Six Senses Brings Wellness Retreat to Cambodia’s Krabey Island
March 4, 2019 by Hidden Doorways
Tucked away on a private island off the coast of Sihanoukville in southwestern Cambodia, an area known for its beaches and exotic mangroves of Ream National Park, the Six Senses Krabey Island feels like a true escape. Opened March 1st, 2019, this wellness retreat is putting Cambodia at the forefront for its untouched stunning beaches and luxurious retreats.
This castaway location is Six Senses’ first venture into this emerging Southeast Asian jewel and has been touted as Cambodia’s first ultra-luxury, private island wellness retreat. The global wellness brand is known for pairing exquisite exotic locations with its down-to-earth sustainability ethos and connection to nature.
Six Senses Krabey Island is the ultimate wellness retreat for those looking for a special place to unwind after exploring the highlights of this fascinating destination where its Khmer past intertwines with its French colonial history and its evolving modernity. While first-time visitors will flock to Siem Reap to see the mysterious 500-acre 12th-century temple, Angkor Wat or the bustling Phnom Penh, the resort is a haven for travelers who want to go beyond its mesmerizing temples to rest after a packed itinerary.
And a retreat it is. The 40-villas spread spans across Krabey Island’s 30 acres with nothing but the soundtrack of wildlife calls and crashing waves to transport you to away from the demands of daily routines. Guests arrive in style by a private speedboat at the mainland reception just a 10-minute drive from Sihanouk International Airport.
A study in sustainability, the resort’s 40 private pool villas are designed with eco-friendly materials paired with cutting-edge technology. Guest can choose from a variety of one-bedroom pool villas but for those seeking sea views, choose the Ocean Front Pool Villa Suite. While the Beach Retreat is the ultimate family retreat comprised of two free-standing villas that can accommodate four people, floor-to-ceiling panoramic views and its own private strip of sand. Each villa boasts its own private terrace and infinity pool with sweeping views of the lush jungle and deep blue majestic waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Amenities include deep soaking tubs, indoor/outdoor showers, airy living rooms, and plush furnishings.
Drawing inspiration from the sacred Kbal Spean River, the Six Senses Spa nourishes the mind, body and soul. The spacious setting incorporates calming ripple effects to reflect flow of the stream and light reflections in its contemporary design. Offering signature spa treatments, guests can indulge in traditional Khmer treatments or create customized natural skin care products using local ingredients at the Alchemy Bar. As a holistic sanctuary, the Integrated Six Senses Wellness takes you on a restorative journey. It boasts daily yoga in a pavilion, aerial yoga, pranayama, workshops, detox and sleep programs.
Digging in on Krabey Island
Dining at Six Senses Krabey Island takes the center stage at AHA and Tree Restaurant. Open throughout the day, AHA Restaurant is a relaxed space where guests enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with a variety of menus which offers the best of local and pan-Asian flavors. The Tree Restaurant set in a stylish yet serene setting specializes in Khmer and South-East Asian cuisines with a seafood fare where ingredients are committed to the highest standards of sustainable farming and fishing practices. Watch the spectacular sunset views overlooking the Gulf of Thailand at the Sunset Bar while savoring hand-crafted classic and bespoke shaken and stirred cocktails and reminiscing about the day’s adventures. Guests can enjoy light refreshments anytime day or night.
Connecting with the Surroundings:
Krabey Island offers an abundance of activities for all types of travelers. Days can be spent relaxing by the infinity pool or with immersed in the sea from snorkeling to kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and boat excursions in the Gulf of Thailand. Land activities include cooking classes to learn local Khmer dishes, night sky astronomy sessions, and the refreshingly enjoyable open-air Cinema Paradiso.
Central to its core, Six Senses Krabey Island is committed to environmental sustainability and conservation of the region. For instance, the resort runs its own water bottling plant using reusable glass bottles. It operates a 40,000-square-foot organic market farm that supplies much of the resort’s produce and holds educational seminars for guests to learn more about its vision through Earth Labs. It maintains a coral propagation program. Villas have green, living roof sundecks. Also, the resort supports disadvantaged youth in local communities providing social activities and educational marine conservation programming.
A number of international airlines fly into Sihanouk International Airport (KOS), including China Southern, Vietnam Airlines, Qatar, Emirates and China Eastern. The flight from Phnom Penh takes about 40 minutes – or four hours by car. Several local airlines run the hour-long flight from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap. From Six Senses Krabey, the airport is a 15-minute boat ride, followed by a 10-minute drive.
A stay at Six Senses Krabey Island can take place after a whirlwind tour of Indochina or be a long and relaxing experience that can include day trips to area attractions and Cambodia’s wonders.
Angkor Wat may be Cambodia’s most famous attraction. The 500-acre, 12th-century temple complex is, in fact, the world’s largest religious monument. It has its earlier roots in Hinduism and later became a Buddhist shrine that features spectacular Khmer architecture, intriguing sculptures and intricate carvings throughout. But plenty of other temples throughout the country also merit a visit. Among them, Ta Prohm, whose ruins are strangled in creeping fig trees and vines, the pink sandstone monument of Banteay Srai, the 10th century jungle relic of Koh Ker, and mystical and thickly overgrown temple of Beng Mealea.
A more sobering activity will be a visit to the killing fields in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. The open museum stands as a reminder of what can go wrong in the world – and did — as recently as the 1970s during a dark period of vicious dictatorship that rocked this part of the world. Beyond the landscapes of unearthed skulls and bones is the S21, or the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, that was once a school but was converted into a prison and interrogation site by the Khmer Rouge.
A more bolstering pursuit might be a visit to the Mondulkiri Project, a truly ethical elephant sanctuary where visitors can interact with elephants, bathe them, feed them and trek with them in a place where they are allowed to roam free on broad acres of land infused with rivers and falls and stunning natural wildlife.
A surprising little activity that visitors will find in the nearby sleepy island of Koh Rong, is the specter of fiery plankton swirling in the water and lighting up the night. Visitors can walk along the shore and relax at a rustic bar along the beach or even wade in the warm shallow waters that glow with eerie iridescence as the water stirs. A bathing suit and snorkel gear will make this immersive experience all the more riveting.
Six Senses Krabey Island
Ream Commune, Preah Sihanouk Province
18000 P.O. Box 9553
Telephone: (+855) 6994 4888