Given that winter is in the process of taking over our world, we told Brent that we were in the mood for a travel piece on somewhere warm! But also, somewhere close, and different – “a diamond in the rough” you might say. Somewhere still relatively unknown, but nonetheless a place that offers a tourist all the creature comforts they have come to expect. After listening to our overly details yet incredibly vague brief, Brent had absolutely no hesitation in recommending Siem Reap in Cambodia, staying at the ultimate luxury resort of Phum Baitang. Take it away Brent!
“Well, there’s a reason the chic retreat on Phum Baitang on the outskirts of Siem Reap is receiving serious attention from the worlds’ tastemakers and luxury globetrotters because it is actually that good! Travel + Leisure It list 2016 and Conde Nast Traveler Hot List 2016 (to name just a few) have all listed Phum Baiting (the second of Arnaud Zannier’s chic boutique hotel collection) as Siem Reap’s hottest new place to bed down in style.
“I was fortunate to stay for three days while filming for my new travel project LUXHD Express recently and I couldn’t have felt more at home in these exotic surrounds. Think authentic Cambodian village design with impeccably stylish, sophisticated villa interiors all by the very talented Geraldine Dohogne that instantly calm and relax. Geraldine worked tirelessly to create the luxe retreat you see today and every piece has a place true to her unique vision.
“Rattan thatch and clay tile construction create the stilted accommodations resembling the authentic homes of Cambodian rice farmers. It’s all very chic… the beds are swathed in French linen and sofas too, the bathrooms are generous in size and have that elegant paired back design I love so much… with PLENTY of space for the beauty regime!
YOU HAVE TO EAT
“Come also for the fab food at the resorts two restaurants Bay Phsar and Hang Bay where the menus feature Khmer curries and fish amok with lemongrass, turmeric and galangal, as well as Thai tom yum soup. Of course you can also enjoy your fresh minced pork & shrimp spring rolls poolside like I did.
“HOT TIP: Make time for a Khmer cooking class too!
“You’ll be up early round these parts, yes it’s a 5am wake up call to see the breath-taking Angkor Wat at sunrise (but oh-so worth it) and I would suggest you stay at least five nights in Siem Reap to see as many temples as you can.
“Beware… it can get very hot here (best and coolest time to travel is December – February) so you have to schedule your temple touring to early mornings only, this is perfect as you can be back at the hotel by midday for a delish lunch by the pool and a spa treatment in the afternoon in Phum Baitang’s beautiful Spa Temple (it’s also earning Design Awards galore!).”
Siem Reap is having its moment in the spotlight, but you must go now! According to Brent, it still feels like you are somewhere under the radar but also somewhere super fabulous. Reserve Phum Baitang with Brent and he’ll take care of your daily schedule and he’ll even share his very own restaurant and shopping hotlist so you know exactly where to go. Can we pack our bags right now..?!
CONTACT PHUM BIATANG
Website // +855 (0)63 961 111
Phum Svaydangkum, Sangkat Svaydangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia 17000
CONTACT BRENT WALLACE
Luxury Travel Designer, ultimate travel blogger and self-confessed social media addict, Brent’s life-long penchant for luxury travel has led him to the top of the travel flash-pack. He is the director of several niche Australian travel companies such as his boutique retail travel agency Travel Emporium and the recently launched SmartFlyer Australia – a collection of forward thinking, next-gen, home based travel designers.
Along with creating, writing and editing Australia’s number one luxury travel and lifestyle blog Where’s Brent Been?… Brent travels constantly, unearthing the latest luxury travel trends globally, sharing this first hand insider knowledge with his loyal clientele and followers of his highly respected blog.
Having spent the last twelve years crafting bespoke luxury travel experiences for Australia’s travelling elite (he has been described by industry leaders as the most powerful travel agent in Australia), Brent is personally invited to attend the most prestigious travel trade shows globally such as International Luxury Travel Market Cannes, Virtuoso Travel Week Las Vegas and LE Miami.
Brent’s personal relationships with hotels and travel insiders (built up over years of industry interaction) allow him to share exclusive amenities and VIP considerations such as priority waitlists, upgrades, breakfasts, and hotel credits to each and very one of his exclusive clients.