Le Bout du Monde, Cambodia - ECOCLUB.com Rating

ECOCLUB.com Rating

ECOCLUB.com Rating Explained: The first 5 sections of this application each correspond to the 5 ECOCLUB.com Criteria for Ecological & Socially Just Tourism

The maximum rating score we can award in each section is 5, and the minimum 1. When a criterion is fully met in our view we award 5 suns, when it is nearly met 4 suns, when it is partly met 3 suns, when it is not at all met but effort is being made to meet it 2 suns and when we feel that it is not at all met and no effort is being made to meet the specific criterion, 1 sun and when we feel that the the specific criterion is being directly violated by the operation 0 suns. You may add a comment with improvement suggestions to the Lodge at the bottom of the page.

For detailed information on the free ECOCLUB.com Rating System please see here.

Name of Property (Country): "Le Bout du Monde" (Cambodia)



Satellite Map / Street View:

Lodge Address: Preah Tom, Kep, Cambodia

Number of Rooms:


Minimum & Maximum Double Room Rates:

USD 20 - USD 130

Name of Applicant (Title & Role):

Jean-Luc & Sambath Gourmelen (Owners)

Official, Legal Proprietor(s):

Sambath Gourmelen
Year of Construction / Operating Since: Construction of new buildings in 2008/2009 - Operating since 2008

Rated on:

16 September 2011
1. POLITICAL CRITERIA:  Rating: 3 out of 5


1a. Who is/are the legal owner(s) of the Lodge? (please state official name if owned by a company)

Sambath Gourmelen


Picture 1a: "The Hotel "Le Bout du Monde" is managed by a couple of Khmer and French (Sambath and Jean Luc Gourmelen), that gives to the Hotel the benefit to be build and lead by two different cultures. Sambath in this picture, works in every task with the staff (cooking, gardening, cleaning...)"

1b. Who is/are the legal manager(s) of the Lodge?

Sambath Gourmelen

1c. Since when has the facility been under the current ownership & management?


1d. If owned by a family, since when has the family been residing in the area, and for how many months each year?

2008 - 11 months a year

1e. How are decisions taken and by whom? (Please provide details)

Me and my husband take decisions

1f. Who has access to the Lodge's facilities and its land and for what uses?

Guests and staff only.

1g. Who took the initiative to build this Lodge?

Sambath Gourmelen

1h. How did the (nearest) local community participate in the decision-making process concerning the founding and creation of this Lodge and how does it participate in its running?

Local workers (most of the time farmers) built the lodge. Our staff is made up of children of farmers. Most of them cannot read and write when they arrive. We only buy produce from the local markets except vegetable and fruits of our garden.

Clarification: We do not prefer to employ children but adults are not qualified enough to work in hospitality. There are no hospitality school in the countryside and farmers are confident when they present their children. They consider as a sort of promotion because they will learn to read and write when they cannot do it themselves.

Children arrive to work at the Lodge ranges from 15 to 20. When they are 20, they have big difficulties to learn and they think they will have easy money in tourism. So we prefer to have trainees of 15/16/17.

Schooling is not obligatory in Cambodia and most parents need money from elder children.

The minimum working age in Cambodia is 14. 

The actual ages of our current employees are:

One is 15 (recently employed), two are 16, three are 17, two are 18, one is 20, one is 25.

One of the children attends courses in Management Institute in Kampot (25 Kms) and we paid the fees for him. The others have lessons in the Lodge with a teacher and the owner Sambath Gourmelen who was a teacher in French foreign language formerly.


Picture 1k: "In the hotel, we work together in the same aim. We organize also regular meeting with all the staff and we give individual responsibility of each one. It is important for all of them to have their own place in the community."

1i. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?

Video1i: Video from the hotel:



2. ECONOMIC CRITERIA -  Rating: 3: out of 5

2a. Number of rooms:

10 (ten)

2b. Number of beds:

15 (fifteen)

2c. What is the total area of the land of the property?

7,000 m2

2d. What is the total covered area of the Lodge including rooms and common areas (in sq. metres)?

