There’s something very James Bond about Six Senses Krabey Island. It’s a droplet of paradise in the cerulean sea – a land of private pools, impeccable service and jungle-set villas, accessible only by speedboat. In other words, it’s the kind of place that any self-respecting evil mastermind would choose for their gloriously indulgent lair – except there’s nothing sinister here. Days are spent innocently snorkelling coral reefs, lazing on the sugary sand, or testing out signature Khmer treatments at the spa. There’s an organic farm supplying ingredients to the chefs, and a kids club leading the water-sports hijinks (Blofeld would never have thought of that).
Get this when you book through us:
Your choice of a 30-minute foot massage for two or a body scrub for two
Noon, check-in from 2pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability. There are two day-use rooms that guests arriving early or departing late are welcome to use, if available.
Double rooms from £733.70 ($1,019), including tax at 23.42 per cent.
Rates include breakfast from the monumental buffet, and your choice of dishes from the à la carte menu at Aha.
The hotel supports sustainability initiatives and social enterprises in local Khmer communities.
At the hotel
Free WiFi. In rooms: 55-inch TV with satellite channels and streaming, iPod dock and Bluetooth speaker, tablet, minibar, free bottled water, espresso pod machine, tea bar, Organic Pharmacy bath products.
Our favourite rooms
For instant access to the sea and views of lush neighbouring islands, choose an Ocean Front Pool Villa Suite. The Beach Retreat is the ultimate for a family indulgence, with two free-standing villas, floor-to-ceiling panoramas and its own private strip of sand.
Every room has its own pool, but if you’re feeling sociable there’s a large infinity pool for all guests, too.
Six Senses hotels pride themselves on the spa experience – at Krabey Island, the treatment menu focuses on ancient Khmer traditions and includes holistic massage and signature facials (the Wild Kashmir facial uses fragrant turmeric and lavender). There’s also a yoga pavilion, a herbal steam tent, couples treatment rooms, and the Alchemy Bar, where you can mix-and-match herbs to create your own products.
Bring a selection of swimming costumes – you’ll be practically living in them.
The island’s not wheelchair accessible.
All ages are welcome. Extra beds and cots can be added to all rooms; kids under 12 stay free.
Ages four to 12, to take advantage of The Nest kids club.
You can fit a cot in all rooms, but go for a Villa Suite if your little one isn’t that little and needs a full-size extra bed. The Beach Retreat is the move for families of four, with twin villas and a private beach.
Drop off your sprogs at The Nest kids club, where activity leaders will entertain and educate them all day long. Explore the island paradise, snorkel over vibrant coral reefs, stargaze at the observatory, or grapple with water sports in the sea.
Every villa has a plunge pool, so kids can splash on their own patch. For swimming lengths, head to the large communal pool.
Children are very welcome at both restaurants; just ask for a high chair or if you need milk warming up.
If you want a night/day/week off parenting duties, just book a nanny in advance.
No need to pack
A buggy – the hotel will provide one.
When you’re surrounded by this kind of environment, you don’t want to spoil it. The sustainability hub is the Earth Lab, a four-hectare market farm which supplies organic ingredients to the kitchen (including fresh eggs, daily). All cleaning products are eco-conscious, wastewater is recycled, and there are solar panels for power. Oh, and there’s not a plastic straw in sight.
For the best views out over the Gulf of Thailand, pick a place by the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Loose fitting linens and slinky silks.
There are two. Aha is a relaxed, all-day affair where you can get comfy on the cushion-strewn banquettes and tuck into pan-Asian dishes. The elegant wood-crafted evening restaurant, Tree, is all about Khmer specialities and local seafood – expect fiery flavours and creamy coconut stews. Executive Chef Todd Adams oversees them both, sourcing ingredients from the hotel’s own Earth Lab organic farm.
The split-level Sunset Bar is the spot for bespoke aperitifs and digestifs, by lantern-light or basking in the warm glow of sunset over the Gulf of Thailand.
Aha serves food and drinks all day long, but breakfast is from 7am to 10.30am, lunch is from 11.30am to 2.30pm, and dinner is from 6pm to 10pm. The Tree restaurant and the Sunset bar are open from 6pm till 10pm.
You can have dishes delivered to your room at any hour of day or night.
The hotel is on a tropical private island five kilometres off the coast of Ream National Park in southern Cambodia.
Fly into Sihanouk International Airport – it’s seven kilometres from Krabey Island and you’ll have company from hotel staff on the 10-minute drive and 15-minute speedboat ride to the resort; shared (from US$40 an adult) and private transfers (from US$80 a vehicle) can be arranged. The airport connects to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia, as well as the global hub of Hong Kong. Call the Smith24 team for help with your travel.
Worth getting out of bed for
If there’s one thing to coax you away from the plunge pool on your terrace, it’s the Six Senses spa, where you can work up a sweat in the gym or relax in the Crystal Water Room and Meditation Cave. Sprawl and sunbathe on the beach, snorkel among the coral reefs, or pootle around the bay by kayak or paddleboard; if you fancy venturing further, sign up for island-hopping boat trip. Take a tour of the Earth Lab, the resort’s very own organic farm, and learn about sustainability and environmental programs on the island; then put the homegrown ingredients to good use in cooking classes and master the intricacies of Khmer cuisine. When the sun’s gone down in a blaze of orange and red, watch classic films at the outdoor Cinema Paradise or stargaze at the observatory.
Ream National Park is coastal Cambodia at its purest – the clear azure sea laps untrodden white-sand beaches backed by 80 square miles of virgin forest. Snorkel the coral reefs, take a boat trip through the mangroves, or hike in the jungle; local wildlife includes rhesus monkeys, pelicans, endangered sea eagles and dolphins. The park is a 20-minute boat ride from the hotel.
There’s no food-and-drink scene on this private island, so you’ll have to make do with the Six Senses restaurants and bar (poor you, eh?).
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this island hotel in Cambodia and unpacked their snorkels and suncream, a full account of their paradisiacal break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Six Senses Krabey Island in Cambodia…
Picture the dreamiest of dreamy tropical island escapes, and you’re probably imagining something very close to Krabey Island. It’s satisfyingly hard to get to – a boat ride from a dock near the regional Sihanouk airport – but that only adds to its allure and exclusivity. When you arrive, you’ll find your modernist villa secluded in the jungle, with floor-to-ceiling glass looking out on your very own plunge pool. Here you could stay, happily catching up on R&R, but if there’s even a tiny amount of Famous Five spirit in you, you’ll want to explore the island. Wander the boardwalk paths and you’ll find palm-fringed beaches and snorkel-ready reefs, as well as kayaks and paddleboards for venturing offshore. At the spa, take a time-honoured Khmer treatment (with the Six Senses stamp of approval), and later, sip cocktails at the Sunset Bar and gaze up at the star-studded night sky