And now for something a little different! Canvas & Orchids Retreat is a luxurious floating eco-lodge on the Tatai River on the edge of the Cardamom Mountains, near the Cambodian coast. A beautiful setting, off-beat and remote.
Opening its doors in 2010, the lodge is surrounded by some of the most pristine forests remaining in South-East Asia. Canvas & Orchids Retreat was built to honor – not deplete – the world around it. It was built using modern and composite environmentally friendly materials and with the minimum amount of wood possible to protect the gorgeous trees of the rainforest. The lodge is also equipped with a unique wastewater treatment system that protects the waters of the Tatai River and the marine life that calls it home. In addition to its eco-friendly construction, the lodge was also designed to cooperate and engage with the local community. The team is committed to environmental awareness and promoting a footprint that fosters the area’s awe-inspiring ecology, and they will always go out of their way to make sure visitors have the time of their life while also helping sustain all of the things that make Cambodia so magical.
The lodge is only accessible by boat and, once settled in, it provides a surprisingly comfortable base (considering you are under canvas on a floating platform) from which to explore one of Cambodia’s remotest regions. There are a total of 12 African safari-style tents, all erected on anchored floating platforms. Each tent is equipped with en-suite facilities with hot and cold running water, flat-screen TV’s and DVD player, air-conditioning units, ceiling fans and a terrace. This last one transpires to be the most important feature – late evenings and early mornings spent listening to nothing but the sounds of the river and the forest are priceless.
An additional selection of family tents have been constructed which are nestled between the jungle palms on the beautiful sandy banks – the ideal spot for a family escape on the riverside and providing a great base from which to explore the local area. At the heart of the lodge is a central restaurant (be warned the food is more expensive than other areas due to the location), library and communal terrace. The lodge also offers a superb choice of activities and tours including kayaking and trekking, as well as boat trips to remote fishing communities.
Tatai (the nearest town to Canvas & Orchids Retreat) is a 20-minute drive from Koh Kong City, which in turn is around three to four hours from Phnom Penh or three hours from Sihanoukville. From Tatai you take a 10-minute ride on the resort speedboat or 25-minute boat ride on their larger cruise boat.