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Plant-based food and luxury resorts in Cambodia

As we move through 2021, full of hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, we are still presented with continued global travel challenges. Here in Cambodia, with an excellent vaccine rollout and a steady move towards ‘herd immunity’, the current restrictions are finally being relaxed, quarantine free travel to certain locations will commence later this year and continue to be expanded as we move into 2022. In the meantime, for those of us that call Cambodia home, locals and expats alike, we can continue to enjoy and support the luxury hotels and resorts that remain open. Incredible offers, reduced rates and that extra special Khmer hospitality are all available if you know where to look. For anyone who has a Cambodia trip as part of their post COVID travel plans, each of these properties present an excellent option. And if you’re looking for a healthy slice of plant-based luxury during your stay, look no further… Our latest plant-based luxury tour of the ‘Kingdom of Wonder’ sees us spend time in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Kampot. Together, they form a perfect trio of locations for anyone looking for a blend of jungle, temples, history and coastal vibes as part of their Cambodian adventure. For those of us living here and planning a luxury staycation, each of these luxury properties are well worth considering. It’s only right to start in the bustling capital city of Phnom Penh, where having opened in January 2021, Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh is the newest, international branded five star hotel in the city. The fusion of modern and contemporary design, a selection of creative F&B outlets and multi functional event spaces ensure that this luxury hotel is already on everyone’s radar. This interest will elevate to the next level when ‘The Attic’ and ‘Metropole Underground’ re-open post-COVID. This seriously cool spots will provide a duo of excellent additions to the exciting nightlife scene in Phnom Penh. We love how Hyatt have embraced plant-based food at their hotels throughout Southeast Asia, including featuring ‘future foods’ such as Beyond Meat on their menus. This initiative launched at Grand Hyatt Singapore back in 2018 and since then has seen a series of further launches, most recently right here in Cambodia at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh. Dishes featuring Beyond Meat can be found at Market Cafe and also for delivery via their website. These dishes include mushroom and Beyond Meat dumplings in a Sichuan style spicy dressing which were an absolute favourite of ours. We also enjoyed a plant-based ‘sharing’ meal at FiveFive Rooftop Restaurant & Bar, their stylish signature restaurant on the 14th floor. This delightful dining experience (with views to match) ended with lime and coconut sorbets, on a bed of crunchy crisped rice with salted seed crackers, toasty coconut macaroon balls and a gloriously rich chocolate ganache. An indulgent vegan dessert which we can’t wait to try again! For riverside luxury, with mountains, national parks and the ocean on your doorstep, then look no further than Amber Kampot which is the finest luxury resort in town. A selection of well appointed one and two bedroom villas, each with private pools offer the ultimate in privacy, whilst the riverside pool, gym and Amber Spa by Samata provide the ultimate in relaxation. This stylish resort is a true slice of paradise in a unique location that will impress and inspire on multiple levels. The a la carte menu at Amber Kampot featured a couple of delicious sounding vegan options, including a ‘Vegan Vegetable Cake’ which we selected for our lunch and were certainly not disappointed. A sweet potato, oatmeal, sweet corn and chick pea pattie served with mixed leaves, sliced avocado, tomato salsa and a balsamic reduction. The spicy salsa and the sweetness of the balsamic were a great combo which combined well with the vegetable cake and salad leaves. For dinner, the executive chef prepared an ‘off menu’ vegan meal which was delicious. The starter was a delicate salad of charred cherry tomatoes, cubed avocado, earthy beetroot and pomelo segments in the dreamiest of dressings which combined orange and locally sourced vanilla. This was one seriously exciting salad and the flavours were powerful and pleasing. Wow. Last but by no means least we head to our hometown of Siem Reap, where Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort presents the chance to explore the jungle temples of Angkor during your stay. Located just 2km from the entrance to Angkor Archeological Park this luxury hotel is the perfect choice for those who wish to be within touching distance of the simply breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set within spacious grounds, with ancient towering trees and a huge free form pool, Sofitel offers a selection of rooms and suites to suit all tastes; whilst the polished service and French colonial elegance make for a refined and memorable stay. We stayed at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort during the continuing pandemic, meaning that the dining options were limited due to reduced occupancy, but with any five star hotel, they were more than happy to adapt and prepare something amazing and vegan upon request. The culinary director and his team impressed us with their creativity; we enjoyed five courses of French inspired, plant-based fine dining served in the upscale surroundings of their lakeside restaurant, Mouhots Dream. Dishes included a perfectly cooked, polenta layer cake with Sicilian caponata, silky carrot purée and topped with a roasted chilli and capers. And a saffron infused risotto with both sun dried tomatoes and confit tomatoes, which was both expertly executed and absolutely delicious. Following our stay, this same multi course vegan menu is now available upon request for hotel guests and non guests alike. Just contact them 24 hours in advance and they will be happy to accommodate you. We love calling Cambodia home and we are blessed to have such an exciting array of environments to explore. It’s been devastating to see the economic impact of COVID hit so hard, especially in our home town of Siem Reap where tourism plays such a huge part in the economy and the lives of so many. We have continued to support the restaurants, shops, hotels and resorts who have strived to remain open during the pandemic, and are now super excited that we can return to a ‘new normal’ post pandemic, welcoming tourists to this wonderful country once again. Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest. Vegan Food Quest have become luxury vegan travel specialists as they continue to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Paul Eyers

