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“Love at First Light” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Paradise Bungalows

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Paradise Bungalows
Koh Rong | Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, Cambodia   |  
Hotel amenities
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Love at First Light”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Our first 2 hours at Paradise Bungalows on Koh Rong island were a bit of a surprise: the water in the bungalows only runs 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the evening, and while the bathrooms are equipped with shower, sink and toilet it is a Cambodian-style version of modern. Nevertheless, when I woke the first morning to an orange glow filling the eastern window of our rustic bungalow, it was love at first light. Soon the whole bungalow was filled with orange light -- it was even coming in through the cracks in the floor (yes - it's RUSTIC here!). Dawn bathed the cove in pink light and promised an absolutely gorgeous beach day. Which it was.

You may never have TRULY relaxed until you've been to Koh Rong island.

Having our meals on the Paradise pavilion was incredible: the breakfasts are fantastic everywhere in Cambodia, especially if you order yogurt, fruit & muesli.

Room Tip: The beach-side bungalows look fabulous, but we stayed in Mountain 1, which is where we had the easte...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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247 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
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English first
Stuttgart, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

i have been there for several times now.
before i found this spot i was traveling round the world for more than 20 years looking for the perfect beach, the perfect hut, the perfect ...
since i first stayed at paradise bungalows i stopped it. no need to look and search further since i've finally found the beach i was alway dreaming of.
since then i keep coming back - for good reasons:

beautifull wooden bungalows, well mainatined with rustic rooms and big large verandas (love to swing in a hammock and enjoy the warm breeze on these verandas) - most of them with stunning views over the clean and sandy beach, the see and the other islands in front of you.
the rooms are spotless clean, well situated on a beautifull charming beach
more or less in the middle of the resort you'll find the restaurant run by extraordinarily nice and friendly and well organized staff.
the food is stunning. european and khmer food, whatever i tried i was much more than satisfied.
guess it is the food and the relaxed atmosphere that attracts so many tourists from the other resorts on the beach. but you'll still find your place to seat and eat or chill out. this place is large enough and as far as i've heard they think about expanding the restaurant again
be aware that you might book well in advance - for good reasons they might have to tell you that they are fully booked if you call the evening bevore arrival
the other good thing is that rudi - the friendly and helpfull german owner of this resort - and his stuff definately get to action once you have a problem. of any kind of problem.
so at the bottom line all of the tourists i met during all of my stays there where satisfied.
i can't recall a single complaint.
so, what else do you expect if you head for paradise?

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Paphos, Cyprus
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

This hotel is amazing in regards to the location - It has a truly classy resturant with great food and cool music. The only problem is the owner has concentrated his efforts on the resturant and not the bugalows which just need a few minor touches to bring them up to the standard of the rest of the resort . Overall a great place but the lack to detail in the rooms lets it down .

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bulletproofkate, Bookings at Paradise Bungalows, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Thanks for your review Jon,

We have taken your comments on board and are planning a few special touches in the mountain bungalows in the low season. I hope you'll come back next year and check them out! :o)

Many thanks,
Kate
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

I was there with my friends in low season 2011 (Oct). We didn't book it. Owner, good guy aged german gave us 3 days of paradise just for a 15$ per day. Also we had a boat to watefall, some snorkling. Good and chip food in this place or estonian bar, or local place Nam Nam.
Houses are very easy, but good enough. European toilet, shower, it's ok!
Nice place to spend few days without civilezation, but with some comfort.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We stayed at Paradise for 3 nights and it was a highlight on our trip. It is located in front of a gorgeous white sand beach and although Koh Rong is becoming increasingly popular, it is still a lovely place to visit.
The resort is on an island 60km away from the Cambodian mainland and it is just starting to develop as a tourist destination, which plays a big role on its charm. Therefore, you have to be reasonable and not expect the level of luxury that you would have at 5 star hotels elsewhere. If you are looking for extravagant luxuries, Koh Rong is not the place for you.
I was positively surprised at how well the resort was managed and to be able to have WIFI at the restaurant considering the limitations imposed by the remote location.
The view from the restaurant was great and the food very tasty.
I would definitely go back to Paradise Bungalows.

