Developing a private island isn’t easy, especially in Cambodia, but when done successfully it’s akin to recreating the Garden of Eden. With Cambodias tourism industry rapidly expanding, and higher end tourists taking notice of the country an increasing number of luxury boutique resorts are sprouting up.CNN.com recently geature Rory and Melita Hunter who have created what is set to become Cambodia’s most luxurious resort, Song Saa Island.
Song Saa, which is set to open on December 31 is the vision of Rory and Melita Hunter who have turned their island dreams into reality. The construction of the 27 one-bedroom villas are near completion and will cost upwards of $2,000 per night. Here is what CNN had to say about the project.
Rory is a former advertising executive and Melita is a former set designer. Originally from Australia, they came to Phnom Penh and set up a business renovating old French colonial apartments and leasing them to expats. They never planned to become developers until they stumbled upon two small islands in southern Cambodia while on an excursion. The islands are called Song Saa which means “Sweethearts” in Khmer.
They bought the local land rights to the islands for $15,000 from two families living there. The Hunters knew they didn’t really “own” the islands because in Cambodia, foreigners are not able to own land outright. They negotiated with the Cambodian government to lease the islands for 99 years.
The Hunters then started their plan of developing a high-end villa resort. They put in $370,000 of their own money as seed capital. They’ve since raised several rounds of financing from mainly European investors for this $21 million project.
To read more about this exciting Private Island Development visit CNN.