Okay, so the disclaimer first: READ THE OTHER REVIEWS. READ THEM TWICE. If you are into hotels, hate bugs, can't handle walking any sort of distance carrying your own baggage, this is not your place. If you dig unique surroundings, remote locations, and the serenity of nature, check it out. Most of the sub-par reviews this place has received seem to be from people who didn't know what they were getting themselves into.
Second disclaimer: I didn't actually stay here. Wish I had. I booked my only two nights in Kep ahead of time, but stumbled on this place while I was hiking the loop around Kep National Park in desperate need of some late breakfast sustenance. There was a sign on the trail pointing down the hill saying something to the effect of: "Jasmine Valley: food, coffee, swim, skate-bowl" Wait...skate? Dear sir, you have my attention!
So I checked it out. I've been to a handful of eco-resorts and this place really shines. The food was solid, and the menu pricing was very reasonable for Kep. As mentioned in other reviews, the prices are a bit more for Cambodia in terms of per-dish price, but cheap compared to almost anywhere in the world--pork ribs with fries for like $6? Yes, please! Also worth noting, a solid meal in Cambodia may cost $3, but it won't contain the ingredients or foodie twists offered here--especially in such a remote and natural location. I went with a 'light' breakfast of a curried egg sammich and a large slice of carrot cake for $5. Delicious.
Then I poked around the place. The pool was natural, and beautiful--as noted, not crystal-clear and chlorinated, but the multiple families splashing around seemed unfazed. The lounge area had a decent pool table/fooseball set up. In the pizza restaurant there was a piano and a guitar, and immediately above that on the trail to the national park there was an amphitheater. When's the last time you saw one of those at a jungle resort?
But for me the holy grail of the experience was the skate bowl. It was an actual, legit skate bowl with good contours and rails. If I hadn't had a full day of hiking in front of me I would have dropped in right then and there. Also, although I didn't peek inside, the bungalows all looked quite nice, and were spread out around the complex to allow for maximum immersion in the jungle surroundings, rather than being overly clustered together.
Lastly, I should note that even though I was just an interloper stopping by for a meal during my trek, the staff was incredibly friendly and responsive. The next time I'm in Kep, I will be staying here.
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