A Promise of Paradise

The Royal Sands Koh Rong Cambodia
Having visited many of the beautiful islands in the Gulf of Thailand and being awed at the tranquillity of especially Koh Kut I was more than interested when I received my invitation to The Royal Sands Resort on Koh Rong.

Koh Rong, also known as Monkey Island, is the second largest island of Cambodia. Located about 25 KM from Sihanoukville and being only 15 km long from North to South, the island is mainly covered by jungle but boosts 43 km of unspoilt beaches with incredible white sands, coral reefs and diverse aquatic fauna.

Incredible Unspoilt Beaches
Reports of the Royal Sands Resort and the remarkable beach directly in front seemed to be spectacularly written and this promise of paradise seemed far too good to be true, so it wasn’t without some excitement and trepidation that I started on my journey.

The Royal Sands service for me started at Don Muang airport in Bangkok, whisked through the VIP Immigration channel it was a short but comfortable Minibus ride to the far side of the airport where no less than our stunning Cessna Citation private jet was waiting. Our host for the trip Mr. Luzi Matzig one of the main partners in Royal Sands Koh Rong was also our pilot and with a comfortable hour and 10 mins we were approaching Sihanoukville airport in Cambodia. Here again the right staff in the right place and visa formalities were quickly passed. A short car ride and we arrived at the pier with the Royal sands luxury boat waiting. The boat ride was comfortable, and we coasted along over tranquil blue waters eagerly taking in the approaching island sights. Now with The Royal Sands resort in view it was becoming very apparent that the marketing was true. First from afar all you would see is a long white beach, and as we neared it was just incredibly beautiful, about 7.5Km long and stunning white sand with crystal clear water lapping at its edge. The beach and sand were immaculate, and I found out later that the Resort had specially imported a sand cleaning machine from Australia and early morning and late afternoon they would clean the whole beach keeping what was already an amazing beach absolutely to perfection.

Koh Rong until The Royal Sands opened its doors in December last year was only a well-kept back packers secret. The main small village is Koh Toch, which is basically the only place the public ferry stops off, has a colourful array of backpacker guesthouses, bars and cafes that until now gave the island its reputation. The Royal Sands has drastically changed that attitude, opening up a stunningly unknown Cambodian island with a 5 Star resort. This is the culmination of a vision from Luzi and his partners to build a complete and exclusive 5-star village, with designs incorporating high-quality and sustainable materials including teak, bamboo and limestone, with open-air venues for enjoying unspoilt views of the Gulf of Thailand and their legendary sunsets.

We settled into our beautiful beachfront villa, there are 67 in total. The villas reflect Royal Sands commitment to providing an ambience of luxurious relaxation and calming inspiration. The bedrooms are spacious and positioned so as to allow guests to enjoy the best views from their beds. The bathrooms are equally spacious, featuring indoor and outdoor rain showers. Tropical, uncluttered décor provides a contemporary and relaxing feel. Each villa is freestanding and offers high-quality amenities. They are fitted with Super King-size beds. Sofas are located inside, with day-beds on the outdoor ‘sala’, offering guests a variety of options on which to relax. All villas offer outdoor ‘salas’, while others feature beachfront views and their own personal pools, but all built to give you that touch of privacy from your neighbouring guests.

Sand so pristine it squeaked underfoot
Only metres away from our villa the beach was already calling and I took the opportunity to have a slow relaxing walk over the white sand with the clear water lapping close by. The sand was so amazingly clean and pristine it was as if I was the first person to set foot on it, each step producing a foot print and a light crunching sound almost the same as when you’d walk in fresh snow. I’ve honestly never had such incredibly virgin sand under foot.

The resort has a full range of activities on and off site to ensure that there is something for everyone. We first took the invitation to the helicopter island tour and spent an exhilarating half an hour flying over the whole island and beautiful coastline. From the air you get a completely different perspective of the lush jungle covered mountains and the amazing beaches and coastline. The following day we chose to take trip into the Mangrove swamps and have a few hours gently kayaking through the quiet waters watching the local wildlife until we came out onto the estuary and had a break for lunch before heading back. Late that same day just before the amazing sunset we relaxed at the Spa with a professional massage, I chose the Thai style being my old time favourite and wasn’t disappointed. The Spa buildings are classic Bali style just oozing luxurious calmness and tranquillity.

Stepping through their solid timber doors you can leave the world far behind you. Senses Spa at The Royal Sands Koh Rong offers a range of traditional and contemporary therapies to calm the mind and energise the soul. Features include a semi open-air ‘sala’ for foot and Thai massages, an outdoor yoga ‘sala’ dedicated to the art of breathing & stretching and private rooms for more specialised therapies. I especially loved the glass bottom floors giving you a soothing view of the Koy Carp darting in the water below. Next to the Spa buildings was the fully equipped gym with excellent life fitness machines and weights, but that would have to wait for another visit as sadly, our time was nearly over, I would have loved to have tried that and some of the trekking, fishing or even scuba diving options available.

Just a couple of wonderful days at The Royal Sands Koh Rong and you could feel the batteries charging again. There’s no stress here, no 7/11’s and certainly no ATM’s just an incredibly beautifully built resort on an unspoilt tropical island asking to be explored. There’s absolutely nothing not to be loved with the Royal Sands, luxurious accommodation, a 5-star restaurant with all the Asian & Western favourites, attentive but discreet staff, enough facilities and  activities available for those eager to try and the most amazing beach that I have ever seen in my life.

A promise of Paradise fulfilled.

The Royal Sands Koh Rong Co., Ltd.
Building #60 (Unit 203), Preah Monivong Blvd,
Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Tel: + 855 23 900 791