500 m2

2e. What is the total building footprint (in sq. metres) – i.e. part of the land covered by buildings

500 m2

2f. How many employees are there (excluding yourself and members of the family)?

9 (nine) all full-time.


Picture 2f: "Every day, the staff has an English course in the classroom in the Hotel. The owners provide training for the staff, in English and in French (professional and useful). It is important for their work and also for their personal knowledge."

2g. How many employees are from the (nearest) local village?

9 (nine)

2h. If applicable, do employees or the community own any shares or share part of the revenue?


2i. What was the total turnover (total sales) in 2010?
(please state in your local currency)

USD 35,000

2k. What were the total profits in 2010?

USD 10,000 totally invested in furniture and materials for the lodge.

2l. How are profits distributed, and who decides about it?

NIL (see above)

2m. Are there any national and local taxes to be paid or are you exempt?

The area of Kep is exempted of VAT for the moment (to help development). So the only taxes we pay is for the licence (annual fee) and monthly tax for the Tourism Ministry.

2n. What was the total amount of taxes paid in 2010?

USD 800

2o. What percentage of consumables are locally sourced, how many are nationally sourced, and how many are imported?

Locally 70%, National? maybe petrol for bikes, gas 10%, imported 20%

2p. Do you cultivate food for the guests?

Yes, vegetable, some spices. Tomatoes, cucumber, thyme, rosemary, Khmer and western basil. And also fruits such as bananas, passion fruit, papayas, jack fruits, cashew nuts.

2q. Do you have any agreements with local producers?

Yes, we have regular providers for fish and shellfish.


Picture 2: "Fish Amok, a traditional Cambodian meal prepared with fresh food from the local market. The hotel wants to develop the local exchanges and fair trade between all the stakeholders also we work with local farmers (for the food) and workers (to build and improve our hotel)."

2r. Have ever you received any funding, state, national, private or international and for what purposes?


2s. What is the minimum (low season) double room rate (including breakfast) per room per night?

USD 20 for 2 people.

2t. What is the maximum (high season) double room rate (including breakfast) per room per night?

USD 130 for the family suite.

(The family suite has 2 floors, 2 terraces, four rooms, 2 bathrooms.
The residences have 2 rooms, one terrace and one bathroom
The Khmer villa and the standard bungalows have a double room + bathroom + terrace)

2u. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?


3. ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA -  Rating 4: out of 5

3a. Lodge Siting (how was the lodge location chosen):

The prior owner wanted to sell.

3b. Policy followed during construction:

Local workers, natural materials and Khmer architecture. The Plans were drawn up by Sambath Gourmelen who is a Khmer and a painter.


Picture 3b: "The Hotel is perfectly integrated into the Kep National Park's environment. Our residences and suites are built with stones and wood. With these materials we can do without air conditioning, which is better for the health. The rooms are adapted to the modern comfort (fans, safety, minibar, mosquito net...) with an artistic decoration different in every room. We also have solar energy for some of our suites."

3c. Lighting:

Solar energy in process. Please see the bill for the solar materials below:


Picture 3c: Invoice for Solar System Installation

3d. Heating:


3e. Cooling:

Breeze, fans contribute with the architecture of the house to make them remain cool.

3f. Cleaning:

Everyday with broom, dusters and sponge. Twice a month, lemongrass oil in the furniture to keep mosquitoes away. We wash the clothes with Marseilles soap (natural soap).

3g. Water Management:

We have a well (water from the mountain), and we educate our staff not to waste water. Most of used water goes to the garden. The pipes of the washbasin of the bungalows run the water on the flowerbeds. Moreover, when we wash the clothes with Marseilles soap (natural soap) we can water the plants (natural insecticide).

3h. Cooking:

Gas-cooking only.

3i. Waste management (in detail please):

We teach our staff to use the right pan for the right gas burner, to be careful not to leave the fridge open, to re-use plastic bags if possible, to keep the peelings for the garden, to switch off the lights when they leave a room or when they go to bed. Peels of vegetable, fruits and paper are recycled in the garden for compost. Cans of soft drinks and beers are sold by the staff who buy food for themselves. The rest of the garbage is collected by the local government.


