Six Senses Krabey Island, a Private Retreat in Cambodia
By Capucine Plume
Degraded with jade greens with chlorophyll shades, azure blue on the horizon, it is in a tropical setting off the Cambodian coast that Six Senses has installed its last trunks to create a residence dedicated to well-being and the listening to the senses.
In the heart of nature, amidst tropical essences, the nose is perfumed with marine scents, ears are rocked by the song of birds and the rhythm of the waves, taste buds discover local products and eyes fill with the beauty of nature. The five senses are called upon to express themselves along the journey. Once the mind is calm and rested, we are invited here to develop the deepest, most profound meaning, the sixth sense, that of intuition.
This is the beautiful philosophy of the Six Senses properties in all of its beauty and expression in this enchanting natural setting within the heart of the beautiful country that is Cambodia, resilient and forward-looking. Discovery.
Sailing on the Six Senses Island Krabey Island, Eco-Responsible
First impression night. Arrival at the boat landing. The hotel’s boat is docked at the pontoon. Simple and comfortable luxury in the reception pavilion, a foretaste of the invitation to travel on this private island, rented for 99 years and managed by Six Senses.
Night crossing by fast boat, in fifteen minutes. On the dock, refreshing towels and drinks await visitors before they leave in an electric golf car, the means of transport on the twelve-hectare island. Like the brand’s sixteen other hotels and resorts, Six Senses Krabeh Island is committed and invites its guests to preserve nature and produce the lowest carbon footprint. Eco-responsible, the hotel favors self-sufficiency with its solar panels, its own production of water served in glass bottles, organic vegetable gardens and works with the communities present. “We are guests on this island” confirms Alistair Anderson, the General Manager. The hotel, which opened on March 1st, is involved in local life, employed 350 people a day during its construction, and continues to involve the population by employing predominantly Cambodians.
Tradition and Nature in Charming Villas
Awakened by the birds’ song the next morning, it is difficult to get out of the four-poster bed covered with a white aerial mosquito net, deployed the day before as if to create a vaporous and benevolent cocoon. The cotton panels that hide the villa’s bay windows, still lowered, offer pretty shadows created by the shrubs of the terrace and the rising sun. A delightful natural painting made of Chinese shadows of foliage, a perfect awakening.
Once the blinds are retracted, the terrace reveals a seawater pool and invites you to relax on its deckchairs with its sea view framed by exotic foliage.
Bordered with glass walls that highlight the colors of the surrounding nature, the peaks of the rocks that rise outside of the sea, we can only be subjugated by the lapping of the water that uncovers and covers small rocky mounds as it moves back and forth. Bliss before breakfast.
A small private island in the Gulf of Thailand in the middle of a group of 6 islets, in front of Sianoukville, Koh Krabey reveals its rocky contours lined with lush nature on an emerald sea hemmed with sapphire blue and welcomes forty bright villas in the heart of its tropical forest, in 5 categories, each with a pool facing the sea or the forest. From a minimum of 77 m2 and up to 200 m2, each villa has a bedroom, a living room and a bathroom separated from their terrace and the outdoor living room with bay windows, as if to invite nature inside and erase the notion of “inside and out”.
Influenced by Khmer architecture, the villas include typical elements from traditional Cambodian houses, complemented by bamboo and honey-rattan furniture and woodwork. The luminaries take the shape of the romdoul flower, decreed national flower of Cambodia in 2005 by King Sihamoni, and a symbol of environmental preservation.
Have breakfast at Aha Restaurant, open all day, lunch at the Tree Restaurant, surrounded by trees, overlooking the sea, taste Khmer-influenced dishes, sip drinks on the cozy banquettes or hammocks of the Sunset Bar and gaze at the sublime sunsets, refresh yourself with homemade sorbets at the “glacier”, or stay in the privacy of your villa, at the water’s edge on the terraces below, the options are endless.
The fish is selected directly from the fishpond of the nearby floating fishing village, the vegetables picked from the organic vegetable gardens grown on the island. The chickens and goats are also raised within the island.
