Hidden away in the lush jungle south of Siem Reap, the sleepy village of Treak is home to one of Cambodia’s best-kept secrets. In such a tourist-flooded destination, it’s easy to get swept away in the sightseeing infrastructure—both luxury and backpacker—and entirely miss out on local Cambodian culture. But this palm tree–filled oasis of just 11 villa-style rooms has the answer. The hotel is staffed almost entirely by villagers, the sleek modern decor comes from local artisans, water is heated through solar energy, and the restaurant sources its fresh ingredients from nearby farms. Sojourn even has its own NGO, Husk, which works with local families on everything from health to education, providing opportunities for guests to both educate themselves and engage with the community in a positive way.
Best of all, Sojourn encourages this responsible tourism without sacrificing even a modicum of luxury, from its glassy pool with swim-up bar to its custom-made destination dining experiences. The secluded, romantic suites have private gardens, and the decadent spa is the perfect way to bliss out after a day of exploring the dusty ruins.
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Just a 10-minute drive south of Siem Reap’s town center, Sojourn Boutique Villas feels serene and isolated, thanks to its jungle-surrounded location in the sleepy village of Treak. There’s little in the immediate area except the ancient Wat Athvea temple and the village, of which the hotel arranges personalized tours, but Siem Reap—with its lively Old Market and nightlife on Pub Street—and the famous temple ruins at Angkor are just a short tuk-tuk ride away. The hotel can arrange other excursions, such as boat tours of Tonle Sap Lake.
Need to Know
Rooms: 11 rooms, nine villas. From $80. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:The breezy, relaxed restaurant serves local cuisine three meals a day amid walls that open to the tropical gardens. Snacks and drinks can of course be ordered poolside and at the swim-up bar, but the hotel also organizes so-called Destination Dining, where private dinners can be held on a secluded, picturesque lotus pond in a traditional stilted pavilion. Full- and half-day cooking classes are also held at the hotel and should be booked in advance. Spa and gym details: The serene Origins Spa offers a full range of spa and wellness treatments with locally sourced ingredients and traditional methods. There’s no gym, but there is a central swimming pool, and the hotel sometimes hosts yoga retreats.
Who's it best for: Couples and discerning travelers who prefer low-key luxury off the beaten path. Our favorite rooms: While the stand-alone Temple Villas are the largest and most luxurious, with private gardens each with a hidden outdoor shower, the second-floor Terrace Rooms have private rooftop gardens overlooking the lush grounds. Community spirit:The hotel trains and hires most of its employees from the surrounding Treak Village, and it emphasizes responsible, sustainable tourism. Opportunities to engage in local culture include a “Walk and Talk” tour of the village and a “Day in a Life” village experience, where you spend a day working with a local family.