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The Telegraph explains how Cambodia's Siem Reap hotel gives back to local community

The Telegraph recently published a piece on how guests travelling to Cambodia and staying at Shinta Mani Angkor – Bensley Collection in Siem Reap could do more than invest in days of pampering and comfort for themselves. A firm believer in giving back, the brand designer has created a foundation that uses part of the hotel’s income to help 22 impoverished villages in the surrounding area.

The Telegraph explains how Cambodia's Siem Reap hotel gives back to local community

A reporter for The Telegraph recently described his experience in one of Cambodia’s most luxurious getaways. Situated in a stunning natural setting, the Shinta Mani Angkor – Bensley Collection in Siem Reap stands out for its incredibly lavish accommodations and the amazing hospitality of its staff. Nonetheless, the brand’s determination to give back to the planet and the local community is truly the resort’s most remarkable feature.

The hotel was the first venture to be operated and conceived by renowned designer Bill Bensley. With 30 years’ experience in the sector and over 200 properties in his portfolio, Bensley’s first completely independent project is an amazing collection of 10 slick one-bedroom villas set in a shaded compound next to Siem Reap’s royal residence. With villas boasting individual pools, a roof terrace with daybed and a bathtub set in a private garden and shrouded by foliage, the accommodations take pride in their great comfort. Moreover, all guests are treated to the service of Bensley Butlers. Dressed in colourful Cambodian couture, the butlers cater to your every need.

Because Bensley believes in giving back to the community that has allowed him to be successful in his endeavours, he uses a portion of the hotel’s income to help locals. All contributions are made through the Shinta Mai Foundation, a charity that provides support to 22 impoverished villages in the surrounding area. The organisation’s work in the area includes providing locals with interest-free loans to help kick off private businesses (like setting up a food market or becoming a tuk-tuk driver), building homes for impaired or particularly impoverished individuals, financing farms where they grow their own produce effectively and building wells that give locals access to fresh water.

Guests who are interested can also donate to the cause spontaneously. A well costs £150 – a small price for those who will pay from £600 to £1,500 per night to stay at the Bensley Collection. When speaking of his projects, Bensley confirmed that giving back to the community is a core part of his concept:

“It’s important to me that guests learn something. I want to educate as well as give them a fluffy pillow and a margarita.”

Bensley looks to keep growing in the future. Later in 2018 the designer will open Shinta Mani Wild, 16 river-facing tents set in a 400-acre reserve in southern Cambodia. With a playful mindset where guests will be able to zip-line into the reception area, the hotel’s purpose will be serious. The foundation will contribute to conservation efforts and the property will focus on providing long-term employment. It should be another attractive option for wealthy travellers looking for comfort and luxury but who are also respectful of the environment and community.

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