Our stay at Soneva Kiri: The Ultimate Barefoot Eco-Luxury Experience
There are places and experiences that you need to witness in first person to fully grasp their magic. Soneva Kiri was one of those. Four unforgettable days where we created memories that will last a lifetime.
Let us take on a journey with us to discover this special slice of paradise nestled in the Gulf of Thailand and we are sure that by the end of this article you will be ready to book your holiday!
The moment we boarded Soneva Kiri’s private Cessna we knew this would be some of the best four days of our lives. After a wonderfully scenic one hour flight over Thailand’s remote islands, we smoothly landed on the airport island home to Soneva Kiri’s ‘international airport’, set in between the palm trees. A swift five minutes boat ride later we reached the resort jetty, where our Ms Friday (our very own ‘vacation assistant’) was waiting for us with a welcoming smile.
The Soneva experience started right away, being introduced to the ‘no shoes, no news’ motto, aimed at creating a moment in time disconnected from the outside world and reconnected to nature. We embraced the motto immediately and said goodbye to our shoes for the next four days.
Aboard of our electric buggies we were escorted to our villa number 3, opening on the bay through its own private beach. It was a matter of seconds for us to fall head over hills with our new home and plan to never leave. A wooden structure that seamlessly blends into its natural surrounding, flanked by a pool overlooking the beach. An immense porch, with couches, chairs and uncountable nooks where to kick back and relax while listening to music or to the sounds of the waves. An open air bathroom with two showers and a bathtub. A bed soft as a cloud. Every single detail conceived to create a space of pure zen.
Even if we were tempted to never leave our villa, we planned together with Jom, our Ms Friday the activities for the next few days. Soneva Kiri offers a wide range of experiences, which you can alternate at your own pace and preference in between chilled days lounging by the pool. On the second day, we explored parts of the island with Luis, the leisure and activity manager, who took us climbing to find a secret waterfall and diving into the most clear blue water in one of the best beaches outside the resort. We then relaxed at North Beach, Soneva Kiri’s private beach just opposite the resort where you can either lounge on sunbeds sipping on a cocktail or have some fun with the water sport equipments.
On the third day, we took off on a speed boat with just other two guest to Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park to explore the underwater world. The beauty of our surroundings left us speechless. The most clear water, going from intense blue to light turquoise. White sand, secluded beaches only reachable by boat and a vibrant underwater life, with thousands of fishes swimming around us, colorful corals and other beautiful marine creatures. It was one of the best snorkeling experiences we ever had, which open our eyes even more to the natural beauty of Thailand. After an active morning, in the afternoon we unwinded at Soneva Six Senses Spa, where we experienced the joy of the traditional Thai massage.
Every meal at Soneva Kiri is an experience on its own. From traditional Thai cuisine at Benz’s Restaurant, a beautiful and intimate restaurant on the water just outside the resort.
Here Chef Benz, discovered by Soneva owners many years ago, cooks traditional Thai dishes with the same care and dedication she has had for the last twenty years and with the ability to make you feel as if you were at her own home. The menu changes every day and all dishes are prepared by with locally grown and sourced ingredients.
At The View, we experienced fine dining by guest Chef Thibault Sombardier, owner of the one Michelin star restaurant Antoine in Paris. This beautiful restaurant has an incredible location, overlooking the sea, creating a very romantic setting. Often Soneva Kiri invites guest chefs from around the world to give the opportunity to the guest to experience some of the best international cuisines right on the island.
As if all of this was not enough, Soneva Kiri offers ice-cream and chocolate complimentary for all guests! 60 different flavours of ice-creams to choose from and homemade chocolate to satisfy any moment of indulgence.
Four days at Soneva Kiri were too short but at the same time, they felt like a lifetime. We were able to fully disconnect, unwinded and immersed ourselves into nature in the most complete way and truly embraced Soneva’s SLOW LIFE philosophy thanks to the unparalleled beauty of our surrounding and outstanding customer service.
Soneva’s 'SLOW LIFE' philosophy
SLOW LIFE is Soneva’s philosophy, which you can find embedded in every fiber of the company, the resorts, and the staff. Sustainable, local, organic and wellness are the value Sonu and Eva, the founders, used to build their resorts upon and we found them reflected everywhere in Soneva Kiri.
Talking about sustainability, Sone and Eva’s goal over the years has been to provide an example for the hospitality industry with the ultimate goal being decarbonised across all operations. This means an ongoing effort to ensure the resorts absorb more carbon dioxide than they release as a result of their operations.
At Soneva Kiri, we learned through a tour of the Eco-Center, about the sustainability measures on site. Cooking oil is transformed into biodiesel used by the tractors in the resort. A great part of the fruits and vegetables used by the restaurants are grown organically in the garden. Plastic is avoided by offering water in glass bottles, water which is produced directly at the resort. Waste is separated and sent to the recycling stations on the mainland, while food waste is used to create compost. Sustainability is not an afterthought at Soneva Kiri, but rather the mechanism through which the resort operates and a huge part of its charm.
We left Soneva Kiri with an uplifting feeling knowing that there are companies that truly care about their impact on the environment and society and with the hope that they will be able to inspire and drive even further the whole hospitality sector.