...So I pull the pin on my family friendly accommodation in Kampot and escape to the hills near Kep. I end up at the Vines retreat which came recommended by another hotel guest in Phnom Penh. I arrive at the remote location, an hour’s tuk tuk ride from Kampot and marvel at the lush, mountainous surrounds.
(I make a mental note of my alternative mode of transport for my next visit -something enclosed, with suspension especially on a hot, dry, sunny day but alas..)
Was drawn to the Vines Retreat as it has its own organic garden and it met with my ‘farm to table’ obsession I have had since I started on my JERF movement – translation: JUST EAT REAL FOOD. Loved the Spanish mosaic tiles in the bathrooms, the wrought iron bed and the fresh flowers on the bedlinen.. reminded me of Bali.
I can see why yoga retreats are starting to call ‘The Vine retreat’ home. It has communal areas across two storeys, complete with hammocks and papasan chairs and views of the vast countryside and salt water pool below, equipped with shady poolside cabanas 'Kep' style.
A meeting with the manager revealed lots of coincidences. Firstly, he and his sister, were the founders of the awesome raw food café chain ‘Artillery’ in Phnom Penh, to which I frequent regularly during my work week. I had been wanting to interview them! Tick!
Then, on a tour of their organic pepper tree farms, (which puts this region on the foodie map), I hear of Jay and his sister’s plan to run raw food retreats onsite in the near future. Double tick! His sister is currently in the U.S. and Australia upskilling on all things raw while Jay holds the fort and works on the aesthetics of the surrounds. Don’t mess with him and his ‘whipper snipper’! I am sure his hotel and restaurant manager experience is also being put to good use.
And then I hear of ways to immerse oneself in nature in the nearby surrounds and I am truly sold. It has all the elements – delicious, organic, local produce, managers with integrity and a commitment to healthful living. It gets the 'Healthy Travels Bali' seal of approval for sure
The Vine Retreat,
Chamcar Bei Village (Phnom Voar),
Pongteuk Commune, Damnak Chang Eur District,
+855-36-633-3383 or +855-97-461-0711