Koh Kood, Thailand

Soneva Kiri

Rates from (ex tax)$970.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD1,180.49), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

All-ages tropical playground

Setting

Palm-fringed island bay

WINNER: BEST FOR FAMILIES – SMITH HOTEL AWARDS 2013

Find your slice of paradise in one of Soneva Kiri hotel’s spacious and serene pool villas settled in the ocean-edged jungle on the remote Thai island of Koh Kood. Spend lazy days sunbathing by the beach, snorkelling or enjoying a treatment in the fabulous spa. At night, enjoy Soneva Kiri’s version of dinner and a movie – a romantic meal served in a tree canopy followed by a flick at the outdoor cinema.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One complimentary dinner (excluding drinks), either at the View or Benz's

Facilities

Photos Soneva Kiri facilities

Need to know

Rooms

35 pool villas.

Check–Out

12 noon; check-in, 2pm. Earlier check-ins or late check-outs are possible, but attract a one-night charge.

Rates

Double rooms from $970.00, excluding tax at 21.7 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD970.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include international buffet breakfast, butler service and free chocolate and ice-cream.

Also

Your Soneva Kiri experience begins at Bangkok Airport, where you’re met by the hotel’s representatives and escorted on to the private plane that whisks you over the city and the turquoise ocean to a neighbouring island. A five-minute trip on a speedboat and you’re delivered directly to your villa for check-in.

At the hotel

Private beach with watersports facilities, spa, swimming-pool, tennis and volleyball court, fitness room, restaurants, bars, observatory, outdoor cinema, kids' club, library, CD and DVD libraries, free WiFi throughout, concierge. In rooms: flatscreen TV and DVD player, CD player, iPod dock, minibar, full-size Soneva amenities, outdoor bathrooms, private pool, personal concierges called Fridays in a nod to Robinson Crusoe. Electric buggy for exploring the resort.

Our favourite rooms

How to choose, since they’re all divine, with billowing mosquito nets and stacks of old-school suitcases at the end of the bed hiding away the television? For couples Cliff Pool Villa Suite 53, with huge outdoor living spaces and a massive pool, is perfectly private. For easier beach access, bag one of the 12 romantic Oceanfront Pool Villa Suites with dreamy sea views.

Poolside

As stunning as the main infinity pool is, it is oft ignored by Soneva Kiri’s guests, possibly because each of the villas has its own huge private pool.

Packing tips

Now’s the time to catch up on all those books and magazines on your ‘to read’ list – load them on to your Kindle to lighten your bags.

Also

Both smoking and non-smoking villas are available.

Children

Kids love Soneva Kiri. Beaches, pools and an amazing kids’ club will keep them amused. Baby cots are free and extra beds for children under the age of 11 can be added to all rooms for US$73 each a night (US$146 for over-12s).

Overview

Promising jungle-meets-ocean charm, switched-on service and child-friendly activities, beachside Soneva Kiri boutique hotel on Koh Kood ticks all the boxes for families. Vast villas with private pools, mouthwatering Thai food, a sensuous spa and an am-I-dreaming kids' club mean the entire brood will be blissed out. Treetop dining, an outdoor cinema and free sweet treats up the fun factor.

Best for

Kids of all ages. Baby cots are free and extra beds (US$73 each a night for under-11s, US$146 for over-12s) can be added to all rooms.

Recommended rooms

Got a little tyke or two? They’ll be happy in the bayside, one-bedroom Oceanfront Pool Villa Suites. The spacious two-bedroom Cliff Pool Villa Suite or Ocean Pool Villa Suites will be best for teens and larger families.

Crèche

This is one holiday where leaving the kids in childcare will also leave you feeling misty-eyed and warm-hearted. Free kids’ club the Den is one impressive facility: Dutch eco-architect Olav Bruin asked groups of children to design their dream play area – and then built on that. His fun, elegant bamboo construction resembles a manta ray swimming through the treetops. There’s a drawbridge entrance, a slide exit and rooms dedicated to art, music and fashion, as well as a climbing frame. Activities, both indoor and out, focus on creativity, nature and the environment, so there’s not a games console in sight. As well as keeping children occupied, the Den gives kids a taste of Thai culture, as they can learn the Thai alphabet, create a local toy, learn a Thai instrument, or try their hand at traditional batik. The Den operates daily from 9am to 6pm for kids aged 6–12; under-6s are also welcome but must be accompanied by a parent or babysitter.

Activities

This really is a tropical paradise, so the whole family will want to spend days building sandcastles, snorkelling or splashing at the soft white-sand beach, where watersports rule – there's windsurfing, kayaking and sailing up for grabs, as well as snorkelling and dive classes. Each of the villas has a private pool and garden for swimming and playing, or you can take a dip in the pretty main resort pool. During peak times, the kids’ club also runs a tennis camp (pitched at four to 16 year-olds with private classes) on a first-come first-served basis, although it’s worth booking in advance.  Family or children’s yoga and t’ai chi classes are also yours to command. You can also book treatments at the spa for children aged four or above – the therapists will customise sessions to suit – although it’s primarily an adult pampering zone.

