At a glance

  • You'll love

    Spacious pool villas

    Tree-pod dining

    Your butler Friday

  • Kids will love

    The cool kids’ club

    Beach and private pool

    Free ice-cream

  • Don’t expect

    To get frocked up

    Surfing

    To lose weight

Overview

Promising jungle-meets-ocean charm, switched-on service and child-friendly activities, beachside Soneva Kiri boutique hotel on Koh Kood ticks all the boxes for families. Vast villas with private pools, mouthwatering Thai food, a sensuous spa and an am-I-dreaming kids' club mean the entire brood will be blissed out. Treetop dining, an outdoor cinema and free sweet treats up the fun factor.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Soneva Kiri with us:

One dinner (excluding drinks), either at the View or Benz's

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Soneva Kiri

14% off stays of seven or more nights 50% off 25% off 28% off

Parent-approved

‘'That other Mr and Mrs Smith – Brad and Angelina – have holidayed with their brood here'’

Smith & Family

Facilities

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Soneva Kiri Hotel – Koh Kood – Thailand

Need To Know

Rooms

35 pool villas, including two-bedroom suites for families.

Check–out

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.

Rates

Double rooms from £1241.80 ($1,742), excluding tax at 21.7 per cent.

More details

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.

Also

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.

Poolside

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.

Spa

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.

And…

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.

Book ahead

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.

Eco-friendly

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.

Food and drink

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Soneva Kiri Hotel – Koh Kood – Thailand

Dining

There’s plenty of choice. Head through the mangroves to Benz's, a traditional Thai restaurant in an overwater pavilion. Youngsters will love sitting on the floor cushions (and the boat journey there). Offering relaxed terrace tables, the Dining Room is the main restaurant, where breakfast is served and a Thai buffet is held on Tuesday evenings. More romantic (maybe book a babysitter for the wee ones) is the View, a dinner-only, open-air affair, with an innovative, daily-changing menu. Much more casual and open for breakfast and a light lunch each day is the Beach, a chilled-out spot with tables on the sand. The menu spans the classics: pizza, sushi and salads. A unique option is Treepod Dining (only suitable for ages 12+; reserve your spot in advance), where a bamboo pod is hoisted into the treetops with you aboard and a ‘flying waiter’ serves you baskets of food and drink via a zipline.

Family fare

The Dining Room, the Beach and poolside snack-purveyor So Spirited are the most geared to children, but kids are welcome in all Soneva’s family-friendly restaurants at all times, with casual grazing encouraged (Mrs Smith won’t need heels). Highchairs and children’s menus are available, and chefs can customise dishes on the main menu to suit developing palates (at mod-bistro the View, they’ll knock up chicken with vegetable fried rice for mini guests, the Dining Room can whip up chicken nuggets with chips, and the crispy prawns in coconut breadcrumbs at Benz’s should prove a hit). The smalls will love the buffet breakfasts, where house-made breads, croissants, jam, cheese, ham, muesli, fruit and juices can be topped up with cooked-to-order eggs, pancakes and waffles. Staff can also heat up baby food or milk, and you can buy baby food and child-friendly snacks at the hotel, too.

Hotel Bar

There are two: So Spiritual, the bar adjacent to the View, is a romantic space with a picture-perfect vista of island sunsets and an enormous wine cellar. You can bring Junior Smiths, but you’ll want to keep them on a fairly tight leash. More family-oriented is So Spirited, located alongside the main pool. Open from 11am, it serves fruity cocktails, ice-cold beers, juices for them, as well as an informal menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads and Thai favourites.

Last orders

Breakfast is laid out at the Dining Room from 7.30am until 11am and at the Beach from 7am to 11am. Lunch at the Beach runs from 12.30pm to 4pm. Dinner is served at Benz’s from 6.30pm to 10pm (closed Tuesdays and Sundays), at the View from 7pm to 10pm (closed Tuesdays), and at the Dining Room from 7.30pm until 10pm (Tuesdays only); the bars stay open until midnight. If your kids need to dine earlier, you can always order room service in your villa.

Smith Insider

  • Top table

    Take them for dinner at Benz's – the boat trip is fun and they can watch fireflies. For a night just for the two of you, book one of the bi-weekly wine degustation dinners at So Spiritual or request a private dinner on a deserted beach or on the jetty.

  • Room service

    The room service menu – available from 7am until 2am – resembles an encyclopaedia and has something to suit everyone.

    Also

    You can request an in-villa barbecue (book at least 12 hours in advance). The chefs who arrive to prepare your feast also don’t mind receiving a helping hand from mini Masterchefs.

Childcare

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Soneva Kiri Hotel – Koh Kood – Thailand

Parent approved

‘'That other Mr and Mrs Smith – Brad and Angelina – have holidayed with their brood here'’

Smith & Family

Kids Club

This is one holiday where leaving the kids in childcare will also leave you feeling misty-eyed and warm-hearted. Free kids’ club the Den is one impressive facility: Dutch eco-architect Olav Bruin asked groups of children to design their dream play area – and then built on that. His fun, elegant bamboo construction resembles a manta ray swimming through the treetops. There’s a drawbridge entrance, a slide exit and rooms dedicated to art, music and fashion, as well as a climbing frame. Activities, both indoor and out, focus on creativity, nature and the environment, so there’s not a games console in sight. As well as keeping children occupied, the Den gives kids a taste of Thai culture, as they can learn the Thai alphabet, create a local toy, learn a Thai instrument, or try their hand at traditional batik. The Den operates daily from 9am to 6pm for kids aged 6–12; under-6s are also welcome but must be accompanied by a parent or babysitter.