Picture 3i: For the restaurant, the vegetables are mostly fresh produce from the garden (or from the local market) to use the benefits of our environment. Vegetable waste is recycled in the garden. We provide environmental education for the staff (how to do better for the nature) because we want to preserve our environment and work in harmony with the nature. The wastage should be avoided in the field of water and food.

3j. Insect, pest control:

Electric appliances, cleaning.

3k. Energy Sources, Use & Saving Measures:

Solar energy in process. Except security lights, all lights are switched off after midnight.

3l. Noise Protection:

No noise because we are close to the National park.

3m. Name, population and distance of nearest settlement (in km or miles)?

Kep Village and crab market at 300 m from the lodge. The population of Kep village (4 000 inhabitants) are fishermen or rice farmers.

3n. Is the Lodge accessible by public transport (such as bus, train, boat)? If yes, please provide instructions from nearest settlement:

300 m from crab market bus stop

3o. Is the nearest settlement accessible by public transport (such as bus, train, boat)? If yes, please provide instructions from nearest International airport, or nearest major city.

175 kms from Phnom Penh airport. 25 kms from the village of Kampot.
 The bus stop is crab market. In front of ASPECA (orphanage building) walk up the lane for 300 m. We are on the left at the top of the hill. We recommend HUA LIEN bus company (7 : 30 and 12 h 30 from Phnom Penh). It takes 3 hours to go from Phnom Penh to Kep.

3p. Distance from nearby village / city:

300 m.

3q. Architectural Features:

Traditional Khmer architecture. Houses on stilts.

3r. Construction Materials:

Noblewood, stones, thatch and tiles.

3s. Landscape Management:

Landscaped gardens with pedagogical paths (trees, flowers, plants). It is a long process and we start this year with Cambodian, English and French names of the plants and the trees. We are helped by a professor who wrote books with many pictures.

3t: Do you organise or promote tours involving hunting or sport-fishing?


3u: Do you measure consumption per guest at your lodge? If yes, please explain how, and provide data

We have one meter by bungalow.

3v. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?


4. SOCIAL CRITERIA -  Rating: 3 out of 5

4a. Do you provide health insurance and pension to your employees?

We pay the doctor and the medecine and we encourage them to have a savings bank account. There is no public social insurance scheme in Cambodia.

4b. Are your employees entitled to paid leave? If so, how many days each year?

22 days a year.

4c. Are your employees entitled to maternity leave? How many months? Is it paid?

We have paid one month for one of them. She goes on working with us while her husband and family take care of the baby (usual custom in Cambodia).

4d. Do you pay your employees above the minimum wage? (Please state minimum wage, and explain)

Minimum wage in Cambodia is USD 50. Salaries in Le Bout du Monde go from USD 60 to USD 130.

4e. What is the total you paid for wages last year? (excluding wages paid to yourself and members of your family)

USD 6,325

4f. What is the average wage (per annum), the highest wage, and the lowest wage?

Aw = 527 $ - Hw = 1 560 $ - Lw = 720 $

4g. Average and maximum working day, and work hours per week:

That depends on the season. It can go from 2 hours to 12 hours a day with one day off.

4h. Do you employ your staff all year round? (If not, please explain arrangement)



Picture 4h: The staff lives in the hotel, they have their own house. We provide rice for all of them, which want to teach them how to be fair and equal. They also learn how to live in a community, out of the traditional family.

4i. Do you employ immigrants? Are they offered the same remuneration & benefits?

We have never employed immigrants.

4j. Do you employ trainees? Please explain what type of tasks they perform, how much they are paid, how many hours do they work and how do you source them?


4k. Do you use volunteers? Please explain what tasks they are given?

Unfortunately not for the moment. We would like to have volunteers to train our staff and the children of the village school we help. 

4l. Do you offer concessions to elderly visitors, students, young visitors, or nationals?

No. Our prices are calculated at the true value.

4m. Is there infrastructure for people with special needs at your Lodge?

As our houses are on stilts and on foothills, we regret but we cannot recommand our lodge for people with moving disabilities. People on a diet can order special food.

