Song Saa Private Island is a unique place. A pioneer of ethical, sustainable luxury in Cambodia, this idyllic eco-chic resort on two interconnected tropical islands in the Koh Rong archipelago offers an enchanting, luxurious island experience. 24 private pool villas boast exceptional comfort and breath-taking views. Song Saa celebrates the authentic island atmosphere of Cambodia in a luxurious, upscale setting.
Location & Resort
Song Saa Private Island Resort is located in the Koh Rong archipelago in Cambodia, about 45 minutes by speedboat from Sihanoukville harbour. The nearest airport is Sihanoukville International Airport (KOS), which is a 30-minute drive from the jetty.
The resort is located on two private islands, Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, which are often referred to as “Song Saa” in the Khmer language, meaning “The Sweet Ones”. Most of the islands are still undeveloped – deserted oases with unspoilt rainforests, tropical reefs and glistening white beaches. The two islands are connected by a footbridge over Cambodia’s first marine reserve, set up to protect the islands’ reefs and marine life, including turtles, seahorses and exotic species of tropical fish.
Sustainability is indeed very important on Song Saa Private Island. The owners, the Australian couple Rory and Melita Hunter, wanted to create the first sustainable, eco-chic luxury resort in Cambodia. Song Saa Private island has been modelled on its surroundings and offers a luxurious and tranquil island escape in close connection with the environment. The resort was created with sustainability in mind and reflects the beauty of the Cambodian coastline.
But that’s not all. In 2013, the Song Saa Foundation was established, a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the habitats of the Koh Rong archipelago and improving the well-being of the communities there. Inspired by its passion for Cambodia and its commitment to sustainable development, the Song Saa Foundation initiates and promotes projects to restore and regenerate the natural environment in Cambodia, including the reintroduction of native fauna and flora, the restoration of rainforest and wetland ecosystems, the preservation of Khmer heritage and the improvement of the well-being of local communities. During a stay at the resort, guests can actively participate in the programme by visiting local villages, taking part in activities or making donations.
Most of the resort was actually built sustainably while providing work for the locals – recycled wood from discarded fishing boats, furniture made from driftwood collected from local beaches and bays, and floors made from wood salvaged from old factories, warehouses and demolition yards in Cambodia and Thailand.
The result is a tropical sanctuary with a pristine private beach, spacious wooden heavenly retreats and a preserved coral reef. At Song Saa Private Island, you can switch off from the world and tune into simple, natural luxury. It’s a place that breathes in harmony with nature, built with local materials, by local hands and infused with local art and soul. Barefoot luxury in the truest sense of the word.
Song Saa Private Island features 24 luxurious villas overlooking the water, jungle and ocean. They have all been built with sustainable or recycled materials and with the utmost respect for the natural environment. Open-plan living areas and outdoor terraces with day beds allow guests to enjoy the island’s magnificent seascapes and rainforests.
The design of the villas is warm, with lots of dark wood, natural materials and a brown/beige colour palette. The whole results in a rustic chic, colonial/Asian atmosphere that blends perfectly with the island’s lush surroundings.
All villas feature a king-size bed, bathroom with twin basins, oversized sunken bathtub, wardrobe, writing desk, fully stocked personal bar, 40-inch flat screen TV, Bose surround sound system, iPod and Android docking stations, high-speed Wi-Fi, lounge area, outdoor shower, sun deck with day bed, poolside shower, private pool and a dedicated Guest Experience Ambassador. The following villa types are available:
- Jungle villas: Jungle villas are nestled in the canopy of the rainforest overlooking the open ocean (with optional sunrise or sunset views). One-bedroom jungle villas are 135 m2 in size and have a 26 m2 private pool (26 m2) including sun lounger. Two-Bedroom Jungle Villas are 300 m2 and feature a kitchen with a mojito station and indoor dining area.
- The Ocean View Villas offer spectacular views of the open ocean from your own private beach and pool deck. These villas are a generous 200 m2 and have a 26 m2 private pool overlooking the ocean. There is a private dining pavilion and a private, elevated beach.
