Hotel Spotlight: Song Saa Private Island
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Hotel Spotlight: Song Saa Private Island

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Picture this: overwater bungalows perch gently atop crystal-clear turquoise water, while palm trees gently sway in the breeze along pristine white beaches. It’s the kind of idyllic scene you might expect to find in Bora Bora, or in the Maldives, but it also perfectly describes the stunning Song Saa Private Island, a luxurious island resort located just off the coast of Cambodia. This one-of-a-kind resort is rustic yet elegant, promising the ultimate in “barefoot luxury" and delivering a truly restorative experience.
Luxtripper Travel Editor

The Resort

Song Saa Private Island Cambodia is located in the practically untouched Koh Rong Archipelago, and is spread across two tiny islands connected by a rustic wooden footbridge. The islands, Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, are collectively known as Song Saa or “the sweethearts” and the name couldn’t be more apt – it’s hard to imagine a more intimate setting. The resort is luxurious but never pretentious, promising a serene and peaceful escape for each of its guests.

The owners and founders of Song Saa, Rory and Melita Hunter, were determined to create a resort that would exist in sustainable harmony with the local environment, and they have absolutely succeeded. The site is a marine reserve home to colourful coral reefs and a variety of marine life including sea turtles and countless species of tropical fish. Not only that, but Song Saa primarily employs young Cambodians from the local village, who benefit from the resort’s internal learning culture and professional development programs as well as initiatives such as English courses, conservation efforts, and training in community hygiene and welfare.

The Rooms

Song Saa Private Island is composed of 27 villas, each of which has been carefully designed to reflect and complement the natural beauty of the islands and their surroundings. The design utilizes materials such as thatch, stone and unfinished wood, so that the villas seem to blend seamlessly with the jungle around them. Outdoor showers have been crafted from tree trunks, while brass Moroccan lanterns and tribal statues add a decorative touch. The villas, while rustic, do not lack modern comforts – each is equipped with Bose sound system and personal iPod which has been preloaded with thousands of relaxing songs.

There are four types of one- and two-bedrooms villas available at Song Saa. Jungle Villas are tucked throughout the rainforest and are exceptionally secluded, with a choice of either sunrise or sunset views over the ocean. Overwater Villas sit on stilts directly above the water, with private balconies and swimming pools. Ocean View Villas are dotted around the edge of the islands, with overwater salas offering a glimpse into the underwater world. The resort’s most extravagant offering is the two-bedroom overwater Royal Villa, located in one of the most serene and private locations on the island, with incredible sunset views. This exquisite villa is the largest at the resort, with its own private jetty for arrival and departure.

The Food

Like the rest of the resort, the restaurant at Song Saa strives to maintain balance with the surrounding culture. Chef Neil Wager has cooked for celebrities and royalty around the world, and has brought his skills to Song Saa in his role as executive chef of the beautiful overwater Vista Restaurant. This innovative chef spent an extensive amount of time travelling through Cambodia learning traditional cooking methods, and now produces beautiful dishes using only local ingredients. Even the salt has been sourced from local producers.

The resort also emphasises the importance of restorative activities outside of the treatments offered by its spa, including paddle boarding, hiking, yoga, reiki, gardening, art classes and even underwater meditation – a truly unique and relaxing experience bringing guests into harmony with the sea. This emphasis, in connection with the resort’s calming ambience and beautiful natural environment, make any stay at Song Saa a completely immersive experience.

The Spa

At Song Saa, rather than having one spa centre, there are several treatment villas and regenerative “sanctuaries” dotted around the island, transforming the entire island into a centre of wellness and relaxation. Guests are given a private consultation, allowing for a completely personalised approach to wellness. Treatments incorporate traditional Cambodian techniques, with a variety of massages, facials, wraps and bath rituals designed for stillness, healing or blessing. Especially unique are the “Night Spa” rituals, performed by the light of the moon and stars.

While Vista Restaurant is certainly the culinary highlight of the resort, there are other dining options as well. Driftwood Bar offers a pizza and tapas-style menu in a laid-back setting. The resort also specialises in private dining experiences, and guests can arrange an intimate meal on the beach, in their villas or in one of many secluded destinations around the resort. The resort’s restaurants are also highly flexible and can meet a variety of dietary needs, including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets.

Song Saa Private Island is a rare gem among luxury resort, providing its guests with the unique opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the natural beauty of their surroundings, experience authentic local culture, and enjoy unparalleled luxury and comfort. There's simply no other resort quite like it.

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