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Life

Going 'wild' in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains

Luxury hotel designer Bill Bensley's Shinta Mani resort is as green as it gets

Shinta Mani Wild river at dusk. (Courtesy of Bensley Collection -- Shinta Mani Wild and Elise Hassey)

CARDAMOM NATIONAL PARK, Cambodia -- "It used to be good enough to design a hotel that was nicer than one's home," says Bill Bensley, Asia's best-known luxury hotel designer. "Now we need to zip line guests into the Landing Zone Bar and save the world in the process for anyone to even bat an eyelash, never mind book a room."

Bensley, 60, has done precisely that with his most recent project, Shinta Mani Wild, a super-high-end luxury tent resort in the Cardamom Mountains in southwest Cambodia, an endangered biodiversity hot spot, which aims to show how luxury tourism can help to preserve the world's remaining pristine environments while aiding local development.

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