Saturday, November 1, 2008

a home for holidays

Of late, most hotels have been bombarding us with overused lines and cliches such as "home away from home", "your home in + name of place", "feels like home" and all that crap that goes with it... even big chains with 300+ rooms define themselves as a "home" when all you see is actually an impersonal, factory type accommodation that sells itself to busloads of toruists from wherever. What the...???!!!

A coffee friend of ours (people you meet over coffee or you run into coffee shops) asked my team to visit their home here one day and see if we can help them market it as a holiday home. Meaning, they live there but they accept a small number of guests to try out their home and sample their lifestyle.


They call it Amatao - a marriage of Japanese sensibilities (the wife is Japanese), southern French flair for the simple yet out-of-the-ordinary things (the husband is French) and of course, Khmer lifestyle since their home is in Cambodia.


Located in the Cambodian countryside 30 minutes away from the city center and overlooking Southeast Asia's largest lake, Amatao is a collection of several house structures, mature gardens, ponds and a green tiled pool.


Inside, each "house" is crowned by large, muslin draped beds and wooden beamed ceilings. Bathrooms are also large and airy. As this place is stuck in the middle of a ricefield, spectacular views are on hand in every corner.



Right down below the main house is a dead giveaway of its Frenchness - a temperature controlled wine cellar with its collection of vintages and new world favorites.


There are reading nooks everyhere, and corners where you can lounge with your ipod.

There are also massage rooms near the Japanese garden and an outdoor bath to watch the stars while wash out life's worries away...


The tea house in the Japanese garden is also a great place to hang around and be lazy. As the owners are also avid gardeners, an orchidarium housing rare Cambodian orchids and plant species is a great showcase, as well as a rose garden with French roses blooming around.
When they first told us about the concept of different cultures and styles coming in together, we thought that it was too much of a hodge podge of things, but seeing them altogether as an amalgam of their personalities turned out to be a rather interesting mix! The biggest draw though is the fact that it is a real home open to guests - not a hotel that hard sells itself to any Tom, Dick and Harry. They cook for you, their personal house help tend your needs and their own kids wander around and help serve you...
Just outside is a real cambodian village where people live in houses on stilts, where people still graze their goats and cows and where things haven't changed for the past decades (except perhaps for the occasional mobile phone laoding centers!)...
I wish we have more places like these around, and if we have saved enough money hopefully (which will be a million light years from now), we would love to build something like this...
Donations are now accepted...

42 comments:

Jake Tornado said...

Simply breath-taking.

I want to own one!

I like! I like!

the spool artist said...

hey pareng jake! tagal mo yatang nawala ah! welcome back!

Luis Batchoy said...

lovely place! I like the reading nooks!

the spool artist said...

you'd definitely be fired up to write more palanca award winning pieces here!

Luis Batchoy said...

looks like it! Gawd! I cant wait for law school and the bar to be over so I can take my sabbatical. I swear I have to get to that country! It looks fantastic. Ara ka man lang da di ba? Hehehehe

polona said...

wow, the place looks like a dream destination!

gillboard said...

Cambodia looks like a nice place to live in. If only all houses look like that.

Cost of living there is lower than in the Philippines, right?

RONeiluke, RN said...

wheeew... can we switch professions? hahaha! I WANT YOUR JOB! nakakapunta ka lalo sa mga magagandang lugar..hays... ang daming water lilies! astig tong bahay na to. hybrid ng ibat ibang culture :)

---
thanks! hehe! xenxa naman. dapat naanticipate mo na magpopost ako ng horror stiry dahil halloween! ahehee!

the spool artist said...

@luis batchoy: yup, i'll just be here! soge, celebrate ka dapat as soon as the board is over!

@polona: it really is a dream place to visit and to live in! thanks for dropping by!

@gillboard: yup, standard of living here is cheaper in a lot of cases, but sometimes, other rices for things here are outrageously high!

@roneiluke: ayoko nga... my sis, who's studying nursing told me i will not survive a day as a nurse! lol. great writing as usual from you!

eunice said...

The house is beautiful. Is it situated in the outskirt? Is it safe?

KRIS JASPER said...

So it's actually a house slash private bed and breakfast?

And the owners of this crib are your friends?

First, the beckhams... now this...

I'd kill to have a job like yours. lol.

Jake said...

na-miss ko tuloy pilipinas :(

ZJ said...

You just gave me an idea where to spend our Christmas! Open na ba sila? And the important question - high-end priced ba?

REDLAN said...

ganda. astig ha, famous people asking for your promotional ad. You must be famous too! I can feel someday you can build an artistic home too. hope it will be soon. Luma na yang bahay na yan pag nagtayo ka na ng sarili mong bahay( as commonly a joke about luma)

Goodluck Loven!

the spool artist said...

@eunice: oh yes, its definitely safe there. they have security and also the neighborhood is peaceful... they are near a temple!

@krisjasper: something to that degree! hahahaha, well, siem reap is a small city so everybody here eventually ends up as your friends! if in that case, the beckhams move here too! lol

@jake: pareng jake, musta? uwi ka ba ng pasko?

@zj: the prices are not bad, sige, dito kayo magpasko! if not, our house is also open for you guys... miss olive is moving in here soon!

