Guest house, art gallery, education and sensitization to the environment.
Intro (Nicolas Malinowski, project initiator)
After having worked for 8 years in the hotel and restaurant industries, and being deeply passionate about hospitality and service, I wanted to offer our customers a place where rest, relaxation and service would be at the heart of things.
Because Cambodia is still in development, we thought it would be the ideal place to give our visitors an insight into traditional Asia - being outside the main tourist part of Kampot reinforces the idea of authenticity and adventure.
As residents of a developing country, Cambodians saw their purchasing power increase over the past few years, hence why we had the idea to offer a place where Khmer and international cultures would meet.
The project is set in an organic mango farm, and this led us to emphasize on this biological aspect by making our own natural fertilizer and finding ways to be self-sufficient.
This collaboration between partners is also a collaboration between friends, where the love of Asian culture is a common motive.
I ./ Agriculture and Ecology
We are located in front of the Bokor National Park - the place we live in is mainly constituted of wood - and it seemed necessary to preserve the surrounding forests from poaching and to contribute to the local economy.
For this purpose, we worked with the same wood supplier through and through. We built a real relationship over the construction year, and he was able to lend us the quantities of wood we needed when our finances didn't allow us to buy. Promoting a fair-trade exchange that respects the environment is a key element in this project.
wood timbers used for the restaurant structure
We are currently growing a permaculture vegetable garden, a tropical flower garden as well as mango and coconut trees that we will make available to our guests, for them to be able to enjoy fresh and seasonal local products.
Buying more legume seeds, fruit trees, and young plant sprouts to increase the production of our bio farm will allow us to widen the choice in terms of fresh products, for our guests. The rest of the products will come from the local market.
We recycle our organic waste by making compost, thus making our own natural fertilizer, and we will go over the importance of using natural rather than industrial fertilizers in the next chapter.
organic tropical flower garden down by the riverside
Regarding the recycling of glass, we will collaborate with the Red Road Foundation, which recycles and sells objects made of glass in order to create free education centers for the children who live in the neighboring countryside ( http://theredroadfoundation.org/ ).
free education center made of recycled glass bottles
All the recyclable waste remaining is brought to the recycling center in Kampot.
We are working on the creation of a new way of sorting waste that would result in a seed bank, after consuming our own products, in order to supply the local farmers and homogenize the crops, thus reducing the risk of the Cambodian soils to be affected.
II ./ Cultural exchange and Education
Sabay Beach is situated in a rural area, Kampong Kreng, approximately 7 km out of Kampot. Beside the fact that its riverside location is idyllic and that it has great views over sunsets, we didn't choose the site randomly.
Sabay Beach restaurant under constructions
Kampong Kreng is the typical representation of a Cambodian village where Muslims and Buddhists communities live together in harmony.
A few important elements are to be taken into consideration, like the disposal of waste, where a system needs to be put in place because it is almost inexistent.
Living on the river in Kampong Kreng
Kampong Kreng Health Center
The lack of financial resources there is blatant.
The road, or rather track, will lead you to Sabay Beach after a 15 minutes drive and a few humps.
If Rome wasn't built in a day, we can probably accept that access to paradise takes a little longer than the snap of a finger.
We are committed to let a reciprocity develop with the local population, and to teach children and young adults tourism-related vocations. Language learning, for example English or French, seems to be a fundamental we will implement from the start.
Raising awareness among the school teachers about ecology is not negligible, so is making them responsive to environmental issues.
We rely on intergenerational exchange to preserve the beautiful country that is Cambodia. This way, more people will be aware of ways to keep the country clean, reduce health risks and pollution caused by pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Lumpol Primary School, Kampot
Art and exchange between travelers are also essential elements and represent an interesting idea to develop, this is the reason why we took up the challenge to combine premium bungalows and common bedrooms. Travelers coming from different horizons will be able to meet and exchange.
A participative library will be put in place for anyone to use.
A gallery to show the work of local artists, photography exhibitions and initiation to photography workshops will also be ongoing projects.
III ./ Local economy and Sabay Beach Foundation
As mentioned above, we wish to forge a real cultural and economic exchange with the local businesses and artisans. Cambodia abounds with cultural treasures and traditional craftsmanship, for instance, Kampot is the city where the best pepper in the world is made.
Farm Link, pepper farm in Kampot
We are currently establishing new partnerships with local businesses producing honey, pepper and other artisanal products. We are hoping that the financial manna this will give rise to means these people will have access to better health care, schooling for their children, improve housing situation...
This leads us to introduce you to The Sabay Beach Foundation, its main vocation will be to finance and execute all the projects aforementioned. Part of our profit will be dedicated to the Foundation, and the tips left by guests will be shared between the Foundation and our Cambodian staff.
The Foundation's goal will be to finance the purchase of school supplies, language learning courses, free training for tourism-related vocations and environmental sensitization.
IV ./ Sabay Beach
8 meters deluxe bungalows, surrounded by mango and banana trees
It took us 1 year and 4 months to set up our project. The entirety of the works has been done by Cambodian workers and volunteers travelling from all around the world who supported us since day one. We owe them all a lot.
We made and renovated a lot of objects, like beds, tables, chairs and other furniture.
hand made table to support the toilet sink
The bungalows and the main building were designed by our good friend, architect Benoît Ramos.
The Sabay Beach logo was also created by our great friend and graphic designer, Oriane van Loo (you can appreciate her work on her page : https://www.behance.net/yayy ).
Sabay Beach Logo created by Oriane Van Loo, Graphic Designer
We will soon open our doors with three accommodations : the "tree houses". In each, the bedroom floor is 5 meters above the ground with views over the Bokor National Park.
Two more are situated on the beach and have their own terrace (one overlooks the river) and the other one in the mango field. The splitted common room gives enough privacy to the guests and sleeps five on each side.
The restaurant - two floors of 150 m2 each - naturally found its place on the beach, with the outside areas overlooking the river, giving the opportunity to contemplate the sunsets and their ever changing colors.
Naturally, there will be water-related activities, as well as cooking, tours and initiation to yoga for the guests to enjoy.