This was our third stay with Independence Hotel over Christmas and New Year and the place just gets better. So rather than repeat my previous reviews and risk boring you I'll focus on how it has got better.
They have installed a lift from the hotel on top of the hill to the beach. Yeah, I know. Like climbing 200 odd steps from a paradise beach is a major chore? Of course it isn't. But the lift is handy when you discover you have left your kindle / sun hat / whatever in your room. For people with small children or the elderly it is a major boon. The beach itself is raked most mornings and truly deserves the description 'paradise beach' with natural shade from trees and thatched sun shades. Beach bar and restaurant are both excellent.
They have built a pier from the beach with a couple of thatched sitting areas making it a great place to sit and watch the sunset with a cold drink from the bar.
The walkway around the bottom of the cliffs from beach to the bungalows has been landscaped at the bungalows end and makes a nice walk up through jungle paths back to the hotel. And best of all, it is a private beach. Outres beach is still a favourite destination of ours (especially since they have finished the tarmac road and closed Suicide Hill) but there are some days you just want peace and quiet without constant attempts to sell you fruit, sunglasses, manicure, massage etc. If you want a massage the girls from the hotel spa are around.
Management and staffs are first class and people who predicted disaster when the Independence moved from Western to Khmer management a few years ago couldn't have been more wrong. Nothing is too much hassle and you are smiled at all day long. Rooms and public areas are spotless with exotic fresh cut flowers that fascinated my wife. I have read reviewers say some staff lack good English. I would first ask "How's your Khmer?" Then state we have never had a problem. General staff have enough English to get the job done and reception staff effortlessly switch from English to any one of a dozen other languages. All supervisors / managers speak excellent English and are on hand if there is a problem.
Top tip - One of the advantages of the Independence is it is a few miles from town and so is set in huge grounds and very peaceful. There is a regular free shuttle bus or Tuk Tuks are always available. We hire an automatic moped for 4USD a day which allows us to visit other beaches and explore temples and markets.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Independence Hotel Resort & Spa is an oasis of calm and luxury in Sihanouk Ville, Kingdom of Cambodia - one of the finest locations in South East Asia. Unspoiled sands backed by lush vegetation encircle the hotel. The full delights of the resort, spa and private beach are ready for you to enjoy. Set in the charming tropical beauty of Cambodia's premier beach destination, with 35 hectares landscape and 300 meters of private beach, Independence Hotel Resort & Spa provides you a luxurious refuge that opens out onto breath taking panoramas. Provided 8 differences categories of 128 units, with 3 function rooms, 2 Restaurants and 2 bars. The Volley ball, sunset cruises and kids play-ground are available on the beach. Home of Jouvence Spa: Cambodia's Premier Spa ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Independence Hotel Sihanoukville