Room Tip: The beachfront bungalows have great views.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

Not usually one for writing reviews but a few things about this place should be said so u can all make up your own minds. Must just say that I have travelled across Cambodia and Asia staying in many budget range accom options so am fairly level headed I think and not entirely unreasonable!! So here are my thoughts...
-you must PAY IN ADVANCE $65 dollars per might on mainland, only place I have known this and after seeing accom we would only have stayed one night-felt a little duplicitous.
-AMAZING beach front location for bungalow, can't fault view and lovely lounging benches and cushions, altho we just arrived from Lazy Beach which is OFF THE SCALE/on the beach/stunning/out of this world and $25 per night cheaper; oh and u don't pay in advance there!!!
-bungalow is worn and apparently only 3 years old: in need of TLC to say the least.
-NO WATER for 9-10 hrs per day (just smiled and shrugged when we asked) so the "fancy" flushing toilet was obsolete: why not just the usual toilet you self flush with water.
-our toilet leaked across the floor continually.
-quick addition as I sit at breakfast having ordered a cup of tea-there is apparently NO HOT WATER...
-OUTDOOR SHOWER concept cute but totally impractical, you have to practically scale a bamboo to be in the firing line of the water oh and there's a huge hole in the fence so you are on show to the rest of the bungalows and passers by! I am not a prude but would love to shower in private!
-TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO LOCK or secure the bungalow-doors made of reeds with big holes where previously hands had been stuck through, missing door "pegs" so we had to tie doors shut with a belt. Asked for more pegs and again got a smile and a shrug. I am not a security freak but I don't think it's unreasonable with phones and cameras to ask for the facility to look your door! Asked about somewhere to deposit items safely at reception and again smile/shrug saying "not enough room" so we had to carry ALL our valuables with us all the time and swim in the sea in turns!
-ELECTRICITY: worth noting there are no plugs in room, totally get the generator thing from 6pm only but be aware to charge stuff you must be in the "restaurant extension lead queue".
-FOOD: poor/average. Menu too big, tiny kitchen and lack of good well prepared Khmer dishes, a real shame.
-SERVICE: lacking. Lackadaisical attitude if serving staff and v difficult get their attention. In
Fairness they just seem to lack direction. It gets a bit wearing to having to work so hard to get their attention/constantly request obvious things. It wouldn't take much to sort this out.
HYGIENE-perhaps due to the intermittent water supply or the slightly suspect waste disposal on the island or a general feeling of uncleanliness both myself and my other half developed a stomach bug on the island. Possibly a coincidence bit did not help with my impression of the place!!
In summary I am disappointed and feel cross that we paid in advance, it is not worth the money and I think the owners know this. I am concerned for the future of these bungalows and this beach on Koh Rong, it all feels slightly seedy and run down, wonder what will happen in a few years time...my advice fellow trippers is to give it a miss or stay somewhere cheaper for just one night to make up your own mind! Happy travels.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bulletproofkate, Bookings at Paradise Bungalows, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Wow! We were very surprised to receive this review!

Although we do ask our customers to pay in advance for their accommodation (helps keep some cash on the mainland to pay all the bills!) we are always happy to refund your money on the island if you are unsatisfied or need to check out early for any reason. It's a shame you didn't mention this to our staff because we would have been more than willing to give you your money back so you could enjoy your holiday elsewhere.

I don't have time for a lengthy reply to all of your points right now, but certainly there are some things I can elaborate on briefly.

Water - At this time of year, due to the amount of new guesthouses in the fishing village, the island can experience water shortages some days. To counter this we bring in water from the mainland in huge storage tanks. However this doesn't last forever if people are showering all day, so we ask our customers to use water appropriately, and supply the bungalows morning and evening with the water we have shipped in. Again, this is not an everyday occurrence, but most other resorts do not even have this back up in place.

