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“Beautiful!”
Review of Pura Vita Resort

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Pura Vita Resort
Ranked #7 of 38 Koh Rong B&B and Inns
Melbourne
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

We stayed here for 5 nights and had such a wonderful time. It is a beautiful place in a beautiful setting. The place is run really well, from the delicious italian food, to the nice bungalows. We had a relaxing, wonderful time. Very recommended.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank NGS01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 21, 2013

This was our 2nd time staying at Pura Vita and although the beach around the pier had developed quite a lot since last year (more hostels, bars and backpackers) Pura Vita is still a remote, quiet slice of heaven.

The bungalows while basic are spacious and have everything you require - comfy bed, private bathroom with shower and toilet, mosquito nets and coils, candles, and electricity sockets.

The staff are very welcoming and super friendly, Vanny the owner is fluent in English and willing to go above and beyond to help you enjoy your stay. The food is delicious - breakfast is included in your room rate and it was huge, we didn't need lunch any of the days we were there. They do great pastas, the Po Boy Sandwiches and fruit shakes are really good.

The beach is beautiful (it was cleaned every morning we were there, unlike other parts of the beach on the island), and so peaceful. The resort is well spread out so you feel like you have the beach to yourself.

Room Tip: Book ahead, there are only 3 bungalows so it books out quick.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank pandnz13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We stayed for 6 nights in Pura Vita, in the beginning of March, after it had recently changed management and name. The old page in Tripadvisor with the reviews for Pura Vida seems to have vanished completely, so I'm going to write this under its new name, hoping that I can help people find the place this way.

The new website for the bungalows is: http://www.puravitaresort.com/
The new facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/PuraVitaResortKohRong

The lady who runs it now is the original owner, Vanny, a Cambodian-Canadian who lived in Canada for many years and worked as a chef in Italian restaurants. She is a lovely, welcoming and a very warm person, speaks excellent English and meets all requests with a smile. As we stayed so many nights in the bungalow (most people stay 2-4 nights maximum) we got to know her well and were sad to leave.

We stayed in one of the 3 en-suite bungalows (the middle one), which I think has the best view of the sea (and the little island in the horizon) out of all of them. There is also one more room above the restaurant, with space for 4 people (mostly couples with children during our stay, as this is not really a place for backpackers sharing) at a cheaper price, as it has a shared bathroom and shower room downstairs, near the restaurant area.

The bungalows are nice, clean and contain all the basics, sheets, towels (for the shower, not the beach, bring your own!), mosquito net, toilet paper, hand soap, torch for finding your way at night (outside or to the toilet!), and some candles and lighter. Also we had some mosquito coils that we could light up if we wanted to sit in the balcony at night, or even inside the room. There is no shampoo or other toiletries provided and the rooms are not cleaned or the sheets changed (unless you ask, as we were staying quite a few days we asked to have them changed once and the room cleaned and it was immediately done). There is electricity from 6-10 at night, 2 sockets for charging your camera batteries, and no mobile phone reception or Internet, so you won’t need any more sockets to charge things in!

You have to keep in mind that you’re in the wilderness, and that there are spiders, ants, sandflies, mosquitoes, little lizards, geckos and – if you leave food in your room – mice and rats that can come in at any time, as the huts are made of wood and have lots of big holes through which creatures can come in (we had a variety of all of the above, but as nothing can get inside the mosquito net or the bed we didn’t mind). If you’re squeamish about these things you better stay in a resort in the mainland, as all the accommodation options in Koh Rong are exactly the same style.

The location is amazing. This is what people go to stay there for. The beach is very long, all white and sandy, the water is 31°C (at least in early March), the sand soft and clean, there is not a single little rock inside the water, and it’s wonderful any time of day. The only other people you have to share it with are the other Pura Vita guests, which at a maximum of 8 people plus you makes for a lot of space. Some other tourists who are staying in the main pier bungalows also come to swim and spend the day (or have lunch and coffee at the restaurant), but the beach is still so long and endless that you barely get to meet more than 2 extra people a day. If total isolation is what you need, this is perfect. If you’re feeling a bit lovely, you can always take a 30-40 min walk along the beach, which includes a 10 min walk through the jungle/forest, and reach the main pier and beach to spend the day, have lunch there or a drink. I wouldn’t recommend walking back after sunset though, as the jungle (even with a torch) can be tricky to navigate, plus you’ll be attacked by sandflies which are non-operative during the day.

