First off, the amenities are quite good. This is probably the closest thing you will get, (outside of renting Song Saa Island for $1,000+ a night), to a 5 star hotel in Sihanoukville. The location is near-perfect and the amenities are awesome.
I stayed here for 3 weeks, then another two days before I left Sihanoukville so I'm very familiar with the SBR overall. I paid $35/night for the first 3 weeks, then upgraded to the pool-access room on the first floor for my last two nights which was $54/night. I actually loved the room. It was clean and modern -- kind of reminded me of a very bare-bones version of a Westin hotel -- dark wicker furniture, nice floor to ceiling curtains, purple chair covers and oak furniture. My first room, which was the cheapest one they had, came with a large bathroom with a tub and glass-encased shower, two twin beds, a couch and living room table, and a lounge chair, a desk area, a large TV with cable, plenty of closet space, a fridge, and coffee/tea/champagne glasses/coffee cups/etc. I will say the beds were a little hard for my liking but I normally prefer uber-soft beds, so that wasn't a big deal. The cleaning service was fantastic also and they did a great job servicing the room. I also enjoyed the huge pool because it was always very private and a nice oasis separated from the hustle of Serendipity beach or the other hotel pools around the area.
On my experiences with the staff: i read some of the previous reviews criticizing the staff attitude and I disagree. My experiences were, for the most part, very good. I had a few very small bumps in the road that meant nothing to me because at the end of the day, it's the hotel itself (amenities, location etc) that really makes the experience, not the few people you have to deal with for a few minutes throughout the entire week. When I checked in there were a few new younger staff members that were still in training. I found them to be really sweet and adorable. There were a few icier ladies manning the reception but they never overtly did anything to offend me. This may sound a little weird, but my biggest complaint about the hotel is the lobby area. You have to walk up a set of stairs to get to it and then there is about a 20M gap from the door to the reception. Every time you walk in or out, the reception is staring at you come back or watching you leave... which made coming and going somewhat uncomfortable, even when I had to run to the mini-mart to buy a few jugs of water... nothing but stares and no greetings when I got back unless I initiated with a smile. One of the receptionists always asked me where I was going or where I had been... trying to be nice/make conversation, but still, none of her business...
There are small details about this hotel indicating its newbie status. If management can take care of little details such as putting mats on the stairs so I don't trip every time I go up and down and fix the drainage issue in the shower, I think it could reach 4 star hotel status. It's not there yet, but bottom line, if you're not on a budget I'd recommend staying here. Yes, the staff is inexperienced and sometimes I felt a little weird going in and out, but the rooms are still hands-down the best in Sihanoukville. Sihanoukville has 3 hotels are considered high-end: Coolabah, Reef Resort, and SBR. Coolabah's staff and restaurant were great but the location was horrible. I also saw their best, most expensive room for $75/night and it still didn't even compare with the square footage, cleanliness, and modernity of SBR, and Reef Resort was older, forgettable, and not on the beach. I've seen over 15 rooms in Sihanoukville and SBR is still the best, in my opinion.
Stay here if you can. It's a work in progress but it can only improve from here. I highly recommend.
- Also Known As:
- Serendipity Beach Hotel
- Serendipity Beach Hotel Sihanoukville
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