Song Saa is a luxury resort situated on two islands on the Koh Rong archipelago, 30km off the coast of Cambodia. It has taken six years to develop and is the work of Rory Hunter and his wife Melita who has a background as a stylist specialising in organic installations, sculptures and set design.
It was Melita who oversaw the architecture and design of the hotel and she based her inspiration on the textures and colours of the fishing boats and wooden houses of the islands, and on the twisted vines, bamboo and driftwood on the deserted beaches.
The local community were employed on the site making it also a conservation project. Thai contractors re-taught the Cambodians construction skills that had been forgotten during decades of oppression and carpenters made floorboards and furniture from timber recovered from broken boats and abandoned houses.
The hotel now has nine over water villas, seven beach villas and 11 jungle villas on the larger island, while there are plans for tree house retreats on the second island which will be reached via a wooden walkway.
Song Saa means ‘the sweethearts’ in Cambodian and I couldn’t think of a more apt name.