Meaning ‘green village’ in Khmer, Phum Baitang is set within eight acres of lush gardens and rice paddies away from the bustle of Siem Reap, yet still just minutes from the temples of Angkor.
And indeed it does appear as a traditional Cambodian village on first sight, but you’ll soon notice intricate design touches and modern luxuries between the rusticity.
There are 45 private stilted and thatched villas, each built in a traditional style with carefully considered contemporary touches, with extensive use of reclaimed wood, expansive terraces, handpicked furniture and wonderfully spacious bathrooms with egg-shaped baths carved from local stone. 20 of the villas have their own outdoor plunge pools.
Two restaurants lie in the village, Hang Bay, which serves a fusion of cultural cuisine, and Bay Phsar, which has the feel of a local market and is the venue to try vibrant Cambodian flavours created using freshly picked ingredients including herbs from the organic garden and rice straight from the surrounding paddies.
One of the bars sits alongside the scenic 50m infinity pool but our favourite is the cigar and cocktail lounge, housed within a reconstructed century-old farmhouse that has shelves bursting with vintage liqueurs, gin and whisky, surely one of the coolest bars in Southeast Asia.
End a day of temple exploration at the spa, an ancient looking temple offering age-old healing techniques and beauty recipes using indigenous ingredients.
Aside from temples, Phum Baitang offers a range of activities, including a kids’ club, private dining experiences and cooking classes, cultural excursions, trips to Tonle Sap and vintage jeep drives..
The green village
Built on the design principles of a traditional Khmer village, the straw-thatched structures at Phum Baitang are made with local stone and wood. All of the hotel’s furniture is made with materials from Cambodia and antiques from the local market are also used to complement the traditional arrangement. The boutique shop stocks local exclusively-designed products, including one-of-a-kind gifts made by local artisans.
Farm to table philosophy
The restaurant also has a focus on all things local, serving typical Khmer dishes using the freshest ingredients sourced from organic farms in the area. Similarly to at the local market, the chef here displays produce for guests to discover and add to their dishes. Rice is the natural accompaniment to any dish in South East Asia and here it is sourced straight from the paddy fields surrounding the property.