Nestled deep within the wilderness of the South Cardamom National Park, a short stroll from the camp’s 15 extravagant Bill Bensley-designed tents, the Khmer Tonics Spa is the perfect oasis after a day spent traversing the waterways on the camps bespoke river boats, foraging with the chef or accompanying Wildlife Alliance rangers on an anti-poaching patrol.
The refined treatment menu celebrates Cambodia with chemical-free tonics made from a unique mix of medicinal plants, herbs and spices all of which are present in the surrounding rainforest. About as wild as you can get, the spa’s two treatment rooms are set high up in the tree canopy amid dramatic natural boulders, but the river takes centre stage, too: guests can enjoy a river-stone foot massage while soaking in a waterfall pool. Alternatively, guests can experience the traditional Khmer art of healing during a full body massage which employs a range of acupuncture techniques and passive stretching. The spa offering, which also includes natural heat healing, a full-body scrub and a detoxifying facial, can be enjoyed anywhere guests desire, whether that be on the deck of their tent, atop a peak in the jungle or aboard a custom Bensley expedition boat. Unlimited spa treatments are included in the room rate at no extra charge.
Guests may also choose to unwind and enjoy the health benefits of immersion in nature by trying a Cambodian take on tenkara: a meditative form of Japanese catch-and-release fly fishing, or yoga and guided meditation in the depths of the jungle. Not forgetting the camp’s 35 meter pool, complete with bucket shower which is dramatically set up in the canopy next to the river. A programme of visiting wellness guru’s offering guests access to specialist knowledge and experiences in this unique location will be launched in the coming months.
Perched over 1.5km of river and waterfalls, Shinta Mani Wild’s 14 one-bedroom tents (100sqm) and one two-bedroom tent (140sqm) were meticulously designed to evoke Bensley’s vision of what it might have been like to be on luxury safari in the jungles of Cambodia with Jacky O’, who travelled throughout the Kingdom with King Sihanouk in 1967. Creative luxury adventures include exploring the untrammelled waterways of South East Asia’s last wild estuarine ecosystem aboard a custom Bensley-designed expedition boat; or joining Wildlife Alliance rangers on anti-poaching patrols. Ever changing menus are inspired by sustainably foraged wild edible plants, as the camp’s naturalists guide guests through the forest to discover – and taste – Cambodia’s natural larder.
Described by Bensley as a “utopia of sustainability”, Shinta Mani Wild’s comprehensive conservation and community programmes are spearheaded by the Shinta Mani Foundation, and include the provision of long-term employment opportunities to local inhabitants where there is minimal infrastructure and fewer work prospects. Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild, in conjunction with the Foundation, will nurture its natural environment through partnerships with respected conservation organizations including Wildlife Alliance and the Cambodian government. This extreme exercise in ingenuity will enable guests to explore this pristine wilderness, while making the lowest possible impact on the land, offering a luxury adventure with intimate access to one of Asia’s most stunning forest ecosystems.