Situated in the heart of the Cambodian jungle, a stone’s throw away from Kep National Park, the verdant Jasmine Valley is one of the area’s hidden gems. Getting there from the sleepy, seaside town of Kep is an adventure in itself, meandering up the unpaved, tumultuous road in a valiant tuk-tuk, guests are left wondering what to expect upon arrival. However, they are not left disappointed.
Jasmine Valley owners Owen and Jasmine Beck opened the resort back in December 2009, after a rigorous nine months of construction, using locally-sourced materials where possible.
“One of the most interesting parts of the journey was working with all that was around us. The local builders were quite hesitant at first, especially making the mud bricks, but once they adapted it really took off,” Australian former filmmaker Beck said.
He added that the builders were delighted by the results, telling him, “we’re building poor people stuff and it looks beautiful.”
Construction at the resort, which has successfully avoided connecting to the national grid, started with the Beck’s residence, and the six mud-hut bungalows and two mountain lodges followed, finally the two tree-houses were constructed in February 2010.
The two-storey mountain lodges comprise two capacious, open-plan bedrooms, which offer sweeping panoramas of the surrounding valley and views of Vietnam on the horizon.
Situated beside a stream-fed natural swimming pool, the bar and restaurant is the ideal oasis in which to while away the hours. There is also a games room, complete with pool and table tennis tables and construction has recently finished on Cambodia’s first skate bowl and an amphitheatre to host live music.
“We had our first gig on December 29.
“It was really very special, with great music, a panorama of jungle at gig’s start and under the stars at gig’s end,” Beck said, adding that he intends to add further entertainment amenities in the near future.
“Now that the majority of the development is complete, we can focus on installing more activity and relaxation facilities to cater to the varied needs of our customers.” In the future, visitors to Jasmine Valley should not only expect a leisurely game of tennis, but also therapeutic trip to the beauty salon before spending the remainder of the day lounging in the heart of the jungle.
Accommodation at the resort starts from US$22 for a double tree-house room, while the impressive mountain lodges are priced at $64.