Soneva Kiri is one of the most exclusive and most unique resorts in the world. It is considered as one of the best hotels in Thailand, if not Asia, and attracts travellers from all around the globe. A true tropical atmosphere frames an exceptionally luxurious resort experience in which respect for nature and sustainability are paramount.
Location & Hotel
Part of the Soneva group, Soneva Kiri is the only Soneva property in Thailand. Soneva is a combination of the group’s owners Sonu’s and Eva’s names. With the Soneva brand, the couple wanted to develop resorts that would create a true dream destination while respecting their overwhelming desire to protect the environment. This resulted in a luxury experience where the feeling of sand between your toes is emphasised, combined with pure and natural design, and experiences that are both rare and captivating. With Soneva, they created what must be the most unique hotel brand in the world. It was the first barefoot luxury resort group, and still an innovator and a leader in the world of hospitality when it comes to both guest experiences and sustainability. The group now has three resorts: Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand. With over a million followers on Instagram, Soneva is one of the most successful and most popular hotel brands on social media.
At Soneva Kiri, unparalleled luxury meets eco-friendly, Asian-inspired design. The resort is nestled within lush tropical rainforest on the unspoiled island of Ko Kut (or Koh Kood). This island is located in the Trat province in Eastern Thailand, near to the border of Cambodia. It still is a fairly unspoiled area with some of the best beaches in Thailand.
Soneva Kiri occupies a sublime stretch of land (and ocean) at the west side of the island. Expect lush green jungle, gently waving palm trees and several outstanding beaches. The 41-hectare grounds are a true slice of paradise and walking through the premises is like a tropical dream coming true. The lush tropical rainforest borders the bright blue waters of a private bay and several private beaches.
The enormous villas are cleverly spread out around the bay, with the utmost respect for the environment, offering a maximum of privacy while blending in seamlessly with their surroundings at the same time. A stay at Soneva Kiri feels like Robinson Crusoe on an extremely luxurious tropical island. It definitely is one of the world’s most breath-taking hospitality experiences. The location is remote, yet very accessible thanks to the private flight from Bangkok. This flight in the luxurious, 8 leather-seat Cessna plane actually is the first part of the Soneva Kiri experience and a truly memorable way to arrive at a resort.
Villas at Soneva Kiri are something else. Starting at an incredible 400 square meters (4,338 feet) up to 1,845 square meters (19,859 feet), these villas are some of the world’s biggest “rooms”. There are 33 of them, hidden in the dense jungle and on private beaches. The unique blend of luxury and eco-friendly design results in an extraordinary island hideaway. The famous Soneva design is omnipresent: the constructions are made entirely out of sustainable woods, combined with glass and yellow and orange cushioned day beds and sun loungers.
All villas feature a separate master bedroom, walk-through dressing areas, indoor and outdoor bathrooms with vanity rooms, indoor and outdoor showers and baths, several dining areas, several (elevated) terraces with sun loungers, and a huge, private infinity pool. They all boast spectacular sea views and stunning jungle surroundings, too, and some of the villas have direct beach access.
In-room amenities include an espresso machine, tea and coffee making facilities, Wi-Fi and LAN connection, a DVD player and a Bose Hi-fi system with docking station for your iPad or iPhone. Every villa has an electric buggy for personal use to get around the property. Some of the bigger villas have private spa areas, and even pool slides and treehouses. The following categories are available:
Sunset Ocean View Pool Villa Suite
Bayview Pool Villa Suite
Beach Pool Villa Suite
2 Bedroom Junior Beach Pool Retreat
2 Bedroom Sunset Ocean View Pool Retreat
3 Bedroom Beach Pool Reserve
4 Bedroom Bayview Pool Reserve
4 Bedroom Sunset Ocean View Pool Reserve
5 Bedroom Bayview Pool Reserve
5 Bedroom Beach Pool Reserve
5 Bedroom Sunset Ocean View Pool Reserve
6 Bedroom Sunset Ocean View Pool Reserve
We stayed at one of the Beach Pool Villa Suites. The secluded villa offered direct beach access, a huge, private infinity pool and an open-air bathroom. Bathing under a blanket of stars in our outdoor bathroom, listening to the sounds of the ocean and the jungle, was a truly memorable experience. But really everything, from lounging on our 3 terraces (in more than 6 huge cushioned lounge areas) to starting the day with a dip in our own stretch of bright blue ocean, felt like a dream coming true.
Like all Soneva resorts, Soneva Kiri is an island theme park for adults as well as children. The brand uses the slogan “Inspiring a lifetime of rare experiences” and sets a new standard in hospitality experiences. Soneva Kiri is no exception to that rule. From tree-pod dining to an over water jungle cinema: the impossible is possible at Soneva Kiri. Some of the highlights include:
A movie night at the outdoor theatre “Cinema Paradiso”, a jungle-enshrouded auditorium of cascading cushions over the waters of a reservoir lagoon.
Star-gazing from the State-of-the-art observatory.
