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“Idyllic”

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Lonely Beach Koh Rong
Certificate of Excellence
Hull UK
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Idyllic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

Rarely have we been anywhere that exceeds our expectations in the way Lonely Beach did. The boat journey is around 3 and a half hours and fairly uncomfortable, but from the moment you pass the headland and see the bay and beach, all that is forgotten. Photographs cannot do it justice. Beautiful white sand, raked daily to eliminate sand fly problems, ring the bay with the Lonely Beach traditional wooden buildings partly hidden by coconut palms and other trees and shrubs.
The accommodation is basic but comfortable and clean.

Before we arrived, my wife and I (who are getting on a bit), were worried that we wouldn't be able tfo cope with the closeness to nature and distance from civilisation, but we absolutely loved it and our 5 night stay came to an end all too quickly.

The food is simple but very good, with a good choice considering the small number of guests. The highlight being the BBQ mackerel caught that day by the joint owner Yogi. There is nowhere else you can go for food and drink but the prices are very reasonable, only slightly higher than mainland restaurant prices,and the quality good.

Without hesitation we would go back. Hopefully development will not spoil this stunning location, but I think it will. Go now before it is too late. No litter, no empty plastic bottles, no hawkers; just beautiful white sand and the sounds of the gently lapping sea and nature. Idyllic!

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank BrianRHullUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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232 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Regenstauf, Germany
Level Contributor
42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014

Location 5***** - Palm fringed beach and warm, clear and calm waters

Bungalow 4**** - We stayed in a family bungalow with 2 big beds. It's worth investing money in this bungalow because you have more space to sleep and the porch is bigger. Western toilet and scoop shower. Water is cold but not too bad - you will sweat enough. Bungalows are hidden in vegetation. On arrival they are hardly to be seen.

Food taste 4**** - Dishes on offer are good. Unfortunately there is less choice. It is obvious that every kind of dish cannot be available all time but they go to the mainland almost every day to pick up customers. This would be an opportunity for them to buy noodles or fish for example.... when they are unlucky to buy them from local fishermen on the island or they do not catch anything by themselves.

Service 1* - This sounds hard but it's the truth. REASON: Nothing is included in the prize you pay. In other budget places in Cambodia you get more value for money. Examples: Accommodation for 15 $ per night with 2 bottles of water, tooth paste, toletries, breakfast included. Here: NOTHING is included. Resort goes easy on everything.

Overall opinion: If you want to feel like in paradise Lonely Beach is the best you will get in Cambodia. The beach is in fact lonely. Only a few other guests there. Due to this extraordinary location you can put all other things aside. Go before they will turn this place into a new Koh Samui. There are already plans to transform the island into a tourist *paradise* :(

Room Tip: Go for a family bungalow if you're after 2 big beds
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stefan24f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

Spent a week at Lonely Beach. This is the place dreams are made of. Great food (favourite - Lok Lak), friendly staff, and secluded beach. Every night there I snorkelled with the glow plankton under the stars - truly an otherworldly experience. If you can live without western comforts of A/C, Wifi, and running water you will be rewarded by being surround with real travellers (although very few of them) instead of destination hoppers.

Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
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1 Thank ADventureCAPITAListo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

I love Lonely Beach!!!!!!!

The first thing to say is the beach in truly incredible. Pure white sand, beautiful snorkeling and glowing plankton at night.... it was magical. If you are going to get away from it all, this is your place. The jungle is amazing, you are in touch with nature at its finest!

The bungalows were extremely basic, but clean and adequate in every way.

I seriously hated the boat ride, it was rough and a bit on the expensive side. And it seems from other reviews that the boat always waits for those who are late, or is just late anyway. But I understand one must make sacrifices when travelling to remote areas - so the boat trip was definitely worth it. Maybe take sea sickness tablets before if you're prone to sea sickness!

The food was great here. No need to eat anywhere else. Fresh fish everyday and delicious Lok Lak. Best I've had actually!

Danny, Yogi and Hugo made this trip truly enjoyable - friendly all the time and we felt like part of the family.

Didn't encounter any rats, life previous reviews have said - make sure you take bug repellent. Lots of huge mosquitoes and sand fly's.

Make sure you get GOOD directions if you want to walk to Palm beach. Pretty much everyone gets lost on the walk here and it's a pretty deserted walk - with one village/school on the way. Worth doing, especially if you're staying at lonely beach for a while.

Room Tip: The family bungalows are big and roomy! We were right near the kitchen and it wasn't too loud bu...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tori R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2014

I'd read up about Lonely Beach and knew what we were getting ourselves into.

I'll start with the only negatives: the boat ride sucks and it is kind of pricy.

But it is worth it!

It really is just eight bungalows, an open air restaurant and 1km of beautiful beach.

The staff are great, they treat you like a normal human being who enjoys conversation, rather than a customer.

The food is great (though pricy), the crab I had on the first night was the best meals I had of the entire trip.

The beach is sublime.

Bungalow was basic but was clean and had no issues with anything.

Really, really, really good!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alex M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2014

I really wanted to like this place, but it's more of a mixed bag than these reviews show.

