Location: Tatai | Rating: 4 star | Rooms: 18 | Pool: no
Situated in the seldom-visited southwest corner of Cambodia, at the foot of the Cardamom Mountains, 4 Rivers is a genuinely unique hotel, the first in the world to put luxurious African safari-style tents onto floating pontoons. The result is an unforgettable experience of falling asleep to the gentle rocking of the Tatai river and waking up immersed in the incredible sounds of the jungle morning chorus, with the sun ascending over the serene mountains in the background.
You will be surrounded by nature but cocooned in comfort, with caring and attentive staff and all the conveniences of a 4* hotel. Zip down the sides and you can enjoy a panoramic view of the quietly flowing river as you snuggle in bed, then a few steps onto your private balcony and you can jump straight in for a swim! There are also larger 2 bed on-land tents that are suitable for young families without sacrificing any of the ambiance.
If you fancy something a little more active, there is a range of activities bookable on site including exploring the island’s maze of mangroves by kayak, visiting nearby fishing villages with guides and boatmen who have lived there for most of their lives, or dawn wildlife trekking in the forest. But as you make your way back for a delicious dinner under the magical glow of thousands upon thousands of fireflies, you may just want to stay forever...
Sustainability and social responsiblity have been at the heart of 4 Rivers' approach since it was built. Its vision was to work with local people to build and run a lodge with the lowest possible impact on the environment and to show them that the forest could give them a sustainable living through ecotourism. The majority of the staff are from nearby villages and some of them practised illegal logging and hunting before, meaning that they have an in-depth knowledge of the river and forest that they are keen to share.
The resort works with local communities on a number of projects and ecotourism activities that provide income and also employs graduates of PSE school, which takes care of destitute children and provides vocational training so they can build independent lives.
4 Rivers has a strong commitment to preserving the fragile biodoversity around them. Everything in the tents is carefully designed with the aim of protecting the environment and sustaining the region’s natural resources, from furniture handcrafted using local materials to a bespoke waste treatment system and right down to the toothbrushes. This is glamping with a conscience.