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Cambodia's Song Saa

Janice Seow looks at how an unspoiled island destination in Cambodia is being built into a sustainable luxury resort.

Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago has so far not appeared on most tourist maps, but that is all going to change, and quickly.

Amidst a magnificent seascape, a private island destination – the first in the country – is being developed. Set to open its doors later this year, the new resort covers not one but two islands, known locally as Song Saa (Khmer for ‘The Sweethearts’).


Paying heed to the beauty of its unspoiled location, the owners Rory and Melita Hunter are putting forth some of the best examples of how luxury and sustainability can make good partners.

When completed, Song Saa Private Island will feature 27 luxury overwater, rainforest and beach villas built with sustainable materials and with sensitivity to its natural environment.



“The design concept is one of rustic, adventurous luxury. We want our guests to always know where they are, and be as close to the natural surroundings as possible,” says Melita, who was responsible for the master planning, architecture and interior design.


“Important considerations were giving guests privacy, whilst maximising views. We also wanted to create a sense of place, therefore working with a lot of recycled boat timbers for old doors, and sculptural pieces of driftwood for columns.”

The 2 islands are connected by a footbridge over a marine reserve that Roy and Melita have established to safeguard the islands’ reefs and marine life.


Guests can also choose to frolic on the resort’s pristine white beaches, explore the virgin rainforests or venture out for a little ‘offshore adventure’ to one or more of the 20 deserted islands close by.

The resort itself features a large infinity edge swimming pool, which straddles both the east and west sides of the island. There is a yoga and meditation centre on the eastern shore, and a spa and wellness centre suspended among the rainforest. The resort also invites guests to explore the islands’ flora and fauna through its ecological program.


What may perhaps come as a surprise is that this precious slice of paradise is just 30 minutes by boat from the international airport of Sihanoukville.


Song Saa Private Island