Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia: Forest bathing is the next big thing in wellness travel


Walk along a path through the trees. Then stop for a few moments, breathe the air deeply, look at the greenery around you, listen to the birdsong and smell the rich scents of nature. Refresh, revitalise and repeat.

Welcome to the next big thing in travel relaxation and rejuvenation – forest-bathing.

And the newest luxury resort in the world, on a pristine, jungle-covered 12-hectare private island off Cambodia, is championing this as the perfect way for travellers to slow down, bliss out and tap into the natural world.

"Forest-bathing is something that has a wonderful effect on people's stress levels," says Alistair Anderson, the Australian general manager of the Six Senses Krabey Island.

"It's even been shown to slow down the heart rate, and we feel it's something very special to share with our guests. We have a small forest-bathing walking track but, since the whole island is covered in lush evergreen rainforest, it's a completely immersive experience."

A 15-minute speedboat ride from the southern coast, off Ream National Park near Sihanoukville, Six Senses Krabey Island opened on March 1.

The resort, built using sustainable and often recycled materials, has 40 pool villas, each with magnificent views over foliage and some to the ocean, a massive spa, a sunset bar on the highest spot on the island, two restaurants, an ice-cream parlour, a lap pool, a beachfront sundeck, an ocean boardwalk, an open-air cinema and a well-equipped gym.

But the forest that covers the island with greenery is still the star. "We're passionate about the whole island being used as a forest-bathing venue," resort sustainability manager Dilshan David says.

"It's so relaxing and healing and detoxing with the oxygen and the valuable chemicals from the plants, and a great way of appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature."

Villas from $959 ($US663) a night, including breakfast. See sixsenses.com

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