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From the Angkor Wat temple to the rush of the country’s cities and its dark depths of untouched jungle, Cambodia has plenty to satisfy the curious traveller in you. Take the adventure further by booking into creative accommodation. From jungle igloos to traditional teahouses, here are the most unusual hotels in Cambodia.
This eco-camp lies in the heart of Botum Sakor National Park: 18,000 hectares of protected jungle that serves as a natural corridor to a large population of wild elephants. Nine safari-style tents are furnished in rattan and bamboo, blending contemporary design with functional adventure travel. Guests can hike with local Wildlife Alliance Rangers, plant trees and set up camera traps before kayaking down the Preak Tachan River to spot gibbons and hornbills.
Perched on a secluded bend of the Tatai River, this floating pontoon is only accessible by boat from Koh Kong – guaranteeing complete immersion at the base of the Cardamom Mountains. Each of the 12 luxury tents hides a spacious lounge, comfy beds and a river-view deck, inviting guests to dive right into their surroundings. There’s no WiFi, but with free kayak use and very affordable jungle excursions, you won’t even care.
Glamp close to Angkor Wat in these unique tented bungalows, hidden in the private grounds of Siem Reap’s Templation Angkor Hotel. The eight jungloos (jungle igloos) are the first of their kind, designed in an effort to promote sustainable travel. Each structure is self-cooling, built with bug and humidity-busting natural materials that blend into their plush design. Guests can step out of their private plunge pool to enjoy free rein of the hotel facilities.
This charming spot strips travel back to basics, with simple riverside bungalows overlooking the lush Kampot jungle. You’ll find an inspiring dedication to ecotourism here: each room is solar-powered, with “pee-only” toilets that nourish the resident “pee garden”. Most of the staff are hired from local villages, and the restaurant produce is sourced from nearby farms. Wander through a mango orchard, before lazing in a hammock and letting the flowing river lull you to sleep.
Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh can be a little hectic for some, making this tranquil hotel a welcome retreat. Design elements are taken from traditional Asian teahouses, including gorgeous china tea sets, pared-back furnishings and an entrance flanked by fish ponds. Splashes of lucky red characterise the rooms, while lush greenery surrounds the spa, pool and teahouse, easing guests into a quiet corner of peace.
Be king of the jungle in this ultra-luxury hotel, hidden at the crossroads of three national parks. Wild by name and nature, a zip line connects guests to the cocktail bar, overlooking a coursing river best explored by private boat. Fifteen tented suites are decked out in polished teak, furnished from bed to patio in safari-inspired design. Guests with cash to splash can sleep at the base of a waterfall.
Mother Nature lovingly gazes over this award-winning retreat in Siem Reap, as part of a massive mural that wraps around its room balconies, pool and hallways. Colourful depictions of plants and animals reflect its ethos as Cambodia’s only non-profit hotel, providing local communities with education and environmental support. Guests can opt for a one- to eight-day yoga retreat, with 100 percent of profits put towards building wells.
Housed inside a centuries-old colonial building, this hotel in Battambang has painstakingly preserved its original features. The three rooms are styled in Asian antiques, with cracking wall paintings suspended in layers of glaze. Modern comforts ease guests into stepping back in time, with balcony views of this up-and-coming Cambodian town’s old colonial quarter. An extensive shop serves as a kind of antiques emporium, selling trinkets, textiles and knick-knacks – hence the name.
With 10 North American gateways flying non-stop to Hong Kong, and easy connections throughout Asia, Cathay Pacific inspires you to move beyond the familiar and experience more of Asia. Book now at www.cathaypacific.com.
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