With a range of bungalows and a seafront dorm, The Beach stretches the definition of hospitality.
We debated whether to include The Beach in this guide because all of our experiences with the place, on two different visits two years apart, have been so negative. When we visited this time and asked to see a room the young Russian manager did everything within her power to make us feel unwelcome, and another couple standing at the desk waiting to see a room looked at each other and walked away to another resort.
We persevered and finally we were taken to see a few of the bungalows. The smaller ones ($18-25) are little more than a mattress on a wooden platform with a fan, mosquito net, and shared (not very clean) bathroom. The deluxe seaview stone bungalows ($35-60) were nicer — round bungalows with round beds, as is all the rage on Koh Rong Sanloem (to their credit, The Beach did it first).
The deluxe bungalows have reflective glass doors and windows, tile floors, rattan walls, and thatched roofs. They’re fan cooled and the stone bathrooms have cool-water showers.
Some of the more popular options at The Beach Island Resort are the open-air dorms. The dorm building has two floors, each with a raised wooden platform with a total of 18 double beds ($13-20) with mosquito nets. The beds face the water and are cooled by the sea breeze and are completely open air (however, in rainy season they do have plastic tarps to prevent rain from getting in). Although the idea of these open-air dorms is romantic, the neurotic in us would have a hard time sleeping in a place that offers little or no protection from randos stopping by and crawling into bed with you (or stealing your backpack).
The Beach seems to be named after the book and movie of that name (the resort’s logo is reminiscent of some of the movie posters). Since the novel and the movie made from it are about an island paradise that has gone terribly, terribly wrong, the name seems a strange choice for an island resort. In the book the vibe becomes increasingly uncomfortable, which perhaps explains the attitude the resort seems to have adopted.
On returning to the desk to get the prices we were interrogated by the manager, who demanded to know who we were and why we would ask about the prices. We’re not sure if the place is aimed at Russians only and this was her way of gently dissuading us from writing about The Beach, but we decided not to stay there in case we mysteriously disappeared in the night.
We were quoted the following prices at Beach Island Resort, Koh Rong Sanloem:
- Dorm double bed (for two): $15-20 high season, $13 low season
- Small bungalow, shared bathroom: $20-25 high season, $18 low season
- Small seaview bungalow, shared bathroom: $30-35 high season, $25 low season
- Bungalow, private bathroom: $35-40 high season, $30 low season
- Deluxe bungalow: $45-60 high season, $35-45 low season
The Beach Island Resort
Saracen Bay, Koh Rong Sanloem
T: 034 6666 106
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