In the evening, head to outdoor Cinema Paradiso, where films are shown on an overwater big screen (kids will love the mini fish burgers, house-made popcorn and chocolate snacks), or to the observatory where professionally trained hosts can help you view the rings of Saturn or identify constellations through the state-of-the-art telescope – special family-friendly sessions keep the facts simple for smaller guests.

If you had dinner at Benz's and loved it, learn how to cook some of the dishes yourself. Female chef Khun Benz takes cooking classes that include a visit to the Ao Salat fishing village in the morning. Active teens will love the night-snorkelling sessions for adventurous thrills. Younger guests will want to compete in the Eco Olympics, hosted occasionally in peak times, with beach games from egg and spoon races to coconut shot-put and coconut 10-pin bowling.

 

Swimming pool

Every villa has a large, unheated private pool, but you’ll need to keep a close eye on tots because they’re not fenced. There is a beautiful infinity pool near the main part of the property, but it’s not often used and has no lifeguards.

Meals

The Dining Room, the Beach and poolside snack-purveyor So Spirited are the most geared to children, but kids are welcome in all Soneva’s family-friendly restaurants at all times, with casual grazing encouraged (Mrs Smith won’t need heels). Highchairs and children’s menus are available, and chefs can customise dishes on the main menu to suit developing palates (at mod-bistro the View, they’ll knock up chicken with vegetable fried rice for mini guests, the Dining Room can whip up chicken nuggets with chips, and the crispy prawns in coconut breadcrumbs at Benz’s should prove a hit). The smalls will love the buffet breakfasts, where house-made breads, croissants, jam, cheese, ham, muesli, fruit and juices can be topped up with cooked-to-order eggs, pancakes and waffles. Staff can also heat up baby food or milk, and you can buy baby food and child-friendly snacks at the hotel, too. If you want to treat the kids to a meal in the bamboo Treepod (only suitable for over-12s), book ahead – there's only one and it's very popular. 

Babysitting

Given a day’s notice, your Friday can organise a babysitter for US$20 (THB600) an hour per child. If you'd like to leave your under-6 at the Den for some alone-time during the day, they'll need to be accompanied by a babysitter.

No need to pack

Highchairs, bottles and sterilisers, baby cots, buggies, baby monitors, stair gates, craft materials, picture books, soft toys or board games.

Also

They’ll love Ever Soneva So Chilled and Ever Soneva So Chocoholic, always-open, help-yourself ice-cream and chocolate bars. You may be tempted by their Willy Wonka-esque charms, too.

Eco‐friendly

A key philosophy of the Soneva group is the Slowlife (sustainable, local, organic, wellness, learning, inspired, fun, experiences) approach. Both environmental and social responsibility is important, so resorts will recycle waste, conserve water, preserve local environments (particularly fragile marine ecosystems), grow organic food and buy produce from local farmers and fishermen. Soneva also works with community organisations worldwide, including the Plant a Tree Today forest restoration project in Thailand.

Food and Drink

Photos Soneva Kiri food and drink

Top Table

For something a little different you can’t beat Treepod Dining. Otherwise, choose the deck at the View, which hangs over the trees and takes in the sunset. Private dining, in-villa or on a deserted beach, can also be arranged.

Dress Code

Soneva Kiri’s motto is ‘no news, no shoes’, so even at romantic the View casual – sundresses, shorts and sandals – is perfectly acceptable.

Hotel restaurant

Helmed by respected chef Khun Benz, Benz's is a lantern-lit Thai restaurant on stilts reached via a speedboat through the mangroves. Prop yourself on the floor cushions and enjoy dishes such as deep-fried fish with spicy and sweet sauce and crispy banana blossom. Also dinner-only, the View has a daily-changing modern bistro menu, with a dreamy deck, but be sure to book for Thursday's Slowlife dinner, made solely from local fish and vegetables from the organic garden. A mighty buffet breakfast is served at casual outpost the Dining Room, which hosts a Thai buffet on Tuesday nights. Snag a table on the sand for breakfast or lunch at shoreside the Beach, which serves pizza, sushi and salads. Got a head for heights? Book Treepod Dining, a bamboo pod winched up to six metres in the air so you can gaze down on the rainforest and waves below while an acrobatic waiter serves your meal via a zip line. Pod dining is available for all meals. Budding Willy Wonkas will love So Chilled, So Chocoholic and So Deli-cious, three parlours where you can help yourself to ice-cream, chocolate, cakes and pastries, or cheese and charcuterie.

