A perfect spot for messing about on the river, GreenHouse is a Kampot gem. With comfortable en-suite bungalows (hammocks included) in lovely gardens, a river-view terrace, and delicious Kampot pepper-inspired menu, it’s a place to swim, kayak, eat or kick back with a good book.
Upstream on Kampot River’s eastern banks by Snam Prampi village, GreenHouse is 20 minutes from Kampot town, at the end of a bumpy track. Its out-of-the-way location is half the appeal; the only downside is the occasional late-night partying at backpacker hostel Arcadia, further upstream. Trips to Bokor Hill Station, 25 miles (40km) away, Kampot’s pepper plantations and seaside town Kep are perfectly do-able.
Also on the east bank is the excellent (women-only) Banteay Srey spa and Teuk Chhou rapids. Kampot is two and a half hours from Phnom Penh, and around two hours from Sihanoukville. A train route connects Kampot to Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh (currently Fri-Sun only).
Address: St. Toek Chhu, Kampot, Cambodia.
Style & character
There’s quite a story behind GreenHouse. The green teak house, now the restaurant, used to be a bar on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar peninsula. Called Snowy’s, after its owner Ian ‘Snow’ Woodford, it became something of an institution after opening in 2005, but was forced to close in 2011.
It was saved by a friend, Dave Barbe, who’d been scouting Kampot for a guesthouse location.He bought the teak structure, had it dismantled and transported to Kampot on four trucks, where it was carefully re-assembled. Along with the lush gardens, open-plan restaurant, terrace and riverside hammocks, the place is dizzyingly relaxing.
Service & facilities
Expect friendly, relaxed service in the bar-restaurant, where there’s a spacious river-view terrace and free water refills. Staff can advise on day trips and onward travel, and arrange moto/mountain bike rental. But the star is the river. There’s a chill-out area by the jetty, which you can jump off into the water, or hire kayaks ($2/£1.50 an hour) and stand-up paddleboards ($4/£3 hour). Bjorn, of tour company Love The River, operates his boat trips from GreenHouse (from $15/£12) going into the mangroves and taking in village life and birdlife.
These rustic-looking bungalows blend well into the surroundings, and are lovely inside. Garden-view are cold-water only, so if hot water appeals, deluxe bungalows are only $5 (£4) a night extra. Beds are comfortable, rooms have fans, mosquito nets and cane-shutter windows, and clean modern bathrooms have good water pressure and toiletries. All come with terrace with seating and a hammock; it’s easy to spend a day in one doing very little.
Food & drink
Under the helm of French chef Erwan Brouille, food is consistently good, and popular with local French expats. With a focus on Kampot pepper, dishes include the red and white pepper fish tartare, crab with green Kampot pepper sauce, and cheese galettes. They also have an $18 (£14) Kampot Pepper Discovery Menu and there’s a good, mainly French and Argentinian, wine list. Don’t miss the red pepper-and-chocolate cookies at 4pm. Breakfast includes eggs in any style, muesli, croissants, and proper coffee.
Access for guests with disabilities?
The grounds make GreenHouse unsuitable for wheelchair users. Ask before booking for other mobility restrictions.
Due to the stretch of unprotected riverfront, GreenHouse only accepts children over 12. No extra beds available, but the twin and group (two bunk beds) bungalows sleep up to four.
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