Situated on Cambodia’s west coast facing into the Gulf of Thailand, Otres Beach is a charming Cambodian beachside town that has thus far avoided mass development that plagues so many beach towns in South East Asia.
Whether you are planning a visit just for the fabulous beach weather in the dry season, or you are adding a relaxing stop to a Cambodia road trip, it pays to know a little more about Otres before booking accommodation for your family.
The best place to stay with kids at Otres Beach really depends on your group size and how compromising you are on your mod cons – options range from rustic to luxury but there are no big hotel names to be seen.
The main difference is simply geography. Otres 1 and 2 are on the beach, whereas Otres Village sits between the two and slightly inland on a small river. Otres 1 is slightly closer to Sihanoukville (meaning cheaper transportation and more Sihanoukville day trippers) and Otres 2 lies to the south.
Both beaches are lined with shack-like restaurants offering sun-loungers, dining and refreshments. In all but those owned by resorts on the road opposite, the sun loungers are free for anyone to use all along both beaches.
As a minimum courtesy, of course, you should look to buy a drink or dine at your chosen lodgings. We never felt harassed or pressured to buy wherever we sat – except, of course, from the hawkers willing to defoliate or massage any limb they can!
Otres 2 felt like it had more beach frontage that was reserved for guests of resorts only and has a reputation for being more ‘upper class’ and less ‘backpackerish’ which I know some families prefer.
The only other notable difference between the two is price – Otres 2 rooms cost fractionally more (yet still amazingly good value vs resorts in the vast majority of the rest of the world!)
Otres Village is set back from the waterfront. It is home to many restaurants, a growing foodie culture and much of the nightlife of Otres. Accommodation here is more suited to backpackers and couples than families but nonetheless provides a cheaper alternative.
At the time of writing, the going rate to Tuk Tuk between each part of Otres is $3USD. A beach-to-beach walk of the whole of Otres may take you 45 minutes – much longer with shorter, curious little legs!
If you stay set back from the beach, your accommodation will likely be cheaper – eg staying in Otres Village. Expect a 10-minute walk from here to the public beach area between Otres 1 and 2.
The beach shacks that line Otres beachfront all include sun loungers and bars for day-tripper use. Many also have attached bungalows.
Expect these beach bungalows to be very basic. You will have a fan without aircon and a simple mosquito net over your bed. Bathroom facilities we could see at the beachfront bungalows are all shared.
Head to the other side of Otres Beach road you will get a line of “Resorts”. These resorts mostly boast a pool and small air-conditioned rooms with private gardens. Don’t expect fancy kids clubs, though you can try asking for babysitting, books and games at reception.