I’ve mentioned Song Saa a couple of times on the blog now and it really is time to give this gorgeous island it’s own post. Song Saa was where we spent the last 5 days of our honeymoon and it really was the most perfect ending to an absolutely amazing holiday and a great way to finish off what had been quite a hectic trip.
Song Saa is located in the Koh Rong Archipelago, about a 40 minute boat journey from Sihanoukville on Cambodia’s south west coast. It bills itself as Cambodia’s first luxury private island resort and is the brain child of Rory and Melita Hunter who decided to create a sustainable, luxury resort focusing heavily on community development. The resorts green credentials are impeccable having created Cambodia’s first marine reserve and established a groundbreaking solid waste management facility in the nearby village of Prek Svay among many other environmentally friendly initiatives. They also created the Song Saa Foundation which focuses on projects covering three main areas, the surrounding environment, the community and education of young people in the Koh Rong islands.
For us, what sets Song Saa apart from other similar styled ‘luxury hideaway’ hotels, was the service before you arrived, the fact that it was all inclusive and the décor. The villa’s are beautifully decorated in whites and charcoal with an accent of aqua along with thoughtfully placed objets d’art that give give a stylish look and feel without making it feel cluttered.
The outside spaces were just gorgeous as you can see from the pictures below. It really is a barefoot resort which we loved, every path was made of the softest, whitest sand and the attention to detail was apparent everywhere, even in the main resort toilets which were open air with a sandy floor.
Dinner every night was in a different location, there were no extra fees for destination dining unlike other luxury resorts. The menu for each evening was suggested in the afternoon by the chef (dropped off at your villa via a printed scroll) however, if you wanted something different a quick call to guest services got you a meeting with the chef to discuss what you else you might like. On the first night we arrived the menu suggestion was a traditional Khymer curry but as we’d just had three nights of traditional Khymer food we fancied something different so the chef rustled us up a gorgeous Fillet steak and gratin potatoes, just what we wanted.
The all inclusive package includes all alcoholic drinks including house wine, beers and spirits. The selection was very good but there’s also a menu you can order premium wines and spirits from should you not find any to your liking in the house selection. The resort actually sent out a questionannaire before we arrived asking what our favourite drinks were and lo and behold, when we settled into our villa we found the fridge stocked with The Husbands favourite beer and a lovely red wine for me. The all inclusive nature of the resort means you can really kick back and not worry about anything once you’re there. Laundry is also available as part of the all inclusive deal, something we wish we’d checked before arriving as we’d just spent a fortune in Siem Reap doing lots of laundry!
- The experience starts before you arrive with a questionnaire asking for your food and beverage preferences. If they can, they’ll stock the fridge in your villa with your preferences
- All inclusive and everything is included such as laundry, alcohol and non motorised water sports. Telephone calls were even included when we stayed although looking at the website this might have changed now
- Service was fantastic. The room was made up every morning while we were at breakfast so there were no intrusions on our privacy during the rest of the day
- The pizza restaurant open all day from 11-9. I think this was truly one of the best pizza’s we’ve ever had, one day we went to 5 mile beach and had lunch there, we loved the pizza so much we had a ‘pizza snack’ when we got back at 4pm before dinner
- The decor and general athestic of the island is stunning
- It’s a true barefoot paradise with all pathways made from soft, white sand. Perfect for relaxing and totally forgetting about the world
- It’s a very long transfer from Phnom Penh. When we visited there were no flights available to Sihanoukville so we had to take the 4 hour transfer by mini van from the Capital.
- We could have done with some snacks on the boat transfer. After such a long journey from the airport I was desperately hungry by this time.
- I found breakfast got a little samey. I really love a buffet breakfast in a hotel and even though this was probably better for most people as it was cooked freshly to order I would have liked a menu change half way through our stay
- If you go stir crazy in small environments and want to explore this probably isn’t the island for you. There are plenty of excursions you can take but the resort itself is very small
Is it the best luxury island resort in the world? I’m sure there are some that are more swanky but this is definitely the most luxurious one we’ve visited and deserves every one of those glowing reviews you read about it all over the internet and travel review sites. If you’re planning a special trip to South East Asia, Song Saa should definitely be on your itinerary.