SONG SAA

‘A trip of a lifetime’ is generally an overused, worn out and meaningless cliche, but its about as close as I can get to describing my recent visit to Song Saa – Cambodia’s first private island, luxury resort. Meaning ‘Sweethearts’ in Khmer, Song Saa is tucked away deep in the Gulf of Thailand nestled in the Ko Rong Archipelago.

From the moment you step off the mainland in Sihanoukville onto the white liveried speedboat and blast across a bright green sea you know you’re in for something special.

In terms of natural riches the island, made up off 27 seductive villas, has it all. Jungle covered hill tops with views over inky seas and turquoise bays, subtropical gardens burbling with birdsong and lit up with exotic flowers and an air sweet with the smells of fruit trees and coconut.

But its not just Mother Nature at work here, The real hats off must go to Melita Hunter, island owner and creative visionary.

While we didn’t meet her you get the feeling you want her as your new best friend. Song Saa drips effortlessly cool and super chic design, Nothing is out of place, nor too complicated, fussy or try hard. Using not much more than reclaimed driftwood, recycled Khmer findings and stone she manages to strike a delicate balance of high end design with a rustic warm charm.

Our seafront lodging, complete with private pool and four poster bed swaddled in exquisite linens was one thing, but what really stands out in my mind is the friendliness of the staff and attention to detail – be it the outdoor shower hidden in driftwood, the iPod loaded with 20,000 killer tracks, a bathroom overflowing with luxury spa goodies and my personal favourite – a minibar filled with complementary bubbly to celebrate my recent engagement – in fact with the all inclusive rate thats one more cocktail please!!

I think I’ve forgotten to mention the infinity pool, the sumptuous food, the spa suspended in the rain forest, water sports and yoga centres but I can’t be making you too jealous.

Me and my Eddie Harrop bag will definitely be back.

James Harrop