Cambodiaâ€™s first five-star island getaway has just 27 thatch-roofed villas, some positioned on the beach, some on stilts above the water, and some tucked into the forest canopy of Koh Ouen, a tiny outcrop in the Koh Rong archipelago just 30 minutes by boat from Sihanoukville. Designed by Australian founders Rory and Melita Hunter as a low-impact but high-style retreat, Song Saa is awash in natural features such as gleaming floorboards of salvaged timber and walls of locally quarried sandstone, not to mention goose-down pillows, plush Ploh robes, and private pools and sun decks.
A wooden footbridge connects the main island with neighboring Koh Bong, a leafy, four-hectare preserve of nature trails and nesting boxes for hornbills. Chef Neil Wager, lured here from the Seychellesâ€™ North Island resort, works with Cambodian farmers to procure ingredients for his contemporary take on Khmer cuisine. Also on hand is a team of conservationists who oversee Song Saaâ€™s 100-hectare marine reserve, which encompasses reefs where snorkelers might encounter seahorses, giant clams, and sea turtles.
855-236/860-360; songsaa.com; doubles from US$1,336, including boat transfers, meals, and drinks.
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