The food in the restaurant is really nice, although if you stay for many days the limited menu might start to be too repetitive, but you can always walk to the main pier and try something else for lunch. The prices are also a bit higher here than in other food places on the island, but they reflect the quality of the food and the fact that it has to travel a bit to get here. The menu is mostly pasta dishes (with seafood etc.) and sandwiches, with some amazing fried calamari thrown in, which I think we pretty much had at least once a day everyday of our stay, they were that great. You can find a sample menu at their facebook page here: https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/576848_542026992496115_21074643_n.jpg The mango cake is amazing (served free with breakfast, as well as available to order and pay for any other time of day), and so are the mango shakes, and the coffee is the best on the island.

One small disappointment was that as we were on an island we were expecting a lot more fish/seafood on the menu, or maybe a BBQ with the catch of the day on the beach every now and then, which seems to happen at the other food places near the main pier. However, as the place is so small, and Vanny does everything pretty much on her own, it’s understandable that there might not be enough demand to justify it. A suggestion for the future perhaps!

When you book you will need to say which ferry from Sihanoukville you will be taking, and a small boat will be waiting for you near the main pier in Koh Rong to take you to the Pura Vita beach, it takes around 15 min. The boat goes back and forth usually twice a day (when the ferries arrive) to pick up/drop off guests, so if you ask nicely you can get a free ride to the main pier along with leaving guests, if you want to avoid the 40min walk one way.

Finally, remember this is a beautiful unspoilt and unforgettable place, where else in the world can you get a 4km beach shared only by another 6 guests max, plus 5 members of staff, 2 dogs and 2 cats in love?

Room Tip: The middle bungalow has the best view
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mvk0016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed April 11, 2013

This place is beautiful! there is nothing else to say. We have been to Pura Vita Resort several times now. Absolutely loved both the accommodation and the island itself. You must be clear on what you are signing up for, the bungalows are rustic, electricity is only available in the evening…but this is the charm of the experience.

Pura Vita Resort have the most beautiful wooden bungalows, well maintained with rustic rooms with sea views and just outside the relaxed restaurant area is the most comfortable hanging seats which you could chill out all day in with stunning views out over the turquoise water and clean sandy beaches, You'll find the restaurant & resort is run by Vanny (owner) who is extraordinarily nice and friendly and all the staff are amazingly friendly and well organized, No request was ever a problem. Already planning our next trip back ;)

P.S. The Mango cake is a must…

Room Tip: Bring Tiger balm and insect repellent for the sand flies.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lee_Jay79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We've all heard the stories about the beauty of Kor Rong's beaches. In these bungalos you have the added benefit of being a bit away from the backpacking hustle and bustle. The owner, Vanny, was very attentive to our needs, and we could go back to the main shack which doubles as a restaurant to have a pineapple smoothie or a mango cake at any point. A wide variety of dishes is also served for lunch and dinner (the fried calamari were amazing).

As most of these places, electricity only runs for a few hours at night (6-10), but it was enough for us to charge our camera (and phone) batteries. And they provide a torch for you to manage to get back to your room at night. If you are lucky, you might catch the bioluminescent plankton in the waves breaking just outside of your room, but wear plenty of bug repellent or the sandflies will make a meal out of you.

The bed was lovely and has a mosquito net to protect you from bugs (and insecticide spirals are provided). I did struggle a bit with sleep for two reasons: I get freaked out by bugs and I got eaten by sandflies (though I realise it's a problem of the area, not of this particular resort), and I could hear the fishing boats all through the night. My partner, however, had absolutely no problems sleeping soundly throughout the night.

All in all, the best place we could have stayed in Koh Rong.

By the way, this is what used to be Pura Vida Resort, and its name changed after a change in management.

Room Tip: The two cheaper rooms are above the main shack. The three more expensive ones are a few meters furth...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LSolorzano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pura Vita Resort

Property: Pura Vita Resort
Address: Soniya Beach, Koh Rong 1800, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Koh Kong Province > Koh Rong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in Koh Rong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pura Vita Resort offers exclusive beachfront bungalows along Sonaya Beach on Cambodia's idyllic Koh Rong Island. The resort is located on a 4km stretch of sandy white beach away from the bustling pier area. We offer a water taxi service to pick you up from the pier and taxi you around to the resort on your arrival.Pura Vita Resort has an open air restaurant with Cambodian and Italian inspired menu and coffee bar which looks out at the breathtaking views and crystal clear water. Pura VIta is the perfect location for a romantic getaway in one of our spacious beachfront bungalows or a family vacation in one of our large double rooms which sleeps 1 - 4 guests. A full breakfast is included in room rates. there is Thai massage service . IT new we use sola power sola now ... more   less 
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