Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Sea Breeze Resort Sihanoukville - the Gem of Otres Beach 1

joohm-reap soo-a !
(it means 'hello' in Khmer language 😃)

I am just back yesterday from another trip to Cambodia with hb; this time to Sihanoukville. Many years ago, I heard that Sihanoukville was akin to Maldives paradise in South East Asia; however due to the many on-going constructions of multi-storey hotels in the city (time as per my trip), I am not so sure! I might talk more about this in next post but for now, I would love to just talk about the hotel that we stayed in; because I am so happy with this hotel and am so glad that I picked this hotel 😃

  • Strategic location right across the beach
  • Efficient and helpful reception
  • Clean and comfortable room with complete amenities
  • Delicious dinner and yummy breakfast
  • Great pool and sunbathing

The Location – right across the beach at Otres Beach 1

After booking my flight ticket about a month ago, the next thing I did was to search for a lodging to stay in. Because Sihanoukville has a few beaches and each beach offers different characteristics, first I had to decide which beach I wanted to stay at. I finally decided to stay at Otres Beach 1 as the purpose of this trip was to just relax and laze around and thus I didn't want to surround myself with all the hustle-bustle of the busier beach.

Then the next thing was, to pick a hotel at Otres Beach 1 and gosh I took many, many days to finally settle on Sea Breeze Resort, after considering the location and price, and the pictures online and reviews from other guests. I was able to book a standard bungalow at USD103.66 for a 2-night stay, via the Agoda booking site. I admit I had some worries too because there were not so good reviews from some guests too but I thought, since both of us are not fussy generally, so it would work out great for us hopefully...and yes it was!!!!

Sea Breeze Resort is located just near the junction to Otres Beach 1 and boasts a total of 22 elegant and comfortable bungalows with free WiFi access throughout the property. It took about 30 minutes travel time (about 10km) from the Sihanouk International Airport to reach the resort by taxi (USD20). Had the road condition is better (because there are so many constructions going-on at the whole city), I think it would take less than 30 minutes to reach.

The Reception – your one-stop information counter 

Upon reaching the resort reception, we were greeted by a nice Caucasian lady who also briefed us on the resort facilities and surrounding, and she also handed us the 'welcome drink' coupons. I was already thrilled because I didn't know there was welcome drink offered in this tiny resort. Although it was just a small gesture, but little things like this always make my heart smiles 😁

The 24-hour front desk reception area had a lounge setting corner and a water filter dispenser, making it convenient to get hot or cold drinking water. There was also a rack displaying postcards for sale and another smaller rack at the reception counter displaying wooden key chain for sale. I bought a key chain (USD1) upon checkout.

Other than reception for check-in and check-out, the reception counter also doubled as travel booking help desk for guests. I went to enquire about the blue plankton at Otres Beach 1 and the guy manning the reception told me it depends on the weather (anyway, we didn’t get to see any…ouw so sad). We also had the reception staff to help us to book a taxi transfer to airport (USD15). Btw, the guy is a local and he speaks decent English.

The Bungalow – complete amenities, cosy and comfortable

After checked-in, one of the hotel staff then led us the way to our bungalow 106. So we passed by the little garden, the swimming pool, the restaurant, and other bungalows which look so cosy! We then reached our bungalow in seconds (because the whole resort is not that huge and everything is so closed together thus making the whole area feel comfortable and warm) and I instantly fall in love with the room LoL 😃

The bungalow (which is actually the room) is not huge but also not too small; it has sufficient space for the luggage and for walk around and stretch in the room. Room was clean, the king-sized bed looked comfortable and the bed sheet had this comfortable sun dried linen smell and towels were arranged nicely on the bed. There were door mats for the main door and the bathroom, side table for one of the sides with tissue box, note pad and safety box. For the other side that didn’t have side table, I think the resort could improve it by placing a small side table.

The room was also completed with a flat-screen satellite TV, little pantry with minibar, kettle, complimentary mineral water bottle, coffee and tea and ‘for sale’ canned drinks and beers. It has a decent sized wardrobe with many clothe hangers, also room slippers and an umbrella! I was surprised to see a big colourful umbrella provided individually for each room, which is a plus point for guests’ convenience, which I never seen before in other hotels (usually hotels only provide umbrella at the reception upon request).

Moving on to the en suite bathroom; there is a nice LED light over the mirror and on the sink counter was the line-up of all amenities you could think of; dental kit, comb, sewing kit, vanity kit, razor, shower cap, sanitary bag, toiletries, hairdryer…I totally didn’t expect it would be as complete as this given the resort is just a small resort. And all the amenities, including the towels, are stamped with the resort name, not just any generic brand! The shower water pressure and temperature was great too!

Each bungalow has its own veranda, which has a coffee table and a pair of lounge chairs, a cloth drying rack and a shoe rack. On the shoe rack there were 2 pairs of white Japanese slippers neatly placed on, which was also for the guests’ convenience. How thoughtful! And there were 2 or 3 pots of plants hanging on my bungalow veranda, projecting the homey feeling. It was a pleasant bungalow all in all…

The only minor discomfort I had was with the air-conditioner; but it was really due to the hot weather and not because of faulty device. During the hot afternoon, the air-conditioner seemed to take a while to cool down the room, even though we set it at minimum temperature (16°C). However when it was approaching evening, we had to set back to >24°C because the room was starting to get cold. Anyway, I did not have much problem with this though.

