters, so make sure you stay in luxury for your visit! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Odigeo, Priceline, Agoda and HostelWorld so you can book your Island Palace Bungalows and Guesthouse reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.