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Knai Bang Chatt, Kep 

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Phum Thmey Sangkat Prey
Thom Khan Kep
Tel: 85 512 37 97 42
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

Seaside vacationers are returning to the country's southern shore with the opening of this stylish compound a three-hour drive from Phnom Penh along bumpy country roads. Comprising three Le Corbusier—influenced villas built by Khmer industrialists and one modern house that stylistically links the historic buildings to form one intimate retreat, Knai Bang Chatt offers 11 minimalist-chic rooms with elevated beds that face either the calm Gulf of Thailand or artfully landscaped gardens. Though there are excursions such as hikes to ancient Buddhist cave temples and snorkeling around Rabbit Island, many guests opt to stay put, thanks to poolside and beachfront canopy beds, morning yoga on the beach, Mediterranean-influenced seafood menus, and expert deep-tissue massages from a therapist (who is blind). The hotel sponsors a nearby agricultural cooperative through a micro-credit program, which can help guests feel at ease about enjoying world-class luxury in a struggling country.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: Avoid mid- to late-September, the wettest stretch of the rainy season.

Which room to book: The two-story pool house.

Amenities: Bar/lounge, Beach, Pool

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