In traditional wooden bungalows set amid the lush paddy fields of Cambodia’s most beautiful province, Kampong Chhnang, Farmhouse Smiling Gecko is a restorative haven where the highest standards of Swiss hospitality and Michelin-influenced cuisine meet the warmth and unique grace of a Cambodian welcome and the healing powers of a fine pool and therapeutic centre. This is a gorgeous space in which to dust off the city and really unwind.
Here, the 17 beautifully appointed stilt-bungalows directly inspired by Khmer architectural traditions sit among breezy palms and colourful, carefully tended gardens. The restaurant is headed up by a team which is receiving training support from the Fundazion Uccelin, founded by Andreas Caminada, a young Swiss chef who has so far garnered three Michelin stars and 19 Gault Millau points as well as being listed in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Most of the ingredients used come from Smiling Gecko’s own farm. Meanwhile, a fabulous 240m² pool flanks the main building and if that’s not relaxing enough, guests can make the most of a massage and therapy room and dedicated yoga sala with daily classes.
From the hotel, guests can also take tours to the nearby hilltop temple and, if they’re up for it attend sunrise prayers, to the Smiling Gecko farm and school, as well as a nearby garment factory, for a little reality check on the real costs of cheap clothing.
Smiling Gecko was founded in 2012 with a mission to work with communities through a holistic and sustainable programme that respects their dignity. Its six pillars are a village school, a farm, a tuk tuk project, carpentry training programme, sustainable garment production and education programme, and a vocational training campus.
For more information, check out www.farmhouse-smilinggecko.com, or call 011 679 595