If you’ve got the cash to splash (rooms start at $1,000 a night), then Song Saa Private Island offers a slice of paradise. Understated luxury oozes from every inch of this exclusive resort, which sits close to Koh Rong island, off the coast of Sihanoukville. The 24 wooden villas resort includes spa sanctuaries, tranquil spots and a protected coral reef. It also pioneers a strong environmental message and runs a raft of conservation and humanitarian initiatives through its Song Saa Foundation.
For the ultimate secluded getaway surrounded by unspoiled nature that conjures images of romance, then check-in to 4 Rivers Floating Lodge. Combining quality luxury with an eco-tourism ethos, 4 Rivers is located in a remote area in Koh Kong province. Comprised of a series of pontoons floating on the Tatai River in the Cardamom rainforest, the luxurious tented villas—only accessible by boat—have wooden floors, dark wood furnishings, balconies and seating areas. The resort neighbours Peam Krasasop Wildlife Sanctuary and offers jungle tours, river cruises, and treks.
Knai Bang Chatt oozes contemporary luxury, with 18 rooms set in a small collection of stylish villas, overlooking the ocean in Kep. The site is comprised of a large infinity pool, spa, restaurant and bar, and gardens. The Sailing Club sits next door and is the perfect place to kick back with some sundowners and watch a magnificent sunset. The resort holds sustainability at its heart, minimising its waste and impact on the environment, working where it can with local communities, supporting grassroots projects and helping to conserve marine life.
Phum Baitang, which translates as green village from Khmer, is a luxurious sanctuary sitting on the outskirts of Siem Reap amid lush paddies, tropical gardens and lemongrass meadows. The eight-acre site is home to 45 stilted villas, all crafted from sustainable materials, and runs a series of strict environmental policies, such as using natural products, sourcing food from local farms where possible, minimising use of plastic and producing drinking water on-site.
Sala Lodges is another gem hidden in the Siem Reap countryside. Here, 11 wooden stilted houses have been discovered in the countryside, dismantled and rebuilt at Sala Lodges. With each house—the oldest dates back to the late 1950s—telling its own tale, the exteriors have been preserved, while the interiors are full of modern fixtures and fittings, finished off with artisan touches.
This cute hideaway close to BKK market is home to a collection of modern, light rooms, a central swimming pool, and restaurant and bar area. Green features throughout, with tropical fauna scattered around. House Boutique Eco Hotel also pushes sustainable tourism, paying fair wages to its staff, minimising its use of water, plastic and waste, and educating both tourists and visitors on environmental issues.
The Visit Banteay Srei campaign launched in 2016 and aims to throw the spotlight on the rural area, which sits about 30 minutes away from Siem Reap town. Dotted with homestays, guests can choose from private villas through to sharing a room with locals in their home. Hosts are also happy to introduce you to their community and way of life. For example, Bayon Smile runs six homestays in the area and the owners can organise activities, such as remote temple treks, bike rides through the countryside and guided walks along nature trails.
Nestled in the heart of coastal Kep’s tranquil countryside, The Vine Retreat is the perfect setting to rebalance and revitalise. Set on 35 acres of farmland, the rustic resort is home to pepper plantations, fruit and vegetable farms, paddies and tropical gardens, as well as a saltwater swimming pool, farmhouse accommodation, yoga centre and meditation circle. It hosts various retreats throughout the year.
This secret eco resort is hidden among the palms and mangroves that flank the Kampot River. The cluster of stilted bamboo bungalows perch over the water, affording peaceful vistas that take in the rural setting. The majority of ingredients that make it onto the menu are organic and sourced from within a 50km radius, solar power is used, recycling and composting is practised and locals from nearby villages are employed and trained to work at the leafy resort.
Keeping its reputation as one of Battambang’s top boutique hotels, this stylish offering is situated slightly out of town, making the province’s stunning countryside all the more accessible. It boasts 16 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, outdoor pool, tropical gardens and free Wifi. The hotel also supports a grassroots project in the village of Slarkram about 8km from the city. The agricultural-based village lacks in basic amenities, including running water and electricity. Bambu Hotel supports an English school offering free English classes to children.