Best hotels and hostels in South Coast

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Koh Rong

    Lonely Beach

    Lonely Beach is a traveller Shangri-La hidden on a private beach along Koh Rong's northern tip. Committed to ecofriendly living, the jungle-chic bungalows and glorious open-air dorms are breeze-cooled, and all water is dispensed via coconut-shell scoop. High season sees island-hopping trips and nightly banquets on the beach. More a way of life than a resort, Lonely Beach entices many to stay for months. Solar-powered electricity is limited to the restaurant (evenings only), and there's no wi-fi (although Smart's 4G network is accessible). Private boat transfer from Sihanoukville is US$15 each way, or you can walk from Prek Svay village (about 45 minutes if you don't get lost). Book directly through the resort for the best prices.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in The Southern Islands

    Lazy Beach

    On the southwest coast of Koh Rong Sanloem, this idyllic getaway fronts one of the most stunning beaches you’ll find anywhere. The 20 bungalows have balconies and hammocks outside, and spiffy stone-floor bathrooms and double beds inside. The combined restaurant and common area is stocked with books and board games, making the resort a good fit for families. The hotel runs its own boats from Sihanoukville at noon each day directly to the resort, though in wet season the boats generally will drop you off on the west side of the island. There's an easy walking path (about 20 minutes) from Saracen Bay, and the hotel can offer an overland shuttle service for luggage.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Koh Rong

    Nest Beach Club

    This poshtel at the southern end of Long Set Beach is a step up from anything in Koh Tuch. The well-designed dorms are air-conditioned and feature double-wide bunks divided by walls and curtains. The restaurant has a stunner of an open-air, oceanfront terrace with delicious sesame-battered chicken, veggie wraps and chilli-cheese fries. The all-day 'Nestival' takes place every Monday. It features free beer in the afternoon, raffles and guest DJs spinning until the wee hours. There's also a popular roast every Sunday afternoon, complete with craft cocktails such as the 'pashito', an intoxicating amalgam of passion fruit, mint, white rum and lemongrass.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in The Southern Islands

    Mad Monkey

    Part of the Mad Monkey hostel empire, this edition wins big with its secluded private cove and beaches to the north of Saracen Bay. Dorms of varying size and private bungalows are oceanfront, simple and fan-cooled, and the atmosphere is laid-back and convivial. A big, open-air bar and restaurant overlooks the sea, where people laze about in hammocks all day. When guests do get up from their relaxation, it's usually to go on a boat trip for snorkelling or to play a beanbag-tossing game. Swimming in the secluded cove is also an activity of choice, particularly in the wee hours for couples aiming to have a go (or maybe a glow?) in the plankton.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in The Southern Islands

    Ten103 Treehouse Bay

    Unplug, unwind, destress – Ten103 is a beachfront backpacker bolthole that dishes up simple beach living the way it used to be. Stilted open-air 'tree houses' have sea views, while the towering open-air dorm and palm-thatch hammock shelters provide more basic back-to-nature options. Excellent food and drink, boat trips and kayaks available. The only place on the island open year-round. Solar power runs from about 6pm to 11pm. Ten103 is a reference to Sihanoukville's GPS coordinates. Owner Joel is an area legend who has had a hand in launching most Koh Ta Kiev resorts over the years.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in The Southern Islands

    Huba-Huba

    Perched on secluded Sunset Beach and flanked by the jungle, this small collection of thatched-roof bungalows and glistening hardwood common spaces looks like an island fantasyland. During high season, a beach restaurant with a bar constructed from the bow of a boat serves cold beers, wine, cocktails and barbecue, and everybody goes snorkelling on a nearby reef. The top-whack beachfront chalets are practically lapped by waves, as is the basic dorm. Spacious tents are equipped with storage crates to keep the monkeys away from your gear.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kampot

    High Tide Kampot

    This chill riverside spot caters to long-term backpackers who enjoy grabbing a cold one or a happy shake from the bamboo bar, then relaxing in hammocks and papasan chairs, listening to high-fidelity reggae and trance music. Rooms are a mix of modern fan-cooled bungalows (hot water included) and neat pod-style dormitories. It hosts Saturday-night parties on its human-made beach. Instruments are available for those who are so inclined, and performances (amateur and professional) occur frequently.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kampot

    Hotel Old Cinema

    A derelict 1930s Chinese cinema – one of Kampot's modernist architectural icons – has been lovingly restored and turned into a boutique hotel. Rooms are snug but polished and beautifully lit. Vintage prints evoke the golden age of Khmer film, while the colourful tiles in the lobby mimic the original tile work. Drop by the restaurant just to bask in the ambience. It is set beside a small courtyard pool and its French chef garnishes his native cuisine with Khmer accents.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in The Southern Islands

    Nomads Land

    It’s hard to imagine a more relaxed place than Nomads, the greenest resort in the islands with five funky bungalows powered by solar panels and rainwater collected for drinking. It sits on a white beach on Koh Totang and is the sole accommodation on this island speck, a 15-minute ride from the mainland's Kiri Sakor village on the resort's boat. Taken over by an Aussie couple, one of whom is a yoga instructor and offers regular sessions in addition to massage therapy.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kampot