Hotel bar

So Spiritual is a romantic spot with sunset vistas and day-beds. There’s a full menu of fruit cocktails, as well as thousands of bottles of wine from the cellar. Catch the twice-weekly wine tastings and wine degustation dinner. At poolside So Spirited you can graze on an all-day menu of sandwiches, burgers and Thai snacks, washed down with cocktails and other concoctions. 

Last orders

Dinner is served at Benz’s from 6.30pm to 10pm (closed Tuesdays and Sundays), at the View from 7pm to 10pm (closed Tuesdays), and at the Dining Room from 7.30pm until 10pm (Tuesdays only); the two bars stay open until midnight.

Room service

Available from 7am until 2am, the in-villa dining menu offers just about anything you could desire. You might also like to try the in-villa barbecue, where a chef prepares a meal that includes your choice of seafood and meats.

Location

Photos Soneva Kiri location
Address
Soneva Kiri
110 Moo 4, Koh Kood District
Koh Kood
23000
Thailand

Planes

Fly to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, serviced by airlines from all over the world; our Smith24 team can arrange your flights. Guests are met by private airport representatives of Soneva Kiri, and transferred to the resort's waiting custom-fitted eight-seater Cessnas for the 70 minute flight to Koh Mai Si, the resort's private airport island, followed by a five-minute speedboat journey to Soneva's shores. Planes leave Bangkok at 6am, 7.40am, 11.40am, and 3.40pm seven days a week, with two additional flights departing at 10.15am and 2.15pm Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays-Saturdays. Flights leave Soneva Kiri at 750am, 1.30pm, 4.05pm, and 5.30pm everyday, with two additional flights leaving Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays-Saturdays at 9.30am and 12.05pm. The other option is to fly to Trat Airport. From there it’s a one-hour taxi ride to Lam Suk Pier, then a 45-minute speedboat ride to Soneva Kiri. These transfers aren’t organised by the hotel, but staff can advise on connection times.

Trains

There are no train services to Trat, the nearest mainland jumping-off point for Koh Kood.

Automobiles

Given Soneva Kiri’s island location, we don’t recommend hiring a car and driving from Bangkok as you’ll need to make the final hop to the hotel by boat. Buses run from Bangkok’s Ekamai eastern terminal to Trat, where you can pick up taxis to the pier to catch the boat to Koh Kood, but with a journey time of around six hours even a first-class ride won’t be much fun.

Worth getting out of bed for

Within the confines of Soneva Kiri there is plenty to keep you occupied. The Six Senses Spa, specialising in locally inspired treatments, is hidden away in the jungle. As well as offering the opportunity to relax during the Soneva Muddy Journey (a detox mud treatment) and the like, there’s a timetable of yoga, Pilates, meditation and t'ai chi classes.

At the private beach, on the south side of the island, try your hand at kayaking, water-skiing, windsurfing or wake-boarding. There’s a tennis and volleyball court for the competitive, and a fitness room if the So Choco-licious room proves far too tempting. 

If you’ve got little ones, the Den – designed in the shape of a manta ray by Dutch eco-architect Olav Bruin – is possibly one of the greatest kids’ clubs you’ll ever come across. Indoor and outdoor activities encourage creativity (there are no games consoles) and activity. 

There’s also snorkelling, a rainforest walk and cooking classes with chef Khun Benz that include a visit to Ao Salat fishing village.

Local restaurants

Soneva Kiri is located at one end of Koh Kood, which remains a blissfully peaceful part of Thailand. Some of the other smaller resorts and guesthouses on the island have restaurants and there are a couple of casual, local places, such as Chiang Mai Restaurant – on the main road to Bang Bao – a shack with distant sea views and fresh seafood dishes.

Reviews

Photos Soneva Kiri reviews
Ian Curley

Anonymous review

We know the upcoming Smith family holiday is going to be something special when our biggest discussion around the dinner table, pre-departure, is: should we take the helicopter or speedboat transfer to our island destination? (The resort’s private charter plane is undergoing maintenance when we're visiting.) At times like this, you have to pinch yourself and realise that life isn’t all that bad.

So it is that the Smith family of four boards the speedboat after a short flight from Bangkok to Trat, and a comfortable hour’s drive to the boat jetty. A bumpy but pleasant hour later, the mirage that is Soneva Kiri materialises before us. Greeted by management and a private assistant (known on the island as a ‘Friday’) at the jetty, and encouraged immediately to implement the hotel's ‘No news, no shoes’ policy, we're splashing around our villa’s private pool in less than 10 minutes.

