Soneva Kiri

At one of Thailand’s most far-flung islands, Koh Kood, luxury, seclusion and tranquility come together. These elements combine make Soneva Kiri, a resort of just 36 villas, the ultimate getaway. Guests arrive via a private plane transfer from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Arriving at a neighbouring island where the resort built its own private airstrip, guests are then whisked away for the five-minute boat ride to Soneva Kiri by smiling “Fridays”, their personal butlers – a nod to Robinson Crusoe

Credit: Soneva Kiri

At the resort, every guest is given an electric buggy to get them around the 150-acre property which remains largely enveloped in lush greenery. And that was the aim of the founders, Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, when they created Soneva Kiri: to have nature and luxury combine with perfect measure. Villas are essentially gargantuan suites. Designed from natural materials, including locally-sourced wood and bamboo, there are separate outdoor living and dining areas, his-and-hers dressing rooms, open showers, a pool deck, a plunge pool, and bedrooms that come dressed in billowing mosquito nets attached to four-poster beds. Some villas have direct beach access; others are tucked in the lush tropical rainforest with commanding views of the waters.

There is plenty to do to keep you busy. Watch the starry passage at the Observatory with the resident astronomer, catch a movie at the over-water, outdoor Cinema Paradiso and munch on complimentary popcorn, enjoy relaxing treatments at the Six Senses Spa, lay supine at the resort’s private North Beach, or indulge in over 60 flavours of homemade ice-cream and chocolates at the chocolate room that are complimentary to every guest. Or, you can simply do nothing.

Credit: Soneva Kiri

Where Soneva Kiri excels truly is in the food. Every effort was made to ensure our meals complied with our dietary needs, sharing with us its ingredients and cooking methods. At the off-site, on-stilts Benz’s restaurant, namesake Chef Benz fed us with plenty of fresh seafood meticulously prepared from her repertoire of Thai recipes. There was seabass soup with snakeskin fruit and red prawn curry with pineapple. Getting there was half the fun – on a boat ride that took us into the island’s mangroves.

Credit: Soneva Kiri

Back at the main property, we had hi-tea (literally) in a tree pod hoisted 20 metres above ground. As we admired the view, our server zip-lined to-and-fro from the kitchen with fresh juices, petits fours and dainty salmon sandwiches wrapped in banana leaves. The best meal we had hands-down was breakfast at The Dining Room. Homemade yoghurts and cheeses, pastries and breads made from scratch, a salad selection handpicked from their organic garden, fresh juices and plenty of hot items you can request from the chef.

Credit: Soneva Kiri

Credit: Soneva Kiri

While keeping the luxe level effortless, Soneva Kiri is serious about its eco initiatives. At the heart of the resort is the Eco Centro facility, a waste-to-wealth centre and an organic vegetables garden. It is where the resort recycles its plastic and glass, turns wood waste into charcoal and cooking oil into biodiesel, grows its own produce-fed compost from kitchen waste, places and installs solar panels to save fossil fuel use, and works with vigour and optimism to monitor its environmental impact.

If you book Soneva Kiri’s three-night Stay For Good package, you can experience both the laidback barefoot luxury while helping the resort with its sustainability initiatives including its work with the community. For guests’ eco-effort, the resort offers three complimentary bonus nights in return.

The H Factor
David Newstead, Executive Chef at Soneva Kiri says, the resort has a separate area for preparation of halal items which includes knives, utensils, chopping boards, pans, etc. “We have a halal supplier in Bangkok and are happy to provide halal produce; the more notice we can give the better.” Halal meats are also stored and refrigerated independently from the rest of the kitchen’s produce.

5 Priceless Touches
*Having your own private buggy is the Greatest. Thing. Ever.
*The chocolate and ice cream rooms – all complimentary!
*Our Friday who arranged our private Koh Kood excursion both by boat and land and everything else in between, where no request was too small.
*Villas are hidden in the trees and guarantee absolute privacy and seclusion!
*We love that the in-room checklist included a prayer mat option.

For more on our stay, read here:

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