The cleaning stuff cleaned the rooms every day, even to the veranda where they wipe every of the steel. They also replenished the amenities kit and mineral water bottles, and exchanged the towels to cleaned ones. I think they tracked when we went for breakfast, because by the time we came back after breakfast, our room was already cleaned and tidied.

The Restaurant – delicious food and pleasant service

At evening, we walked to the beach which was just across the resort to enjoy the sea breeze and also to look for things to eat for dinner. However, evening and night time of Otres Beach 1 was pretty quiet and most restaurants and beach bars was empty, which made us skeptical to enter into any 😐 So we walked back to our resort along the mud road with no street lights!

Along the way, we passed by some other resorts with restaurants at the front yet they really look unwelcoming (most of the lodging here has the layout where the restaurant is at the front, the rooms at the yard; so the restaurant can cater to non-hotel guests as well) and thus, heading back to the Sea Breeze Resort restaurant seems to be the better choice.

The resort restaurant is set open air with some tables on the garden. It offers whole-day dining serving a tasty selection of local and western dishes, and special BBQ from 6-9pm daily. There is also a bar that offers a variety of drinks including coffee, tea, beer, mocktails and cocktails. 

For the first dinner, I ordered a plain aglio-olio (USD3.50), while hb ordered BBQ red snapper (USD6). The BBQ set was pretty good deal; each order came with sides (potatoes, salad, garlic bread) and a pint of Angkor beer. Since mine didn’t come with drinks, I made use of the ‘welcome drink’ coupon and ordered the sparkling green tea with watermelon which turned out to be a good choice! We enjoyed our dinner so much. 😋

The next morning, we went to the restaurant again for the complimentary breakfast for resort guest. Unlike the usual buffet breakfast at other hotels, the breakfast at Sea Breeze Resort is ala-carte cooked-to-order, limited to choices as per the complimentary breakfast menu. But fret not, the food was plentiful! Each guest can choose a main dish, a side dish, a cup of Khmer coffee or English breakfast tea, then a glass of cordial juice. We ordered 2 full English breakfast as the main dish, the 2 side dishes a fruit platter and a piece of pancake with honey, then a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, and 2 glasses of cordial juice. The breakfast was great, albeit there were a couple of flies flying around, which was expected since it is open air.

Till dinner time (we skipped lunch as we were too full from the breakfast; we only had some snacks that brought over from home), we again tried to look for decent restaurants by the beach or even restaurants at other resorts but again we were disappointed LoL! So back to our resort restaurant again, and the whole time I thought we were so lucky to have booked this resort because at least the restaurant is decent and accommodating. 😃 This time round, I ordered grilled barracuda that came with potatoes and salad (USD6.50), while hb ordered BBQ mixed seafood (USD7). Hb seemed to enjoy so much of the BBQ and the complimentary beer haha. I made use another of the ‘welcome drink’ coupon and ordered exactly the same thing; the sparkling green tea with watermelon because I love it so much!

For our final morning breakfast, we ordered exactly the same thing as the previous morning breakfast and I couldn’t stressed further how much I enjoyed the breakfast (and dinner!) The staff offered pleasant service although they didn’t talk much which is understandable. I especially like the chubby guy behind the bar (it’s a shame I didn’t get his name) because he was always seen smiling and approachable, and happy to refill hot water for my tea.

The Pool – comfortable swim and sun-bathe

The resort pool is not that huge, yet not that small either. There is a wading pool and also an adult pool, which goes deeper towards the end. The water was not freezing cold, which made it comfortable to swim in the pool. The pool water was clean, although I thought it could be even cleaner. There were few outdoor sun loungers shaded by huge pool umbrella; perfect for just lazing by the pool while sunbathing. 

Beside the pool, there are shower cabins, toilets and changing room, and racks of pool towels. The pool towels are not only for pool use; guests can also bring the towels to the beach. Really thoughtful and convenient! 

Some of the bungalows are overlooking the pool which is great, because you basically can just walk into the pool from your room. The prices for the rooms are different though, so do check the price on booking sites whichever is comfortable for you... (our bungalow was not by the pool thus a little bit cheaper by few dollars).


All in all, we had a great and enjoyable stay at Sea Breeze Resort which fulfilled all our needs of sleeping, eating and lazing for this quick getaway trip. Although it appears that the whole city was under construction, this little resort was perfect for our relaxing cocoon by the beach 😍 . I am not sure if I would be back to Sihanoukville again, but if I do, and decide to stay at Otres Beach 1 again, I would look no further than this little charming resort 😃

Before I end this post, here are a couple of photos of the resort outdoor at night. Have you also stayed at Sea Breeze Resort at Sihanoukville before? What was your thought on the resort? Or, perhaps you have other great hotel to recommend around Otres Beach 1 too? Do let me know in comment below!

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