THAILAND – Soneva Kiri Resort, Koh Kood Island (2013)

After 7 full days of sight seeing Bangkok in the very hot, humid weather we were so ready to relax ...

Getting to our destination, Soneva Kiri Resort, a boutique resort of only 35 villas located on the remote island of Koh Kood was an entire experience in itself.

But what was to going to be an amazing stay started with fantastic services even way before we set foot on the resort.

On the morning of our departure to the island we were at the Bangkok airport.
We just arrived at the airport, and we were standing there trying to figure out which way we had to go.
And absolutely out of nowhere a Soneva Kiri staff member showed up and greeted us using our names.
(We knew that someone will meet us, but we didn't expect us to be recognized that easily among the sea of people in the airport, and also to be greeted by our names ... we don't know how they did it ...)

All we had to from this moment on was to follow the Soneva Kiri staff member: he took us through the check-in counter, he waited for us while we passed through the security gates, and then he took us to a special waiting room where we enjoyed foods and drinks until we got into the plane ready to fly to Trat.

The Bangkok-Trat flight was about 40 minutes, and it just made us smile getting into the small, whimsically painted plane.

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In Trat we arrived on the smallest, most rural, and most charming airport we have ever seen.

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Elephant grass sculptures at the Trat airport

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The transportation from the plane to the arrival area in the airport

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The 'Arrivals' at the Trat Airport

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Again, once we arrived at the Trat airport, we are excellently taken care of.
We couldn't possibly worry about anything, because at every step a(nother) Soneva Kiri staff member was along the way to greet us and to take us one step further towards our destination.

In just a mater of minutes after we landed we were on a car that took us to a helicopter landing pad where a helicopter awaited to take us to the island of Koh Kood.

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After a 25-minute flight we landed on the Koh Kood island, at Soneva Kiri Resort Airport, yet another absolutely delightful 'airport'.

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And again, the moment we got off the helicopter we were greeted by another Soneva Kiri staff member.
This time the staff member was Marisa, our personal butler during our stay at Soneva Kiri.

She accompanied us on the final leg of our journey to Soneva Kiri: on a motorboat that took us from the resort's airport to the resort itself.

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And the entire arrival procession concluded when we finally reached the resort, and we were greeted, again by our names.
This time a whole team including the general manager was waiting for us when the boat arrived on shore.
By now our daughter knew that everyone would know her name so she stopped asking 'How do they know my name?'.

Simply fantastic!!

At Soneva Kiri a guest is not just any guest but every guest is special.

(And by the way, both on our arrival as well as on our departure we were greeted by the general manager - see the very last photo in my post).

And now, as we got down from the boat and we set foot on the resort's sand we were invited to remove our shoes, and to put them in a nice shoe pouch that had the inscription "No News, No Shoes".

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To be barefoot throughout the entire stay at Soneva Kiri - and by 'entire stay' I really mean the entire time, from the villa to the beach, to the restaurants, spa, cinema, ... everywhere ..., all the staff is barefoot, is one of Soneva Kiri's extraordinary ideas that is part of a whole, and outstanding concept and vision of relaxation.

To be true I doubted a little that it would really work - I mean how could I possibly be barefoot for eight days? Wouldn't that be uncomfortable? And I would get dirty!

And guess what?
All three of us stayed barefoot throughout the entire stay!
And we loved it!
All the surfaces where you walk on are covered in wood (follow the photos).
We even went to sleep without thinking or realizing that we were barefoot the entire day, and although we took a shower earlier in the evening we should wash our feet again right before getting to bed.
And try to guess what, again?
The sheets remained impeccable - there is no such thing like dust or dirt.
And as a matter of fact we didn't even need to ask for the sheets to be changed during the entire time, because there was no need.

Simply fantastic, one more time!

(And when our vacation was over and we left the resort it was hard to believe that we really have to put shoes back on.)

***
As I said there are only 35 villas on this fine boutique resort.
The resort's space is vast, the villas are not crammed, there is lot of space.
More exactly each villa is completely surrounded by nature, and the very tall trees provide complete privacy.
Throughout the entire resort you don't see any of the other villas.
And from your own villa you feel like there is no one else on the island.

