Cambodia isn’t short of special places to explore, but what about special places to sleep? It doesn’t get much better than arriving at your jungle bedroom by helicopter, sleeping to the sounds of the waves on a private tropical island, and waking up next door to the Angkorian ruins.
Canvas and luxury? Two words you don’t often hear uttered in the same sentence; reserve your judgement until you’ve wrapped your eyes around these special spots.
Beige by name, beige by nature? While technically it is by nature, there’s certainly nothing boring about this place. Cambodia’s Angkor temples are hugely popular hotspots, but few realise they are surrounded by lush jungle. Swap a nondescript hotel in Siem Reap to stay at The Beige; just a hop, skip and dip in the infinity pool from the famous ruins.
It’s not all location location location though. The eight air-conditioned colonial-style tented villas have four poster beds and private terraces; and there’s an on-site library, communal fireplace, spa tent and a yoga platform. Spend the day temple hopping or exploring Siem Reap and return to delicious organic Khmer cuisine at the restaurant.
4 Rivers Floating Lodge
Rugged luxury might be a misnomer, but we can’t think of a better way to describe the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge in Koh Kong, a row of 12 tented villas floating serenely on the Tatai River in the Koh Kong region. With a floating pool, restaurant, library and plush interiors, there’s everything you need to kick back and relax; but just beyond your private terrace, a world of adventure awaits. Hike in the surrounding landscape, kayak down the river, take a magical trip through the mangroves and fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle.
Cardamom Tented Camp, Botum Sakor National Park
Cardamom Tented Camp in Botum Sakor National Park isn’t quite as swish as our other choices but it’s pretty darn special. Covering over 1,700 km², this national park is Cambodia’s largest, and home to many endangered species including pangolins, Asian elephants and pileated gibbons. Head out with a ranger to explore the surrounds, tuck into dinner at the open-air restaurant and write up the day’s adventures at the desk in your tent or out on the veranda.
Shinta Mani Wild, Southern Cardamom National Park
Surely we can’t beat hiking untouched jungle, kayaking through mangroves or being woken by first light bouncing off the Angkor temples?
How about arriving at your room by helicopter? Or swizzing over waterfalls on a zip-line? Shinta Mani Wild is the place to make an entrance. For something a little more conventional, relax in a jeep transfer with magical views of the mountains. With all-inclusive food, drink, spa treatments and activities; luxury tented villas designed by a renowned architect; and a delightfully peaceful setting in the heart of a national park, Shinta Mani Wild has the best of all worlds. In fact, it is such a treat, you may not want to fall asleep.
Koh Krabey, Six Senses Krabey Island
…and breathe. We’ve never been let down by a Six Senses resort, but the one in Koh Krabey, a 30-acre tropical island, has to be one of our favourites. Unlike our other picks, there’s no canvas to be found at this 12-hectare private resort, but each villa is made with natural materials and thoughtfully in-keeping with the surrounds; floor to ceiling windows showcase views over the jungle and the ocean beyond.
As is customary at Six Senses resorts, the menu of spa treatments is as long as the list of delicious dishes at the on-site restaurants. Pad around the beautiful sandy beaches, snorkel to see the plentiful marine life around the island and retire to the sunset bar for cocktails.
For more information, contact our team of travel experts to start planning your Southeast Asia holiday (with the very best places to sleep).