The longer I stayed at Knai Bang Chatt the less I wanted to leave.
This French colonial era hotel occupies a secluded stretch of the Kep seaside. With an infinity pool overlooking the rolling waves, you’ll get your fill of sun, surf and water.
The 18 rooms are housed in five 1960s art deco French villas, four of which are original, including the floor tiles. My ocean view double came complete with traditional Khmer bed, with a rain water shower I didn’t want to get out of, a mix of restored, new and recycled wooden furniture and amazing antique ceramics. There are mosquito nets in every room but, despite the garden setting, I didn’t notice many mosquitoes during my stay in July.
All the rooms at KBC have a unique layout and are individually decorated. Great care has been taken to select locally or nationally made furniture, tiles and Khmer ceramics. There is nothing sterile or ‘samey’ about this resort. It feels more like staying in a luxury home than a hotel.
Management want you to get out in the Kep countryside or explore the grounds of the resort so there are televisions in only two of the rooms, and in the communal library. The smooth running of the hotel appears effortless, with the hard work happening out of site.
The Strand restaurant has some of the finest dining in Kep, along with the adjacent KBS Sailing Club. The fresh crab cakes are the best I’ve had in my life. Breakfast was served every morning in The Strand, overlooking the sea. There is a buffet choice of freshly made pastries, bread, cereal, cheese and fruit. Hot food such as Khmer noodle soup, eggs Benedict or pancakes are made to order and are delicious.
KBC is popular with couples and discerning expats from Phnom Penh. Some of my fellow guests were repeat visitors and everyone looked so happy to be here. Families can also be accommodated in an adjoining room suite.
The hotel was undergoing a discreet ‘facelift’ so everything should be fresh for your stay.