Introducing Song Saa Private Island
February 6, 2024 by Hidden Doorways
In Cambodia’s otherworldly Koh Rong Archipelago, lie a collection of islands, most of them still unoccupied with nothing more than deserted oases of virgin rainforests, tropical reefs, and glistening white beaches. But amongst them are two, joined by footbridge that are known as ‘The Lovebirds’, or Song Saa.
A five-star eco-resort, Song Saa is a true pioneer in responsible tourism. Now B-corp certified, it offers the ultimate indulgence for mind, body, and soul without taking too heavily from the planet thanks to its numerous environmental and community programs — more on those shortly. Whether honeymooning or seeking a family escape to reconnect with one another and nature herself, the islands have an endless supply of experiences to keep guests enthralled in Cambodia’s best kept secrets. Whether being inert on its private white sandy beach or in pursuit of puffer fish and seahorses as guests scuba freely, the islands are theirs to explore high and low. A rainforest trail with the family to see native plants and wildlife by day and then a sunset cruise under the brightly illuminated constellations by night, these are memories that will burn bright forevermore.
With arms tired from sea kayaking and feet wishing to be rested following a guided island hike, Song Saa’s open-air spa and private treatment pavilions welcome guests in need of some R+R. For the romantically inclined, a nighttime couple’s ritual is a must-book before the deepest night’s sleep takes hold. The resort subscribes to the Buddhist tradition of ‘metta bhavana’ or loving kindness, offering blessings to others. In the spa, this extends from therapist to guest but also to the artisans behind the natural products used in its treatments. If deep relaxation is the principal aim of your client’s trip, a Song Saa spa retreat is worth considering with five- and seven-night Khmer blessing rituals to pick between.
From spa rest to room rest, though Song Saa isn’t the sort of resort where there’s a plethora of room categories to pick between. Here, there are only villas, 24 of them in total, all sustainably built, with a choice of three types themed by location. King-size beds draped in ivory linen, oversized sunken bathtubs, bespoke furniture built locally to add charm and character such as writing desks and dining tables, and high-end technical equipment such as Bose surround sound and 40-inch flat screen televisions are considered standard, with other flourishes unique to each villa. Nestled in the rainforest canopy are the private Jungle Villas where guests can choose a sunrise or sunset view; or for the most sublime coastal vista they can choose an Ocean View Villa where they’ll have a private dining gazebo and access to their own segment of private elevated beach; and the Overwater Villas have staircases that descend from land directly into the emerald waters below. Within the Overwater Villa category is the ultimate off-grid option, The two-bed Royal Villa, if your clients really want to go all-out on luxury. It’s touches such as these that make Song Saa the award-winning resort that it proudly is today with three of its most notable wins in 2023 including Conservation and Changemaker awards as well as making the Conde Nast Gold List again for the 5th time.
Now to nourishing appetites. 80% of Song Saa’s menu uses locally sourced ingredients and classic Khmer flavors to celebrate the region’s natural gifts, served at both its Vista Overwater Restaurant & Lounge and Driftwood beach bar. Wildlife-friendly Ibis rice from farmers in the North, fleshy cashews and meaty coconuts from neighboring villages, and the distinctive taste of the Kampot pepper punctuate dish to dish. As beautiful as its intimate open-air deck is for lunch and evening meals, its Destination Dining option is not to be missed. The resort has five secluded hideaway spots — on the beach, poolside, the Driftwood Deck, in a private dining area at the end of the Chef’s Garden, or at the romantic island landmark, The Point – that can be booked out for an elevated eating experience.
A destination with nature at its heart and within its reach at all times, it is through its various conservation and community programs that Song Saa does more than its share to protect the planet. The Song Saa Foundation is its official body and is responsible for initiatives such as creating Cambodia’s first marine reserve in 2006. Since then, the reserve has doubled in size and is now a 200-square mile National Marine Park. It is responsible for the monitoring and research of local marine environments and environmental education with a marine focus. The Foundation is not only focused on Marine Conservation; it also works closely with the local community. For example, it established the island-based solid waste management program, provided clean drinking water for all households and is behind the coordination of the largest health and education program on any of the Kingdom’s islands. The Foundation’s community work is designed to improve health, personal wellbeing and livelihood opportunities and thereby reduce the need for unsustainable pressures on the Archipelago’s marine and terrestrial habitats. A pioneer then and a regenerative tourism leader today – doing right by the planet is very much Song Saa’s raison d’être.
A place with beautiful intentions, a kind heart, a nurturing hand, and peaceful soul – welcome to Song Saa.
Song Saa Private Island