Wild frontiers are opening up in Cambodia, where Song Saa (www.songsaa.com; from $668) debuts on Christmas Eve in the Koh Rong Archipelago. The resort spans two islands – its accommodation in the jungle-rich interior, on the beach or over water (pictured) – and chef Neil Wager is moving here from the royal couple’s honeymoon destination, North Island in the Seychelles.
A visit to Cambodia works well when combined with a stopover in Thailand. Here in the Thai capital, The Siam hotel (www.thesiamhotel.com; from $500) is due to open for New Year with 39 pool villas and suites over three acres upriver from the Mandarin Oriental. The restaurant will be made of three Thai houses, which were transported from the ancient city of Ayutthaya by silk dealer Jim Thompson for his best friend, the Bangkok socialite Connie Mangskau, and the gym will include a Muay Thai boxing ring.
If such cultural authenticity matters, take a note of Jok’s Kitchen in Chinatown (23 Trok Issaranuphap; +662-2221 4075), where the chef-proprietor cooks by appointment only. There are no menus; dishes include Alaskan snowfish and steamed crab – and at $30 a head it’s got a following among some of the city’s biggest players.