Location: Kep | Rating: 4 star | Rooms: 18 | Pool: yes | Spa: yes
Knai Bang Chatt is a one-of-a-kind hotel on the beautiful, undeveloped stretch of Cambodia’s coast that was once known as the ‘St. Tropez of Southeast Asia’. Its formerly dilapidated modernist villas, designed by Cambodia’s most famous architect Vann Molyvann, have been revitalised as an oasis of calm, reflection and simplicity that fully deserves the label barefoot luxury. Alongside iconic architecture and its own beach, it offers exceptional food and service and a range of eco-friendly and interesting experiences, making it an ideal place to relax and rejuvenate for couples and families alike.
Knai Bang Chatt takes responsible travel extremely seriously and has made it a core part of their business, with its own dedicated staff team. They take a green approach right through their operations, from recycling or upcycling almost everything to eliminating plastic and using advanced composting techniques to help produce a whopping 60% of the food used in the hotel. Longer term they are even more ambitious, aiming for zero waste by weighing and analysing 14 kinds of waste every day! This is on top of various other initiatives like solar panels, water efficient toilets, ecological cleaning products, locally sourced food, staff environmental training and more.
On the social side they are equally impressive, having invested $1 million to improve education, health and livelihood opportunities for over 600 families in the neighbouring village of Chamka Bei. The programme is based on self-empowerment and developed with the community according to their priorities. For example, one of the biggest successes was creating a community school that has dramatically improved the life chances of local children.
They are proud to be one of only 3 hotels in the world to reach platinum level in the ‘Green Growth 2050’, an international independently-audited social and environmental standard for the tourism industry. As you might imagine, with more than 500 indicators across a huge range of areas, the full list is far too long to put here but you can find more details on their website, or even take a behind the scenes tour when you’re there.