Like this post? Help us by sharing it!
When Chris lived in Cambodia, he scoured the country in search of the best luxury places to lay your head on holiday. Jealous, us?
Luxury in Cambodia?
Despite being overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours, Cambodia, or the ‘Kingdom of Wonder’ has a rich culture, and everything you need for an adventure (in style). Treat yourself to a few nights at one of these top 7 luxury sleeps, it is a holiday, after all.
1. Phum Baitang – Siem Reap
A sunset cocktail lounge housed in a 100-year old farmhouse, a 50m long infinity pool, and central rice and lemongrass paddies worked on by the local ox… Phum Baitang (‘Green Village’ in Khmer) is a luxury resort that really breaks the mould.
Stroll around the 8-hectare site and sleep soundly in one of the individual Khmer style villas; pick one with a private pool and while away the day taking in the scenery. Warning: You may never want to leave!
2. Amansara – Siem Reap
Aman properties around the world are renowned for being boutique, historic, incredibly luxurious and providing exception levels of service. The Amansara opposite the Royal Gardens in Siem Reap is no different.
It was built in the early 1960s as a guesthouse for visitors of King Sihanouk, so it boasts an incredible history. Imagine the many famous dignitaries walking the grounds before you.
So, the rooms do not come cheap, but I promise you that they’re worth every penny. Each of the 24 contemporary suites have either a huge courtyard or a private pool – either way, you can relax in style.
With access to exclusive add-ons, you might come over all A-list. Tuck into breakfast at a traditional Khmer villa in Angkor Park. Or sip a sunset cocktail cruise aboard a boat on the great Tonle Sap Lake. A truly lavish experience.
3. Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat – Siem Reap
Rest those temple-weary limbs at The Navatu, the first and only wellness retreat in Cambodia. Practice your downward-facing dog in one of their yoga classes, or opt for something a little more sedentary. Perhaps one of their holistic treatments, or sunrise meditation at a local temple.
It’s located a little out of town in a fairly remote, rural area and the whole place is surrounded by exotic gardens. The 28 Mediterranean-style rooms are ideal for all types of travellers (especially families); and with 3 beautiful swimming pools you are pretty much guaranteed to get a pool to yourself.
4. Song Saa – Sihanoukville
Just off the coast of Sihanoukville, two small, private islands await. One has been preserved as a nature reserve, and the other is home to 26 private-pool villas (including Maldivian-style over-water villas).
Song Saa (‘sweethearts’ in Khmer) is a stunning resort on one of the two idyllic islands. The islands are linked with a footbridge – hence ‘sweetheart’ islands. Pack something suitably waterproof to make the most of this designated protected marine area.
It’s a great place for diving with coral reefs and an abundance of sea life, and there are complementary non-motorised water-sports. The term ‘barefoot luxury’ has never been better applied.
5. Raffles Le Royal – Phnom Penh
Built in the 1920s, this is one of the grandest and most iconic properties in the country; it should be your first and only choice in Phnom Penh.
Under bright and breezy high-ceilings, celebrities and dignitaries have wandered through its hallowed arches. Even Jackie Kennedy once stayed. The elegant architecture, stunning rooms and suites are all original. And, of course, the renowned Raffles-levels of service comes as standard.
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also famous in town for the best high tea; why not throw in a glass of champagne for good measure… Or you could pick one of their signature cocktails in the legendary Elephant Bar (or both).
6. Knai Bang Chatt – Kep
In the 1960’s Kep was the coastal getaway for the rich and famous of Phnom Penh. During the Khmer Rouge era it was all but abandoned, but luckily some plucky restoration has been taken place and that former allure is back.
The term ‘hidden gem’ gets thrown around a lot in the travel industry, but there really is no better example than the Knai Bang Chatt. This seafront property is set across three 1960s villas, built by protégées of famous contemporary Cambodian architect Van Molyvann.
Now restored to their original splendour, this luxury hotel has 18 rooms, each with polished concrete floors and beautiful antique wooden furniture. As well as an infinity pool overlooking the Gulf of Thailand (you will try some of the best seafood you’ve ever tasted here).
If tranquillity gets tiring, there is also the Sailing Club Discovery Centre. With sea kayaks, hobie cat catamarans, windsurfing and mountain bikes, there’s plenty enough to keep you busy.
7. 4 River Floating Lodge – Koh Kong
Imagine disconnecting from the world – being in the heart of the jungle while sleeping in a luxurious floating safari tent. This is the reality at the 4 Rivers.
12 individual floating tents have been unobtrusively placed on blissfully quiet slow bend of the Tatai River. Talk about rural, with no roads, the only way to get there is a 30-minute boat ride. And your nearest inhabitants for 4km are the residents of a small fishing village on the opposite bank.
You will wake from slumber to panoramic views of the water, and Southeast Asia’s largest coastal mangrove. From here you can take a sunrise kayak, swim off your private jetty, or head out to go trekking, visiting waterfalls and meeting local fishing communities. But to be honest, no-one would blame you for spending a few days kicking back and relaxing in this beautiful area.
Dreaming of a luxury holiday in Cambodia? Contact our team of experts.