Cambodia’s southern coast is a wonderful place to relax, unwind and enjoy its beautiful beaches and sleepy fishing villages. Knai Bang Chatt is located just two hours from Phnom Penh in Kep, and the perfect spot to enjoy all this untouched part of Cambodia has to offer.
Kep-sur-Mer, as it was known in the 50s, was a popular seaside retreat for the colonial French elite, and later wealthy Khmers. In the 70s much of the city had fallen into disrepair under the influence of Khmer Rouge forces. Among the abandoned buildings were the three original villas of Knai Bang Chatt – originally owned by the Governor of Kep, a relative of the king and the Head of Customs. The villas were purchased in 2006 and a further two villas were built with the whole property undergoing a full renovation 2012.
Knai Bang Chatt consists of five villas with 18 rooms in total. The decor is indpired by the ancient Japanese philosophy, Wabi Sabi, which places emphasis on purity and simplicity. The rooms are simple and elegant with polished teak beds, ceramics and soft, earthy tones. Some of the rooms come with garden or sea views.
Throughout the property you’ll find cultural artifacts and historical works of art and the lush grounds are an oasis of calm with swaying palms and pebbled pathways. The Strand restaurant specialises in locally caught seafood which can be enjoyed at the open-air restaurant by the beach or in the dining pavilion. There is also the option to indulge in some really special dining experiences including a private candlelit dinner at the end of the hotel’s jetty.
The Sailing Club, located in a former fisherman’s cottage, is another option for food and drink and is also a centre for kayaking, wind surfing and sailing. There are daily yoga and meditation sessions and spa treatments on offer as well as a beautiful infinity pool, perfect for lazy days in the sun.