Kep is Cambodia’s answer to the Cote d’Azur. In fact, Kep originally came to prominence in 1908 as a seaside retreat for the French elite, followed by a resurgence in popularity in the 1960s for well-to-do Cambodians. Now, with myriad assets to its name (such as the Kep National Park, the famous Crab market, decadent villas from a bygone era), Kep has already re-established itself as a seaside retreat for the well-heeled.

Enter Knai Bang Chatt.

Knai Bang Chatt’s original buildings were built between 1962 and 1965 by protégés of Vann Molyvann, the renowned Khmer pupil of Le Corbusier. The initial owners purchased the three buildings in 2006 and, after joining forces with French architect Francoise Lavielle, restored the villas (plus a new one) to their former glory, adding a contemporary twist in 2012 by adding a fifth villa to the complex. The villas are adorned with local antiques and artifacts and enjoy a crisp layer of earthy paints on the exterior.

The rooms vary in size but all offer a sense of harmony, comfort and well-being, with many enjoying a tranquil view of the coastline.

The hotel embraces a sense of social and environmental responsibility throughout: most of the produce at Knai Bang Chatt is grown on-site (with a sophisticated decomposition and re-purposing of leftovers); the simplest of items are upcycled (such as the evian bottles turned into glassware); and a small percent of profits are channeled into local communities, as well as many of the staff coming from said communities. These are just a few of the initiatives that Knai Bang Chatt has embraced and that other establishments, we hope, will emulate soon. Further information on the sustainability initiatives can be seen by visiting their website.

The sustainability aspect ties in neatly with Knai Bang Chatt’s superlative gastronomy. With the seas at its fingertips, there is an abundance of (responsibly-sourced) fish on the menu, cooked in local Khmer style and Western style. Breakfast, too, is an opulent affair, with a mix of home comforts and exotic Asian choices to tantalize your taste buds.

If you are visiting Cambodia, Knai Bang Chatt should be on your radar – precisely because it bridges the home comfort aspect with a local ‘discovery’ concept, whilst leading the way in ecological sustainability.

Address: Phum Thmey, Sangkat Prey Thom, Krong Kaeb, Cambodia
Phone: +855 36 210 310

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