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“Almost perfect ......but not quite” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Song Saa Private Island

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Song Saa Private Island
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Koh Ouen, Sihanoukville 18000, Cambodia   |  
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Ranked #1 of 48 hotels in Sihanoukville
Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Almost perfect ......but not quite”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

SS is a beautiful island with fabulous villas and unbelievably friendly and accommodating staff. The villas in particular are furnished beautifully. I don't know whether it was just because there was low occupancy (5 villas) but the food was really not what you would expect for the price. Every night bar one was a set menu. The food was of good standard but at this type of resort you should expect at least a choice. It is a shame as on the one night when there was limited choice, the food was excellent. They obviously have a talented chef, so why not use him. On the plus side we dined alone at some stunning locations, just a shame about the food. We did two picnics, one on the undeveloped island, which was great and one on a beach. Be warned (we weren't) the sand flies eat the hell out of you. We have been back a week and the bites are still driving us mad. The setting and the experience were fabulous but not worth the bites. Overall, a lovely resort ( though the surrounding seawater is unappealing). Great team of people, lovely villas. Would we drive four hours from PP to go again........probably not. But only because of the food.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark E, General Manager at Song Saa Private Island, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear KillyQwerty,

We greatly appreciate your honest appraisal of our resort especially in regards to the food offered. We continually evaluate what we offer and how we present our dishes so happy to hear that you believe we should expand our options. We try always to serve khmer styled dishes using the freshest, local ingredients that compliment the beauty of the country but accept that guests would prefer at times a wider choice. We are therefore in the process of reviewing our dining options so that we can continually exceed our guests expectations.

Our most sincere apologies for not forewarning of the presence of sand flies. In truth they are a seasonal nuisance that are hard to predict when present. We do offer light protection on board our boats but this must be applied frequently if swimming. In future we will advise our guests in advance and must apologize for your discomfort.
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166 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

I loved this place. To get to the island, we got a private car from Phnom Penh to the dock, which was about a three hour ride through Cambodian countryside and small towns. I am so glad I did that because it was really interesting to see the true Cambodian lifestyle, and gave me a new understanding of the country and culture. We were running late so our driver had to drive as maniacally as the locals did but that just added to the experience.

Overall, this is an incredible and unique place. The island makes efforts to reach out and educate employ the local community, and according to one of the staff members, employs 200 people. The staff was amazing, truly one of the best parts of my stay here. Every day I felt like a special and unique guest. Each morning, we received a hand written letter of the dinner plans for the night, which was always just for me and my husband, and it was truly special to have our own chef each night!

The spa was great, the trip to the local fishing village was amazing, the sunset cruise was pretty nice, kayaking was great, and the snorkeling was not for me, but I am not an experienced snorkeler and didn't enjoy the very shallow water and multitudes of large spiky sea urchins.

Other than the snorkeling mishap ( which just adds to the experience really), I can't stop gushing about this place, it was a truly memorable and special experience.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark E, General Manager at Song Saa Private Island, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear Meemawg,

Our behalf of all of the staff thank you very much for your review. We are immensely lucky to have such a good team, they all strive to improve everyday through hard work and a huge amount of effort so it is so rewarding for them to read your comments.

The urchins are very much part of a sustainable reef and have been there long before us, so despite their rather prickly character we do need them to develop our protected areas further. Their abundance is due to over fishing previous to our involvement, removing all their predators. As the reef continues to be protected these predators will return and balance the numbers. The coral reefs around the islands continue to amaze us with volumes and volumes of marine life returning and making home in and around us. It pays reward to the tireless of efforts of our conservation and water sports teams who we are so proud of.

Thank you again for taking the time to post your review.
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Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

This private island was by far the best choice to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary !!!
It was romantic , secluded an all over breathtakingly beautiful .
There are more than enough to keep yourself busy with.
The food was of the best quality and not to speak of the warm and friendly service.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark E, General Manager at Song Saa Private Island, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Dear RouxA,

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to post your review of our Private Island. Coming from Singapore your comments are especially rewarding so thank you very much from the whole of our team.

