Cost of living. This buzzword is often tossed around, usually with anger and frustration. With the escalating cost of living, where, how and when can one retire? The answer to two of those is Kampot.
While Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, Kampot is just a two-and-a-half hour drive away from its hustle and bustle. This idyllic coastal city is famous for the Kampot peppers that bear its name. Its other crops include durian and sea salt. Beyond coveted produce, Kampot is making waves for its potential. Cambodia has adopted a new stance on foreign investments, enacting a Trust Law which has proven greatly popular in enabling foreigners to invest in land to be held by a trust. This has attracted over US$300 million from trust companies to date, a clear indication that the country has high appeal. There are also many upcoming projects such as Kampot Park and Sarita Waterside, which offer choice land plots to suit various purposes.
Kampot boasts several well-established expat communities, and an especially sizable French community. One can check out The Hideaway (+855 16 367 304), a restaurant which offers many faithful French cuisine staples and more.
Little wonder that r+ has chosen Kampot as the site of our inaugural r+ | grains cafe and upcoming hotel. Offering comfort off the beaten track, r+ promises opportunities and experiences that are both memorable and meaningful.
Come join us and live the good life at Kampot!
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Our architects envisaged fresh tropical modernism for the villas at r+ koh rong. As with the construction of any hospitality establishment, there will be countless architectural problems to tackle - from structural aspects such as building integrity and floorplans, to environmental preservation and guest experiences - there are requirements aplenty to be fulfilled in order to achieve a highly sustainable resort that thrives in the long run.
r+ prides itself in modelling our resorts to be in harmony with their geography and environment, enabling guests to experience a stay that is unique to the specific destination. The design of r+ koh rong was no easy feat due to the site’s topography. The dense vegetation spanning the sloping terrain prompted the use of modular construction. Standardised components are produced in an off-site factory before transportation to the actual site and assembly using a lock-and-key method. This process not only preserves the natural environment, but the assistance of computers in generating prefabricated modules help to minimise waste and the overall carbon footprint of the project. Of course, our design team is also aware of the cons that come with such an approach. The construction of key spaces and units beforehand greatly limits the room for onsite customisation during the assembly. This lack of flexibility means that a deep comprehension of the site specifications and future considerations have to be studied and fixed in our initial blueprint.
One key consideration in our development phase involves the building material - in particular, the thermal properties of the material of choice. Studies have shown that the walls and roofs of buildings contribute to more than 50% of heat transfer. With koh rong possessing a tropical climate throughout the year, natural heat and lighting are in abundance and should be harnessed efficiently. Modifications are made throughout the envelope of the villas as it acts as the filter between the external and internal climate. Louvred windows and skylights are viewed as cost-effective solutions to ventilate the villas and regulate heat transfer between indoors and outdoors. The orientation of the villas are designed not only to treat guests to the vistas that koh rong has to offer, but also to invite coastal winds into the interior spaces. As 60% of total energy consumption in most developments is devoted to cooling, by taking advantage of the idyllic vantage point, the reliance on air-conditioning is greatly reduced.
Farms are also a key component within the r+ ecosystem, as they provide the main source of produce for our retail and restaurant operations. Whilst the designing of agricultural related systems are less tedious compared to the architectural Goliath of the villas themselves, the irrigation systems need to be properly networked to ensure that the farm receives adequate water supply. Technological design solutions also see the use of passive solar architecture to harness the sun’s energy for storage and internal use.
In accordance with other farm-to-table hotels such as Gensler which taps into hyperlocal resources and provides culinary classes and cuisines, r+ has also specially curated our menus to emulate local culture. By concocting a mixture of staple ingredients and local delights, we are effectively designing for wellness as we seek to impart a rare dining experience. These innovative ideas help to tackle food security problems that developing countries such as Cambodia face, as well as provide revenue for farmers and uplift the local communities.
“When you travel, it has to be a journey of purpose, meaning, discovery, adventure, exploration and learning! I think after Covid-19, we have to turn from being tourists of this planet, to pilgrims of this planet.”~ Satish Kumar
The post-Covid era has sparked the rebirth of many industries around the world, and tourism is likewise swiftly recovering. With travelers yearning for that long-awaited vacation, hospitality players are constantly innovating new experiences that define what it’s like to travel differently.
