If you have read our post about “Robinson Island”, you probably could guess that the stay at Koh Rong Samloem (in Cambodia) was one of the highlights of our Asia trip this Spring. As so many times before we were really lucky in choosing our accommodation. We picked the Saracen Bay Resort and spent a great week at this paradise location.
The resort has a top location on this secluded island. Only about 300 meters from the main pier, in the right direction. As it is almost at the end of the bay, just a few people walk through, so most of the time you have the feeling the beach belongs to you alone. The 300 meters from the pier however can seem infinite, if you have to cross it with your luggage in the middle of the day in 35 C. Therefore we were very grateful to the friendly guys from the resort who came with a small carriage to take our heavy bags from us.
The Saracen Bay Resort only offers 9 bungalows, which are very clean, comfortable and have enough distance between them. All bungalows have a private balcony with comfortable seating. They are directly at the beach and face east, so you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise if you are willing to get up in time. We did so quite often, and even took some swims in these early morning hours – fantastic feeling.
The bathroom was simple but spacious, with only cold water running, which in reality was not a problem in the heat. There was no air-conditioning, only a fan in the bungalow, so the night could get hot. But in most resorts there were not even fans in the rooms on the island. We were warned, that electricity could be available for some hours a day only, but during our stay it worked 24hrs/day. Wifi is not available in the resort, and our local SIM card also did not work on this island. But isn’t that part of the beauty of being on Robinson Island to leave normality behind?!
The Saracen Bay Restaurant and the staff
The restaurant of the resort offers a relatively wide variety of tasty meals with very good quality. You can chose from a selection of Asian and Western dishes. The only thing we were missing from the menu was a good fish barbecue… The restaurant is basically a huge terrace over the water (at least in high-tide), and offers a great view. An idea to improve the comfort feeling of the guests would be to offer WIFI at least in the restaurant.
The staff of Saracen Bay is very friendly, helpful and committed, always ready for a kind joke. The manager is amiable and makes sure that the beach is kept clean.
The island itself is rather difficult to reach. A couple of ferries a day only, which has its advantages and disadvantages of course. The only flight to Sihanoukville airport – the mainland connection to the island – arrives in the mid-afternoon (at least when we were there), and the last ferry leaves at 3 PM. This means that you have to stay a night in Sihanoukville, to reach one of the morning ferries next day. You should also be very patient and relaxed: the ferry schedule is just informative, we were waiting about 2,5 hours for ours to leave.
There are some other very simple bungalows on the island which would have costed less, but the comfort level was already below our pain barrier. Other resorts were a bit fancier, some even including a pool. But honestly: who needs a pool, when crystal clear lukewarm blue water is splashing in front of your doorsteps…. We also found the prices of some of these accommodations really exaggerated.
So all in all we thought that Saracen Bay Resort was the perfect choice and a very good value for money. We can only recommend this place if you are looking for a relaxing and romantic time.