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Zen-like purity by the Mekong

Good Times2 Staff / Khmer Times Share:
Panathun Thong, Ministry of Tourism representative, and Tom Hall, owner of The Bale Phnom Penh, officially opening the resort. Engly Tuy (Sakura)

The Bale, a serene, luxurious retreat, with stunning views over the majestic Mekong River – and only a 20-minute drive from Phnom Penh – officially opened last week.

The resort also has the Theato restaurant that serves the finest international cuisine and also specialises in imaginative local Khmer dishes.

Head Chef Anton Ventslav, from Bale’s sister property in Bali, The Menjangan, is the visionary of the Theato concept and the driving force behind the team. He has developed the menu in close collaboration with local Cambodian team members, creating an imaginative and authentic list of culinary delights

The Bale Phnom Penh is a perfect example of the union between the stunning local Mekong Delta landscape and the Passion for Life philosophy of the resort’s parent company, Lifestyle Retreats.

Passion for Life is a unique concept developed and perfected over the years, and practiced at all Lifestyle Retreats properties. The result is a hotel harmony created by designing an exquisite resort that is run with skill and dedication by its own staff “family”, and that blends with and supports the local environment and people. The whole concept offers guests a memorable experience of truly holistic luxury.

The Bale Phnom Penh’s design maintains the Bale brand of merging a minimalist approach with local elements and motifs, and natural products. Supplied

The Bale Phnom Penh’s design maintains the Bale brand of merging a minimalist approach with local elements and motifs and natural products. The resort’s architecture is mainly Modernist, creating a peaceful oasis of calm to soothe body and mind.

At The Bale Phnom Penh, guests arrive in great style, sweeping down a dramatic long corridor at the end of which stands a serene, peaceful Buddha. From there, a broad, pink terrazo walkway stretches across a black-bottomed infinity pond to the check-in lounge. It’s a grand entrance, sure to impress even the most frequent luxury hotel guests.

Providing dashes of colour all around the property are lemongrass and spider lily plants, fragrant frangipani trees, and cascades of the vivid-green Lee Kuan Yew plant, creating a true oasis in Phnom Penh.

Most of the suites are located around a grassy courtyard in which stands a local Bodhi (or Buddha tree) – the same spiritual tree that grows at temples throughout Cambodia – adding to the serenity of the resort.

The suites are spacious and immaculately designed residences that merge minimalist furnishings with local Cambodian artefacts and fabrics.

Photographs by renowned photographer Minoru Masuyima adorn the walls, reflecting scenes of day-to-day life in Cambodia. And at the edge of the property is the cool turquoise pool near the riverfront suites on the banks of the mighty Mekong River.

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