When you ask guests who have stayed at the multi-award-winning Soneva Kiri resort on the island of Koh Kood about their stay, you’ll often hear the same response, “It is the best resort in Thailand!”
And it’s easy to understand why. Your luxurious vacation adventure starts the moment you board their private eight-passenger airplane in Bangkok for the ninety-minute flight to Koh Kood. Once landed, you are whisked by buggy to their private boat for the short 5-minute ride to their magnificent resort. Upon arrival to the Eco resort, you are advised that Soneva Kiri’s philosophy is “no shoes, no news,” and almost everyone abides by that during their entire stay.
There are no hotel rooms. Instead, you’ll find 34 very private villas, each with an oversized infinity-edge swimming pool. The villas are set in various levels and are made of bamboo and tan wood, giving off a definite Robinson Curusoe vibe. And the villas are not modest in size. They have three different one-bedroom villa types that range from 403 to 482 square meters. You’ll also find 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 bedroom villas. The “Six bedroom Sunset Ocean View Pool Reserve” is massive at 2,928 square meters and includes a treehouse, water slide, kitchen, dining area, spa, gym, steam, game & TV rooms.
No matter what size villa you book, you will have your own buggy and personal barefoot butler, who is amazingly magnificent at anticipating your wants and desires before you can give voice to them.
As a guest, you also have unlimited & unfettered access to their chocolate room called “So Chocoholic,” where day or night you can indulge in an infinite variety of handmade chocolates, petit fours, macaroons, truffles, mousse, and much, much more.
Have I mentioned Soneva Kiri’s ice creamery? “So Chilled” is their renowned ice cream parlour that features a free flow wall of more than 60 flavours of homemade sorbet and ice-creams just waiting for you.
If you desire a little more “savory,” then from 7.30-11.00 pop into their So Deli-cious” venue, where you will find a circular glass vault holding the finest cheeses and cold cuts from around the world, in addition to a menu of gourmet platters ideal for snacking.
The only downside to the free-flow chocolate, ice cream, cheese, and cold cuts is that you need to save room to enjoy the many excellent restaurants you’ll find here.
Open for dinner only, Kruua Mae Tuk is a must. Also known as Tuk’s Kitchen, you get there by taking one of the resort’s cars or boats. If going by boat, I suggest leaving the resort just before sunset. With the sun setting on the gulf as you travel around the island, and then down a river until you reach the classic, stilted wooden Thai restaurant nestled amongst the mangroves, it’s magical. With a ‘no menu dining concept, Chef Tuk’s vast selection of Thai dishes is inspired by ingredients produced on Koh Kood or the nearby island of Koh Chang and seafood that comes from local fishermen.
Their So Spirited restaurant is perched atop a cliff and offers lunch, pre-dinner drinks, and dinner, with spectacular rainforest and ocean views.
The View is a restaurant that offers exactly that, breathtaking views across the Gulf of Thailand. Here you’ll experience Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of flavours from Japan and Peru. Chef Christophe effortlessly blends the delicacy and nuance of the Japanese culinary tradition with Peru’s vibrant and zesty flavors.
The current train of thought amongst travel experts is that today’s wealthy aren’t looking for luxury as much as they are looking for experiences, those Instagram-able moments they can share with their friends. At Soneva Kiri, those two worlds collide.
How’s this for an experience? You and your family settle into a comfortable bamboo pod that is gently hoisted up into the tropical foliage of Koh Kood’s ancient rainforest, where your personal waiter serves you your food and drinks using a zip line. That’s their “Treepod Dining.”
A further multitude of dining experiences includes The Dining Room, Chef’s Table, South Beach, The View Laboratory & the Wine Cellar.
A favorite at all of Soneva’s resorts is their Cinema Paradiso. Here you are invited to watch classic movies under the stars at their over-water outdoor cinema. They offer complimentary screenings three nights a week and private screenings four nights a week. The experience is enhanced with complimentary gourmet popcorn, their full-service bar, and private dinners.
Beautiful sandy beaches surround the resort and most villas. Still, the most special is Soneva Kiri’s very own exclusive private beach, easily accessible by your private buggy, it’s called South Beach, and it offers white powdery sand, clear turquoise coloured water, swings, hammocks, and swaying palm trees that appear endless. Many guests say it’s the best beach they have ever been to and visit it daily.
If you feel like amping up your adventure after a few days of no shoe relaxation, let them show you Angkor Wat, Soneva Kiri style. It begins with a speedboat trip to Ban Hat Lek, the Cambodian border town. You’ll then be whisked to your very own private helicopter to enjoy the breathtaking views as you fly over the Cardamom Mountain Range, then land at the remarkable 12th Century Angkor Wat Temple complex.
As much as Soneva Kiri is a playground for adults, children have not been overlooked. The Den is their incredible, over-the-top children’s club, a giant moulded bamboo playground shaped like a manta ray that’s dedicated to learning, excitement, and to meaningful experiences. Professional childminders pique your children’s imaginations, teaching them to play Thai instruments, unleashing their creative talents with painting and the visual arts, and carefully watching them at play in the wonderous world of moulded bamboo spaces up, down, and around.
The six-star Soneva Kiri delights on every single level and hits every high note, and no matter how long you stay, it will never be long enough. The only disappointment I felt was when I finally had to put my shoes back on for the private flight back to Bangkok.
110 Moo 4, Koh Kood
Trat 23000, Thailand
T: +66 (0) 82208 8888