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“paradise”
Review of The Vine Retreat

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The Vine Retreat
Ranked #20 of 52 Kep B&B and Inns
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“paradise”
Reviewed 17 April 2014

Just experienced the Vine's raw food yoga retreat with Phnom Penh Yoga's Oskar Nery and raw food genius and The Vine manager Emma Fountain. It was simply perfect. Sublime yoga space on the top floor of the wooden farmhouse with great equipment, cool breezes and a view over lush farmlands that could be mistaken for Eden - pepper plantations, mango trees, organic vegetable and herb garden and exotic tropical plants - plus there is a soundtrack of blissful birds to punctuate the silence. Oskar is simply the best ashtanga teacher I've ever experienced - classes are filled with flowing sequences, insights and peace (not just at the end!). Each class perfectly matches to the time of day, phase of the moon, mood of the group and the intent of the retreat. This is not prancing, ego yoga - it's the antithesis of that. You practice as, where and how you need to practice - to complement, enhance and improve your abilities.
The Vine's living area includes banquettes for reclining, sipping fresh coconuts and snoozing - there is a saltwater pool, hammocks, hikes, in-house masseurs and excursions to the sea if you so wish. Room 9 I'm told is the best in the house - has a gorgeous day bed and private bathroom. Emma's raw food is so delicious, every meal was just a treat for the senses, far more than taste - she is an artist with plating up. She is an expert with fermentation, probiotics, superfoods, sprouts, mylks, bliss balls, smoothies, juice combinations, grains and of course the fruits and vegetables from the garden and spices dried in the sun outside. This place really is paradise. Don't expect spa music and "pampering" - it is much more wholistic, connected to nature, down to earth and grass roots. Thank you Emma, Oskar and the Vine staff. Unbelievable!!!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Emilyross1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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110 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviewed 17 April 2014

Vine Retreat turned out to be a hidden gem and the most wonderful part of the trip. After a week in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, we came to Pepper Road in Kep. The retreat is a Cambodian house built for volunteers, and now is another project to bring jobs and business to this area, torn for so long by war. You could never tell, everything from the frangipani on the bed, the gift of locally grown pepper, the breezes on the verenda, the grounds and swimming pool, the view over paddies and hills of Kep. Emma and Jay are wonderful managers, who arranged tours for my daughter and I -- one day we went to Rabbit Island and had happy hour cocktails at sailing club to watch sunset, another day we biked to the local village, and hiked with local guides to mountain looking out over south china sea and vietnam. We learned how to pick peppercorns. The food was outstanding. We paid $25/ night for our room, but had a 30% off coupon, and we devoured the 4 course dinner. Vegetarian option is $8, meat option is $10 and uses locally sourced food with an emphasis on organic. Vine Retreat feed us in many ways -- in helping us learn more about Cambodia, in feeding our bodies, and in relaxing with good company. If it is ever possible, I would come back.

Room Tip: We had a lovely rooms on main floor with shared bath which were absolutely perfect for mom and daugh...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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Thank MarleneRocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverton, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Beautiful setting and unique idea that you guys have pulled off. Great views, food, and friendly staff. Peaceful tranquility away from any rat-race. Only down side was not staying long enough! I would suggest a minimum of three nights to relax and explore.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank taryns2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2014 via mobile

What a shame we discovered this great place at the end of our trip. We went there to see the pepper plantation and we discovered a lovely place with swimming pool and a beautiful bed & breakfast house where you can have a yummy organic lunch/dinner in this peaceful environment. You can also buy some pepper and relax on the deck.
Would definitively be back to stay overnight!!

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Juju408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sausalito, California
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014

I didn't stay here but came specifically to have lunch, tour the organic garden and buy pepper - it was worth the trip. I loved the cool breeze from the veranda and the food was tasty. I would definitely consider staying here in the future, especially given the price.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank circusgurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2014

We stayed here for 3 days and could of stayed longer. Emma and Jay are perfect hosts and nothing was too much trouble. A very peaceful stay after the madness of Phnom Penh. We ventured into Kep which was $16 return trip for the famous crab and black pepper dish which was great. Sunset at the sailing club bar with half price cocktails is a must. The staff are most helpful and gave a tour of the gardens where they grow their own pepper and organic produce. The swimming pool is green as it is a salt water pool with minimal chemicals and was a great place to chill out and relax, whilst the staff regularly took orders if you needed food or drink. A great time many thanks Brian and Anna

Room Tip: We had a ground floor room, and was fine. We saw reviews stating upper rooms were better, but decid...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank lommy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Hi Guys, glad you enjoyed your stay with us. We heard you bought out the jewellery shop in Phnom Penh!!! Hope you can come back one day soon!

Emma, Jay and the team...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex, UK
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

We had lunch here as part of our Cambodian tour en-route to our hotel in Kep. The Vine is situated a far way up in the hills in a peaceful setting in the middle of a pepper plantation. Meals here are made with fresh produce from the gardens and were quite good, probably more good home cooking rather than restaurant in style. We may have been unlucky in that we arrived at the same time as a party of French tourists, but I couldn't say that we noticed the staff being particularly efficient or helpful. Prices were a little higher than I would have expected (the same as our hotel in Kep, it transpired), and the only time we were charged for (un-ordered) fruit at the end of a meal in all the time we were in Cambodia was here. It wasn't a lot (US$1.50) and we didn't query it, we just didn't leave as much of a tip as we might have done. Guests/diners are welcome to wander around the plantation to see how pepper grows and is produced. I think when they aren't so busy, the staff will show you around, but on this occasion our driver did it. If I could award a 'good' rating rather 'average' I would, but that isn't possible and so the top-ish pricing swings it. The Vine seems to be very popular with clients who stay there, so perhaps a fleeting visit for lunch isn't sufficient to fully appreciate its best points. If you aren't bothered about lunch, there are other plantations lower down the hill where you could visit and purchase pepper - I suspect those might charge a fair bit less less, although giving credit where its due the pepper from the Vine is of excellent quality.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Essexscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
As you will see, many of the guests that stay overnight with us leave very good reviews based on our homely feel and willingness of our staff which we pride ourselves on.

We advertise and recommend that all outside guests pre-book a pepper farm tour so that we can service you effectively when we have a full guesthouse and you did not pre-book so I imagine that is why the staff were preoccupied with the French tourists doing the tour.

We do produce home cooked food, we are not an al-a-carte restaurant.

If you would have said something to management who were on site the day you came and we spoke to you directly, that we would have taken the fruit off the bill. It seems strange to not say anything face to face and then write it on trip advisor.

We are part of the pepper association so our prices are inline with all other pepper from this region. Not more expensive like you are speculating and I would advise you to check your facts before posting them on the internet.

With kind regards, Emma - Manager at The Vine Retreat
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Vine Retreat

Property: The Vine Retreat
Address: Pepper Road | Phnom Voar, Kep, Cambodia
Region: Cambodia > Kep Province > Kep
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 52 B&Bs / Inns in Kep
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Vine Retreat is an eco-conscious yoga retreat centre and guesthouse with an organic garden and pepper farm in Kep, Cambodia. Set on 30 acres of peaceful natural countryside, surrounded by lush green mountains, it's the perfect place for relaxation and rejuvenation. Chill out by our salt water swimming pool, indulge in healthy, fresh, organic food directly from our gardens (we cater to meat eaters and vegetarians) or take a bike ride to explore the local villages. We also have a fully equipped yoga studio which fits up to 25 people. We rent our whole facility for exclusive use for yoga retreat. Please contact us for more information. ... more   less 

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