Song Saa Private Island is not your typical weekend getaway, but it’s the perfect place to recharge the batteries for those with the budget for luxury living.
Song Saa Private Island has done for the Cambodian coastline what Angkor Wat did for little old Siem Reap and put it squarely on the global map. Travelling out to the island by speedboat offers a little touch of the James Bond and it wouldn’t be surprising for Daniel Craig or Angelina Jolie to alight here in years to come, although perhaps not together.
We were staying in a two-bedroom Jungle Villa atop the island. The lounge is immense and open plan, with a beautiful fitted kitchen artfully tucked away behind sliding doors. The moulded sofa wraps itself panoramically around the windows to offer an incredible view of the private pool beyond.
The bedrooms are identical, centred around a striking four-poster bed. Personal touches include a pre-loaded i-pod squeezed full of eclectic music and hit movies, all synced into the state-of-the-art Bose sound system. Both bedrooms include a walk-in closet to spread the clothes and the all-inclusive extras extend to imported mosquito repellent, sunscreen and cleansing gel.
On to the bathroom, this is almost the size of a room in the average boutique hotel. Twin copper sinks for him and her, a wide and deep terrazzo bathtub and not one, not two, but three showers if you like variety. A his and hers pairing opposite the bath and an outdoor, Balinese style shower for romantics or exhibitionists. The on-tap toiletries are all from Aesop of Australia.
The swimming pool is crescent shaped with an infinite lip looking out to jungle, azure waters and the island of Koh Rong beyond. Surrounded by decking that has been sculpted around the existing trees and foliage, it all adds up the Song Saa signature of ‘luxury that treads lightly’. Perfect for couples seeking privacy or families seeking to let loose without constant refrain to the children to ‘behave’.
One thing that is easily forgotten from the confines of an overseas office is that Song Saa Private Island is fully inclusive. This means a well-stocked fridge filled with beverages of your choice, ranging from Prosecco to Tiger Beer and everything in-between. We were welcomed with a lavish platter of imported cheeses and charcuterie, but that is just the beginning of the culinary adventure as all meals are included.
Dinner is taken at Vista Restaurant & Bar, stunningly located in shallow waters off the island. The nightly set menu combines traditional Cambodian flavours with an international twist, making for some delightful dishes. Our menu included a very Khmer prahoc khtis, as well an international ode to tomatoes with All About Tomato. It is a delightfully romantic setting and a fantastic location to enjoy a sundowner cocktail, keeping in mind that Song Saa sets its clocks one hour ahead of the mainland.
Longer stay guests can also dine at the more casual Beach Bar where pizzas and tapas are available. And if selecting a restaurant sounds like too much trouble, then in-villa dining is included from a lazy breakfast to a romantic dinner. Or you can trip by speedboat to one of the many secluded beaches that ring the neighbouring island of Koh Rong with a private picnic in hand. This is Robinson Crusoe reinvented, a luxurious escape to an empty stretch of sand.
This is just a snapshot of what is on offer at Song Saa. Activities include snorkelling and diving, sea-kayaking and wake-boarding. Or if that all sounds a little too adrenaline-oriented, there is also the Sanctuary Spa for a selection of rubs, scrubs or petal-infused tubs. Children’s activities include everything from swimming classes to snorkelling sessions. Both adults and children can try their hand at Cambodian cooking classes and recreate some of the signature dishes once back home.
Song Saa Private Island has set the standard for luxury living in Cambodia. If you like the finer things in life, then add Song Saa Private Island to your bucket list.
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