Thursday, January 3, 2013

HOTEL CHECK THAILAND, Soneva Kiri


The ultimate in rustic tropical chic -
but first we had to give up our high heels.

Soneva Kiri is a beautiful  5* Eco Resort where you are treated to barefoot luxury and a wonderful atmosphere.  Select Collection visited yet again (barefoot) and loved it…

The first thing they do when you arrive is to confiscate your shoes, and that really helps you to get close to nature.

Our private pool and relax area

We stayed in a Hill Villa with a huge sun deck and private pool; we also had a smaller pool just outside our bedroom.  The bathroom area is spacious and romantic with outdoor shower and bathtub – very Soneva…

Our rustic chic bedroom with a TV in a suitcase...
preserving the Crusoe feel

Of course, at Soneva Kiri you are indulged with great food and service.  The food is fresh and as local as possible - deliciously created with imagination. At the View restaurant you can choose to sit by the kitchen and watch them work or just gaze at the view - so romantic. Our favorite restaurant is the Khun Benz serving a set menu of Thai cuisine in authentic setting down by the river. Down at the beach you find a nice beach restaurant serving Italian cuisine or Sushi.  We recommend to our customeres that they take full board.

By the beach restaurant

Our private terrace - so romantic

For breakfast one morning we enjoyed the view and privacy from the famous Tree Pod.  In fact we stayed there for 3 hours, transfixed with the help of view and champagne. They also serve lunch and dinner here, a unique experience.  Unusual experiences are part of the lifestyle of Soneva resorts…

It´s a big resort and every villa gets its own buggy to drive around.  Koh Kod is one of Thailand’s largest islands and being able to explore suits those who would get bored on a small isle.  The Concierge can help you book different excursions like trekking and visiting waterfalls; there is always something you can do.

Back at the resort you find great facilities.  There is a very nice spa, a fully equipped gym,  and watersports;  and when you want to indulge a sweet tooth  make your way to an exciting ice cream & chocolate bar. There is a really cool Kids Club called The Den. The big thing at night is a visit to the outdoor cinema where  you sit together under the stars to watch  a movie.

WHO TO STAY
Soneva Kiri is perfect for everyone:  couples looking for privacy and romance, and families who want to be  active or just want to relax and have a family experience together in their villa. Especially nice for those who value eco-friendly measures  and unspoilt natural beauty.


Our sales consultant Anki approachng the luxurious
private plane for transfer from Soneva Kiri -
when she arrived they stole her high heels to ensure she
enjoyed true BAREFOOT luxury

She did!

See our previous blog on Soneva Kiri below:



DIAL ONE…
Soneva Kiri is tip top luxury embraced by stunning nature and warm and nourishing hospitality. You are a Six Senses VVIP from the moment you step off the plane in Bangkok – and so were we…

Met at the jet bridge and whizzed off in a buggy to the domestic terminal, we were saved a long walk and much hassle – they deposited us at the diplomatic line for passport control, and then helped us get to the Thai Airways lounge. Here we waited for departure to Soneva Kiri airport.



This rustic airport lies on a neighbouring island – like everything at Soneva Kiri a balance between wild nature and sophistication. This is barefoot luxury - literally; they steal your shoes at the airport.

A short boat ride takes you to the resort on the island of Koh Kood, where you are welcomed by your Mr or Mrs Friday.



It’s not long before you realize why guests to Soneva Kiri come back year after year – and fly straight in without a stopover en route.

Soneva Kiri is a destination in itself where the cares of the world and the postmodern age are forgotten. Here you are pampered by friendly staff and your own Mr or Mrs Friday (butler). You are given your own cell phone for the stay and all you have to do is dial 1. The staff don’t seem to know the answer “no”.



On top of that comes the beauty, natural harmony and amazing food. The beach is stunning and the water clear sparkling turquoise. There are three restaurants that serve only the freshest and highest quality food – covering everything from hamburgers to elaborate dishes.

Breakfast is an opportunity to have exactly what you want – health or indulgence. Compile your own smoothies from mashed berries and fruit. Indulge in a separate deli area with the best in cold cuts, imported cheeses and homemade bakery items. Or order any hot dish you want.

It’s a case of “order from your mind”. Or you could find out what is on the chef’s mind with a menu of 10 dishes – from Japanese gyoza to egg Benedict, shrimp omelettes with tofu or wheat grass shots. There is new menu every morning.

We highly recommend that you take full board. It costs less and you eat a la carte in any restaurant. Apart from the restaurants there is the Big Thing – dining in a tree top – or at Khun Benz in the village. She used to run a hole in the wall diner in Bangkok which gained a reputation as one of the city’s best, so Sonu, owner of Six Senses, worked really hard to persuade her to set up shop on the island.

One morning at breakfast, when our Ms Friday asked us (as usual) what we felt like doing today, we told her we wanted to try Khun Benz’s famed food.

And so later she accompanied us for an authentic Thai experience dining in the village. Khun Benz oversees/does all the cooking and is happy to chat to guests. We also had a good chance to chat more to our Ms Friday, who is not your Robinson Crusoe type really – she has a degree from an American university.

The island of Koh Kood is Thailand’s third largest – so there is plenty of space to explore. Your rustic villa is likewise very spacious and very private, with its own pool. You feel miles from anywhere but in minutes you can arrive somewhere – every villa has its own buggy.





Our hill villa (snapshots above) was intimately embraced by rainforest. And the villa was huge with four different buildings and pool area.

The beach villas are our personal favourites. A little more compact, these villas offer glimpses of the sparkling turquoise sea (below). And a close-to-nature bathroom...







For larger families there are residences with four, five and six bedrooms. And all of course have private pools.







Some have their own spa pavilion (as above)...

Of course Six Senses has a magnificent Spa Village too.

Technology is there at Soneva Kiri to make life easy, but it is unobtrusive, leaving a light footprint. You don’t have any TV channels – but you can watch films on your TV. It is inventively hidden away in a suitcase.

The pleasure of the simple things in life and sophisticated ways of keeping it simply perfect…

HOW TO GET TO SONEVA KIRI
1 hr by private plane from Bangkok to Soneva Kiri airport (flights 3 times/day), 5 minutes by speedboat to the resort




Slide to private pool



Dressing room of a Beach Villa

P.S. Our recommendation: Stay 7 days in a beach villa - and take full board...

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