Soneva Kiri

Introduction: Koh Kood is Thailand as it was years ago. Untamed jungle, pristine beaches, fishermen going about their business. Ancient Siam, at peace with itself.

One hour’s flight from Bangkok by private plane but oh so peaceful. Our Thailand resort offers an unrivalled combination of luxury, environmentally friendly design and unforgettable, authentic Thai experiences.

Twenty-four of the largest resort villas in the world and eleven private residences, are vast in scale. Located on the idyllic beach or sunny slopes in the rainforest, all have stunning infinity pools, impossibly chic furnishings, personal electric buggies and impeccable service courtesy of Mr./Ms. Friday private butlers.

Highlights include the open air Cinema Paradiso, Benz’ mangrove restaurant, the Chocolate and Ice cream parlour, the Observatory, The Den and the spectacular Treetop Dining Pod.

Barefoot Intelligent Luxury at its best.

No news, no shoes, Thai style.Soneva Kiri is committed to the Soneva Group’s SLOW LIFE philosophy: Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wellness Learning-Inspiring-Fun-Experiences.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: The experience Warm welcome from Ms. Friday, before being escorted to lunch. After a great lunch and conversation with Gabriel, the South African chef, I arrived at my villa where we did the check-in.

What I loved: The entire experience. This is a world class resort. What impressed me most was probably the high priority on food, the level of privacy and of course the extraordinary design and concept.

What about the food: Like it’s sister hotel, Soneva Fushi, Soneva Kiri has a high priority on food. They do very little import and produce a lot on the island itself. The South African chef Gabriel has worked at Frégate Island Private in the past, and it was a pleasure to meet him again on Koh Kood and hearing about the concept of Soneva Kiri. The food not at Michelin-level, but it certainly exceeded my expectations and some of the best I’ve had at any of Asia’s top resorts. Make sure you try one of the 60 different kinds of homemade ice cream!

What about the service: Ms. Friday is a personal butler to take care of everything day and night. Mine did a good job, but although I loved the experience at Soneva Kiri, the service did not meet my expectations. Many of the staff must improve their English level, and a few service details should be improved. An example is I had to go for dinner before 9 pm as the housekeeping doesn’t work after this. I wanted a late dinner but wasn’t possible if I wanted turn down service. I also didn’t like the rip-off mini-bar. They charge you THB230 for a Coca-Cola you can buy at any supermarket in Thailand for THB10-20. Nobody likes to get ripped off, and it’s something even the most wealthy people in the world don’t like. As a result, many of the world’s best resorts offer complimentary mini-bar, and it would be great if Soneva Kiri would follow. Another problem was a cat at the restaurant. For lunch, the cat begged me for food, and for dinner it suddenly touched my legs. Despite having things to work with, I loved Soneva Kiri and with some service improvements, it could end up being one of my favourite resorts in the whole world. Based on my one-night stay on June 30th, 2015, I’ll call it a fantastic experience with an outstanding concept.

What about the rooms: A perfect combination of luxury and eco-friendliness. Fantastic, soft beds, complimentary internet and world wide phone calls. Two outdoor showers, a jacuzzi, natural bathroom products and a large private swimming pool in a villa located right on the beach.

Number of rooms: 35.

Website: www.soneva.com/soneva-kiri

Type of property: Resort.

Location: Koh Kood, Thailand.

Facilities: Six Senses Spa with excellent facilities including sauna, steam and an updated gym. Public swimming pools and a library where you can send complimentary postcards.

Complimentary internet: Yes.

My overall impression: Fantastic experience. The overall impression is easy. This is a world class resort with an outstanding concept.