Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Song Saa Private Island Resort
What it is
A pristine private atoll with a pampering 24-villa resort—much of it set on overwater stilts.
What it isn't
Ignoring the local reality. The Song Saa Foundation has planted 1700 mangroves, given out 390 packs of school supplies, and collected nearly 2 tons of trash from the ocean.
What we think
There are no guest rooms here. There are villas. Villas of every sort: some housed in verdant jungles, others on stilts over the turquoise sea. True to the screen savor this conjures, they’re thatched roofed, and stocked with linen-swathed canopy beds, sunken bathtubs, Bose surround sound speakers, private pools, and sundecks complete with al fresco showers. You may find yourself getting lost in the exquisite views from your L-shaped sofa, but don’t: there’s plenty of adventure to be had here, including sea kayaking, partaking in Buddhist ceremonies and meditation, snorkeling the surrounding reefs (keep your eyes out for damselfish, sea horses and even turtles). Even on top of the ocean, the enormous infinity pool is a draw—and a place to see and be seen, by the sea.
You're here because
The food is phenomenal, unlike what you’ve had at other far-flung resorts. Almost everything is even fresher than what you’d encounter back home, thanks to the on-site gardens, housemade baked goods and just-caught fish.
This spa touts the Buddhist belief in metta bhavana, or loving-kindness, and that’s evident the moment you set foot into your wall-free, jungle decked treatment “room.” Today’s treatment: a sloughing scrub down of your entire body using Himalayan salt crystals mixed with juniper berry and lemongrass essential oil that leaves you feeling more free-range than the sea turtle you spotted paddling beyond your terrace that morning.
Restaurants & Bars
Vista Restaurant - Contemporary Cambodian
Driftwood Bar - Pizza and tapas-style menu
On a private island within Koh Rong Archipelago, a 45-minute speedboat ride from Sihanoukville Port (yes, they’ll help with your local travel arrangements).