4n. What measures are in place to protect the local (or the indigenous) population from some adverse impacts of tourism?

We only have 7 bungalows and we do not want mass tourism. We educate our staff to warn them of these adverse impacts.

4o. Do you undertake any poverty reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to poverty reduction?

We have created 9 jobs and we give work to local workers.

4p. Do you undertake any inequality reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to inequality reduction?

We only buy our products in the local markets.

4q. Do you undertake any injustice reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to injustice reduction?

We are asked sometimes to give advice to the local government and we cooperate with it in the field of tourism and education. Most of the officials in Cambodia cannot speak a foreign language and they know little of foreign cultures. So, they need to understand what can be done or what cannot be done for public interest.

4r. What is the minimum, maximum and average age of your current employees (excluding yourself and members of the family)?

Minimum : 15
Average : 20
Maximum : 32

4s. How many employees do you have (excluding yourself and members of the family)?

9 (nine)

4t. Is everyone accepted as guests or are there any restrictions?

No restrictions.

4u. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?


Picture 4u: "We regularly give English and French courses for our staff. Boys and girls received the same education. We encourage mutual respect between them in their work and after. They have to be respectful and they should be able to help each other. "

5. CULTURAL CRITERIA-  Rating: 3 out of 5

5a. Are you located within a village or city, or is there a village or city nearby? (please state name and distance in km or miles)

Kep village is 300 m from us

5b. Do guests interact with the local community and how:

They take local tuk tuk, taxi, buy some souvenirs. They try to visit and help the village school whenever they stay long enough. Only, when people are interested, we talk with them of education in Cambodia, (absenteeism of the teachers, method only based on repetition) and we try to have a different approach through discovery games.
Then we encourage people to visit the school and to talk to their friends if the want to volunteer to teach. Some people leave money to make shelves for the book and tables and seats for the pupils.

5c. What type of information is available to guests at the property:

All information regarding the services and tours in the area.

5d. What type of activities are available to guests at the property:

Local transport, various tours, Thai or oil massage.

5e. Local guided tours for guests organised by you:

No, by partners.

5f. Events / presentations held at the facility so far:

Khmer architecture exhibition, botanic paths.


Picture 5f: "Khmer architecture exhibition at the Lodge"

5g. Specific programme for children:

On demand (information about cambodian culture, plants, fruits etc...)

5h. Academic Research and Academic Publications produced or assisted by the property so far:


5i. Is the local community at all involved in the operation of the Lodge and how?

Staff + workers + local fishermen or farmers + local government (see above).

Clarification: the local government is not at all involved in the operation of the Lodge, but they are in charge to apply the law (national or local) and they want to be informed of the consequences of some rules. On the other hand they give information on all sorts of subjects such as public health and our staff attend to that meetings.


Picture 5i: The staff is mostly young people from the country side. In the hotel, we encourage them to keep their culture. Thanks to mixed culture we manage to keep the Khmer and the French tradition.

5j. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?


Picture 5j: "The houses are built on traditional Khmer architecture (stones and wood) to preserve and promote the traditional culture. In this picture, you can see our restaurant which is built in the same way. Our cuisine is a mix of Khmer and French dishes; we want to have the best quality in our restaurant for every meal."


Please sign to indicate your agreement with the following:

I hereby declare that all my answers are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and understand that I and/or my company will not have the right to veto or 'hide' our ECOCLUB.com Rating, which will be decided in the manner specified at http://www.ecoclub.com/ecotourism/rating if we find it unfavourable. I also understand that this rating application is valid for a maximum of 3 Years and a minimum of 1 Year. I may request a new rating application only after 1 Year from the day that my previous rating application was published online. By submitting this questionnaire I indicate acceptance of all ECOCLUB.com Rating terms, conditions and procedures as stated at http://www.ecoclub.com/ecotourism/rating, and understand that these may be modified at any time without notice.

(Please enter (paste) your signature below or type your initials to indicate acceptance )

Your Name: Sambath Gourmelen
Your Email: contact.leboudumonde[at]gmail.com
Date: 28 August 2011

ECOCLUB.com Rating:  3.2 out of 5
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