Phum Baitang is like a secret and hidden oasis; you have no idea what to expect from the outside, nor would you believe such a green village oasis exists in the dusty, bustling tourist town of Siem Reap. But trust us; it does exist, it’s the epitome of peaceful luxury and it’s divine.
Located just 10 minutes drive outside of central Siem Reap, Cambodia’s number 1 place to visit the famous Angkor Wat and surrounding temples, Phum Baitang is one of those places where you’ll pinch yourself to check you’re not dreaming.
45 very well appointed villas are set within lush green rice paddies, landscaped gardens and an incredible infinity pool which is surrounded with places to laze in the shade whilst the staff serve you iced lemon tea. The pool area is definitely somewhere where you’ll be wanting to spend some time; the views are peaceful, the birdsong and distant sounds from neighbouring Cambodian life drift on the air and the friendly staff always seem to be on hand to help.
The villas are reminiscent of traditional Cambodian houses, except they are are a very high-end luxury version, adorned with beautiful fabrics and individual antique ornaments.
Our spacious villa managed to incorporate two day bed / sofas alongside all the expected fixtures and fittings. Complete with the plumpest of cushions, we found ourselves stretching out in full comfort as we declared them “the most comfortable sofas we’ve ever come across”.
The ‘Cigar Bar’ (don’t worry cigar smoking not compulsory) makes use of a 100 year old renovated original farmhouse and provides a laid back, colonial styled setting to enjoy evening cocktails whilst overlooking the lantern lit rice and lemongrass fields below.
The Vegan Food:
The Phum Baitang team proved themselves more than capable of catering for vegan guests with everything from the welcome drinks and platter of traditional Cambodian snacks to the food we ate at mealtimes all being 100% vegan.
Breakfast at Phum Baitang is somewhat of a vegan treat. The staff were happy to create some ‘off menu’ dishes to give us extra choice, giving us bowls of noodle soup alongside delicious vegetable congee, homemade bread with a selection of jams, fresh fruit salad and freshly squeezed juices.
But the real vegan excitement came from having tofu scramble on the menu.
Not only did we get to enjoy deliciously cooked tofu, laced with fresh Cambodian basil leaves on toast, but we were able to take satisfaction from the fact that this is a regular menu item that others can also enjoy. By having vegan options on the regular menu, non-vegan guests will undoubtedly select them, meaning that more plant based meals are served and all the related benefits are achieved.
And of course, it also means that vegan guests feel instantly well catered for and at home!
We ate dinner at Phum Baitang’s ‘Hang Bay’ restaurant after enjoying expertly made cocktails from the Cigar Bar. Again there were vegan options on the regular menu and we selected the Vegetarian Paella and the Grilled and Marinated Vegetables with Black Olive Oil and Crispy Polenta Chips. Both were light and tasty, full of the flavours of the fresh ingredients used (many of which had been sourced from the resort’s own vegetable garden).
The Vegan Essentials:
There was already a feather free pillow choice in our room meaning that we could swap the pillows over with little fuss.
The amenities were Phum Baitang’s own brand and we were unable to identify whether they were vegan or not so we just used our own.
The spa had a range of treatments available both using natural oils and traditional organic plants (like moringa, herbal compresses and coconut water) making them suitable for vegan guests. The menu details traditional massage techniques from Cambodia, India, Tibet and the more traditional Swedish oil massage.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check-in to Phum Baitang for some of the best luxury peace and quiet you’ll find in Siem Reap. Enjoy smooth service, excellent vegan food and a standard of quality that is a cut above most other hotels in the region.
Don’t forget to try the delicious tofu scramble at breakfast, a rare ad delicious treat for vegan guests.
We were guests of Phum Baitang but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Telephone: +855 (0)63 961 111
Cost From: £260 / $390 (October 2016)