We stayed at Villa #8, an Ocean Villa with its own private beach.

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The entrance to the Villa

Once we opened the door, a most relaxing place revealed in front of our eyes.

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I said about the 'No News, No Shoes'.

The 'No News' part: while on the resort you don't have any TV channels.

Now, it's not there is no TV.
There was a TV, hidden in the top trunk at the foot of our bed (you can see the trunks in the photos below).
But what you could watch on that TV were movies that you borrow from the resort's huge selection.

Another absolutely great idea: you couldn't possibly listen to the news to disturb the (your) amazing peacefulness on the resort.

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Our Master Bedroom

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Our Master Bedroom

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Our Master Bedroom

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The Dressing room, with my vanity table

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The Dressing room
The Bathroom, entirely outdoor, including the toilet room

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The Bathroom

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The Bathroom
(the door is to one of the four entrances to the villa)

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The Bathroom
the enclosed outdoor shower

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The Bathroom - the outdoor shower

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The Bathroom - the outdoor tub

Even the toilet room deserves photos ... every design detail is so well thought

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The toilet room
entirely outdoor (I mean outside the vila)

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The toilet room

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The lighting fixture in the toilet room: a stretched hide

***
The most unspoiled beach in Thailand.
Unaltered natural beauty.
I took so many long walks on this wonderful beach.

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***
The Resort's Cinema.
Movies under the stars.
Wonderful experience.


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The outdoor 'Cinema Paradiso'
with a pop-up floating screen

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The outdoor 'Cinema Paradiso'

***
Some of the Resort's common areas.
You walk barefoot everywhere.

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The 'Chocolate Room'
- complimentary
 - open all day until late at night
- delicious home made chocolate

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The 'Chocolate Room'

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The 'Ice Cream Parlor'
- complimentary

- open all day until late at night
- 62 delicious flavors (although we couldn't try them all)
- home made

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***
Chef Benz prepared for all the Guests a decadent, no less than 9-course Thai set dinner and 2 desserts (see the menu below).
Local ingredients.
Everything fresh.
Absolutely delicious.

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***
Dinners overlooking the ocean.
Our favorite restaurant, The View.
Excellent food (again, local and fresh), and excellent wine pairing.

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The lounge area at The View, our favorite restaurant at Soneva Kiri

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The View restaurant 
(the 'indoor' area, for when it rains)

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Our favorite dinner spot at The View restaurant

***
I loved the design details ... here some of them

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A bucket functions as a draining sink 

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A glass flower sculpture functions as a sink

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The smallest design details are important 

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A chandelier
***
The Den, or the club for kids.
Wonderful futuristic structure.
Entirely natural materials.
Excellent activities, both indoor and outdoor.

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A fish-shaped hiding spot

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Inside the fish-shaped hiding spot

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The Music Room at the Den

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***
As I said, all the villas are hidden, in the jungle basically.
To get from our villa to anywhere else, we had a personal golf cart.

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***
Breakfasts overlooking the ocean.
Fantastic food variety.
Local ingredients.
Home made jams, pastries, cheeses, charcuteries, ...

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One of my breakfasts:
fresh salad, fresh cut fruits, Thai noodle soup (I loved it), and pastries


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Our daughter with Chef Christophe, one of the most cheerful and most talkative chef on the resort

***
The Six Senses Spa.
The best Sport massage I have ever had.
Unique massage techniques.
Excellent results.

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Our daughter having a massage, followed by manicure and pedicure.
'It was sooo good' she said.
Clearly it was - she felt asleep, and at the end I could barely wake her up.

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After a massage
(everywhere barefoot, of course)
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In the music room at the Den
(barefoot, of course)


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Picking out chocolate at the Chocolate Room

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Cocktail Party at the Beach

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On our last night - Before dinner at The View restaurant 

And the last photo ...
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Both on our arrival as well as on our departure we were greeted by a Soneva Kiri staff team

Here with:
Frank Grassmann, general manager
Marisa, our personal butler
Kat, our daughter's nanny

The expectations were very high. 
I must say, that they were met and surpassed. 
I could resume the Soneva Kiri experience in two words: Just Incredible! 

***