MOVE over Thailand. A new set of South-East Asian islands is hitting the limelight among travellers. A host of luxury hotels about to open in Cambodia are making the once war-torn nation one of the “it destinations” of 2017.And the country’s southern islands Koh Rong — until recently a relatively well-kept secret among backpackers and budget travellers — are the stars of the show.
Two stunning five-star resorts, Alila Villas Koh Russey and Six Senses Krabey Island, are set to open this year. Both islands are located just off the coast of Sihanoukville.
With international flights having begun servicing Sihanoukville last year, the area is set to emerge as one of Asia’s next hot island destinations.
Promising “stunning coastlines, dramatic headlands, powder sand beaches and tropical forests, all framed by the emerald waters of the gulf and the azure sky”, Alila Villas is set to open in the second half of the year.
It will feature a beachfront swimming pool, yoga studio with complimentary classes, outdoor cinema and an organic garden.
Meanwhile, the 12ha private island of Krabey is being transformed into a Six Senses eco-resort, expected to open late 2017.
Each of its 40 villas will have a private plunge pool, and some have mini wine cellars and outdoor showers. Resort facilities include a spa offering ancient Cambodian healing traditions, observatory for stargazing and poolside outdoor cinema.