With 29 private pool villas situated in over 100 acres of lush Thai jungle, a stunning, palm-fringed beach, an award-winning spa and restaurants that pride themselves on their use of local, sustainable ingredients, it’s clear to see why Soneva Kiri – an über-glam eco resort situated on the stunning island of Koh Kood in the far east of Thailand – is a perfect escape à deux.
Never has the phrase, “The journey is half the adventure” seemed more apt than on my arrival at Soneva Kiri! Typically, visitors to this island retreat are whisked direct from Bangkok airport on Kiri’s own Cessna light plane; however my visit began with a half-hour helicopter ride from Trat airport to the hotel’s private airstrip. From there, it was a five-minute hop by speedboat (I felt very James Bond!) to the resort, where the lovely Kaew –my designated concierge (my very own Ms Friday!) – met me. The final part of the journey was by golf buggy, and each villa comes equipped with your own set of electric wheels for getting around the huge resort.
The accommodation is nothing short of spectacular. Made from all-natural, sustainably-sourced local materials, my One-Bed Hill Pool Villa was nestled in the surrounding jungle and consisted of no less than three separate structures, including the walk-through dressing room of my wildest dreams, and an outdoor shower and bathtub… not to mention the private pool, ample loungers and daybeds and outdoor sitting room area complete with deck – perfect for socialising.
The villas are crafted with great attention to detail and thoughtful little touches; from the TV hidden away in what looks like a stack of vintage trunks, to the hand-carved chess set in the bedroom, the aesthetics complement, rather than compete with, the environmentally friendly ethic. And with this amount of space, you certainly won’t feel hemmed-in, regardless of how much luggage you bring!
Soneva Kiri also offers more stunning facilities than you can shake a (sustainable, bamboo) stick at. From a private cinema that rises up from the middle of a lake, to an observatory for some serious stargazing, a pristine private beach to a treetop dining pod where you can enjoy your meal winched into the air, served by a waiter on a zip wire (yes, really!) – the care and imagination that has gone into dreaming up the services here is obvious. Nowhere is this more evident than at the beautiful Six Senses Spa, a must-visit at Kiri. After a long day of travelling, my fabulous Oriental Body Massage effectively banished all lingering knots from my neck and put me in a very Zen frame of mind.
After all that pampering, what better way to finish the day than with dinner? Soneva Kiri’s The View restaurant offers Western cuisine prepared with locally sourced produce and a menu that changes daily, according to ingredient availability. Highlights here were the extensive selection of seafood, and the homemade cheeses. Meanwhile, Benz’s restaurant is all about local Thai food, with chef Benz creating culinary magic from ingredients grown on-site in her own organic garden down by Kiri’s private beach, or soured from nearby Koh Chang. No food miles to worry about here!
For afters? How about a scoop or two from the 62(!) flavours of homemade ice cream? Or perhaps a few picks from the handmade chocolate selection, housed in its very own chocolate room? I defy anyone not to leave Soneva Kiri without a few pounds of excess baggage of their own…
For a Thai stay that’s as far away from the overdone stretches of Phuket or Bangkok as can be and where Mother Nature is allowed to strut her stuff in significant style, head to Soneva Kiri for total luxury and relaxation!
Soneva Kiri offer a wide range of package deals throughout the year; for more information, click here.
Soneva Kiri, 10 Moo 4, Koh Kood Sub-District, Koh Kood District, Trat 23000, Thailand, +66 (0) 3961 9800, [email protected]