Bohemiaz Yoga Resort Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Bohemiaz resort and spa has two ‘branches’ in Cambodia. I was lucky enough to stay at both and experience the relaxing vibe, whilst engaging in daily yoga and indulging in healthy and naughty western and Khmer culinary delights. What more could a holistic traveller want!?
The main difference between the two is that the Kampot Bohemiaz resort is more stripped back and fits with the vibe of the small river side town. Whereas, the Phnom Penh Bohemiaz resort feels almost like a holistic hotel. The facilities allow luxury within the constraints of a backpackers budget. Situated out of town with incredible views over a lake and a beautiful pool in the middle, this makes for a little bit of paradise in an otherwise hectic town.
The main attraction for me here is the yoga retreats – offering between 3 and 10 day packages depending on time frame and preference. You can find more information on their website here – http://www.bohemiazphnompenh.com/
If a retreat is too much commitment for you on your travels or doesn’t quite fit your budget you can still take part in free 8am and afternoon yoga everyday with an amazing instructor. When I was there Alison was conducting the classes. She had a great yogi background alongside one of competitive dance and she talked you through each pose, stretch and movement to allow even the inexperienced to gain a true feel for yoga.
Plus, the view is not too bad either! Currently, the classes take place overlooking the pool and lakeside but the management are currently constructing a purpose built, weather resistant yoga shala on the premises – guess now I will have to return when this is built to give it a try! To be fair though I do not need an excuse to go back here I fell in love with Cambodia… but that is a blog post for another time…
The menu was formulated with a nutritionist to help provide healthy and hearty options. The breakfast menu included light and healthy dishes such as porridge and muesli with a choice of oat milk to make it vegan or more hearty vegetable frittatas or even a full English breakfast. It clearly states the vegan, vegetarian and retreat recommended options with a handy menu key.
Luckily for me, the head chef was also lactose intolerant so had a great knowledge and was really helpful when it came to picking options! I tried the homemade granola with oat milk and added mango (you have to ask super nicely) which was tasty and more filling than it looked. I also had the porridge with oat milk, the texture was great but a bit too much cinnamon for my taste.
I even tried the vegan soft shell tacos, which had Cajun spiced vegetables but they had a beef option for meat eaters. The homemade shell was divine, the texture was perfectly complimented by the vegetables and the sides completed the dish. I prefer not to eat Western food when travelling but when its this good I could not resist! The Buddha bowl is another favourite, offering a very deliciously filling, yet healthy option which is perfect for those on yoga retreats!
Of course I had to have some local dishes too! The laab salad was really good, spicy and flavoursome without blowing me away and the beef lok lak was nice too – I like that although they are local dishes they consciously serve them with brown rice to continue the healthy theme. (I took a sneaky snap of the burger and chips too – the chips were divine!)
The British management brought one intrinsic tradition with them … the family Sunday roast. Each Sunday they set up a big family style table and bring out a meat or veggie choice. I got to experience the lamb options which was divine ; served with mixed roasted vegetables, roast potatoes, gravy, Yorkshire puddings, a huge tray of cauliflower cheese which I had to look at longingly from a distant. The vegetables were my highlight! Roasted to perfection.
When travelling for so long sometimes we take for granted this family aspect so it was exceptionally nice to experience this whilst in Cambodia! The staff were all lovely which really helps too, especially when you are travelling solo!
Gym and Wellness spa
As well as yoga, there is a functioning gym with cardio equipment, weights and bench. They also have an infrared sauna which has so many amazing health benefits due to the sweat releasing toxins and increasing circulation. They even have an outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the lake – Bliss!
Furthermore, there is also a spa offering great massages and treatments! Some of which are included on some retreats.
Dorms and accommodation
Bohemiaz Phnom Penh offer different types of accommodation, from luxury double rooms to shared dorms. I stayed in the dedicated female dorm along with 7 other females. It has air con, mosquito nets, comfy beds (with stairs not ladders to the top) and en suite bathrooms. I had a great nights sleep and would recommend the dorm as the beds feel private enough.
Once nice touch was the activities they offered daily, I partook in arts and crafts – painting rocks for the rock garden. So, I was skeptical at first as it all sounded a bit childish to me. I gave it a go and found it so relaxing! It really took me away from my mind and the busyness of travelling to just enjoy being in a concentrated moment – plus my rocks were super pretty! You’re welcome everyone who gets to go and see them! Let me know if you head over there and spot them… or if you manage to add your own!
The only downside of Bohemiaz Phnom Penh is that its location is out of the city, that being said it makes the perfect place to really relax and unwind and enjoy the serenity of your surrounding. They do offer transport and it is close to the airport which was a bonus for me.
Overall, if you want a place to relax, maybe try some yoga, maybe complete a full retreat, maybe just discover a bit more about yourself in a family feeling environment on the outskirts of town then I highly recommend this affordable resort. Or check our Bohemiaz Kampot if you are heading that way! I spent 2 week there I loved it that much…