Paul Eyers is co-founder of Vegan Food Quest who write about luxury hotels and resorts in Southeast Asia with a focus on sustainable travel, eco travel and vegan travel. Currently based in Malaysia, Paul also writes about sporting events and some of the finest golf courses throughout the region.

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  1. Future foods sounds really intriguing. Would be interesting to know exactly how they define these and what their future criteria for developing these future foods will be?

    1. Hi Nick, ‘Future Foods’ is a term that has been used to describe new and innovative foods that address the impact that food production has on climate change and sustainability. By default, due to their reduced impact many of these ‘Future Foods’ are vegan or plant based which is of course also positive for health and the animals!

    1. Hi Whitney, Despite COVID seeing many restaurants and hotels close in Siem Reap (it’s where I live) we are still blessed with multiple vegan options. Sofitel is the only hotel in this article in Siem Reap and is only a few KM from the entrance to Angkor Wat/ Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or are considering visiting, I would love to help you plan an amazing trip with lots of tasty plant based food :)

  2. As a vegan living in Cambodia this Blog is a great way of keeping us all updates as to what is available in Siem Reap and the rest of the region. Keep up the great work.

  3. Reading this has been quite an optimistic read for me. Over the last three weeks I’ve suffered from excruciating gout and at one point I couldn’t even walk without a walking stick.

    I’ve had to drastically adapt my diet. No red meat and cheese which I’ve found quite boring. Seeing all these colourful pictures has prompted me to vow that I’m going to make more effort to follow a plant-based diet.

    1. Hi John, firstly, I hope you find a way to adjust your diet and lifestyle that helps to deal with the pain you are suffering. Removing red meat and dairy can be very daunting as it is what many of us have grown up with. But i’ve now come to realise that there are so many options out there that look good and taste good too! It’s just about slowly changing our mindset and lots of research. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions as I’m always happy to help someone who is trying to transition…good luck!

    2. It’s so nice to read that new places are open too. The future will be bright for cambodia, hopefully sooner rather than later. But in the meantime, it’s great that we can enjoy these luxuries at a reduced price!

    1. you certainly won’t be disappointed! so many vegan options here and with the borders about to re open there will never be a better time to visit as you can experience this wonderful country without the crowds…

  4. Thank you for your inspiring reviews of three quite different, but equally amazing luxury resorts. The Hyatt Regency sounds like a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh and the food looks and sounds delicious. My only experience of Beyond Meat products are burgers which are now readily available here in the UK. The dish you describe sounds a far cry from a burger and looks delicious.
    The riverside location of the Amber Kampot looks perfect, especially with the backdrop of the mountains. Having your own private pool would be such luxury. I’m wondering if I could recreate the Vegan Vegetable Cake? Or is that just wishful thinking.
    The Sofitel Angkor Phokeetra looks incredible and it is so impressive to hear how the culinary team are able to create new and exciting vegan dishes.
    Hopefully, we can look to the not too distant future and begin to make our travel plans. In the meantime, I enjoy reading your reviews and seeing your photos.
    Thank you.

    1. We’ve loved how chefs have created exciting dishes using Beyond Meat. We love the burgers too but it’s been good to experience other dishes too!

  5. Thank you, Luxury Travel blog, for all the great advice and tips on here. So great that you have writers where I live. I would not have discovered these amazing vegan options without you!

    We very much enjoyed our stay at the Hyatt. Being quite a new hotel and having quite a low occupancy, we really felt like royalty. The food in both restaurants was simply exceptional and we plan to return soon.

    We also loved our vegan meal at Sofitel Siem Reap. Not quite the same level as the Hyatt but a very different experience and one well worth having.

    We are excited to take a look at Amber Kampot next time we head south for a weekend away.

    1. we are happy to oblige and love to know that what we write about really helps other vegan luxury travel lovers out there! good to hear that you enjoyed both Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh and Sofitel Angkor, we hope that you manage to check out Amber Kampot at some stage too :)

  6. Another interesting read… love hearing about how the big hotel chains are continuing to embrace catering for vegan guests, & by looking at those pictures, they’re not taking it lightly.
    The hotels look amazing, & I’d sure love to visit.
    I hope the future for Siem Reap is one of better times ahead once tourism fully returns.

    1. Thank you for commenting Paul. We are all hopeful of better times and with the recent anoouncements regarding a gradual re-opening we have something positive to focus on! Hope you can visit again at some time soon…

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