Whilst luxury is undoubtedly a key requirement that upscale hotels and resorts boast, r+ believes in a stay experience that also reflects our commitment towards environmental conservation. The climate crisis has steered the vast majority of consumers towards adopting LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability), with organic foods and ecotourism being mainstays. Cambodia makes an ideal setting to develop holistic living. Renowned for its rich heritage and traditional delicacies, tourists are treated to the fresh local produce of the flourishing farmlands of the Indochina region. r+ has laid blueprints for the building of our villas on Cambodia's Koh Rong island. Known as an “island paradise” by many tourists, the r+ koh rong villas aim to encapsulate the beauty of their hilltop location while promoting spiritual and mental wellness through immersing in nature.
But it’s far more than lounging in hammocks and drinking in the sweeping vistas...
r+ is also a proponent of environmental stewardship – a practice that we advocate towards staff and guests alike. From something as simple as purchasing a handful of carbon credits as a member of the r+ community, these collective efforts go towards the funding of large-scale carbon projects such as reforestation. From farm-to-table hotel meals to the purchasing of organic products at our newly- conceptualized store – r+ harvest, all these contribute towards the goal of responsible, regenerative travelling.
While it is relative easy to replicate a luxury experience, r+ personalizes every resort location to ensure that a balance between wellbeing and sustainability is struck. Giving back to the environment during our stays makes the travel experiences far more meaningful.
In the course of our everyday lives, we engage in activities that leave a residual trail of carbon emissions. Transportation, for example, ranks as one of the highest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. At r+, our growing awareness of such facts means a better understanding of how our lifestyle habits have resulted in the climate crisis. Even something as simple as preferring meat over vegetables accumulates into a significant annual carbon footprint.
Still, it is not too late for affirmative action. At r+, we aim to pilot a carbon credit scheme as part of our net-zero initiative. Carbon credits are a form of virtual currency that companies and individuals alike can purchase to offset their carbon emissions. Through the auspices of a third-party organisation such as Gold Standard, r+ plans to bulk purchase carbon credits and sell these to our members at a tentative rate of USD12 per kilogram of carbon emission. Similarly, Melia Hotels International’s loyalty program allows members to exchange points for internationally certified carbon credits.
Another source of these credits is through r+ being involved in local carbon projects. With Cambodia’s CO2 emissions per capita recorded at 0.41, much lower than the global average of 4, it is no surprise that carbon projects there are adopted in abundance. With the launching of r+ koh rong in Cambodia, we seek to uplift the local community by kickstarting our own carbon projects for the future. Funds gathered from r+ members’ carbon credit purchases will be invested in afforestation and blue carbon projects, for instance, having mangroves planted along the coastal ecosystems of Cambodia to sequester carbon emissions within the vicinity.
r+ believes that our members will benefit from the utilisation of carbon credits to mitigate carbon emissions. This is a milestone in our quest for net-zero living: it is a form of responsible luxury that paves the way for enriching and sustainable hospitality experiences for now and into the future.
As r+ continues to impart memorable luxury experiences across spectacular locales all around Asia, our commitment towards environmental conservation remains steadfast. The climate crisis is often top of mind, and the hospitality industry has been marked a prominent culprit: an estimated 75% of hotels’ environmental impacts are attributed to excessive consumption of resources  — a stigma which r+ strives to eliminate in part through our net-zero goal.
Net-zero is achieved when there is a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases emitted and the amount removed from our atmosphere.
Passive design, energy reduction and waste management form three key pillars of our eco-consciousness campaign. These are all essential components in our creation of a circular r+ ecosystem.
We are innovating strategies that not only reduce carbon emissions through optimised energy usage, but also recycle waste. Passive design elements such as naturally ventilated transition spaces allow for air to flow freely across our resorts, while pocket gardens provide cooling nature respites. These features reduce the reliance on internal lighting and excessive air-conditioning.
Agricultural Technology (AgriTech) has been a staple practice of many farm holdings, and r+ supports its application to increase yields sustainably. Waste from our resorts is recycled into fertiliser. Used water is processed before being channeled to irrigate the fields.
r+ is also a proponent of renewable energy and its benefits. Solar panels from Kamworks will be implemented for our upcoming villas in Koh Rong, Cambodia . The energy harvested is stored in a reservoir, serving as a backup power source.
The transportation sector is arguably the highest contributor towards greenhouse gas emissions globally. Hence, r+ is partnering with Gogoro — a Taiwanese company specialising in the development of electric scooters and battery-swapping refueling platforms . Equipped with an efficient charging mechanism, our guests will enjoy hassle-free and eco-friendly rides.
A future with net-zero emissions charts the path to a better way of life, for life.
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