Posts Tagged ‘Song Saa Private Island’

The Best of the Rest of Cambodia’s Islands

Friday, December 13th, 2013

It’s not only Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem that offer idyllic island escapes. There are another two dozen or so islands off the coast from Rabbit Island near Kep to Koh Kong Island, the largest of the kingdom’s islands.

Koh Kong Island, Cambodia

Koh Kong Island, Cambodia

Starting out in the west near the border with Thailand, Koh Kong Island holds huge potential as the country’s largest island. However, it has remained somewhat impenetrable to hospitality and tourism developers due to a rumoured lease to exiled Thai business interests and military control of the area. Day trips to the island have long been possible, taking in the several beaches that line the western coast of the island. However, there is now one hotel on the island in the shape of Koh Kong Island Resort, offering rustic beachfront bungalows in the US$50 to US$100 range.

Moving further west along the coast, visitors arrive at the tiny Koh Sdach archipelago of islands. Located off the southern tip of Botum Sakor National Park, this cluster of islands offers a mixed bag of accommodation for intrepid beachcombers. Hanuman clients should make for Belinda’s Beach, a Belgian-run bungalow operation on Koh Sdach itself. While it lakes the quintessential tropical beach, it does have the best bungalows this side of Koh Rong and the hosts whip up some excellent cuisine, handy given how far it is to the nearest restaurant. However, the island pricing still applies, meaning rates pushing US$150 per night are considerably higher than one would pay on the mainland. Other accommodation options in this area include the very basic Mean Chey Guesthouse on Koh Sdach and the eco-friendly resort of Nomad’s Land on nearby Koh Totang, but both are a touch too rustic for Hanuman travellers.

Belinda Beach, Koh Sdach, Cambodia

Belinda Beach, Koh Sdach, Cambodia

Directly off the coast of Sihanoukville are several smaller islands with a range of accommodation available, but none quite fits the bill for Hanuman at this stage. A large part of Koh Russei and Koh Ta Khiev islands is leased by French investment firm Citystar, with plans in the pipeline for a 5* Alila Resort on Koh Russei, including a 150-room hotel and one/two/three bedroom villas. Spread over 25 acres, this promises to be a significant development on the Cambodian coast with rooms starting from around US$200 and villas from US$400. However, hold your breath, as it is unlikely to be ready before 2015 at the earliest.

Elsewhere options are similarly thin on the ground. Tiny Koh Pos just a few hundred metres off Sihanoukville, now has a splendid bridge but it leads to nowhere, as the Russian investors haven’t actually built any of the planned villas. Some observers suggest it might have been better to build the villas first rather than the bridge. Another Russian-owned resort looks like something out of James Bond, the lair of Scaramanga, and is known as the Mirax Resort. It might work well of Russian billionaires seeking something different, but Hanuman prefers to recommend Song Saa Private Island for a luxury escape. Other islands have one or two options, but they are predominantly aimed at backpackers looking for some peace and quiet. Koh Thmei, part of Ream National Park, has the German-run rustic Koh Thmei Resort. Further afield, islands such as Koh Tang and Koh Prins don’t yet offer any accommodation, but it is possible to visit as part of a liveaboard dive trip or even camp on the beach.

Scaramanga's Hideaway? Or the Mirax Resort, Sihanoukville

Scaramanga’s Hideaway? Or the Mirax Resort, Sihanoukville

The final small group of Cambodian islands lies off the coast of Kep. Here the sophisticated resorts are all found on the mainland with very little development on the islands. Rabbit Island has a cluster of ramshackle bungalows on the beach, but these are backpacker crashpads and not really suitable for Hanuman guests. The island has been leased to a major Asian developer and there are plans to create a resort complex at some time in the future.

There ends a snapshot of the Cambodian coastline in 2013. Koh Rong remains the best all-round island with everything from ultra-luxury Song Saa Private Island to rustic resorts of Koh Tui. Koh Rong Samloem is another fine option for an island escape, including long-running Lazy Beach and the up and coming resorts of Saracen Bay. Elsewhere the choice is more limited and it’s really all or nothing once you have selected your resort. Belinda Beach on Koh Sdach and Koh Kong Island Resort are the best of the rest, but it might be smarter to opt for Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem with room to move if the accommodation doesn’t fit the bill.

 

 

 

Song Saa Rewards

Friday, November 16th, 2012
Song Saa Private Island

Song Saa Private Island

Cambodia’s highly-rated Song Saa Private Island is in the news again.