- Overwater Villas are set on wooden stilts over the sea and are 135 m2 in size with a private pool (26 m2). Other features include a lounge area with a glass floor from which you can watch the underwater world and a staircase leading to the sea. There are also two-bedroom overwater villas that are 300 m2 in size.
- Royal Villa: The spacious royal villa is 300 m2 in total and has a private pool of 33 m2. Other features include a kitchen with a mojito making station, an indoor dining area, a lounge area with glass windows overlooking the sea and a dedicated Guest Experience Ambassador during your stay.
We stayed in an Ocean View Villa, which offered plenty of indoor and outdoor living space, including a private beach area, a spacious wooden deck with private pool.
The marvellous bathroom facing the ocean featured a huge bathtub and equally huge (indoor and outdoor) shower. Taking a bath during sunset was a wonderful experience.
The food at Song Saa Private Island is in line with the resort’s sustainability approach and focuses on fresh, sustainable and 80% locally sourced food. Each dish is inspired by the local environment and celebrates the natural richness of the islands. Fresh organic ingredients are sourced from the resort’s own gardens, seafood from local fishing villages and imported goods from trusted international suppliers. Every evening, the team changes the dining location on the island to provide the most inspiring experience. Whether you’re dining with your feet in the sand or sipping a cocktail on a jungle terrace overlooking the ocean: every meal and every drink will be spectacular. The following food and beverage options are available:
- Vista Overwater Restaurant & Lounge: the resort’s main restaurant, located directly on the coast of the island and surrounded by the sea. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is an à la carte menu with modern Western and Cambodian cuisine. Natural juices, cocktails or champagne are available in the lounge. The views from the restaurant and the lounge are spectacular indeed.
- Driftwood Bar & Kitchen is located directly on the beach. The wooden structure offers a relaxed and rustic dining experience complemented by the sound of the waves crashing on the sand. There are great pizzas and tapas on offer and an extensive drinks menu for a sundowner at sunset.
- Poolside Dining: Relax by the pool and enjoy the offerings from the Vista or Driftwood menus.
- Destination Dining: Choose your favourite secluded spot for a private dinner. This could be on the beach, by the pool with your feet in the water, on the Driftwood Deck, in the Dining Eoom in the Chef’s Garden or at “The Point’, a romantic spot surrounded by the sea. Of course, you can also dine in the comfort and privacy of your own villa.
Song Saa offers a range of activities, from foundation activities to wellbeing and celebration events:
- Spa and Wellness: Song Saa Private Island offers a unique spa concept that combines the journey to wellness with the natural environment of the Song Saa Islands. The ‘spa without walls’ is no ordinary spa centre: it consists of small ‘sanctuaries’ scattered around the island where treatments take place in the midst of nature. The spa menu is divided into three themes: Silence, Healing and Blessing, based on Buddhist practises. Spa retreats (multi-day spa programmes) are also offered.
- A range of land and water activities are offered, such as kayaking, snorkelling, island safaris, yoga, village visits, diving, Buddhist ceremonies and more. During our visit we were lucky enough to experience a “Recycled Fashion Show” on the beach. The various teams at the hotel had designed their own clothing from recycled materials, in order to create awareness for the waste problem and the Song Saa Foundation. A fantastic and beautiful experience right on the beach.
- Song Saa Private Island is one of the few places in the world where you can regularly see bioluminescent plankton in the water after dark. You may be lucky enough to see it right at the resort, or you can take a boat and go deeper into the water to observe this unique natural spectacle.
- For pool lovers that who to explore more than their own private pool, there’s a lovely communal pool area as well.
- Weddings and private events are also possible on Song Saa Private Island.
Song Saa Private Island is one of the most unique and luxurious beach resorts in Cambodia. Situated on two interconnected private islands, the resort features 24 sprawling private pool villas with a warm, Asian-colonial flair and magnificent views. Song Saa’s far-reaching approach to sustainability ensures an unadulterated island experience surrounded by nature. Together with the unique spa concept, great food and breath-taking activities, this will be a trip you will never forget.