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Published on September 1, 2019

LUXURIOUS PARADISE ISLAND ESCAPE: The Royal Sands Koh Rong, Cambodia


By Jaffee Yee

When you’ve got the feeling of being trapped in a big concrete jungle, fighting an endless rat race, you may just dream of a paradise island with powdery white sand beaches gently lapped by warm crystal-clear waters. This dream can be a reality, as there is truly such a place on earth… and it’s not that far from Thailand or China.

Koh Rong, in Cambodia, is the very definition of a dreamlike pristine island paradise. In many ways, it’s just like one of the numerous islands in Thailand’s Andaman Sea which, back in the 1960s and 70s, were just waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately for Thailand, soon after these islands were discovered by tourists from all over the world they became, one by one, overexposed, crowded and less alluring. We now often hear bad news about over tourism in some of these formerly pristine beach destinations; most notably Koh Phi Phi, where the Thai government was forced to close Maya Bay to tourists in 2018 to enable it to regenerate its natural ecosystem and beauty.

The good news, for those in search of a lost island paradise, is that Koh Rong, the second largest Cambodian island in the Gulf of Thailand, is not that far from away. And for discerning travelers seeking the ultimate luxury paradise escape, The Royal Sands Koh Rong offers everything you possibly desire.

Getting to The Royal Sands Koh Rong is easy. From the Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok you can either charter the four passenger private jet owned by pilot Captain Luzi Matzig, the founding partner of the resort, for a flight to Sihanoukville International Airport, or hop on a regular AirAsia scheduled flight to Sihanoukville. In addition, for Chinese visitors, there are now more than 18 flights direct from China, as well as regular domestic flights from Siem Reap. Upon arrival, the efficient Royal Sands representative will be there to take care of arranging transfer to the resort in a luxury private boat. A special helicopter service from Phnom Penh is also available to fly guests directly to the property.

The Royal Sands Koh Rong is a five-star, all-villa resort nestled along a 650-meter long stretch of private beach that overlooks the translucent turquoise waters on the southwestern coast of Koh Rong. It’s a setting that is totally surrounded by nature. Among the 67 freestanding villas, 10 are Beachfront Pool Villas, 17 are Ocean View Pool Villas, and some others offer two- and three-bedroom accommodation options. All the units are spacious and fitted with super king-size beds, sofas, and an impressively large bathroom, with separate toilet and shower, as well as an outdoor rain shower.

There are two restaurants for in-house guests to savor food prepared by a highly professional female Australian-trained Vietnamese chef. The Chill,located by the pool and the beach, is the perfect place for lunch, sundowners, or a relaxed oceanfront dinner. The extensive menu offers Asian and Western cuisine, as well as a seafood BBQ—best enjoyed with either a chilled beer or a glass of wine.

A day in the life of The Royal Sands Koh Rong should both begin and end at the Ocean Restaurant, where guests can enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast in the morning, and a romantic à la carte wine dinner during the evening. This open-air main restaurant is at the center of the resort, overlooking an iconic Buddha statue sitting on the beachfront, blessing guests throughout the day as they dine. The restaurant has a very impressive wine list, with labels from around the world that can pair beautifully with most food on offer, from local Khmer dishes to the international cuisine. All the dishes are highly recommended using local ingredients that capture the flavors and influence of Southeast Asia. The Khmer tasting plate devised from Chef Chau is to die for and extremely popular.

There are a great variety of recreational activities guests can enjoy and participate in during their stay, and all are professionally managed and monitored by skilled resort staff members. These activities include fishing, diving, PADI diving lessons, snorkeling, kayaking, island hopping, mountain biking, and trekking. Guests are also welcome to simply work out in the on-site gym, or indulge in a relaxing, soothing spa treatment and/or massage at the Senses Spa, which offers special treatments in a room equipped with an indoor shower and a glass floor; allowing guests the unique opportunity to deeply relax during the treatment while gazing down at colorful tropical fish.

This paradise island resort is a place where you can walk on a powdery white sand beach, hear the sound of the waves, see spectacular sunsets, eat the freshest seafood, and drink fine wine, all with attentive professional service. It is the ultimate soulful retreat that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

Photos: Courtesy of Royal Sands Koh Rong, Cambodia

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