If you feel the need to get a little wild on your next escape from city life, Shinta Mani Wild just might be the jungle retreat for you.
Among people in the know, American designer Bill Bensley is a design god and if you’ve stayed at one of the many resorts in the region with his signature look, including his first signature property in Siem Reap, you’ll see why. For his newest project, Bensley has delved into the rainforests of Cambodia to create a camping experience like no other.
Nestled deep within Cambodia’s Southern Cardamom National Park, in a pristine wildlife corridor three hours’ drive south of Phnom Penh, Shinta Mani Wild – Bensley Collection will offer a radical new take on tented camping when it opens in December.
Arrive by road or, if you’re looking to make an impression on the locals, by helicopter before whizzing into the camp Bond-style via a 380-meter long zip line, which soars above rushing rivers and waterfalls before delivering you, conveniently, at the Landing Zone Bar. Here you’ll be paired with your Bensley Butler, who will be your consummate shadow for the duration of your stay in one of 15 custom-built tents perched on the river’s edge.
Just because you’re in the wilderness doesn’t mean you’ll be roughing it; while there’s no official menu, you’ll eat like a tribal chief thanks to the talents of chef Kien Wagner, who incorporates wild and foraged ingredients, as well as homemade condiments and locally-sourced produce into his daily dishes. All ingredients are organic and sustainable so you’re ensuring this pristine corner of the region stays that way.
You can also stay as active as you like (if the zip line into the bar wasn’t enough) with a wide range of creative adventures on offer, from exploring the waterways of South East Asia’s last wild estuarine ecosystem aboard a Bensley-designed expedition boat to helping the efforts of anti-poaching rangers and researchers. If being sedate is more your thing head to the Boulders Spa, which offers a host of treatments using chemical-free products by Bensley’s Khmer Tonics.
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