We do hope to see you back again, so please consider us your home from home.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

We arrived to the 2BR villa and the interior design to it sustainability and green factor was just astounding. We couldn't get over the vistas from our infinity pool, the softness of the bathrobes to the availability of everything from an oven to our own mojito-making setup. The fridge was full of wine and soft drinks that are included as well, to our delight. I can't decide if my favorite was lounging in the main pool, stand up paddle boarding around the island, wakeboarding, the soft beds, or eating. The chef even secretly gave us the recipes to our favorite dishes! Definitely try the fish amok. The food is divine. You can get anything from pizza and frenchfries to haute cuisine. Just ask and it shall be given! Again, I love that this island is sustainable and does charity work and helps the local community.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013 via mobile

We had walked onto paradise! They gave groomed this resort so sublimely! From the amazing white sand and astonishing views to sunset on one side and sunrise on the other; From the drapery on the four poster beds to the sunken bath tub; from individual lap pools for every villa and the fully stocked bar; this is the most amazing place we have ever stayed! They remembered ever detail down to the Aesop products in the bathroom! Each villa is so amazing you will possibly forget you are in paradise and spend the whole time in your room! If you do get outside there is loads of great water sports to get involved in as well as day trips and sightseeing, daily yoga and great poolside dining!! Simply it's Heaven!!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

Me and my friends were (more than) pleasantly surprised by the service and the room. We had the over water room which has a private pool looking out to the sea. There're even stairs from our pool area straight down to the sea! Before the trip, we were asked to fill in a simple questionnaire of what drinks we like, any allergies etc. And when we arrived, these were translated to what kind of drinks and snacks were stacked in our minibar. How thoughtful!
For alcohol lovers, you would find drinks in a half bamboo tray along the paths! And for movie night, they transformed our room into a mini movie theatre with a white cloth as a screen and a projector, complete with popcorn and ipad for movie choices. All in all, a wonderful stay which exceeded my expectations.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

We enjoyed 5 fabulous nights at Song Saa after a few days around Siem Reap. It was a welcome relaxing break after days of tours & temples. At the moment it's a challenge to get to Song Saa but it's well worth the effort. The only flight from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville was booked out so we had to fly to Phnom Penh & the drive to Sihanoukville. There were no flights from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville which seems a somewhat under utilized airport at the moment (maybe plans for the future?).
Our flight was due to arrive at 12.15pm (fortunately it was on time) & we found out that the drive is usually around 4 hours with the last speedboat service due to leave at 4pm. In hindsight we should have caught an earlier flight from Phnom Penh (it seems you can't rely even on local Travel Agents to work this out).
Anyway, after quite a stressful drive, we made it just after 4pm & the speedboat waited for us to our enormous relief. I'm sure the logistics of getting there will improve over time.
Once we arrived we began to relax with the help of the welcoming party & a nice drink. No check in so straight to the room (Jungle Villa #4). In our opinion this is the best room on the island & it's the cheapest! The Jungle Villas are all located around the perimeter of the hill. #4 is the first one at the top of the path &, being on the end, has only a single neighbour. The tree-filtered sunset view out to the main island & fishing village is just superb &, being elevated, the whole room is very private. We enjoyed looking out at the fishing boats coming & going & watched the boat loads of staff being ferried to & from the island. This resort has clearly been good for local employment! The fit-out of the rooms is stunning with everything you could need including a mini bar stocked with drinks of your choice. The pool deck with daybed was just perfect.
We loved the carefully sifted sand pathways so no need for shoes at all after arrival. The resort is very thoughtfully designed with some great spaces for relaxing & dining. Daybeds are scattered around & the bar & restaurant areas are simply out of this world. Cocktails have never been so enjoyable!
For dinner every night we were offered a special dining experience. These included on the beach, in the pool (just up to our ankles) & a fabulous local feast served in our room. The food was amazing & we really appreciated the effort involved in provided these experiences.
Snorkelling, kayaking & catamaraning around the island is all good fun & included. We arranged a picnic boat trip to the other side of the big island (Koh Rong). This was nice but a bit pricey at A$550. It included a kayak trip up a deserted river.
On our last evening we were offered a complimentary sunset cruise which was another very nice & much appreciated touch. They are very much about experiences & they go out of their way to deliver. The staff were all so friendly & helpful without exception.
While we were there we heard stories about planned developments for the surrounding area & left thinking that maybe we came just in time. These plans probably won't become reality for a while but it would be a real shame not to experience Song Saa just the way it is now. Truly unforgettable.

Room Tip: Jungle Villas 4, 5 & 6 for a great combination of sunset views to the neighbouring island &...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Song Saa Private Island

Address: Koh Ouen, Sihanoukville 18000, Cambodia
Phone Number:
Location: Cambodia > Sihanoukville Province > Sihanoukville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Sihanoukville
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Sihanoukville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Song Saa Private Island 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Song Saa Private Island is a haven of sustainable luxury nestled in the undiscovered beauty of Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago. With unique, world-class cuisine, stunning sunset views of the Gulf of Thailand, and an array of spa and wellness treatments, Song Saa offers the ultimate indulgence for mind, body and soul. Best of all, our commitment to environmental and community programs means you’ll be treading lightly on this special piece of paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Song Saa Private Island Hotel Sihanoukville

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