Samanea is a new 5 star resort opening in Kep in July 2014. I was lucky enough to be a ‘preview’ guest, watching the project manager putting the finishing touches on the resort and hearing about the plans for the future.
The 8 villas (10) rooms were built amongst extensive landscaped gardens on the coast of Kep in 2012 but was never opened due to family reasons. The owners have now engaged the services of Belgian antiques dealer, Alain Garnier, who is behind the charming Governor’s House in Phnom Penh, to create something special at Samanea.
I stayed in a spacious junior villa, decorated with antique ceramics and trunks from across Asia and tasteful furnishings. I loved being the first person to sleep in the comfortable four poster bed and to use the fluffy white towels.
Bathing is al fresco here – the large bathtub, rainwater shower and Khmer washing pot are outside in a private courtyard. The shower area is sheltered from the elements by the roof awning.
Although not operational during my stay, a glass house restaurant will serve meals overlooking the swimming pool and with views to the sea. Ex Song Saa chef will be joining the team. You can also choose to take meals at one of the private dining spots along the walkway through the mangroves.
The swimming pool is large, about twice as big as most hotel pools and is long enough to swim laps without getting dizzy, with room to spare for more sedate bathers.
One of the best features of Samanea is the 250 metre pier. It truly feels like you’re walking out into the middle of the ocean. It’s the perfect spot from which to watch the sunset behind the Bokor Mountain peninsular. Equally perfect for brides – the team hope to host many weddings here.
Future developments include a dedicated cooking school area, vegetable and herb garden, and onsite spa, as well as becoming a tropical wedding destination.