Cambodia used to have the unwanted reputation of a “land of conflict and sorrow”. But that has dramatically changed in recent years. The Kingdom is now known as the place where you can find dome of the best and most alluring luxury destinations in the world.
Last week, that new reputation was strengthened with reports that Shinta Mani Wild and Song Saa Private Island bagged more than a few recognitions in the Destination Deluxe Awards 2019.
The Destination Luxury Awards are the brainchild of Destination Deluxe, a travel and wellness publication that picks and recognizes the top hotels, spas, treatment, skincare and wellness brands in the world. This is the inaugural edition for the awards.
There are 28 categories for the awards. The winners are chosen by a group of distinguished industry experts based on quality, transparency and originality. There are three ranked winners for each category.
Song Saa Private Island is the top awardee in the Eco-Hotel of the Year category. Soneva Fushi in Maldives and Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge in Nicaragua are also on the list.
The Khmer Tonic Spa in Shinta Mani Wild is number one in the Eco-Spa of the Year category. The others in the list are Fivelements Retreat Bali in Indonesia and FieldSpa GoldenEye in Jamaica.
Shinta Mani Wild itself is the runner-up in the New Hotel of the Year and Hotel Design of the Year awards.
The other winners in the New Hotel of the Year category are Rosewood Hong Kong in Hong Kong and Amarla Boutique Hotel in Colombia.
For the Hotel Design of the Year, the others on the list are Datai Langkawi in Malaysia and Joe Lalli Resort Hotel in China.
“It is both an honour and very humbling that Bensley Collection-Shinta Mani Wild has been the recipient of ten awards in its first year of operation and a tribute to the GM and his team for their dedication, commitment and hard work on a daily basis,” Bill Bensley, the world-renowned designer behind Shinta Mani Wild, said.
“Shinta Mani Wild has an important eco and sustainability message, especially with our Wildlife Alliance partnership and their daily patrols to protect the forest and its inhabitants. These awards also bring much-needed awareness to the work we do in this regard,” he added.
The two Cambodian luxury destinations have reaped numerous international awards between them in recent years.
Shinta Mani Wild, which sits on 160 hectares of land between the Cardamon, Bokor and Kirirom national parks, said that it “provides the highest level of luxury while also working to protect the environment around it”. It opened two years ago.
Last year, it was included in the National Geographic Traveller (UK) Big Sleep Awards 2019, Time magazine’s “100 Greatest Destinations on Earth”, Condé Nast Traveller (UK) Hot List 2019, Harper’s Bazaar Ultimate Travel Guide 2019 (UK) : 100 Greatest Experiences in The World, among other recognitions. Located in Preah Sihanouk province, Song Saa Private Island is an ultra-exclusive and luxury getaway said to be frequented by some of the richest and most famous people in the world.
Last month, Luxury Travel Intelligence named it as among the “top 10 best luxury hotels built this decade”.