The Den at Soneva Kiri is a haven for the younger guests and a truly remarkable place. Here, the imagination and creativity of the kids are encouraged to run free, in a safe environment with top class facilities. The Den is an extraordinary over-ground bamboo-framed structure in the shape of a gigantic manta ray, which hovers amongst the tree tops. Internationally acclaimed eco-focused Dutch architect Olav Bruin was responsible for the design. There is an Art Room, Music Room, Games Room and Library which has a catamaran style netting floor. At the entrance, there’s a drawbridge leading up to a wave of stairs. It’s an incredible place.
Treepod dining – and actually all dining experiences (please see below).
The Soneva Kiri Spa is hidden in Koh Kood’s pristine rainforest. Eight couples’ treatment rooms combine traditional Thai charm with natural materials. There is a yoga pavilion, a Watsu pool, a spa beach sala with three treatment bays, an extensive gym, men’s and women’s relaxation areas, an organic spa garden, stone beds and a bamboo mist shower. The massages, with views on the ocean or the mangroves, are magical.
Koh Kood Discovery tour, where you get a change to tour the unspoiled island of Koh Kood. You will visit waterfalls and jungle areas, stunning beaches, and natural highlights like a gigantic tree.
Snorkelling at the pristine coral reefs at Koh Rang Yai National Marine Park.
Cruises and visiting deserted beaches.
The Mangrove Paddle-Boarding Experience.
Hiking to the Yai Ki Waterfall.
Another characteristic of the Soneva group is their ground-breaking gastronomy offer. Not only is the food at the resorts exceptional, the dining experiences themselves are truly unique as well. Whether you are dining amidst the tree tops in a bamboo pod or discovering the world of mushrooms during a lunch in a mushroom cave, every dining experience at Soneva Kiri will be seared in your mind forever. As in all Soneva resorts, sustainability and healthy food are not only important but are at the core of the culinary philosophy. Most of the ingredients are grown at the resort or on the island of Koh Kood. Some of the can’t be missed dining experiences include:
The View boasts – indeed – incredible views on the jungle and the Gulf of Thailand. Chef Christophe offers Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of flavours from Japan and Peru. The views on the ocean and the neighbouring islands during sunset are truly magical.
Kruua Mae Tuk (Tuk’s Kitchen) is the resort’s incredible Thai restaurant, located on a stunning location right in the mangroves. The restaurant is accessible by boat or by car and the journey to get there is the first part of the experience. Tuk’s kitchen is a ‘no-menu’ dining concept, with dishes that are inspired by ingredients grown on Koh Kood, Koh Chang, and seafood caught by local fishermen. Thai Chef Tuk and her partner create a new menu every day, inspired by the products they get from their suppliers.
Colours of the Garden combines the kitchens of Mexico and Thailand in a plant-based menu. The experience includes a Medicinal Mixology cocktail class and stargazing.
The Dining Room is the resort’s main restaurant, perched atop rocky cliffs. Here, guests enjoy one of the world’s most impressive breakfast spreads and buffet-style dinners. The variety and quantity of these buffets is simply mind-blowing.
Treepod Dining could be considered as Soneva Kiri’s signature dining experience.. Comfortably seated in a bamboo pod, guests are zipped into the tropical foliage of Koh Kood’s ancient rainforest. The food and drinks are delivered via a personal waiter on zip-lines and enjoyed with breath-taking views on the ocean and the jungle tree tops.
Down to Earth by Chef Umed: at Down to Earth, guests enjoy traditional Northern Indian dishes with subtle Middle Eastern influences. You’ll enjoy these delights with your toes in the sand, listening to the mesmerising tales of Chef Umed.
So Spirited: Soneva Kiri’s poolside restaurant is perched on a cliff and boasts wonderful views on the ocean. Lunch, dinner, bites, cocktails, mocktails, wines, … : you name it, they’ve got it.
South Beach: of course, there had to be a true beach dining experience at Soneva Kiri as well. At South Beach, you can dine beneath palm trees with your toes in the sand. There’s delicious seafood, barbecue, burgers, and more. At South Beach, guests can also enjoy the famous “Sonu’s Picnic”. This is how Sonu, the founder of Soneva, imagines a real island picnic. Remote yet luxurious, it is a can’t be missed experience.
The Wine Cellar: more than 350 well curated labels are preserved in a climate-controlled cave. Organic and biodynamic wines make up for more than 50% of the collection.
So Chilled is the resort’s amazing complimentary ice cream parlour, with more than 60 flavours of ice creams and sorbets.
So Deli-cious features a circular glass vault that holds the finest cheeses and cold cuts from around the world. It’s a complimentary outlet as well.
So guilty is the third complimentary outlet. It’s a chocolate lovers dream: a chocolate room filled with handmade chocolates, macaroons, truffles, bonbons and pralines.
Destination dining and in-villa dining are available as well.
Soneva Kiri is the Asian-island-adventure-dream coming true. There are the wooden, luxurious and some of the world’s biggest resort villas; there’s the island itself, a tropical getaway that combines the best from the jungle with the pristine waters of the gulf of Thailand; there are some of the world’s most unique dining experiences, such as Treepod Dining, and there are holiday experiences that will make you wonder if you’re dreaming. This might be the ultimate jungle resort, indeed.
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