By Rhiannon Taylor, July 2017
It seems unlikely that the quiet and somewhat grimy port of Sihanoukville should be only a short boat ride from Cambodian paradise. In fact Cambodia seems the last place that you'd expect to find eco-friendly overwater bungalows on a private island. But it is here, off the larger island of Koh Rong that lies Song Saa; a tiny spit of land that is the resort project of an Australian couple with a social conscience.
With only 27 guest villas, Song Saa is designed for the traveller who wants to get off-grid. Villas are made mostly from reclaimed materials yet still retain a sense of luxury. Four poster beds are draped with linen that moves gently in breeze that flows through from your balcony. And your balcony comes with a jaw-dropping private plunge pool and views of local fishing boats that chug along the ocean.
Breakfast is taken in the over-water restaurant which is situated at one end of the island. It serves up a great artisan-style menu of eggs, pancakes and Cambodian dishes. There's also an open air beach shack which serves up wholesome pizzas and a casual menu of local curries and western favourites such as burgers and club sandwiches.
If you're keen to explore there's SUP boards available to hire or book in for a kayak tour around the mangroves on the neighboring island. The highlight however is visiting the nearby fishing village which is a 5 minute boat ride across to the mainland and is where the heart of Song Saa really lies. Song Saa is actively involved in this community through providing funds and materials for it's schooling, recycling programs, protecting it's local marine life and medical relief. Guests are actively encouraged to get involved in these programs and a percentage of the annual revenue at Song Saa goes to supporting these initiatives.
If you're tuckered out from exploring then hit the Song Saa Spa for some rejuvenation. If you've not had the chance to experience a Buddhist blessing during your time in Cambodia the therapists can arrange one for you. There's also some fabulous yoga classes available which you can practice around the island with incredible views.
THE TURN DOWN
ACCOMODATION CATEGORY: Eco-conscience retreat.
ROOM PICK: Over-water villas for their plunge pools.
MINI BAR: There's a small selection of cookies and nuts and water available. Alcohol charged on consumption.
BREAKFAST: Breakfast is included in your rate and features fresh smoothies, juices, eggs, local Cambodian dishes and western dishes such as french toast and pancakes.
FEEL: Off-grid chic.
LOCATION: Southern Cambodia.
RATES: Starting at $1290 USD p/n.
GOOD TO KNOW: There are complimentary tuk-tuks on call for all guests to use at their leisure.
POOL/GYM/SPA: There's a central pool, spa and gym all on the island.
TURN DOWN SERVICE: Yes, with changing sweet treats each night and bottled water.
GETTING THERE: Sihanoukville is the closest airport, with a 45 minute drive to the port and a 45 minute boat ride to the island.
I stayed as a guest of Song Saa.