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“Peaceful setting”
Review of The Vine Retreat

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The Vine Retreat
Ranked #20 of 52 Kep B&B and Inns
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Peaceful setting”
Reviewed February 13, 2014

This is a lovely place away from the noisy towns. I love the old wooden house and the atmosphere was great! The food was pretty good, although not everything on the menu was available and the prices were a little higher than our usual budget. The rooms were comfortable and clean and the family room was very spacious. The only disappointment with the room is that no toiletries were provided. For that price, I would have expected at least some soap for hand washing!
The staff were very attentive. The swimming pool was great. My kids had a ball. They were very tolerant of having noisy young kids around. I must note that the house is probably not the most ideal place for active toddlers (like mine) as the balconies and eating areas have many easy to climb places that could result in serious injury to un-supervised toddlers. That is not a criticism of the establishment, simply a warning to parents of young children who are looking for a safe place to stay. Our stay would have been so much more relaxing if we did not have to watch our toddler every second to prevent him falling two stories. Our two older kids were a bit better and there was plenty for them to explore.
I really loved the setting at the Vine Retreat and would love to return.....once the kids are a bit older.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Miriam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us. We hope to welcome you back with (or without) the children! They are always welcome!
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110 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
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English first
Warragul, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2014

We Travelled in May 2012. The journey to the Vine is up a dirt road and can seem like you are being led into the middle of nowhere. But the scenary is nice and the trek is well and truely worth it. The place is beautiful. We had the place to ourselves for 3 nights. The rooms are nice, can be a little warm with no air-con. However there is a great pool to cool off in. The food was great, freshly prepared in the kitchen down stairs. The staff were graet also. Sometimes they had a little difficulty understanding our "Aussie" speak. But that's because they are local staff and part of a small local community. One of the staff members took us on a bicycle tour of his village Camcar Bei. And even took us to his house to meet his family, it was a truely unique experience.
The views over the pepper plantation out towards Vietnam border are amazing. If you are looking for a 5 star hotel this isn't for you. If you are looking for very comfortable rooms, great scenary and a very relaxing experience then this is for you. Service was amazing! It was like we had our own private butlers. There were more staff than guests. Just go, you wont be disappointed.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DMathews13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Thank you for your kind words in your review. We love hearing when customers enjoyed themselves. It makes it all worth while to our team. Hope to see you again some day.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 10, 2014

I LOVED THE VINE RETREAT! it's a beautiful house located among an organic farm of fresh produce and pepper plantations. The house is clean and the food is amazing (very fresh, much better than what you'd get in PHP and Siem Reap). The staff are friendly and attentive. I was here for a yoga retreat and our group absolutely loved our experience there! I WANT TO COME BACK AGAIN!!!!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Leslie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
It was so nice to have you guys here for the yoga retreat and glad you felt refreshed. We hope to see you on another retreat soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

My friends & I stayed for a night here. It is located amidst the many pepper farms in Kep. Natural and peaceful surroundings. The staff is very obliging in providing us with a 5-cent tour of the pepper farm at no additional cost.

They actually do this for free even for those who aren't guests of the hotel, which I felt was really nice of them. However, it is located rather far from the beach and the Crab Market & you definitely require transport. It'll take approximately 35 to 40 mins.

There was a cockroach that manage to sneak into our room, but then it's expected, given the location of the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank AsyrafAsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
So glad you enjoyed your stay at The Vine Retreat. It was a pleasure to have you stay!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangor, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed January 22, 2014

The vine retreat was a fantastic place to relax in a beautiful place with great food. Our room was bright and spacious and came with a fantastic view. The staff are friendly too and kep is a short tuk tuk ride away. Would definitely come back to visit this place again.

Room Tip: We had a room on the top floor, best for a good view.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Annabanana L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you very much for your kind review. We are glad you were able to find a restful and peaceful spot at our retreat. We welcome you back anytime.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2014

Sometimes you just need a hammock and a view. At least that's how I felt after six weeks of life as an ex-pat in Phnom Penh back in 2011.

I found respite at The Vine Retreat, a rustic eco-friendly hotel in the southeastern Cambodian province of Kep. There, simplicity is the name of the game. With little to do but relax, read, and enjoy the scenery, The Vine offers a peaceful getaway from inland Phnom Penh, without the drunken beach bum backpacker scene of nearby Sihanoukville.

Tucked away in the rice paddies near the Phnom Vor mountains, The Vine Retreat is constructed from natural, locally sourced materials and powered by an off-grid, low-carbon power system. A highlight of the property is the recently completed naturally filtered swimming pool – a great way to escape the mid-afternoon heat. Meals are taken at a communal table with a revolving menu that includes organic produce from the garden and fresh seafood from the nearby Bay of Thailand. Kampot pepper, widely said to be the best in the world and grown in a small plantation on-site, is always on the table.

The Vine's rooms are simple, but well-appointed, with canopy beds and handwoven textiles. Hot water is provided by a solar heating system, and the provided coconut-scented soap is handmade by a local women's cooperative. The guesthouse is also committed to economic development in the surrounding villages. In partnership with a local non-profit, they offer sustainable tourism excursions, including trekking, biking and tours of nearby Chamcar Bei village, and they reinvest all excursion fees into community education and training. I opted for a bicycle tour of Chamcar Bei's craft cooperatives, which create home and lifestyle items out of coconut shells and recycled plastic bags.

In all, a quiet, lovely escape at a place that is committed to building up the community around it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jessica M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you for your kind review. We will be developing the menu when Our new chef arrives in 2 weeks time. Hope you enjoy the rest of your travels.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2014

This is exactly the kind of place you tend to be unable to find when you're on a backpacker's budget.

It's secluded and out of the way, so you get to enjoy the quietude of the Cambodian countryside, which I cannot recommend enough as an antidote to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh.

The restaurant is a floor up and has stunning views over pepper plantations. The pool and setting are just stunning. I thought it all looked a bit too good to be true from the pictures posted here, but they're not. If anything they don't do it justice. You'd expect to pay double for this kind of thing, easy.

Jay Fountain had just come in as the new manager and he has a fantastic attitude - first rate service. I'd had a card stolen and could only use Mastercard, but they could only accept Visa. The nearest Mastercard cashpoint was several hours away, so Jay offered to let me transfer the money straight into his personal account. It's just a little example of helpful, thoughtful service, with him going above and beyond.

The only small let down for me was the food wasn't fantastic when I was there, but I understand Jay's sister was soon to take over the kitchen so i suspect that will no longer be the case.

The rooms in the basement are pretty basic, but there's so much space about the hotel - hammocks, by the pool, and the restaurant area is great to chill out in, that it's not an issue.

Also, you can't rent a motorbike with them so if you're there for more than a day or two and want to explore around, I'd hire something in Kep to get you about.

This place is a gem, run by a class act. Go there if you're anywhere near the area.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Oliver W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, General Manager at The Vine Retreat, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us at The Vine and glad you got your credit card issues sorted out. Yes, our new chef will be with us in 2 weeks time, so expect some wonderful things to come out of the kitchen!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 #20 of 52 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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