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“Nice stop for a daytrip from Kep or Kampot”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Vine Retreat

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The Vine Retreat
Ranked #19 of 50 Kep B&B and Inns
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
85 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Nice stop for a daytrip from Kep or Kampot”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2013

We did not stay at Vine Retreat, so this is only a review of the restaurant.
We went here on a day tour from Kep. We organised a Tuk-Tuk to take us around Kep, to see, where and how the pepper is grown and to see the ruins of Kep (quite spectacular). It is quite a drive out to Vine Retreat, but it is a drive with a view of people doing ordinary Cambodian things set in a landscape of bright green rice fields and lush jungle stretching all the way to Vietnam.
Vine Retreat is set, quite beautifully, between pepper and fruit plantations. The restaurant is located on the second floor with great views over the plantation and the pool. The food, mostly from ingridients from the own plantation or at least sourced locally, is beautiful and typical Khmer (as far as I can tell). The prices are a but higher than what you would pay in Kep, but so is the quality.
All in all a very nice destination for a lunch or an eary dinner if you are on a tour around Kep or Kampot, if you do not want to stay there, which looked really tempting.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tj-exploringtheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
106 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

Vine retreat is just what we needed after arriving to find our booked accommodations were without power, AC and full of weed smokers.

We moved here last minute and had a fantastic 2 nights stay. The banana flower salad was the best of our entire trip and could spend our time just eating away here. Its a very peaceful location and has everything you could need. The manager is a fantastic individual and makes sure his staff are looking after you. We were a bit concerned at first that it might be noisy with their not being any proper doors, but all guests are respectful and we had very quiet nights listening to the geckos (the giant ones are amazing!!)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BobbieTee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013

after a lengthly hitchhike from Siem Riep to the sweaty Phnom Penh Diego and myself, Kimon found ourselves on a spacious old bus to Kampot heading through flat plains of rice fields, mango tree's, swaying coconut palm tree's and water buffalo meditating in wide open fields. Seeing the sea for the first in a very long time after our adventures in the ancient city of Angkor we skipped Kampot and jumped off in Kep - a quick tour of the small famous for crab village and we were off to the VINE RETREAT by tuk-tuk (only $10 for the both of us). Here we were greeted by the smiley and friendly staff to a bedroom layed with petals and a jug of fresh water from their well - what a treat from bottled water! The VINE RETREAT is a wonderful guesthouse on a working pepper vine plantation and fruit and vegetable farm, we had organised via wwoof - a organisation for volunteers on organic farms to work with the staff harvesting pepper. I admit I had no idea how pepper was harvested or let alone that peppercorns grew on vines - but what a treat to create bonds with the local staff and feel the true heart of Cambodia in the spirit of the people. The food, organic and fresh from the farm when it can be - in truly Khmer style (with a bit less sugar) is delicious - my favourite beeing the fresh morning glory salad! and for sure the best fruit salad and muesli I have ever had! (made from fresh in season fruits on the farm, muesli filled with yum peanuts and crunchy goodness!) As a yoga lover my favourite time was the morning, early on the top floor of the guesthouse - doing my sun salutations and watching the farm come to life - the white horse munching on the grass, the staff arriving on their scooters with big smiles on their faces, tiger the puppy yawning - going to sleep after a hunt of unusual bugs, and of course misha the yoga cat staring at me half sleeply wondering why I am awake? after a lovely breakfast and picking pepper, sorting pepper afternoon we always headed to the natural swimming pool, which was usually perfect temperature after the afternoon rain - dragonflies hovering over us as we stared up into the endless cloud filled skies stretching to Vietnam. This place is truly heaven, natural and at peace with the surroundings. There is so much I can write after our 3 week stay there... it is truly a piece of heaven, go on and see it for yourself!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank kikitoga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
William T, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, July 7, 2013
Kimmon & Diego,
We all miss you too! Thank you so much for coming to help with the pepper harvest. You are always welcome to come back for next year's harvest.
It was great to have you two as some of our first volunteers. We continue to have WWOOF volunteers from around the world. You trained us well in how to take care of volunteers.
Greetings from all of the staff at the Vine. We wish you great success in your present endeavors!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
126 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

Set amongst pepper plantations and semi-jungle this is the perfect place to chill for a few days. Spotlessly clean rooms. The beds are comfortable with the best mosquito nets I have ever seem. The food, local Khmer focus, is suburb. I would stay here just to eat. Let alone the chilled atmosphere and lovely view.

  • Stayed June 2013
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Helpful?
Thank marty k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2013

This wonderful eco-lodge near Kep is a true gem, hidden in the middle of the Cambodian pepper fields. There is not too much to do but the place is so relaxing and peaceful that you would never want to leave.

The natural water pool and the sofas in the veranda are the perfect place to spend a day away from the noise and heat of the city. The food, which is made express, is locally sourced ingredients is the best I have eaten so far in Cambodia. The staff is kind and always available to help in any way the can. Both the manager Bill and all the kemher staff do everything they can to make you feel at home.

