Cambodia’s luxury tourism scene continues to thrive with the hotly anticipated Shinta Mani Wild, a sleek tented camp experience from the eccentric hotel creator Bill Bensley. Nestled deep within the wilderness of the South Cardamom National Park, in a pristine wildlife corridor three hours’ drive south of Phnom Penh, Shinta Mani Wild, offers a radical new concept for those seeking a natural but outstanding getaway.
There’s no such thing as a typical day here. From the exhilarating moment of arrival – criss-crossing the rapids via a 320m zipline, straight into the Landing Zone Bar – forget what you know about usual check-ins. Perched over 1.5 stunning kilometres of flowing river and spectacular waterfalls, the 14 one-bedroom tents (100sqm) and one two-bedroom tent (140sqm) have been meticulously designed to bring Bensley’s imagination to life. His vision aims to capture what it would have been like to experience a luxury safari in the jungles of Cambodia with Jacky O’, who travelled throughout the Kingdom with King Sihanouk in 1967.
Creative luxury adventures include exploring the untrammelled waterways of South East Asia’s last wild estuarine ecosystem aboard a custom Bensley-designed expedition boat; or joining Wildlife Alliance rangers on anti-poaching patrols. For the foodies, ever changing menus are inspired by sustainably foraged wild edible plants, as the camp’s naturalists guide guests through the forest to discover – and taste – Cambodia’s natural larder. There’s even pampering on offer – the Boulder Spa provides chemical-free Khmer Tonics treatments including a river-stone foot massage while soaking in a waterfall pool.
Described by Bensley as a “utopia of sustainability”, Shinta Mani Wild’s comprehensive conservation and community programmes are spearheaded by the Shinta Mani Foundation, and include the provision of long-term employment opportunities to local inhabitants where there is minimal infrastructure and fewer work prospects. This will help guests to explore this pristine wilderness, while making the lowest possible impact on the land, offering a luxury adventure with intimate access to one of Asia’s most stunning forest ecosystems.
Bring it to life
Rates at Shinta Mani Wild – Bensley Collection start from $2345 per night, inclusive of all food and beverage; all private guided activities and excursions; spa treatments; personal Bensley Butler; land transfers from Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville airports, and taxes. Helicopter transfers are additional. To find out more and make a booking, please visit www.shintamani.com.