Need To Know
35 pool villas, including two-bedroom suites for families.
12 noon; check-in, 2pm. Earlier check-ins or late check-outs are possible, but attract a one-night charge. A luggage room is available if you’re arriving early or leaving late, and there’s a shower and changing room for daytime use.
Double rooms from £1241.80 ($1,742), excluding tax at 21.7 per cent.
Rates include international buffet breakfast, personal butler (called a Friday), and free chocolate and ice-cream. Children Baby cots are free and extra beds (US$73 each a night for under-11s, US$146 for over-12s) can be added to all rooms.
Both smoking and non-smoking villas are available. Staff at Soneva Kiri are fabulous, keen and eager to help whenever they can. Butlers do their best to make every stay unforgettable and repeat guests often request the same Friday they had on previous visits.
At the hotel
Private beach, swimming pool, spa, restaurants, bars, kids’ club, fitness centre, tennis and volleyball courts, watersports, outdoor cinema, observatory, gardens, DVD library, free WiFi throughout, concierge.
In your room
Flatscreen TV with DVD player, CD player, iPod dock, Soneva toiletries, minibar, free bottled water, black-out curtains, unheated private pool (also unfenced, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the kids) and gardens. Electric golf buggy for exploring the resort.
Our favourite rooms
The breathtaking villas are super-sized and each has a very large pool, so there’s enough space for families who want a bit of privacy. Got a little tyke or two? They’ll be happy in the bayside, one-bedroom Oceanfront Pool Villa Suites, where up to two extra beds can be made up in the dressing room and you’ll enjoy a luxe bathroom, separate living area, outdoor deck and generous wraparound pool. Numbers 1 to 5 are very close to the main restaurant and the Den, too, and all offer simple tropical styling, easy beach access and sea views. The more spacious two-bedroom Cliff Pool Villa Suite or Ocean Pool Villa Suites will be best for teens and larger families, with room for up to four adults and two children in extra beds. Both bedrooms boast ensuites, one with a huge bath, the other toting a rainshower, plus there are lavish decks and pools.
Every villa has a large, unheated private pool, but you’ll need to keep a close eye on tots because they’re not fenced. There is a beautiful infinity pool near the main part of the property, but it’s not often used and has no lifeguards. If you fancy a drink while the ankle biters have a splash, though, head to poolside bar So Spirited where you can keep an eye on them from the comfort of a sunlounger.
Hidden away in the jungle, the acclaimed Six Senses Spa has 11 rooms and plenty of locally inspired treatments. Watsu, the Soneva Muddy Journey and private meditation classes are all on offer, along with just about any type of wellness therapy you can imagine, from Ayurveda to cupping. You can also book treatments at the spa for children aged four or above – the therapists will customise sessions to suit – although it’s primarily an adult pampering zone.
They’ll love Ever Soneva So Chilled and Ever Soneva So Chocoholic, always-open, help-yourself ice-cream and chocolate bars. You may be tempted by their Willy Wonka-esque charms, too.
Babysitters can be booked at the resort, ideally with a day’s notice, but request baby monitors prior to arrival. If you want to treat the kids to a meal in the bamboo Treepod (only suitable for over-12s), book ahead – there's only one and it's very popular. Peak-time children’s tennis camps are on a first-come first-served basis, but it’s advisable to reserve spots in advance.
A key philosophy of the Soneva group is the Slowlife (sustainable, local, organic, wellness, learning, inspired, fun, experiences) approach. Both environmental and social responsibility is important, so resorts will recycle waste, conserve water, preserve local environments (particularly fragile marine ecosystems), grow organic food and buy produce from local farmers and fishermen. Soneva also works with community organisations worldwide, including the Plant a Tree Today forest restoration project in Thailand.