Now, some hotels have butlers, but to have a dedicated, delightful and discreet ‘Friday’ for the duration of our stay – contactable and within reach at almost any time of day or night – that is something special. Our ‘Friday’, who (much to the delight of the two little Smith girls) is named Pink, has an ability to read minds – she’s one step ahead the whole time. When we realise that we have left Miss 3’s floaties at home, within a blink of an eye Pink returns with a pair of fully inflated Finding Nemo floaties, and has them on Miss 3’s chubby arms before we can even offer to float across the pool to assist. (At this point, we decide to take Pink home with us.)

The words ‘one-bedroom’ don’t resonate well with most families travelling with young children, and this Mr and Mrs Smith (self-confessed night owls), are anxious at the prospect of spending the holiday tucked up in bed by 7.30pm, so as not to disturb the kids. ‘One-bedroom’ at Soneva Kiri, however, doesn’t quite mean the same thing as it does anywhere else. There is indeed one bedroom, but this is housed in one of three standalone ‘huts’ that make up what is really a one-bedroom villa complex. The two additional huts house a ‘dressing room’ (think massive walk-in-wardrobe) and an enormous double bathroom. With the dressing room large enough to comfortably fit two single beds with accompanying hanging mosquito nets (naturally transforming them into ‘princess beds’), Miss 5 and Miss 3 shack up on their own – albeit only a few metres from the main bedroom – and love it.

So many decisions: to lather up in the open-air rain shower, the glass-brick-enclosed massage shower, or the poolside shower? Or to soak in the outdoor oversized sunken bath? If we should suddenly need to do a simultaneous family cleanse, we are certainly in the right place.

The difficult decisions continue outside the villa… do we drive our buggy down to the pristine white beach and watch the kids from our paddleboard, from a hanging double cabana, or swimming in the calm shallows that seem to stretch to the adjacent island? Or muster some energy and head to the tennis court or gym-with-a-view to work off the unlimited ice-cream (32 flavours, made in-house, no less) and chocolate that’s on offer, followed by some well-deserved relaxation in the exquisitely designed (and rightfully award-winning) spa?

As the end of the day nears, a family meeting is called for – two little hands up for a 7.30pm kid-friendly movie at the deluxe outdoor cinema (with obligatory popcorn and snacks); two bigger hands up for a world-class dinner buffet on the beach, accompanied by the most spectacular and breathtaking Thai sunset. The elders in this tribe pull rank and vote for the beach, but not before organising the nanny-on-a-buggy to collect the children and whisk them off to bed, once the sun has done the same. Our capable nanny is called upon the following night, when Mr and Mrs Smith decide on a romantic dinner at the resort’s Thai degustation restaurant, which is arrived at by boat just before sunset – a truly stunning and delicious experience.

Soneva Kiri is consciously super eco-friendly, almost Robinson Crusoe in style. It is designed so cleverly that all man-made structures blend seamlessly into the rugged natural surroundings, yet every modern luxury you could ever need or want is subtly installed and discreetly hidden behind or within bamboo walls or wooden panels. A TV, DVD and Bose surround sound system (with pre-loaded iPod) planted inside a pile of vintage luggage trunks at the end of the bed… it’s like something out of a James Bond movie. Don’t expect to pick up cable, though – the TV is purely for those who can’t do without a cinematic fix, maintaining the ‘no news’ theme. I must admit, this Mr Smith starts to panic, before realising that the WiFi connection is excellent, and I can still (covertly) keep up to date with the outside world (namely who is leading the golf).

The eco-aware, sustainable and superior quality approach of the resort is nowhere more evident than in the food on offer on the island. Soneva Kiri operates the only dairy in Thailand, producing its own yoghurts, cheese and milk. The hotel also smokes its own meats and seafood, and has just hung its first round of salamis, ready for consumption in a few months. The talented international and local chefs are immensely passionate about what they are achieving in such a remote location – I feel it would be an insult to them to not try everything on the breakfast buffet: chia seeds and organic nuts sprinkled over natural yogurt and fresh organic fruits with a wheatgrass and raw vegetable juice, followed by pancakes and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, accompanied by a great latte – a perfectly balanced start to the day.

Soneva Kiri is the resort that resort-owners would head to for a break. It aims to be the best resort in the world, and it could well be. The whole feel of the island is one of calm and respect – for the environment, and for each other. Staff have their own village, where there is a restaurant, gym, bar, and very comfortable accommodation. The staff are happy – and it shows.

Luxury like this does come at a price, so if you want to stay in what may be the best resort in the world, you need to be prepared to pay for it. Though our bed and breakfast charges were taken care of long ago, the cost of all other meals and drinks (in a remote luxury location) needs to be factored in. With the price of Treepod dining as high as the forest canopy you are suspended in, it may not seem such a ‘must-do’ experience after all. Oh, and one other extra cost to bear in mind: the under-5’s kids club is charged at US$20 an hour (babysitting is charged at the same). Completely worth it, I say!
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Soneva Kiri’s Guestbook below.
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