Last time I stayed on Koh Rong Sanloem I went to see a couple of the new resorts, some of which have just opened, the others are nearing completion. I thought it’s worth sharing with you my first impressions to give you an idea of what to expect with each resort.

Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem
Aerial View of Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem

Firstly, there’s the Royal Retreat Resort, which is almost complete. The resort is built away from the main beach area, further into the jungle. The main idea behind the resort is that the jungle trees provide extra cover to the villas, so you get a real sense of privacy.

The villas themselves look quite nice, though are constructed in a more basic way than some of the other resorts in a similar price category (I think they are going to charge a premium fee in the range of $100-$150 per night). Each villa comes with a TV and a hot tub in the back, and has a kind of patio area at the front. The patio can be used for group gatherings or just for lounging at night times.

Royal Retreat Resort on Koh Rong Samloem


The owner of the resort is a very friendly Australian man who sometimes manages the very basic bar (named ‘Octopussy’ after the James Bond movie). His wife is Japanese, so they are intending to offer a selection of Japanese foods on the menu – Something very different on the island. The bar itself is near the beach front, and although is quite simple, is a good place to relax with a cold drink and take in the quite peaceful atmosphere.

Further down the beach is the new Sol Beach Resort – A modern western-style resort that provides premium luxury accommodation on Samloem. I’ve recently written a more in depth review of this resort, which you can read here: Sol Beach Resort. In general, if you are thinking of staying on Koh Rong Samloem and are not on a tight budget, I would recommend you try this place, as it is one of the better resorts on the island.

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Sol Beach Resort on Koh Rong Samloem


Next to Sol Beach is the new (and very iconic) Moonlight Resort. The resort is designed in a ‘dome’ theme, where all accommodation and the restaurant / bar are in the shape of a dome. At first I was a little taken aback upon seeing it, as it does look quite futuristic and strange, but it started to grow on me after a while. In particular, I was impressed with the technical aspects underlying the white dome bungalows – They are designed to keep very cool inside, and as you enter them you do get a hit of coolness in the air. Right in the centre of the spherical room is a nice big double bed which faces a TV. The bathroom is modern and nice, and all in all the rooms look comfortable and clean.

moonlight resort on koh rong samloem


In the centre of the resort is a large dome-shaped restaurant and bar area. This definitely stands out as you’re walking along the beach. Just like the futuristic looking bungalows, the dome is quite cool inside. I haven’t yet tried the restaurant, but our review team has and said it’s of a descent standard. I’ve been told that the owners of the resort are planning to build a swimming pool in the future, which might be a good addition.

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Next to Moonlight Resort is The One – which is not yet finished. The One is shaping up to be one of the best resorts on the island, from what I could see. Just like Sol Beach, the modern western-style villas come with air-conditioning, western bathrooms, comfortable beds, and all the extras you would expect from a nice western hotel. The main thing that stands out however is the swimming pool, which is now complete. I’m still not sure whether you need a pool with such a beautiful clean ocean 1 minute way, but some people will appreciate having one there I think, especially later at nights or first thing in the mornings (if you wake up early). In any case, the resort is starting to come together nicely, and I’ll make sure to visit it once it’s done and write a full review.

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