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“Blissful stay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Secret Garden at Otres Beach

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The Secret Garden at Otres Beach
Ranked #4 of 72 Hotels in Sihanoukville
Certificate of Excellence
Tutbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Blissful stay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights to relax after Phnom Penh and this place is great for relaxing.
The bungalows are clean and comfortable with a lovely outside shower. The food was AMAZING and loved every meal we had there. The bar area was relaxing right on the beach which was beautiful.
There was some building work going on during our stay but we weren't affected at all by it.
The accommodation is slightly higher priced than other hotels but worth it for the location.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MSGNDG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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363 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    200
    108
    36
    11
    8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
55 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

This was a very relaxing, pleasant place to stay. We struggled to find a place that wasn't in the crowds or too "rustic" and this was perfect for us. The room itself was a bit small, but it was clean and we were hardly in the room anyway. My only suggestion would to put a screen on the sliding door so the AC can be turned off and the room can get some fresh air.

The bar/restaurant and beach area were very nice. The drinks were delicious and the beer is cheap! It was super relaxing and quiet.

Room Tip: There is some construction going on at the property next door, so maybe get a room away from that if...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SaltyHoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

Stayed here for ten days and wished we could have stayed longer. This is paradise if you want perfect sand, great views, amazing sunsets and peace and quiet then Otres is where to go, I suspect its only a question of time before it gets developed beyond recognition.

The Secret Garden was the perfect place to stay, while a bit more expensive that some of the other accommodation in the area, ultimately you get what you pay for. In this case what you get is excellent rooms and bar area, a lovely pool, a perfect beach and some of the best staff I've met.

The staff are a mix of Khymer and Westerners and the balance was ideal. Everyone was friendly and attentive and it felt like staying with really good friends rather than at a faceless resort. They were on hand for advice on boat trips etc and also other places to eat and drink. The food is really good and the bar prices were excellent so no complaints there.

There is a bit of work going on next door but it's hardly a construction site (we were right against the side where people were working and didn't even notice) so put any ideas of big cranes in Spanish resorts out of your mind....think more of a neighbour plodding away on his extension!

Would return without a second thought, absolutely loved it, well done to Dora, Ken, Melissa and Kristen for getting this so right.

Room Tip: Room right next to the pool was ideal - not sure about the others but I'm sure they're all g...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Vagueos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2013

The hotel consists of 10 bungalows, 2 of which are at the back by the staff accommodation (noise from chattering staff as they come off duty at the beach restaurant late at night, and from early-hours barking of the 5 dogs the hotel seems to own), and 3 of which are right up against the building site (construction 1 metre away - starts at 6.30am). So not good for peace or sleep. Also no proper screening from the building site, so you do get construction workers staring at you if you venture onto your terrace. If you're lucky and get one of the other 5 rooms it is better, but that can't be guaranteed: I wrote well in advance and asked for a quiet room and was promised one, but when I arrived was put in the back one next to the construction site, and was only able to move my last night.
Water in bathrooms brown and odiferous so not good for washing. Some rooms are good in decor/ upkeep, some not so. All are dark. The impression I had was that the management doesn't care much. The hotel does have a good beach however.
I stayed in a number of hotels in Cambodia, and this was by some way the most expensive, and, sadly, by far the worst, thus the rating given.

Room Tip: You can't.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BRE12_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2013

In November, we had a wonderful experience at this smallish bungalow resort on the far south end of Otres Beach - about as far away from crazy, cluttered Sihanoukville ("Snooky") as you could be! Owners Ken and Melissa (fellow-Texans!), also Dora and Kristin, were really fun and very helpful folks! The Resort restaurant was quite good with some great curries - and killer mushroom bruschetta for an appetizer! The setting is idyllic, with the Thai Gulf and some offshore islands giving a wonderful sunset pallet. (Only minor drawback was a new resort under construction next door, so a fair bit of noise during the day.) Nice pool area too, so you had the choice of great beach or cool pool - what could be better?!

Room Tip: A back, left room would be better and quieter
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Will B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flagstaff, Arizona
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2013

I stayed at the Secret Garden for a week, and was pleased with everything. It's a great place, the place to stay if you're heading to the Sihanoukville area. Otres Beach is lovely, great restaurants, lovely lovely beach, and the Secret Garden is right on the beach. Bungalows are well attended and the cook serves great meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner. The pool, the pool is refreshing but it's hard to compete with the turquoise gulf. The owners are doing a great job training staff, creating a wonderful experience for their guests.

Room Tip: the rooms are lovely. There's construction next door so touch base with the owners if you have...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank frankiejulia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
229 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

When we arrived at Secret Garden for some reason our room was not ready even though it was 5.00 pm. We were asked to leave our luggage in the room and go to the bar on the beach for a welcome cocktail. The beach is beautiful here, and over a cocktail we waited and watched the spectacular sunset. Eventually our room was ready and we went to settle in. At $125 per night we were expecting something special here, and certainly the beach, bar and pool are all beautiful. The room however is nothing special, the finish and build quality is a bit rough in places and there was no tv. The jungle shower outside looked great but I would not like to be showering outside at night with the mossies, or in wet season in the rain, and the water didn’t drain out of the shower well and leaked through the wall in to the bathroom. All together we were very disappointed for the price. After a while I noticed we were missing a bag with some supplies in it. We went across the road to the bar (there is no reception) and I told Kristen the bag was missing, and she said she would go and get it, not ‘Are you sure’, or ‘Did you leave it in the tuk tuk’. She came back from the kitchen area with our bag, saying one of the staff thought it might have been left behind by the previous tenant and took it to the kitchen. Our 5 bags were left together, why would 1 of them be treated differently? After this we never left anything unlocked or unattended. We always keep valuables locked up of course, but here we made sure EVERYTHING was locked in the large lock box under the bed. This has a padlock and is about 900 x 500 x 300 deep so held everything but our locked cases. Not a good start to our 2 nights here! We ate at Secret Garden both nights of our stay as it was easier than finding somewhere else. The food was ok, service was very haphazard though. Sometimes we would have to go to the bar to ask for a menu, sometimes we got a menu then no one came to take our order. In general the staff were more interested in socialising at the bar than looking after their paying guests. There always seemed to be a lot of people using the sun lounges or at the bar who were not staying here and we wondered what would happen if there was not room for the paying guests. Too bad I think!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank emdeme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dora m, Owner at The Secret Garden at Otres Beach, responded to this review, May 28, 2013
First of all, we apologise for your room not having been ready upon your arrival - this was due to a problem with a previous customer who had checked out very late(the bag incident was related to this - we believed it to have been theirs!).
We also were training a new team of staff at the time, and we apologise for any inconvenience.
Re. sunbeds, we do indeed give priority to staying guests, and we regularly inform non-staying guests that they may have to give up their seats.
Please also be aware that you were staying in our tourist high season. Our rates have now gone down, and we are offering special promotions.
Kind regards,
Dora
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Secret Garden at Otres Beach

Property: The Secret Garden at Otres Beach
Address: Otres Beach, Sihanoukville 18000, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Sihanoukville Province > Sihanoukville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 72 Hotels in Sihanoukville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Secret Garden is located at the secluded end of Otres Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Our resort is designed to maximise the privacy of our guests, with detached bungalows set among lush gardens. Our bungalows are all equipped with A/C, free Wifi, minibar, and in our double bungalows,an attached jungle shower. We also feature Otres Beach's most beautiful swimming pool with kids' pool attached. At our beach bar & restaurant, you can relax and enjoy one of our signature cocktails at sunset, and try our great selection of Asian and Western cuisine. Happy hour specials every night. ... more   less 
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