Seeking seclusion from the Songkran (Thai New Year) water-splashing madness that occurs every year around this time, I looked to a name that inspires thoughts of luxury, sustainability and calm…
The Soneva brand is synonymous with effortless luxury, and Soneva Kiri, on Koh Kood, with its ‘no news. no shoes‘ policy, was exactly what I was craving. Songkran is an incredibly fun time in Thailand, but sometimes I only want to get wet on my own terms, swimming in a pool, untroubled by others, or paddling around in crystal clear waters, lapping white sands. Koh Kood, although Thailand’s fourth largest island, is very sparsely populated, serenely beautiful and usually a trek to get to from Bangkok.
There are a myriad of ways in which to reach this island sanctuary that is home to Soneva Kiri, tucked away in the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand, close to the Cambodian border. From Bangkok, by far the most extravagant is a small resort plane from Bangkok to their private airstrip on the tiny neighbouring island (70mins) and a transfer (10mins) by speedboat to the resort’s pier (approx. USD800 per person per way). This can be arranged directly with the resort.
You can also travel by car to Trat (Laem Sok pier) on the mainland (from THB3,500-4,500 per way), or take a one-hour flight with Bangkok Airways (check prices) from Suvarnabhumi to Trat airport. The time taken for both journeys door-to-door is roughly the same. The pier for Koh Kood is at Laem Sok, so from the airport you need transportation to the pier (about one hour at THB500Baht per person per way). Then, either take a private speedboat (approx. THB15,000 per boat per way) across to the island, or public speedboat/ferry/catamaran (from THB350-600 per person per way). From the Ao Salad pier on Koh Kood, there is then a free shuttle to the resort, but you land in the host village (staff quarters), since this is the only (slightly rocky) road access to Soneva Kiri.
Unless you are willing to splurge on the island-bound flight, expect a rather long journey to the resort, but whichever route you choose, it is well and truly worth the expense or time… Even if you can’t afford the award-winning luxury of Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood is still a must-visit destination in Thailand.
The resort, open since 2009, is currently made up of 35 villas, varying in view, size and degrees of luxury, snaked around the coastline on a huge plot of land, with an eco-friendly, environmentally responsible focus, discreet service, assured privacy and gourmet dining, in a nutshell. Innumerable thoughtful and mindful touches abound to ensure every single experience at the resort makes for an unfettered, uncluttered escape. The tagline of the Soneva brand is ‘Ever So…’ and it is just that… It is ever so… everything!