The tran­quil get­away tucked along the Mekong River out­side Ph­nom Penh's bus­tle

Southeast Asia Globe - - Contents - – Janelle Retka


While the de­sign of the re­sort is in­spired by its mother get­away in Bali, im­i­tat­ing its arch­ways and ar­chi­tec­ture, the Ph­nom Penh es­cape draws upon el­e­ments of lo­cal art and cul­ture. The floors of its in-house restau­rant, Theato, are lined with mo­saic ce­ment tiles of­ten found dec­o­rat­ing the coun­try’s pago­das. Dark wood­work com­mis­sioned from lo­cal fur­ni­ture mak­ers com­pose the del­i­cately curved fur­nish­ings – from book­shelves to low-sit­ting lounge chairs – that fill the din­ing room and suites. Men pedalling rick­shaws, street scenes and mar­ket-side mo­ments caught on black and white film by Ja­pa­nese pho­tog­ra­pher Mi­noru Ma­suy­ima and scat­tered through­out the re­sort bring glimpses of au­then­tic Cam­bo­dian life to the es­cape.


Theato restau­rant pro­vides a de­light­ful fu­sion of tra­di­tional Kh­mer cui­sine, Mod­ern Asian and tra­di­tional cui­sine, with the four chefs be­hind the scenes hav­ing been pulled from the renowned kitchens of Ph­nom Penh’s Chi­nese House, Tiger’s Eye and Sokha Ho­tel. Av­o­ca­dos sourced from Cam­bo­dia’s north­east­ern prov­ince of Mon­dolkiri adorn the menu of Theato’s bot­tom­less break­fast, while jun­gle honey and lemon­grass are among a spec­trum of flavours on the menu to be ex­plored over a can­dle-lit gar­den­side din­ner over­look­ing the Mekong wa­ters.


The re­sort’s in­ti­mate spa of­fers a range of re­ju­ve­nat­ing mas­sage treat­ments, from jas­mine aro­mather­apy and tra­di­tional Ba­li­nese knead­ing to tra­di­tional Kh­mer stretch mas­sages fol­lowed by sooth­ing herbal hot com­press care. Guests can also un­wind in The Balé’s 25 me­tre river­side pool, per­fect for bask­ing in the sun or swim­ming lengths in af­ter a morn­ing work­out in the fully equipped on-site gym. For those who would pre­fer a pri­vate dip, book up one of the re­sort’s four river­front suites fea­tur­ing lux­u­ri­ous pa­tio plunge pools.

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