What: Khmer Wedding Ritual
Where: Song Saa Private Island
The experience: Song Saa Private Island relishes its differences, especially when it comes to its ‘spa with no walls’. Instead treatments take place in ‘sanctuaries’, outdoor salas that are dotted across the island, to the soundtrack of gently lapping waves.
The treatments themselves are just as individual, combining traditional Khmer massage with Ayurvedic principles, chakra-clearing and guided meditation to create a unique and transformative guest experience.
Ask the therapist which ones will suit your needs and pick a few. The most popular beginner is the Body Renewal treatment. Team this with a one-hour Himalayan rock salt body cleansing, just to set the tone, and cleanse your aura and energy of negative elements. Trust us, it really isn’t hokey.
If you want a sense of Cambodian sensibilities in your massage, do what we did and opt for the Khmer Wedding Ritual. Adapted from a traditional local bridal ritual, this two-hour indulgence begins with a relaxing full body massage called karuna kaya. This is an intense, deep and rhythmic bodywork session that realigns the muscular system and activates energy flow, but brings with it a lightness of being. Next comes a nourishing scrub made from turmeric, tamarind, sandalwood, rice powder, honey and ginger root blends.
Relax and be marinated by a lather of luscious lime-infused yoghurt to nurture the skin, before a floral bath soak and final application of fragrant floral lotion. It seems pointless to say, but we felt like a virgin bride (ahem) afterwards.
Song Saa Private Island Resort, Koh Ouen Private Island, Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia. Tel + 855 23 886 750
This article first appeared in the April 2018 issue of UNRESERVED.