Song Saa is a secluded slice of heaven that sits off the Cambodian coast. Think stylish contemporary villas that blissfully blend into their tropical surroundings, tranquil spots for yoga, meditation or simply reading a book dotted throughout lush jungle, divine ocean views, sumptuous stretches of soft white sand and first-class hospitality throughout your stay.
Comprised of two intimate islands – Koh Ouen and Koh Bong (ouen means woman on Khmer and bong man) – that skirt each other as close as lovers (song saa translates as sweethearts in Khmer), the resort was lovingly created by Australian husband and wife team, Rory and Melita Hunter.
Having stumbled across the islands during their honeymoon, they immediately fell in love with the remote spot. Seeing the potential, they set about planning their dream to create a sustainable luxury tourism project that would benefit the local fishing communities who live in the area, while ensuring the islands retain their pristine natural beauty.
The result is Song Saa Private Island, which opened its doors in March 2012. Blending in with the natural environment, the resort draws inspiration from the fishing villages that dot the surrounding islands.
Each of the 27 spacious villas – one- and two-bedroom – boast indoor and outdoor bathrooms and a private infinity pool. An organic garden provides fresh ingredients for the kitchens, which serve top notch food.
Guests can indulge in a range of activities, including snorkelling, sea kayaking, scuba diving, yoga, an island safari, meditation and cooking classes. And there is a first-class spa onsite to wash away any worries – although there is a high chance they disappeared upon landing on the island via private speedboat from Cambodia’s mainland.
And guests can also discover firsthand the hard conservation work carried out by Song Saa Foundation, which launched in 2013 with the aim of preserving the unique marine life, communities and flora and fauna of the area. Tours of the resort’s Life Centre reveal details about local communities’ ways of life, the environment and the tireless work being carried out to protect it.
While a night at Song Saa doesn’t come cheap – rooms start from $840 a night – it is well worth splashing out on, with food, drink and excursions included.