The rooms have no air-con but they have a fan and relatively cool at night. If you can afford to spend a bit more ask for one of the rooms on the top floor which are more airy and bigger.

  • Stayed May 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Travellingwithpassion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

The Vine Retreat has no air-con and it's built in local style and from local materials (which means woven walls and shutters-only windows) and it does get hot at night in the bedrooms despite ceiling fans. The bathrooms are tiny. Charming staff are all locals and often you can see sheer panic in their eyes if you speak in English to them a bit too fast. The same items on the menu can look completely different from one day to another. But this place has such charm, with its idyllic countryside location amongst the pepper plantations, great pool, amazing views, spellbinding sounds at dusk and homemade cooking that all of the above niggles just seem petty and unimportant and simply irrelevant to your enjoyment.
I absolutely loved the food there, although the meat is an acquired taste, somehow they always manage to make it super- chewy. Possibly because the chickens get so much exercise there, also the Cambodians like to dry out their meat in the sun before cooking. The only thing I did not enjoy was the famous Cambodian soup served for breakfast, everything else was delicious.
Food is maybe more expensive than you would expect in such place, but it's worth the price. They use vegetables from their own organic garden.
Tuk tuk drivers can charge a bit too much for trips, as there is not much competition, but to be honest there is absolutely no need to do anything at the Vine Retreat (apart from the activities suggested in my title) - just focus on soaking up the atmosphere and you'll be OK.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Monja16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
William T, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Thank you so much for a realistic review. Concerning consistency from the kitchen, we are working on this. You were here in the early days of our new menu when we were still working things out. Hopefully on your next visit, you will not only find more consistency but more new, exciting and adventurous Khmer food.
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Limerick, Ireland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

We stayed here on 14th February 2013. It was a near disaster. Having turned off the road and started up the track to the Vine,we soon found the track almost completly blocked by earth and rocks deposited by a lorry in heaps along the track and only a small track suitable for a moto remained.Our driver did not want to proceed any further because of the damage risk to his car,and as we could not reverse to turn around we were effectively marooned. we phoned the Vine -fortunately we had two Cambodian nationals with us so they were able to converse with the person who answered. He arrived on a moto and said it was the only way to get to the Vine. We insisted he phone Mr tuffin,the manager. Mr Tuffin said he was in Phnom Penh and the track was fine when he had departed. His attitude conveyed to us that as he was in Phnom Penh,he could do nothing,so sort yourselves out,and dont bother me.. We eventually persuaded the driver to follow us as we walked in front of him removing large boulders,and indicating where it was safe to drive without falling off the road. we passed a lorry which had fallen off. Eventually just as darkness was falling we arrived at the Vine.Our driver had intended to stay the night in Kampot with relatives,but was now effectively a prisoner in the Vine. He was accomodated for the night in the office. The was a group of NGO;s staying there and the two male staff were totally run off their feet trying to cope with them. We eventually got a drink and when the NGO's were fed we finally got some food. In the morning the Two female staff were unsmiling and uncommunicative,they gave us breakfast and a bill and we did not see them again. We left,and found the track totally blocked. The fallen lorry had been pulled onto the track where it together with a low loader completly blocked it,and beyond them a digger had cut a large ditch across the entire track. We reversed and found a space to turn with great difficulty,and travelled in the opposite direction until we encountered a man whom our Cambodian friends asked for direction. After a long detour we emerged on a "road" which brought us to Kep.We wasted much time with our stay at the Vine and would not recommend it on any account. Our Cambodian friends explained that saving face was vitally important to Cambodians,and in this case,as there was nothing they could do ,they just denied the problem and ignored us.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank roamer069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
William T, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
We are happy to report that the road work has finished and the road is in excellent condition. We truly regret your misfortune. We were not aware of the condition of the road as they did not inform us as to the extent of the road works they would undertake. Had we known the problem and knew how to contact you, we surely would have informed you of the alternative route.
I was happy to learn that the staff came to meet you on the road and that they found accommodation for your driver.
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Additional Information about The Vine Retreat

Property: The Vine Retreat
Address: Pepper Road | Phnom Voar, Kep, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Kep Province > Kep
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 50 B&Bs / Inns in Kep
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Vine Retreat is an eco-conscious yoga retreat centre and guesthouse with an organic garden and pepper farm in Kep, Cambodia. Set on 30 acres of peaceful natural countryside, surrounded by lush green mountains, it's the perfect place for relaxation and rejuvenation. Chill out by our salt water swimming pool, indulge in healthy, fresh, organic food directly from our gardens (we cater to meat eaters and vegetarians) or take a bike ride to explore the local villages. We also have a fully equipped yoga studio which fits up to 25 people. We rent our whole facility for exclusive use for yoga retreat. Please contact us for more information. ... more   less 

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