Only accessible by jungle jeep or zipline, Shinta Mani Wild (@shintamani_wild) in Cambodia is all about guests making an unconventional entrance. Upon arriving via one of these two modes of transportation, travelers genuinely understand why the hotel didn’t rip out an ounce of the earth to layer one piece of asphalt; its veins, blueprint, and purpose ooze top-line sustainability and environmental protection.
Conceptualized by conservationist, architect, and interior designer Bill Bensley, the luxe eco-camp’s story started when the Cambodian government was selling a plot of jungle land for logging. Bensley stepped in and bought the acreage, which summed up to 875,000 trees, 4.5km of wild river and three cascading waterfalls. His vision: To build a high-yield-yet-low-impact camp that, together with pro-environment NGOs, would protect this Central-Park-size corridor of the rainforest from poachers and loggers.
Shinta Mani Wild consists of 15 luxury tents; each one is meticulously designed and placed along the resident river weaving through the property. There is one tent to every 66 acres of forest; not a single tree was cut down in the process, another beacon of Bensley’s commitment to sustainability and conservation.
The hotel was inspired by King Sihanouk and former first lady Jackie Kennedy’s travels across Cambodia, in addition to the naturalist explorers, conservationists, and flora & fauna that make it such a special place.
Each tent was designed to be an embodiment of a Cambodian Safari trip with Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, complete with every last luxury, including an open-air bathtub facing the wild river, a private Bensley Butler, and antiques sourced by Bill and his husband Jirachai in European antique markets for each tent’s one-of-a-kind interiors.
The hotel offers a gamut of activities within its stunning backyard, including birdwatching, mountain biking, waterfall picnics, Tenkara fishing, cooking classes, expedition boats, and butterfly identification.
So, we leave you with one question: Will it be the zipline or the jungle Jeep? Whatever you do choose, know it’s just the start of a rewardingly sustainable vacation.