Sometimes, in moments of sweet synchronicity, you get invited to stay at a beautiful boutique resort in a destination you were already making plans to visit. So you say yes and the property is even more beautiful than you expected.
Tucked away down a small, unassuming red dirt road in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa is a surprising lush oasis in the middle of a dusty region. The boutique hotel is the only wellness retreat/resort in town with a range of health, spa, holistic healing and wellness offerings – such as daily yoga classes in the onsite studio, cupping, massage, facial and body wrap treatments – all in a charming setting.
I have to admit that I’ve been getting spoiled lately when it comes to staying in cool places which, inevitably, makes me harder to impress. However, as soon as I passed through the resort’s lobby and onto the grounds, which are just one big garden, I was in love – which was pretty obvious from my Instagram feed during my time there.
Let’s take a quick tour, shall we?
With only 28 rooms, there is a certain level of familiarity within the resort that you don’t find at many places. The staff will know your name and what room you’re staying in, greeting you every morning. Just because the resort is small doesn’t mean the rooms are however, in fact, they’re huge.
My room was 70 square meters, which is not only larger than my last apartment in Thailand, but also not the largest room on the property. The ‘Grand Suites’ designed for families are 100 square meters and all rooms have wood floors, giant stone bathrooms, sitting areas and patios.
The architecture and style throughout the resort is minimalist with traditional Cambodian touches and decor – simple and beautiful.
And then there are the gardens and not one, but three pools. Twenty-eight rooms and three pools…it’s a pretty good ratio.
And so many leaves…pretty much my happy place.
Rooms start at $119 and include breakfast, which is also huge.
If you’re on more of a budget, you can still take advantage of the resort by taking one of their yoga classes offered three times daily for just $8 then enjoy a dip in the pool or lounge around sunbathing for the afternoon – the perfect antidote for long travel days and hot hours spent wandering through the nearby temples of Angkor Wat.
And yoga classes are just the beginning when it comes to their wellness offerings.
Along with the lush grounds, one thing that really sets Navutu Dreams apart from the other boutique hotels in Siem Reap is its spa and wellness center. Of course, you can enjoy a regular relaxing massage, but guests can also take advantage of a wide range of therapies either on an a la carte basis or grouped together in their own mini-retreat.
While the spa is surprisingly small (there are only two treatment rooms) the treatments available are very enticing – such as fresh aloe vera body wraps and facials using all natural ingredients like papaya, honey, banana and yogurt – and well priced. A one-hour Thai massage is $35.
The resort is the only property offering more alternative healing treatments as well including acupuncture, shiatsu massage and crystal healing. Again, you can try these treatments individually or do a package like the resort’s 1-Day Detox program.
The hotel is less than a 10-minute drive from the center of Siem Reap but in an out of the way area so it’s best to get there via a transfer from the hotel’s drivers. Rooms start at $119.
(Tip: if you’re an expat in Asia, make sure to check out their promotional packages for a mini-getaway. Note that you have to show your resident ID card or work permit at check-in).
You can learn more and make reservations at http://navutudreams.com.
Note: I was a guest of Navutu Dreams but all opinions and recommendations are my own and they didn’t ask me to take excessive photos of ALL THE LEAVES.
Hey! I'm Alana and I've spent nearly the past decade living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working as a writer and photographer. I started Paper Planes as a place to share local insight, special places, and how to travel well through a range of experiences — from hostels to high-end hotels, street meat to multi-course meals.
New places are always calling my name...
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