    Green House

    This gorgeously conceived riverfront pad is all about tranquillity, with the best of its palm-thatch bungalows and colourful wooden cottages (with balcony) right on the riverbank. The historic teak-wood main building, which houses the restaurant, was once home to the legendary Phnom Penh bar Snowy's (aka Maxine's), transported lock, stock and barrel here in 2011. No children under age 12. The great restaurant is open from 7am to 8.45pm.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kep

    Khmer Hands Resort

    Choose from sturdy, stilted, wooden bungalows and cheaper, squat, concrete huts – all with private porch – at this well-run Khmer–American venture that doubles as an arts and hospitality training school for at-risk locals. The excellent restaurant sources herbs and vegetables from a permaculture garden on the premises, and there's a cool gift shop under the restaurant selling pepper, handicrafts and more.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Sihanoukville

    Sunset Lounge Guesthouse

    Surrounded by developments at the far-south end of Ochheuteal Beach, this German-run boutique-quality resort has thick mattresses, dreamy shaded balconies, appealing bathrooms and a well-reputed restaurant. Splurge for the bungalows. The location, while a bit far from the ferry terminal, is more practical than Otres Beach as it saves you an uncomfortable and expensive tuk tuk ride.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kep

    Veranda Natural Resort

    The unique hillside bungalows here are built of wood, bamboo and stone, and are connected by a maze of stilted walkways, making this a thoroughly memorable spot for a romantic getaway. Check out several rooms because the size and shape vary wildly. There are a couple of pools, the food is excellent and views from the restaurant pavilion are stunning.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Sihanoukville

    Naia Resort

    One of few Otres 2 boutique resorts to have retained both its Western management and its charm, style-conscious Naia is all about white-washed minimalism. With marvellous beds, well-furnished room terraces, a long swimming pool and a playground, it's family friendly too. The beach at Otres 2 is nice, even if the neighbourhood isn't.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Sihanoukville

    Patchouly Chili House

    With elegantly designed rooms, attentive service, fine food and a leafy pool, this French-Khmer-run boutique is a throwback to happier times in Sihanoukville. It is also about the only affordable sleeping option left in the casino-laden Golden Lions area. That it remains open is a minor miracle; let's hope it stays that way.

  • Lodging in The Southern Islands

    Koh Thmei Resort

    The only resort on Koh Thmei is a gem, with tidy bungalows that use solar panels and biofuel for electricity. The resort sits on a private beach, and you can easily walk to more. Or go sea-kayaking, snorkelling or hiking. It's open year-round, with table football and board games to keep you entertained when it rains. Excellent Khmer meals (US$6) and a full bar. The resort is right on the maritime border with Vietnam, with prime views to nearby Phu Quoc Island. The only available cell signal is Vietnamese. Electricity runs from 6.30am to 11pm. It's an extremely atmospheric one-hour boat ride from the mainland fishing village of Koh Kchhang in the resort's private boat (US$8.50 per person one-way). We spotted Irrawaddy dolphins on our most recent trip. Management can arrange transport to Koh Kchhang from Sihanoukville, Kampot or the Sihanoukville airport.

  • Lodging in The Southern Islands

    Paradise Villas

    A throwback to the early days of the Southern Islands, Paradise remains a timeless testament to castaway-chic style near the far south end of Saracen Bay. Sister of Paradise Bungalows on Koh Rong, it follows similar scripts: smart, solid-wood bungalows with thick mattresses, balconies and rain showers, and a beautifully designed restaurant mixing Asian fusion with hearty European dishes. As times change on Koh Rong Sanloem, so do times change at Paradise: about half the rooms have air-con and they have 24-hour electricity and good working wi-fi. There's kayak and SUP rental available, plus a dive centre and two speedboats.

  • Lodging in Koh Rong

    Coconutbeach Bungalows

    Coconut Beach's original guesthouse sprawls up a hillside overlooking cerulean water and powdery white sand. The owners go above and beyond for guests and have a huge library of books and games. The small semiprivate rooms have shared bathrooms, as do the basic tents atop platforms down by the ocean, or pay up for the comfortable en-suite bungalows. Camping with your own tent is free. The resort is owned by a Khmer family who lived on Koh Rong decades before it was a glint in a thirsty backpacker's eye. They build nightly bonfires, provide complimentary room service and guide trips to see glowing plankton at all hours.

  • Lodging in Koh Rong

    Tamu Koh Rong

    Near the pier on up-and-coming Pagoda Beach, 15 minutes west of Coconut Beach by moto, this sleek little boutique offers a mix of luxury safari tents and concrete bungalows, all well appointed with air-con, designer furniture, private terrace and marvellous open-plan bathroom (no TV). The beach out front is exquisite, or do laps in the charcoal-toned pool. One ferry company – Speed Ferry Cambodia – does drop-offs at Pagoda Beach pier on request, or arrange a private transfer (US$40 per person round trip) through the resort.

  • Lodging in The Southern Islands

    Cliff

    The structures here – which include a 33-bed open-air dorm and a cliff-side bar and restaurant with sweeping views of the channel that separates Koh Rong Sanloem and Koh Rong – are nothing less than architectural marvels. The private rooms are compact but have plenty of rustic charm. A stairway leads down to the shore from that glorious restaurant. Located a 10-minute walk up the hill west of the village proper, it's well worth dropping by for a drink or meal, even if you are not staying here.