The Luxe List 2014:Â Sala Lodges,Â Siem Reap, Cambodia
The scent of lemongrass permeates the palm- and frangipani-filled gardens at this atmospheric Siem Reap bolthole, which more closely resembles a rural Cambodian village than a boutique resort. In efforts to help preserve Khmer architectural heritage, the propertyâ€™s 11 traditional stilted houses, discovered by the Swiss and French owners during their travels around the Cambodian countryside, were dismantled and then reassembled here, with interior designer Marina Cardis melding in new accents. The exteriors and their wide covered verandas, antique-tiled roofs, and decorative wood remain in their authentic state, but inside, Cardis has combined rustic Indian furniture (tipping a hat to Cambodiaâ€™s Hindu roots) with sleek European piecesâ€”for instance, a contemporary Scandinavian-style rocking chair. A thatched roof covers the light-filled restaurant, Monolith, where an East-West menu features dishes such as an Asian version of Spanish gazpacho, made with green tomatoes and aromatic herbs. And even more striking than the rock-bottomed swimming pool are the accompanying vistas of rice fields.
498 Salakomroeuk; 855-63/766-699; Sala Lodges; doubles from US$190