USIT’s very own James O’ Donoghue got the chance to experience the height of luxury of this hotel paradise. We’re not jealous at all! Check out his experience.
Soneva is a luxury brand and a chain of hotels, currently standing at three resorts. Soneva Kiri in Thailand and Soneva Fushi & Soneva Jani which are both located in the Maldives’ island archipelago. All are unique properties which have unique themes and styles, but you can be sure that all are of the same quality of service and the quality of your Soneva experience is unified across the board. Soneva is truly the best hotel I have ever had the chance to experience and it blew both of us away and set the standard for luxury accommodation in my eyes.
When in Thailand, I got the chance to stay at Soneva Kiri and the word luxury doesn’t even do it justice. Soneva is a hotel brand for everyone but it will require saving up some money, ideal for a honeymoon or special anniversary. Having done it, I can tell you it’s worth every penny.
We stayed on Soneva Kiri on Koh Kut island located north-east in the Gulf of Thailand just off the border of Thailand & Cambodia. The resort offers a return shuttle flight service from Bangkok to the resort which takes about 1.5 hours on an 8-seater plane. To set the standard for this resort, they also have the island next door to Koh Kut which they use for their airport and landing strip before you get brought to the resort by speedboat. It’s at this point I would like to say that I felt like a bond villain the whole time here and it was great.
We were greeted upon arrival to Koh Kut by Ms. Friday Aka Fern with the biggest smile, Fern would be our personal assistant for our stay at Soneva. She showed us around the resort and all the facilities the resort has including a snooker & Cinema room, cocktail bar, Cinema Paradiso (a projector cinema over the water), the SPA, tennis courts, Ice cream room & Chocolate room…yes, you heard that right both an ice cream and chocolate room…as two separate rooms. This is not a drill people; this exists somewhere on earth and it’s here at Soneva Koh Kut.
We were then shown to our Villa and shown around the villa dragging our Jaws on the floor, as we were backpacking for 6 months and staying in hostels mostly with a couple of feet of space if we were lucky. We were blown away, our villa was the most stunning villa/ hotel room/ anything I have ever stayed in. we had our own private pool, pool house, garden with access to the beach, a room with ensuite which had tranquil whale sound music playing in the surround sound and our bathroom was outdoors complete with an outdoor bath, toilet, shower and his & her sinks surrounded by jungle trees and plants. It was heaven on earth.
We settled into our villa and that evening the resort had a cocktail reception for guests with free cocktail and beers. They must have known they had backpackers on the island, it started at 6pm, I think we showed up at 4pm. After the cocktail reception and mingling with staff and other guests, we went up for our dinner which was buffet style and ate like royalty, the freshest and widest array of food imaginable. There was even a sushi chef to make whatever your stomach desired, after dinner and a few drinks we hit the ice cream and chocolate rooms and brought our haul to the cinema room to watch (and I am not making this up) James Bond, Goldfinger. Magic 😊
Day 2 on the island…
We woke up to a rainy morning, but we could not have cared as we lounged about our villa and pruned ourselves in the outdoor bath. We were supposed to do an island tour and waterfall hike but the rain was so bad that we had to call it off but The resort booked us an hour couples’ holistic massage in the Spa so we took our personal golf buggy to our appointment and relaxed even further. Honestly, if I relaxed any more, I would probably sink into the earth at this stage which isn’t a bad thing. We had our lunch then in the Tapas restaurant with loads of little dishes to choose from which were beautifully made and tasted incredible.
Dinner that night was in the restaurant overlooking the sea which was a beautiful location to watch the sunset, the views were insane, and the food was as good to match. The night ended with…you guessed it, our evening pilgrimage to the chocolate & Ice cream room to fill our guts.
Breakfast in the treepod…
We were praying all night for the weather to be better to us this morning as the resort had the infamous tree pod dining booked for our breakie and our order was in. all that we had to do was hope the weather was good to us and it was. We were brought along the jungle floor to the pod itself which was then hoisted up into the air to enjoy our breakie in the treetops with a few over the gulf of Thailand. Our waiter brought us our breakie via zip line and I can say it was the best breakfast I have ever experienced. Great fun and was a great way to finish our Soneva experience as we had to catch a flight out of Soneva that afternoon back to Bangkok to continue our trip. We did manage to sneak in a bit more tapas before they forcibly removed me from the chocolate room and kicked the ice cream bandits off the island never to return. Jokes. They waved us off with big smiles and welcomed us back anytime, little did they know I had the entire contents of the chocolate room in my bag..fools 😊
Ah well, back to the hostels for now. Thank you to all the staff especially Sophie who made the stay possible and our personal assistant Ms. Friday aka Fern and to all the team at Soneva. We will never forget our time at the resort. See you all again hopefully.
Check out some of James’ experience at Sovena Kiri in the video below.