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Song Saa Private Island

© FOTO Song Saa Private Island

Robinson Crusoe Hideaway in the Gulf of Thailand

Sparkling like jewels in the sapphire-blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand, the majority of Cambodia’s islands, with their colourful reefs, dazzling white sandy beaches and virgin rainforests, are still undeveloped and unknown, despite the fact they would make wonderful secluded retreats offering tranquillity and relaxation. Guests to Song Saa Private Island are among the first travellers to experience and explore this untouched world.

When dreams come true the feeling is indescribably uplifting – and that is precisely what happened to Rory and Melita Hunter, a young Australian couple, who lost their hearts to Cambodia and, in particular, to two tiny tropical islands in the Koh Rang archipelago – Koh Ouen and Koh Bong. The couple became captivated by the desire to own the two islands and, one day, to develop on them an ecologically sustainable tourist destination. And so the Hunters set about turning their vision into reality.

“We’ve had to fight and work hard, and we suffered setbacks – but that just made us stronger. Today we know that all our efforts and our perseverance were worth it. The dream of Song Saa is now reality. And it is just as beautiful as we envisaged it”, enthuses Melita Hunter, the creative mind of the two. Song Saa Private Island is an exceptional private eco-tourism project focussing, on one hand, on environmental conservation, sustainability and social responsibility and, on the other hand, offering uncompromising luxury for discerning travellers from all over the world. On the face of it these two objectives may appear to be at odds with one another – however, when set about in the right way, they can in fact harmonise very well, a fact to which Cambodia’s first private island resort has testified every day since its opening in December 2011.

In the Khmer language “Song Saa” means “the sweethearts”, an apt name for the two sideby-side islands. And in order to ensure they remain joined together forever, the Hunters have had a wooden bridge built spanning the narrow inlet between them. The inlet is part of the marine reserve that surrounds the islands, a sanctuary specially created in order to protect the island reefs and the delicate underwater ecosystem. With a bit of luck, guests can even catch a glimpse a dugong, a rare species of sea cow, as well as seahorses and countless exotic fish species.

Song Saa Private Island comprises 27 private villas, understated and stunningly beautiful reflecting the simple, pristine beauty of the natural environment in which they are set. When creating them, designer Melita Hunter drew her inspiration from Cambodian fishing villages and built them in harmony with the natural surroundings using sustainable materials including stone, rough-cut wooden beams, reeds and driftwood. “We hold a deep respect for the unique natural environment and for the local people. For us it was clear from the very beginning that we would have to forge new tourism frontiers in order to ensure the longterm preservation of the islands’ beauty. And we want to share our dream with other like-minded people”, explains the ecology-conscious Australian.

Guests can choose from eight classic Overwater Villas (each covering 135 square-metres) with private pool and a glass floor in the lounge through which you can experience up close the mesmerising underwater world. Steps lead directly from the villa into the sea. Surrounded by lush green vegetation, the eleven Jungle Villas (135 square-metres) exude an air of exotic romance. They too boast a private pool, adjoining sun deck and practical open-air shower. Visitors who prefer the beach can stay in one of the seven spacious, 230 square-metre Beach Villas, likewise with pool. Special highlight here: a private stretch of beach complete with a deck for sun bathing or for exquisite candlelight dinners. Offering ultimate honeymoon seclusion and privacy, an “island on an island”, the overwater “Royal Villa” for two covers an area of 300 square-metres and even boasts a private jetty.

All the villas are comfortably appointed with kingsize beds, floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open on three sides (for unforgettable views of the jungle, beach and sea), a walk-in wardrobe and lounge area and a spacious bathroom with an open-air rainforest shower. Guests who find it a little hard to adjust to the abundance of nature and tranquillity, can distract themselves with private entertainment centre complete with film screen, projector, Dolby surround and WiFi. The authentic philosophy nurtured by the founders of the resort is reflected in every aspect of the resort, most notably in the spa and in the cuisine. Situated on the eastern shore of Koh Bong, the Song Saa Sanctuary focuses on holistic wellbeing.

The various treatments on offer are divided into three categories: Stillness, Healing and Blessing. Guests looking for tranquillity receive “Stillness” treatments, which have a soothing effect on the nervous system and restore the body’s natural biorhythm. If it’s stress relief you’re in need of then the “Healing” treatments boost the body’s vitality, strengthen the muscular system and stimulate the entire immune system. “Blessing” treatments are suitable for all those who want to pamper body and soul and boost their energy flow. All the medicinal herbs and plants used in the treatments are purchased from local healing practitioners. The Song Saa Sanctuary works closely together with the village elders from the surrounding area in order that traditional healing practices may be passed on. Private treatment rooms set in the tropical jungle or over the water offer guests a serene location in which to relax and rejuvenate.

On a culinary level, discerning travellers lucky enough to stay here can savour the contemporary interpretations of traditional Khmer cuisine created by British chef Neil Wager. The widely-travelled top chef, who has cooked for many international royal families and other famous celebrities, sees in the cuisine of Cambodia “an exciting culinary adventure that most top chefs can only dream about.” He enthuses, “All chefs love to play around with new ingredients. The unique flavours and aromas of Khmer cuisine are still pretty much unknown in the world. I have the fantastic opportunity of changing that here in Song Saa and plan to use those traditional methods and ingredients that make Khmer cuisine so special, and reinterpret them in a new, innovative way.”

Every dish that is served on Song Saa is made using locally-grown ingredients and all the seafood is sourced in keeping with regulations set down by Cambodia’s Association for Sustainable Fishing. If you’re looking for a change from relaxing and chilling, then the island offers a wide range of activities, from guided rainforest tours to fascinating snorkel trips. And if you fancy saying “I do” amidst the breathtakingly romantic backdrop of Song Saa Private Island, then the team of staff are happy to organise an unforgettable wedding ceremony tailored to suit your individual wishes.

» Song Saa: HIDEAWAYS of the Year 2013

Song Saa Private Island

Eigentümer: Rory und Melita Hunter

Koh Ouen

Telefon: 0 08 55 - 77 77 74 39

eMail: info@songsaa.com
Homepage: http://www.songsaa.com


Elegant Travel GmbH
Sailerbachstraße 18
83115 Neubeuern / Germany
E-Mail: info@elegant-travel.de
Internet: www.elegant-travel.de