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Knai Bang Chatt
Style Bauhaus goes tropical
Setting Frond-fringed south coast
Need to know
Rooms 18, including one suite.
Rates Double rooms from $154.70, excluding tax at 17 per cent.
More details Rates include a welcome drink and cold towel upon arrival, Continental breakfast and WiFi.
Facilities Computer, library and video room with movie projector, small spa, beachfront chill-out area, ping-pong table, free WiFi throughout, sailing club with Hobie Cats, kayaks and a speedboat. In rooms: fruit plate, free bottled water.
Poolside Infinity pool with views over the Gulf of Thailand. Day-beds and sofas formed from tropical driftwood abound.
Check–out Noon, but flexible subject to availability, and a 50 per cent charge after 1pm. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Children Welcome: baby cots and mattresses for older kiddies are provided for free, or an extra bed is available for US$30 a night. Babysitting can be arranged for US$5 an hour with 24-hours notice.
Eco‐friendly Three per cent of room revenue goes to the Hand in Hand project (www.handinhandcambodia.com), which supports 550 local families in Chamcar Bei district, helping them with health, education and income-generation.
Also Smoking is allowed in dedicated rooms.
In the know
Our favourite rooms The resort’s 18 rooms are spread over four villas. Each has its own character, but we loved the (mostly first floor) Sea View Doubles. Room 4 has spectacular views and a large terrace that more than makes up for a smaller bathroom. Rooms 7 and 9 have a bold sense of space and designer bathrooms.
Packing tips Castaway clothing for a day on nearby Rabbit Island, the closest thing to a Robinson Crusoe retreat around Kep. Knai Bang Chatt organises a private tour with a beachfront barbecue.
Also Knai Bang Chatt’s three renovated modernist villas were built in the Seventies by protégés of acclaimed Khmer architect Vann Molyvann (the man behind famous landmarks including Chaktomuk Conference Hall, the Council of Ministers, the State Palace and the 60,000 capacity National Sports Complex); look out for the V that pays homage to Molyvann. Founded by a pair of stylish Belgian expats, its name means ‘a rainbow encircling the sun’.
Food and drink at Knai Bang Chatt
Hotel restaurant The Strand is the hotel's more formal restaurant, with a daily-changing menu that champions flavourful seafood, juicy steak and the best local produce. The Sailing Club is housed in a former fisherman's cottage near the seafront, and is a relaxed setting for lazy lunches and greedy dinners. The accent is on seafood, with Khmer-style set lunches and Western dinners, plus a bit of fusion fun. Steamed crab in coconut milk and fish with green pepper and lemon-butter sauce are just two treats to tempt you.
Dress code Did you pack anything retro? The Seventies architecture of the place will make you wish you had.
Top table Enjoy a lazy lunch on the driftwood bench down by the ocean, which offers a snippet of shade. For dinner and the best sea views, bag a table on the promontory.
Last orders Dinner is served from 6.30pm–10pm, which is also when the bar winds down.
Room service Available from 8am to 10pm, but smart Smiths will prefer to soak up the outdoor setting by the sea.
Hotel bar Head to the Sailing Club for happy hour cocktails between 5pm and 7pm. While you're drinking, challenge each other to billiards, ping pong, volleyball and boules matches.
Also worth knowing
Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details