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Monday Design Daydream: Song Saa Private Island

In my former life as a travel editor, I got to see (and stay at!) some pretty spectacular places around the world. But one particular resort, located off the southeastern coast of Cambodia, truly captured my imagination. If I were in the market for a honeymoon, this is where I'd go.
Meet Song Saa Private Island. Song Saa is Khmer for "sweethearts"—the resort spans two formerly uninhabited isles, now connected by a footbridge, in the Gulf of Thailand. Australian couple Rory and Melita Hunter created a retreat that embodies the essence of the luxe castaway fantasy (thatched-roof villas; billowing curtains; a sunken bath surrounded by tealights) while emphasizing environmental conservation and social responsibility.
The 27 timber-floored villas each have a pool and are inspired by traditional Cambodian fishing villages. Furnishings and artwork are crafted out of driftwood or repurposed fishing boats; sun decks and daybeds encourage plenty of sprawling.
The food, from chef Neil Wager, is just as artful as the interiors—a contemporary spin on Khmer cuisine and its evocative flavors, such as tamarind, kaffir lime, and lemongrass. 
(Photos courtesy of Song Saa Private Island)

The conservation part of the equation isn't just lip service, either. A dedicated team of marine biologists established Cambodia's first marine reserve 
at the resort, and community outreach includes improving water quality in neighboring villages and training locals in sustainable fishing methods and organic farming. Guests are even encouraged to pack a few simple supplies—anything from world maps and soccer balls to crayons and chalk—to donate to nearby schools. This is one form of escapism we can definitely feel good about.
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