For an in-depth look at the stunning Song Saa Private Island, then look no further than the latest Southeast Asia Globe magazine website, which has a dedicated feature, with great colour photographs, of the resort. Click http://sea-globe.com/perfect-isolation/ for the full story. There’s also a feature on the resort in volume 2 of the glossy magazine, Discover – The Essence of Cambodia, which was launched this week. See http://www.discover-cambodia.com/ for the online version. In addition, Song Saa has just picked up an award for “Best Accommodation for The Environment” at the Responsible Tourism Awards 2012 with the Awards ceremony – sponsored by BBC World and held at London’s World Travel Market – rewarding Song Saa’s progressive conservation programmes. Top marks to Cambodia’s top resort.

HanumanAlaya in Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

HanumanAlaya, Angkor’s Boutique Residence is featured in Conde Nast Traveller, one of the world’s bestselling travel magazines.

OK, so it was featured back in April, but the Cambodian postal system can take time to deliver. “Full of art and antiques with a restaurant serving great local cuisine,” is what the Traveller team had to say about HanumanAlaya.


This was the first time Conde Nast had featured Cambodia on their cover and the trip was co-sponsored by Audley Travel, Hanuman and a number of our leading local suppliers in Cambodia such as Raffles Hotels and Song Saa Private Island.


Read the full story on Conde Nast’s journey through Cambodia at: http://www.hanuman.travel/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/April-2012-scans.pdf

Arriving in Style

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Song Saa Announce Helicopter Transfers.

Song Saa Private Island is introducing a 4-times-a-week helicopter transfer service between Phnom Penh and Song Saa Private Island, departing from the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Helipad or Phnom Penh airport from 1 November for the upcoming high season. The new service will operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays. Departing Sofitel Helipad at 1pm, arriving at Song Saa Island at 2.20pm. Departing Song Saa at 3pm and arriving Phnom Penh Sofitel Helipad at 4.30pm. The helicopter service will operate from 1st November 2012 – 30th March 2013. The provider of the air transfers are Helicopters Cambodia, the country’s premier helicopter service. The Canadian-Cambodian company was the first commercial helicopter service to operate in the country, commencing operations in 1998. The rates offered by Song Saa are for 1-way or return trips and Song Saa will offer different packages whether its helicopter-only, or they can offer guests the use of the Sofitel Club lounge and meal with a luxury option or a platinum package that includes a 1-night stay in Sofitel’s Prestige Suite. Prices available from sales@hanumantourism.com.

More from Song Saa

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Song Saa Private Island were recently splashed in full colour in the Conde Nast Brides – Honeymoon Guide 2012-13 Magazine, under the title of The Top 100 Destinations In The World. The Wow Factor highlighted in the magazine was: Take a 30-minute speedboat trip to Five Mile Beach on nearby Koh Rong. While you take a dip in the warm turquoise waters, Song Saa staff will set up parasols, cushions and a gourmet picnic.

Song Saa are very active with promotion on Facebook and a brand new website is poised to be unveiled any day now. A Helicopter Service from Phnom Penh direct to the island resort is also earmarked to begin sometime soon, as is a departure facility based at the Sihanoukville dock.

Hanuman is currently developing two Cambodia Luxe itineraries alongside Song Saa that will partner up with Amansara or Raffles for a high-class trip to Cambodia of between 7-10 days duration.

The following are some of the recent press quotes about Song Saa Private Island.

Stylist (January 2012): “A high-end oasis of tranquillity which is putting Cambodia firmly on the luxury travel map.”

Tatler Travel Guide 2012: 101 Best Hotels in the World.

House & Garden: Hotels By Design (May 2012) “An elegant deeply comfortable hotel where guests feel an instant and over-riding sense of place and community.”

Conde Nast Traveller: Hot List 2012 (May 2012) “The 60 Best New Hotels in the World.”

Travel + Leisure It List: “The Best New Hotels 2012” (June 2012).

Vogue 100 Best Holidays (June 2012): “The staggeringly beautiful Song Saa will make your dreams come true. Discrete staff will cater to your every need while allowing you to feel that you have actually made it to heaven. Deserted white beaches, endless views, psychedelic sunsets – and all put together by a pioneering set up that does nothing but good for the indigenous community it has risen from.”

Condé Nast Traveller (April 2012): “A new resort that is leading the way in sustainable luxury” “A paradise of understated luxury and indigenous charm.”

Le Figaro (March 2012) “In the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand an exceptional island resort has just opened its doors, a real destination in itself the essential accompaniment to a visit Angko.r”

A Weekend Escape to Song Saa

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Song Saa Private Island

Song Saa Private Island

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.

Contact the Hanuman sales team at sales@hanumantourism.com for more details.