The Lush Life
Designed by renowned architect and interior designer Bill Bensley, the Shinta Mani Angkor Bensley Collection in Siem Reap is all about tropical glamour
The razzle dazzle of Art Deco and exuberant foliage that characterises tropical style may make an incongruous pair, but under Bill Bensley’s studied eye, it somehow clicks and makes for a happy marriage. Completed last year, the Shinta Mani Angkor Bensley Collection in Siem Reap, Cambodia, are the very embodiment of the designer’s penchant for escapist glamour. Conceived as a hotel within a hotel, the collection of 10 two-storey villas are a luxurious extension of Shinta Mani Angkor, a boutique property that also boasts the Bangkok-based designer’s inimitable aesthetic. Think graphic tiles and a striking black-andwhite palette, set against abundant foliage and handcrafted details that hark to its locale. Its main restaurant Kroya, for instance, shows the original plans of the Angkor temple complex, recreated on its ceiling.
The villas feature dramatic mouldings that flank the pool and continue indoors in the bedroom. The drapery-like folds of the plasterwork line the sides of the bedroom and the entrance of the powder room, playing up the elongated layout of each villa. Gilded trimmings and copious use of marble—particularly along the hallways and in the standalone bathroom—complete the lavish treatment, while the tactile comforts of plush cushions, as well as the ample indoor and outdoor lounge areas create a cosy ambience. Each villa is also accompanied by a personal lap pool and butler service, and is contained within a walled compound, designed for optimal privacy to create an intimate enclave.