At Shinta Mani Wild, the adventure begins with a zoom across a zip-line, strung high above a rushing waterfall in the Cambodian rainforest. It’s not the only way to arrive at the lodge, but it certainly sets the most appropriate tone for your stay. Here, the jungle feels like your own personal playground, with each part of the property providing unique amusements. Riverfront boulders form soothing spa “rooms;” natural rock pools double as champagne chillers during tailgate time; and the forest is both nature park and kitchen pantry, host to foragers, trekkers, and kayakers alike. According to lodge architect Bill Bensley, this is the sort of safari Jackie O. would have wanted; and so, he designed each lavish guest tent to match the experience, combining a quirky ambiance with rainforest accents and blurring the line between wild and style.
When it comes to designing new hotels, it’s not often that conservation precedes creation. But Bill Bensley isn’t your average architect, and Shinta Mani Wild is definitely not your average accommodation. Bill had several design icons under his belt—including Bangkok’s famed Siam Hotel—when he bought more than 800 acres of Cambodian rainforest at auction in order to save it from poaching, mining, and logging. He joined forces with homegrown entrepreneur Sokoun Chanpreda, who returned from overseas eager for the opportunity to invest in his country.
The duo set out to create a new Cambodian travel experience, far from Angkor’s beaten tourist track. They laid plans for 15 luxury tents in their new conservancy and formed a partnership with the local chapter of the Wildlife Alliance, plus some would-be poachers and loggers who they trained as lodge naturalists. Anti-poaching rangers now have a lodge-funded station in the conservancy, and one of the most enriching experiences for guests of Shinta Mani Wild is joining them on patrol and doing their part to help the jungle’s wild creatures thrive.
Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit on a National Geographic expedition. At Bensley Collection - Shinta Mani Wild, National Geographic guests choose from three sustainability-focused activities. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the lodge to learn about the low-impact construction techniques used during the building phase, see the jungle’s wildest residents up close during a visit to the Chi Phat Wildlife Alliance rehabilitation center, or meet the anti-poaching patrol at the Wildlife Alliance’s Sre Ambel monitoring station.
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