PROS:
-Definitely a "Lonely" beach, as you might well be the only person on the entire beach at any moment.
-Great for nature lovers seeking a sort of "untouched" piece of paradise. Walk on unmarked trails through the forest, do some snorkelling on some huge corals, walk an empty beach, see water buffaloes, sleep in a wooden cabin hearing only birds and bugs and the wind outside.

CONS:
-The boat trip was terribly long and quite dizzying, thanks to the very old boats and the very slow speed at which they make the trip. Also, it was supposed to leave at 1pm, but apparently there was "too much wind", so we had to wait there at the docked boat until the wind subsided. We ended up waiting for over 3 hours on the boat, with no one able to tell us how much longer it was gonna be, until 6 more passengers going to a different resort arrived (what? wasn't 1pm the only time to catch the boat?) and we instantly left. Weren't we waiting for the wind to go down? Or did they have 5 of us wait for late-comers under false pretenses? We ended up arriving at the island when it was completely dark, missing not only the "beautiful approach" others mention, but also a couple of hours of beach time which you're paying quite a bit for if you're only going for a few days. The return trip was similarly delayed by "wind", which makes you wonder if it ever leaves on time and really complicates any further travel plans. Just to be clear, there was no storm or strong winds AT ALL. If wind was really a concern, it was only because the boats are so old and crappy. Any real motorboat would take less, shake less and leave on time. Also, let's remember you're paying 20$ each for this boat ride, it's not a freebie.
-Being isolated means the only place to eat is your own "hotel", and the food is a bit hit-or-miss, some of it was really really good but some of it was mediocre.
-The manager, Jogi, isn't really the helpful, service-oriented person you'd expect in this sort of position and place. He's a nice guy, just not someone who'll go out of his way to help you in any way.
-The costs in general (cabins, boat ride, food) seemed a bit high for what you got in return, and the "shipping costs" explanation doesn't really apply in most cases. This is a "nothing inclusive" resort, everything is extra, even snorkelling goggles.
-And the best for last: On our 3rd and final night there, a RAT walked into our cabin not once, not twice, but three times while we were there, about to go to sleep. We had lights turned on, had no food whatsoever in the cabin and were talking and making noise, and it still kept coming back. These cabins are VERY small for sharing with a rat that can walk up and down the walls surrounding the bed, and are full of holes and open spaces for them to go in and out. There was no way to stop it from coming in during the rest of the night, and my girlfriend was really freaking out, so we ended up sleeping (both of us together) at one of the empty beds we found in the dorm. Ironically, the wall-less dorm is a much better place to sleep in, since it's such a big and open space that even if there's a rat, you're not TRAPPED in there with it and there's other people there as well.

So basically... I'd recommend this place ONLY to people who really really understand how basic and rough it's gonna be and are actively seeking just that: pure, unadulterated nature and solitude. Even if it means a rat in your cabin and a general sense of being short-changed (not by the beautiful nature, but by the resort operating there).
Also, dorm beds are a much better value than cabins, I'd definitely recommend that over cabins, even for couples, especially after our rat incident.

Having spent a couple hours on Palm Beach Resort on the way back, I can safely say that looks like a much better, much more professionally run, much more enjoyable place. It looks a bit like any other island resort, yes. But that's not always a bad thing. It's still the same beautiful island, you'll just be staying somewhere better run and better prepared. That was the general feeling everyone got on the boat back, that we probably should have gone to the other place.

Room Tip: Go for the dorm beds. You'll be safer from rats, and even if you see one, at least you won't...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank freddiem45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2014

Lonely Beach is an enchanting place. Soft white sand runs into a warm, gentle sea, surrounded by stunning, wooded hills. This trip is worth it purely for the beach alone, and the pictures do not do it justice.
The bungalows were adequate in every way, a bed, mosquito net, and light to do some post-sunset reading is all you really need, you're there for the beach.
The food is great too. We ate fish, fruit, and a couple of Khmer dishes and were satisfied and certainly a little full. The beer is also cold.
I have absolutely no regrets going to Lonely Beach, I would definitely go back. I would recommend it to my friends as well, though I would be careful to make it clear what I think this place is about.
I will again say that you are there for the beach. Despite the delicious food, you are roughing it. As an avid camper, I have no doubt that my time there would have been just as, if not more, comfortable in a tent. The little bungalows are exposed to all creatures, the brackish water you use to clean yourself is ice cold, and there are absolutely no thrills, nor bells nor whistles. I have absolutely no problem with the facilities, its healthy to live simple, but I know some might.
The only problem I had with Lonely Beach was the price. I understand that the isolation of the beach will raise costs, and I have zero problem paying $1.50 for a beer that came all the way from the mainland, but you really have to realize that you're paying for the novelty of a bucket shower, and not the shower itself. When you factor in the price of the bungalow, food, and expensive boat transfer, you have to decide whether or not you want to stay in a nice, comfortable hotel on the mainland, or spend a few days in the epitome of paradise.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank znorris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lonely Beach Koh Rong

Property: Lonely Beach Koh Rong
Address: Koh Rong 18000, Cambodia
Phone Number:
Location: Cambodia > Koh Kong Province > Koh Rong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Koh Rong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lonely Beach is your unique opportunity to experience true beach life. We're situated in a remote bay in the North of Koh Rong, miles away from the party beach in the South. It is so remote, that you can reach us only by the Lonely Beach boat. ... more   less 
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