Need to know
Forty-five private villas.
2pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, noon.
Double rooms from $268.24, excluding tax at 22 per cent.
Rates usually include the à la carte breakfast of home-baked breads, pastries, jams and chocolate spread, as well as cooked-to-order eggs, bacon, sausages, congee and noodle soup.
Phum Baitang’s cookery workshops take aspiring chefs from the paddy fields to the dinner table: pick herbs from the kitchen gardens, experience the hustle and bustle of a local market and rustle up authentic Cambodian recipes to savour with a bowl of the resort’s own rice harvest.
At the hotel
Spa, gym, yoga pavilion, bikes to borrow, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, minibar, kettle, Nespresso machine, organic Phum Baitang toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
Inspired by traditional wooden Cambodian houses, each of the private villas is a sanctuary on stilts, furnished with elegantly crumpled linen, enormous oval tubs and inviting day-beds on the terrace. Pool villas have a refreshing plunge pool and a low-slung sala overlooking the grounds; if you’re after more privacy, opt for a terrace villa instead.
Clad in rough-hewn black stone, the curvaceous freshwater infinity pool is a 50m stunner overlooking the resort’s paddy fields. Inviting sunloungers are lined up on a long wooden deck; thatch-roofed salas at either end make good hideaways for sun-shy (or canoodling) couples.
An (almost) literal temple to wellbeing, the hotel’s spa takes its visual cues from the exquisite carvings and elegant columns of Angkor Wat. Seven treatment rooms – two are for couples – are housed in wooden pavilions amid luxuriant tropical foliage. Treatments make use of organic, indigenous ingredients such as ginger, mango and raw honey. The massage menu spans the globe: try Japanese Shiatsu to improve energy flow or the herbal-infused Tibetan oil technique. Don’t miss the traditional Khmer massage to stretch and knead aching muscles to a blissful state of total relaxation.
Pack light: adaptors and iPads can be borrowed from the hotel, and you’ll want some space to take home handcrafted wares from the stylish boutique. Frogs and dragon flies keep mosquitos to a minimum here, but bug spray is always handy in the tropics.
The two resident water buffalos aren’t merely decorative pets – they help out with the rice harvest too. Borrow a bike from reception to whizz around the estate’s zig-zagging paths.
Welcome. Extra beds and cots can be added to all villas. Babysitting is available for US$10 an hour (US$15 for two children).
There’s plenty of space for tots of all ages to enjoy, but lengthy temple adventures are best suited to older children.
Pool villas are large enough for families of four and kids can splash away to their heart’s content in the private plunge pool.
The free kids club welcomes 3–12s. Opening hours are flexible and there’s no fixed programme; staff will help kids make the most of Cambodia’s glorious countryside with temple tours and walks through the paddies.
The main pool is 1.50m deep and there’s no shallow end, so you’ll need to keep an eye on little swimmers.
The restaurants have high chairs and child-friendly menus; kids can choose their own culinary adventure at Bay Phsar’s street-food dinners. Staff will happily heat up milk for tiny Smiths.
Babysitting is available for US$10 an hour (US$15 for two children).
No need to pack
You can pick up baby food and nappies at supermarkets in town.