The Best Eco-Friendly Hotels and Stays in Cambodia

Six Senses Krabey Island offers a sustainable experience that is nonetheless deeply luxurious
Six Senses Krabey Island offers a sustainable experience that is nonetheless deeply luxurious | Courtesy of Six Senses Krabey Island /
Photo of Marissa
10 May 2021

Whether you have made it your goal to use only sustainable accommodation or are simply looking to reduce your carbon footprint, these eco-friendly hotels in Cambodia are sure to fit the bill.

From the ancient temples of Siem Reap to the idyllic Kampot countryside and the majestic beauty of the Cardamom Mountains, there’s plenty to love about Cambodia. With the government recently committing to preserve 40 percent of the country’s total land area, it’s a big win for environmentalists and the environmentally conscious. If you are looking for a hotel that aligns with your green values, here are several that should be top of your list.

Shinta Mani Shack

Eco Hotel, Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Shinta Mani Shack /
Designed by the prolific American architect Bill Bensley, this whimsical boutique hotel is situated within walking distance to Shinta Mani’s other Siem Reap properties; Shinta Mani Angkor and the Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Siem Reap. All three hotels work closely with the Shinta Mani Foundation, which offers hospitality training and employment to underprivileged locals. Guests are invited to visit local villages where the foundation is building homes and digging water wells. You can also chip in by picking up a meaningful souvenir at the foundation’s retail store. The products are handmade by local artisans and all profits are channelled towards helping people in rural communities.
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Six Senses Krabey Island

Eco Hotel, Spa Hotel
Courtesy of Six Senses Krabey Island /
While this luxury resort marks the hospitality brand’s first foray into Cambodia, it is by no means their first environmentally-focused venture. With sustainability a core tenet for Six Senses, it’s no surprise that Krabey Island is big on conservation too. The resort has its own organic farm on the mainland that provides most of the produce you’ll feast on, as well as ingredients for the pampering spa treatments. As you stroll around the lush premises, see if you can spot any of the 23 species of butterfly that have flourished under the resort’s conservation programme, or join a workshop with the sustainability manager to find out how you can practise a zero-waste lifestyle back home.
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Song Saa Private Island

Courtesy of Song Saa Private Island /
If you’ve got the cash to splash – rooms start at £710 ($1,000) per night – 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.
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4 Rivers Floating Lodge

Resort, Lodge
Courtesy of 4 Rivers Floating Lodge /
For the ultimate secluded getaway surrounded by unspoiled nature, check-in to 4 Rivers Floating Lodge. Combining 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 borders Peam Krasasop Wildlife Sanctuary and offers jungle tours, river cruises, and treks.
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Knai Bang Chatt

Independent Hotel
Courtesy of Knai Bang Chatt Resort /

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.

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Phum Baitang

Eco-Lodge, Independent Hotel
Courtesy of Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang /

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 (c3ha) site is home to 45 stilted villas, all crafted from sustainable materials. There are a series of strict environmental policies in place, such as using natural products, sourcing food from local farms where possible, minimising the use of plastic and producing drinking water on-site.

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  • Sala Lodges

    Resort, Eco-Lodge
    Courtesy of Sala Lodges /

    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.

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    House Boutique Eco Hotel

    Boutique Hotel, Eco Hotel
    Courtesy of House Boutique Eco Hotel /

    This cute hideaway close to BKK market is home to a collection of modern, light rooms, a central swimming pool, a restaurant and a 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.

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    Banteay Srei homestays

    Map View

    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 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.

    Eden Eco Resort

    Map View
    Courtesy of Eden Eco Village /

    This secret eco-resort is hidden among the palms and mangroves that flank the Kampot River. The cluster of stilted bamboo bungalows sits perched 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 31mi (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.

    Bambu Hotel

    Boutique Hotel
    Courtesy of Bambu Hotel /

    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, an outdoor pool, tropical gardens and free wifi. The hotel also supports a grassroots project in the village of Slarkram about 5mi (8km) from the city. The agricultural village lacks basic amenities, including running water and electricity. Bambu Hotel also supports an English school offering free English classes to children.

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    Vanessa Tai contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on May 10, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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