Khmer Cooking Class
Featured on the menu today, Cobia sashimi
The spices, freshly cut herbs, make up a colorful ensemble on the table in front of the Cobia, a fish that lives in the tropical waters of the region. All the ingredients are already prepared, chopped. The dream for every cook and a delight for the eyes.
You need fried shallots and ginger, green chilies minced in thin slices, fresh coconut cream, lemon and coconut meat. The spicy sauce that accompanies the sashimi is called Green Koh Kong and is made with ginger, garlic, green pepper, lime, fish sauce and a little salt.
After crushing and binding the sauce in a mortar, cutting the fish into sashimi (thick slices unlike the carpaccio whose slices are very thin), place them on the plate, sprinkle them with a dash of lime and add the fried herbs, peppers, shallots and ginger, all sprinkled with the hot sauce. A delight prepared by Sochiet, the Cambodian sous-chef who, after working four and a half years in Dubai, Azerbaijan and the Maldives, has come back from his experience to his native country.
The Common Areas
The traditional Khmer fisherman’s house inspired the property’s lobby and main lounge. Bamboo decorations made from fishermen’s baskets, waves of hand-crafted paper fish suspending from the ceiling, are reminiscent of schools of fish on the seabed. Located on the eastern side of the island, facing the sea, the Sunset Bar offers hammocks to contemplate the beautiful sunsets. A swimming pool unfolds near the bar, its line follows the horizon. Infinity at the water’s level over 27 m long; enough to do laps in total peace.
Wellness and Discovery Activities
A stroll on the wooden boardwalk, built along the southwestern coast of the island or the meditative contemplation of the elements in the privacy of your villa, the possibilities to reconnect with nature are multiple.
Aerial or outdoor Yoga classes, relaxing treatments, traditional Khmer therapies, revitalizations at the 2000 m2 spa ,which offers the Six Senses Integrated Wellness program, including detoxification sessions or a diagnosis of your general health. Established from an electrode machine by an Indian doctor, the very accurate diagnosis is the starting point of a revitalization journey.
All activities on the island invite to feel relaxed, calm, and to contemplate and return to inner peace.
The sea outings offer a discovery trip through a mango orchard, a walk in the bed of an old river, through the undergrowth of a tropical forest to land at the top of a cliff that offers a breathtaking 180 degree view of the Gulf of Thailand Sea. A gift for the eyes after an hour-long walk and yet another re-connection to nature in the tropics.
On the beach, we find the hotel staff who have installed mattresses, headrests for a picnic of fresh fruit and for a reading break in the shade of trees, before going for a snorkeling tour and discovering purple sea urchins with giant pikes. Impressive!
You can also visit Dy in his fishing village. Dy, the fish-farm owner’s 34-year old son has been living here for 18 years with all of his family. The houses are built on stilts on the water. Makeshift bridges made from tree trunks connect the houses together, forming a village of 29 families. The latter, composed of 127 people, lives off their fishing and maintains a fish farm.
While the children are playing, Dy selects and knocks out the Cobia of the day for the sashimi cooking class. His wife scales the fish in front of us. The fish is ready. It goes from the sea to the table. It couldn’t be more fresh and direct. This tactic also emits the least carbon emission as advocated by the Six Senses philosophy, that is also concerned with the well-being of local populations.
Surface area: 181,035km2
Population of 15.5 million inhabitants
Closest airport: Sihanoukville
Late October to late February: the most pleasant
From March to the end of May: the highest temperatures
From June to October: monsoon with September being the wettest month of the year
In partnership with Les Maisons du Voyage, the travel agency specializing in inspired and inspiring trips with a little extra soul, the stay at Six Senses Krabey Island can be organized from 3690 euros included in an itinerary passing through Siem Rep, the temples of Angkor, Phnom Penh, Kampot among others and three days rest on Six Senses Krabey Island.
Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia
T +855 69 944 888 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Koh Krabey Island, Ream Commune, Preah Sihanouk Province, 18000 Letterbox 9553 Cambodia