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The beautiful Soneva Kiri is set amidst lush tropical rainforest on Koh Kood island, just a short and scenic seaplane flight from Bangkok, but feeling a world away from the bustle.
After overnight flights from the UK, guests are met on arrival at Bangkok airport and transferred on the one-hour onward flight by the resort's own plane to the beautiful island. Guests are greeted by their Mr or Ms Friday - who will be on hand during the entire stay and will explain the many treats available at the resort, from the outstanding spa, to a range of experiences from guided jungle treks and snorkelling excursions, to fishing tours and mountain biking. Mr or Ms Friday will also introduce the 'no news, no shoes' mantra at Soneva Kiri, designed to encourage guests to relax and disconnect from the bustle of everyday life.
There is a large number of different room types to choose from, but suffice to say that all are designed in signature Soneva muted tones, crafted from local woods. There are also private villas and reserves that can be taken in their entirety by families or groups of friends, with larger villas including bunk room 'treehouses' for the kids, and even a waterslide into the villa pool.
It would need another website to fully describe the various dining and drinking options at Soneva Kiri, but in summary, you can take your pick from Thai to tandoor cooking, gorge yourself at an ice cream parlour, cheese deli or chocolate room (not made of the stuff, you understand, but full of it), and sip cocktails and fine wines at the various bars or the subterranean wine cellar.
In order to counteract the calories inherent above, there is also a wide selection of watersports on offer, which include catamaran sailing, water skiing, wakeboarding and snorkelling at the resort's private South Beach. On the other hand you might just want to down tools and relax by the pool. The equally beautiful North Beach has had a bit of a facelift, and now boasts a laid back beach bar and a string of comfy loungers positioned a step or two from the turquoise shore.
A sense of genuine, pampered R&R is particularly possible for parents when they can off-load their offspring at The Den, possibly the world's greatest kids club, although to use that phrase doesn't come close to doing it justice. The enormous manta ray shaped wooden tree house was designed after consultation with (some very lucky) children, and is accessed by a retractable drawbridge activated by each child's personalised access code, and features an Art Room, a Music Room, a Fashion Room and catamaran-style nets slung in the rafters. Little ones might never want to leave, and neither will their parents.
Extra special touches include an observatory and an outdoor cinema, but the piece de resistance is the dining pod, suspended from a tree 16 feet above ground and served by a waiter on a zip line. That's what we call haute cuisine.
Tom, Original Traveller