“A tranquil beach retreat on the Cambodian coast: lovingly converted modernist houses and villas, plus sailing, yoga and great food”
Stark modernist angles are offset, Vervoordt-style, by warm earth tones in the rough, irregular shapes of old ceramics and bedside tables made from chunks of weathered wood. Hand-glazed tiles and pigmented polished-concrete floors keep the bare rooms cool in the hot season. Mercifully picture-free walls are given depth and life by being painted in an irregular wash.
All rooms and the suite are spread over a number of houses and villas; all have generous elevated teak beds, in effect a sturdier version of the trestle table, as well as a desk and chair. They each have a terrace with outdoor seating, too, though some are shared with the room next door. Open walk-in wardrobes hold the usual kimono-style bathrobes and a hairdryer. Bathrooms have a big shower cubicle with fixed head and good water pressure. Aromatherapy shampoo, shower gel and soap are provided, as is mosquito repellent. All are uniquely decorated; the deciding factor in different categories is size, bed formation and the type of view.
The open-plan Knai Bang Chatt Suite spans the entire second floor of the newest villa. A large sleeping area is at the centre of the space, and is surrounded by a seating area and large Jacuzzi tub. This is the only room with a TV, not that you’ll need it, as you’ll be out on the private terrace taking in the fantastic views of the sea.
Breakfast is a simple buffet served in the restaurant. Expect muesli, bread, croissants, cold cuts, a basket of hard-boiled eggs, and jam and marmalade. Fruit juice, coffee and a selection of teas are provided. Extra dishes can be ordered a la carte.
Other meals are served whenever you want, anywhere around the complex. The resort is small, so there are only a handful of choices per meal although special dishes can be arranged on request. For lunch and dinner, there is excellent Khmer-French fusion cuisine, with the stress on Khmer: we enjoyed beef-and-noodle salad, pomelo salad with succulent prawns, seafood stir-fry with 2 kinds of rice, and a local fish done a la meuniere. Desserts are generally not among Asia’s great contributions, but if pandanus cake is your thing, tuck in.
Private dining can be arranged on the roof top or at the end of the jetty and features a 3- or 4-course menu with sparkling wine, and incredible views of the sea.
The Sailing Club is also open daily for lunch and dinner. The menu, as you may expect, features a lot of seafood dishes, as well as a few Western favourites. Its terrace is a great place to grab a drink and watch the sun set over the sea.
At the end of the path when you turn right out of the hotel gate is a fresh market with half a dozen tin-roofed restaurants that jut out over the sea. Fresh crab is the great thing here, grilled or steamed: a great option for lunch. There are also a number of restaurants a short walk away.
Knai Bang Chatt welcomes families. Baby cots and extra beds are available, and active kids will love the sailing club.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Sea View Double #2 and Garden View Twin #1 can interconnect and share a balcony. Garden View Twins #9 and #10 also interconnect. Garden View Doubles #12 and #15, and Sea View Double #13, can all fit an extra bed or baby cot
Babysitting is available on request.