Set in a botanical park just outside Kep, Samanea Beach Resort‘s 12 villas rest on manicured lawns, within a protected mangrove forest and next to a private beach. Once the site of quaint seaside cottages, the hotel rescued the materials from the original, long-abandoned buildings to create new villas that blend seamlessly into their natural surroundings.
In your romantic space, bask in your sea, garden or pool view while you deliberate taking a mid-afternoon nap in your four-poster bed beneath a high ceiling. Soak in your private outdoor bathtub under the shade of a regal palm tree, or take advantage of the fully stocked minibar and mix an aperitif to drink on your private terrace.
When you eventually wander beyond your villa, follow the boardwalk through protected mangroves to search for wildlife to photograph. To learn a bit about the culture that has welcomed you, get up early and walk down to Kep’s bustling crab market to see locals vie for the day’s most sought-after catch.
When the sun blazes in the afternoon, cool down with a dip in the 300-square-metre infinity pool with integrated Jacuzzi jets to help soothe tired muscles. If you’re after secluded relaxation, book a bio-treatment that uses fragrant natural oils in the open-air Samathe Spa & Salon. Come sunset, visit the wooden jetty – the longest in the area – for majestic views of Bokor Mountain, or savour a passionfruit mojito with 360-degree views from Panorama Rooftop Bar. Stay on for tapas or book a table at Chankiri for local dishes like the famous blue Kep crab with authentic Kampot pepper.