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June 27, 2012

Confidante: Cambodian Retreats & English Gardens


Song SaaThe Pig HotelDog-sledding in the Arctic with Momentum AdventureNew York, New York – Reported by Mary Gostelow for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

NEW TO CAMBODIA Luxury and nature make for elite bedfellows. Australians Rory and Melita Hunter have developed a pair of islands, 450 yards apart and connected by a footbridge, in Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago. The result of their efforts, Song Saa—Khmer for “sweethearts”—opens February 2012 as a 27-villa luxury retreat. You can expect at least 900 square feet of space in each villa, in addition to your own 200-square-foot pool. The Hunters’ 10-seat PAC P-750 XSTOL will get you there from Phnom Penh (one hour) or Siem Reap airport (a 75-minute flight).

ENGLISH GARDENS Organic gardens are definitely having a moment. The Pig, which opened in England’s lovely New Forest National Park last July, has a centuries old working walled garden stocked with amazing produce. Visitors are invited not only to tour the garden, but to go foraging in the forest with onsite expert Garry Eveleigh. Offering 26 shabby- chic bedrooms, The Pig is the long-awaited brainchild of Robin Hutson, previously associated with such icons as Chewton Glen, The Soho House Group, and, most recently, sister property Lime Wood, situated just a mile away.

ELITE ADVENTURE Davina McCall, arguably England’s best-loved television presenter, says she lets her husband, Matthew Robertson, do most of the traveling. Robertson, who once hosted the series Pet Rescue, now runs a global bespoke adventure company called Momentum Adventure, whose corporate clients include Coutts & Co, NetJets and Vertu. Robertson says weekends in the Arctic with dog-sledding are really hot (he also suggests dune buggy racing in Baja). After a getting-to-know-you overnight at the Montage Beverly Hills, where Mariah Carey famously held her twins’ baby shower, you pick up your buggy to drive the Baja 1000 from Loreto to Las Ventanas. Along the way, enjoy glamping (that’s “glamour camping”) on the beach with your requested Château Haut-Brion.

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