I heard recently that The One resort was finished and up and running. Personally, I have been very interested in how it would turn out, so my team and I decided to make a trip out to Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem to take a look.
Aerial View of Saracen Bay
As you walk along the beach towards The One, several resorts immediately catch your eye. Firstly, Sweet Dreams looks fantastic. The resort has recently tripled in size, and the modern rustic-style bungalows really do take your breath away. In particular, the dark reflective glass on every bungalow looks superb.
After Sweet Dreams, the next outstanding resort is Sol Beach. The modern Khmer style villas are really something of a spectacle, and you can’t help but admire the architecture as you walk by (you can read an in depth review of it here: A review of Sol Beach Resort).
Next is the outlandish Moonlight Resort – A fantastically designed set of eco-friendly white-domes. If I’m honest, I was somewhat taken aback when I had first seen these bungalows, and not in a good way. But everybody’s first impression will inevitably be different, and I must admit I have warmed up to them a lot over the past few months, to the point that I now regard Moonlight as one of the best resorts on Samloem.
Now comes The One, and after the past three very memorable structures, it would need to be something of a sight to match up… I must admit it more than lives up to expectations!
The One Resort
Firstly, you are hit with the beautiful infinity edge swimming pool, overlooking a wonderful part of Saracen Bay, and enveloped by a modern wooden-style bar / restaurant area. You are met by friendly helpful staff that are always full of smiles and are very easy to get on with. After several minutes to relax and unwind in the bar area, the staff show you to your room, which, similarly to Sweet Dreams, is a stunning modern rustic-style villa.
The rooms themselves are large and spacious, the beds are very comfortable and clean, and the western-style bathrooms are superb. Each villa even comes with a wide-screen TV, which, believe it or not, does come in handy at night times, even on a tropical island paradise! This is because there really is not much to do on Saracen Bay when the sun goes down, so a movie in bed is ideal.
After a great night’s sleep, we were greeted with a fantastic selection of breakfast foods. The fruits were fresh and ripe, the western dishes were of a good quality, and the teas and coffees were just what we needed first thing in the morning.
The beach around the resort is in a great condition, and is ideal for lounging, relaxing, and taking in the mesmerising scenery. The soft white sands are cleaned on a regular basis, and the ocean is crystal clear and warm. Because you are near the centre of Saracen Bay, all you can see in front of you is outstretching ocean waters, with the encompassing mountainsides in the far background. All in all, a great location and a great resort!
The One’s Restaurant
One of the highlights of our trip were the evenings that we spent at The One. At night times there really is nothing better than sitting back, unwinding, and admiring the ocean views over the lit-up infinity edge swimming pool. To make things even better, The One has a great selection of Cocktails on offer, so you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery in style 🙂
If I was going to knit pick, I would say that other resorts nearby offer good alternatives for night-time meals. For example, Moonlight Resort next door has fantastic pizza and other western foods, whereas the fish Amok, a classic Khmer dish, is really something special at Sol Beach. What’s more, the white wines at Moonlight are, unusually for Samloem, served at a perfect temperature, whereas Sol Beach has a great selection of red wines.
In sum, The One Resort on Saracen Bay, Koh Rong Samloem, has proven itself to be one of the best places to stay if you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday experience on a wonderful tropical island paradise.
To book this resort now at the best price, click here: Book The One at Best Price
Q: When is the best time to visit Saracen Bay?
A: The best time to visit Saracen Bay is between the middle of November and the start of May. During these months you’ll have beautiful hot days with very little cloud and low humidity. To give you a rough idea of the average temperatures over this past year:
Middle of November / December / January / February: Warm and dry. 25°C daytime.
March / April / May: Hot and dry. 35°C daytime.
June / July / August: Hot and wet. 35°C daytime.
September / October / Early November: Warm and wet. 25°C daytime.
Please see our Weather Guide for more information.
Q: How do I get to Saracen Bay?