@redlan: hahaha, i wish i was famous! well, if i have the chance, i'd love to build something like this somewhere in iloilo or guimaras! haaayyy, nangangarap na naman ako ng gising! :-)

Ar-wee-der-yet said...

What a sight! Ang ganda. How much will it cost naman to live in a beautiful place like that even for just a day?

the spool artist said...

somewhere between $80 - $300 yata, last time i checked... sobrang afford mo yan! :-)

ZJ said...

Tuod - housemates niyo na si Ate Olive soon?? Do they have a website where I could peek at their price list?? Hehehe... Kag pwede man namon i-take imo offer if ever indi kami ka-afford - baw, kapalmuks gid *lol*

the donG said...

the third photo alone satisfies me already! the place's ambiance is perfect for the tired soul.

hahaha... whoa! any donations coming? hehehe...

the spool artist said...

@zj: yup, hopefully by end of this month ari na di siya! hay naku... you are always welcome diri... especially ilonggo ka man!

@the dong: it really is a very idyllic place for the tired soul! hahaha,i wish donations would start rushing in already!

chezza said...

I wish they have this in Pinas that is affordable by the common tao kaso lang ung mga get-aways like this in our country are very expensive which really defies the true meaning of a holiday. I wish someday you can build something like this that is affordable to EVERYONE.

the spool artist said...

chezz, hinihintay yata nila tayo! hmmmm...

Luis Batchoy said...

dont leave me out chezza and loven... Do the building, trust the poetry, literati and culturati whatchamajizmagugics to me

the spool artist said...

hahaha... it's a business venture then! what shall we name it kaya?

Luis Batchoy said...

HOMEMOTO? Heheheheh parang bastush ah.
IBAHAY MO KO? Nyakhakhakhak
HOMEMANDA KA! Eeekkk
HOMEMUWI KA NA!
Toink!

the spool artist said...

BAHAY BAHAYAN?

TAM-BALAY-AN?

HOME-MICIDE?

Gusto ko rin yung HOMEMUWI KA NA (dagdagan na lang natin ng BABY sa dulo!) Hahahaha!

chezza said...

The Grand Nipa Hut, kaya? he,he,he

Ar-wee-der-yet said...

$80-$300??? nevermind. Eh pamasahe ko na yan papunta dyan sa Cambodia at baka may sukli pa ;) hahaha

the spool artist said...

@chezza: Aba, mas panalo yata ang Grand Nipa Hut ah... sige, so we have a business na! lol

@ar-wee-der-yet: that is actually cheap for hotels here in Siem Reap! Eh di sa bahay na lang kayo mag camp! lol

Megan said...

gorgeous place!

Luis Batchoy said...

hmmm maganda nga ang THE GRAND NIPA HUT... Parang NIPA HYATT ang dating... hehehehe

the spool artist said...

@megan: it's more gorgeous up close!

@luis batchoy: so should we apply na sa DTI to register our business name? hahahaha.

eDreGiN said...

-Do they have special rates sa mga katulad ko na wiz ilonggo? Hehehe...buti nalang hinde namin alam na me ganitong place nung andyan kami otherwise iiyak lang kami sa lungkot dahil waz andalili at wiz namin kaya ma-afford magstay dito..hehehehe

salingPUSA said...

I love the way the structures, the rooms, the pool are beimg lighted. Is that how it is kuya Loven on ordinary days or it's just because of the photo shoot? nice, nice. Lighting of course complements to the drama of the place......

BTW, aside from the lake, is there any other significant tourist destination around the area?

the spool artist said...

hahaha... kahit mapa chavacano, ilocano, cebuano, turnilyo, palikero, pampangueno, merong special price... basta noypi no, pwede nating mahingan ng special rate na may kasamang special siopao pa upon check-in! lol... sa inyo ba, pwede din bang humingi ng special rate?

the spool artist said...

hi anton! musta ka na? well, this will be the set-up kung meron silang bisita... kung sila lang namang pamilya, they use very minimal energy dahil they stay in one part of the big house lang.

there is also an 11th century temple nearby on top of a small mountain... tapos just a short walk away from the house is a modern pagoda (modern for them is anything after the 17th century!) where saffron-robed monks reside and worship, so very interesting din yung area. The horse ranch is also a short drive away!

eDreGiN said...

-Siopao?!!? Did you just mention Siopao? OMG! I miss siopao! Katuwa naman ung thought na siopao on arrival...ano un? instead of Welcome drinks siopao ang bibigay? hehehehe...rates are fixed dito...ala discounts kalokers dito eh' hehehehe...pag local ka naman bed tax lang ang ileless unless me promo ang resort then makakuha ng discount na malaki laki :=)

Ooopss, minsan din pag me available rooms nagbibigay sila ng expat's rates, un! :=)

REDLAN said...

loven musta na?

can i grab one of your photos here?

the spool artist said...

@edregin: hahhaha..o di ba, kakaiba pag special siopao ang isi-serve upon check in? grabe, wala bang siopao diyan sa maldives?

grabe naman, alang discount talaga? sabihin ko kayang from expedia ako or from Abrcrombie & Kent para mabigyan ako ng magandang contract rates? hehehehe


@redlan: i'm great redlan, thanks! ikaw? been busy lang sobra... sure, you can grab my photos here!

cheers!

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