Waste - All of our garbage is shipped back to the mainland for proper disposal, sewage is also properly stored and disposed of, and we are always careful to ensure that we do not, in any circumstances pollute or litter the environment.

Outdoor Showers - Most of our customers love the outdoor showers, and I am sorry you felt the need to make the small hole near the floor bigger by poking your hand through it for a photo. It is not in a place which would compromise anybody's modesty, and all our maintenance is done during the low season.

Security - All door pegs are currently present and correct. We have a large safe, plus two large metal lock boxes for storing valuables, I have not come across any similar complaints before.

Service - All our staff work very hard, if you have any problems please do let them know and they will be happy to help you with whatever you need.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with us, but luckily this doesn't seem to be shared by the vast majority of our customers. Hopefully you found somewhere better to visit after us, and gave Lazy Beach a good review while you were online.

All the best,
Kate
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Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

Good points -
- Location/close to beach
- Music in the evening pretty cool
- It's in Cambodia
- My belongings have not yet been stolen
- The boat whisks you away nice and early on your departure day

Bad points -
- No way of locking bungalows
- Overpriced
- Extremely limited space to store valuables.
- Poor food
- Pretty poor service
- No plugs in the rooms
- Mozzie farm in a large pot full of stagnant water on the front doorstep
- Leaking toilet
- Water not running between 08.00-18.00.......but, to be fair I think this may have been island wide.
Both my girlfriend and myself have had stomach cramps and d@€€$%a ever since.....

If the review sounds a little harsh I should mention that I arrived here directly from the 'Lazy Beach' resort $40/night, situated on the smaller sister island to Koh Rong - Koh Rong Samloem that is nothing short of breathtaking, brilliantly run and produces incredible food. So with this and the many other brilliant places to stay in Cambodia I have witnessed first hand how well it can be done!

I have read other reviews about Paradise and agree with most, but can't swallow the "you're not in the West now" rubbish. The place is owned by a German chap after all, and there are so many other cheaper and brilliantly run establishments across Cambodia.

Paradise is maybe a little ambitious/misleading a name for this place. It has all of the ingredients of being somewhere really quite special, but appears to be a rudderless ship at times with little attention to detail , and considering its only three years old, pretty run down. I was also a little disheartened to witness two separate groups of travellers struggle up the hill with their backpacks to book a bungalow, only to be told that as it would cost $100/night (double the usual price) as there was only one available.
The Cambodian people are some of the loveliest I have had the pleasure of meeting during my extensive travels around the world over the years. Unfortunately the majority of the cocky kids running the restaurant, bar and reception at Paradise aren't great. But, to be fair I think they were just lacking a bit of leadership as nobody really seems to have a grip on things. That and the fact that it's pretty hard to attract their attention away from the mobile phone conversation they're having with their friends.
The food is average to poor, possibly due to the massively oversized menu filled with delightful offerings such as 'fish Wiener schnitzel'. A few well executed local Khmer dishes would have been way better!

We're coming to the end of three nights here in the bungalows, and sadly, can't wait to move on.

The Bungalow
$65/night (more than $50 advertised on the board when you arrive)!
I couldn't fault the position and setting of our beach front bungalow, the area is quite beautiful.
The problems start when you realise that you can't lock it up, as some bright spark decided to fit doors that were constructed of a wooden frame with straw/dried grass in the centre which has easily been pushed though on previous break-ins. In essence, anybody could reach through the door and open the stick lock. Two of the four doors wouldn't lock anyway as the wooden locator pins were missing (which I mentioned to the two cocky receptionists when prized away from their mobile phones, who's English seemed to evade them at this point and did nothing) so we ended up using belts and rope found on the beach in an attempt to secure the place a little.
The water was also off for 10 hours in the day - something that usually wouldn't bother me, but when you're paying $65/night and can't have a shower, brush your teeth or go to the toilet it's a little frustrating.

I won't be heading back.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Paradise Bungalows

Address: Koh Rong | Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Koh Kong Province > Koh Rong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Specialty lodging in Koh Rong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Also Known As:
Paradise Bungalows Hotel Koh Rong

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