A: There are now 5 modern ferry services from Sihanoukville to Saracen Bay – Speed Ferry Cambodia, Island Speed Boat Cambodia, Buva Sea, Angkor Speed Ferry, and GTVC. (There are also a couple of $5-$10 ‘Slow Boat’ services that take 1.5 – 2.5 hours – These services are not professionally run and are not recommended).
It will take about 40 minutes to get to Saracen Bay if it’s the first stop. If the boat first stops elsewhere, it may take 1 hour or so.
All 5 services will charge roughly $25 return, though prices can vary depending on time of year, special offers, etc. All services leave from the Ochheuteal (AKA ‘Serendipity’) pier in Sihanoukville.
The 5 services offer modern speed boats with comfortable chairs, life jackets, and the option to buy food and drink on board. Not all of the ferries have air-conditioning, but once the boats set off there is a strong cool breeze throughout the sitting areas which more than makes up for it.
All ferry services tend to be very busy – we strongly recommend you buy your tickets in advance. You can buy your tickets online now here: Book Ferry Tickets Online Now
Q: What activities are there?
A: Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
The Koh Rong islands are known for their stunning underwater panorama. Whether it’s snorkeling or scuba diving that you’re after, there are plenty of superb locations on Koh Rong Samloem.
Kayaking & Paddle Boarding
Enjoy the crystal clear ocean waters by Kayaking or paddle boarding your way around – An ideal activity for couples and families alike.
Explore the exotic jungle habitat by foot. If you’re staying on Saracen Bay, we would definitely recommend for you to see Lazy Beach – A 40 minute walk through the jungle trail.
Sparkling like a starry sky all around you, the bioluminescent plankton are a wonderful sight to behold at night times. Please speak to your hotel about booking a plankton tour.
Q: Where can I see the glowing plankton?
A: Sparkling like a starry sky all around you, the bioluminescent plankton are a wonderful sight to behold at night times. Although this phenomenon is abundant on the islands, the glowing plankton can only be seen in places with very little light pollution.
If you’re staying on Saracen Bay, the easiest way for you to see the plankton is by booking a boat tour.
For more information, please read: Glowing Plankton on Koh Rong
Q: What should I bring with me?
A: We recommend that you bring plenty of cash, mosquito spray, sun tan lotion, and any other necessities. Saracen Bay and M’Pai Bay have small shops where you can buy most of what you might need, but prices can be inflated so it’s a good idea to stock up on the essentials before you go.
Q: Is it easy to get a Cambodian Visa?
A: Yes – it is generally very easy to get a Cambodian Visa. Although there are tighter restrictions for Business Visas (which now require a Cambodian work permit), the Tourist Visa (1 month stay) is very straight forward and can be obtained at the airport / border crossing as you arrive. If you’d like to skip the ques, you can buy your visa online now here: Buy a Visa Online Now.
Q: Is there an ATM on Saracen Bay?
A: There is currently no ATM on Saracen Bay. However, many resorts now take card (e.g. VISA, MasterCard, etc) and you can take money out using an Eftpos terminal (10% fee). It is also possible to do a WING transfer if you are desperate for cash. Please ask someone when you are there for details.
You can get cash out at any of the three Eftpos terminals on Koh Touch (the main tourist area on Koh Rong Island). There is an Eftpos terminal at Green Ocean Guesthouse, White Rose Guesthouse, and Koh Lanta.
Q: Is there a medical facility?
A: There is currently no medical facility on Saracen Bay. However, Koh Rong has a medical facility on Koh Touch (the main tourist area). Please ask someone when you are there for directions.
Q: Is it a family-friendly place?
Q: When is the rainy season?
A: The rainy season on Saracen Bay is from the middle of May to early November. During these months there will be short bursts of heavy rain during the day. One thing to note is that, although it is wonderfully hot throughout the peak season, there are several advantages of visiting the island during the rainy season.
For example, those that visit during the rainy season get to enjoy half-priced accommodation and beautiful rainy scenes, and because it never gets too cold in Cambodia, swimming in the ocean is still a very pleasurable experience (the water rarely drops beneath 25°C). Take a look at this article for more information: 5 Reasons to Visit Saracen Bay in Rainy Season