Babysitting

Given a day’s notice, your Friday can organise a babysitter for US$20 (THB600) an hour per child. If you'd like to leave your under-6 at the Den for some alone-time during the day, they'll need to be accompanied by an adult - book a babysitter 24 hours n advance.

Baby-listening

Soneva Kiri has baby-listening devices available for in-villa use, which cover around 300 metres, but you’ll need to request one in advance. Line up a babysitter if you want to eat out in the resort’s restaurants though, as the range won’t stretch that far.

What's there already?

For babies

• Highchairs • Steriliser • Bottles • Weaning spoons • Beakers/sippy cups • Travel cot • Cot bedlinen • Black-out blinds • Baby monitors • Pushchair • Soft toys

For toddlers

• Highchairs • Cutlery • Beakers/sippy cups • Cot beds • Cot bedlinen • Potties • Buggy • Stair gates • Socket covers • Crayons/pens • Craft materials • Picture books • U-rated DVDs

For older children

DVD library • Board games • Climbing frame • Craft materials • Ping-pong table • Pool table

Activities

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Soneva Kiri Hotel – Koh Kood – Thailand

Things to do

This really is a tropical paradise, so the whole family will want to spend days building sandcastles, snorkelling or splashing at the soft white-sand beach, where watersports rule. Each of the villas has a private pool and garden for swimming and playing, or you can take a dip in the pretty main resort pool. Mini Smiths can join in fun activities organised by kids’ club the Den, including crab hunting, kite flying and feeding the hotel’s wild boars. During peak times, the kids’ club also runs a tennis camp (pitched at four to 16 year-olds with private classes) on a first-come first-served basis, although it’s worth booking in advance. Mum and Dad might enjoy some quality ‘us’ time in the Six Senses Spa or sunning themselves on a day-bed at the Beach, sipping cocktails, while the kids play in the sand. The outdoor cinema will prove a wow come nightfall.

Sunny days

Splashing in the villa pool or down at the lifeguard-patrolled beach are the obvious choices, with windsurfing, kayaking and sailing up for grabs, as well as snorkelling and dive classes. There’s also a tennis court and ping-pong table, and active families can tackle the three-kilometre rainforest trek within the resort’s confines. Family or children’s yoga and t’ai chi classes are also yours to command. In the evening, head to outdoor Cinema Paradiso, where films are shown on an overwater big screen (kids will love the mini fish burgers, house-made popcorn and chocolate snacks), or to the observatory where professionally trained hosts can help you view the rings of Saturn or identify constellations through the state-of-the-art telescope – special family-friendly sessions keep the facts simple for smaller guests.

Rainy days

As a big kid, you might just want to relax in your villa – grab a DVD from the library and take it easy. Your brood should head to the Den, where there’s a full complement of indoor games, art and activities, as well as a library and screenings of child-friendly movies.

And there's more…

If you had dinner at Benz's and loved it, learn how to cook some of the dishes yourself. Female chef Khun Benz takes cooking classes that include a visit to the Ao Salat fishing village in the morning. Active teens will love the night-snorkelling sessions for adventurous thrills. Younger guests will want to compete in the Eco Olympics, hosted occasionally in peak times, with beach games from egg and spoon races to coconut shot-put and coconut 10-pin bowling.

Local Guide

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Soneva Kiri Hotel – Koh Kood – Thailand
Smith tip

Keep things sweet with a visit to an organic honey farm on neighbouring isle Koh Mai Si where Junior Smiths can check out the bees.

Don't miss…

Treetop Dining, Soneva’s lofty aerial experience, where waiters serve you from ziplines in a nest-like pod raised up into the trees. Under-12s are not permitted for safety reasons and it’s very popular, so book when you reserve your room.

Soneva Kiri is located on the north-west coast of Koh Kood, part of an archipelago in the Koh Chang Marine National Park which remains a blissfully peaceful part of Thailand. Some of the other smaller resorts and guesthouses on the island have restaurants and there are a couple of casual, local places, such as Chiang Mai Restaurant – on the main road to Bang Bao – a shack with fresh seafood dishes and distant sea views. Other than hotel-organised day-trips, though, you’re unlikely to explore much further, as the resort and its idyllic island are the heart of the action.

Children will enjoy Soneva’s excursions to Ao Salat fishing village on the island’s north-east coast, where colourful boats and houses on stilts offer a slice of traditional Thai life. Other family-friendly tours include rubber plantation discovery trips (teamed with a dip at Klong Chao waterfall’s cool, freshwater lagoon) and the chance to meet same-age local school pupils. Water-confident, older kids can also get adventurous, with snorkelling sessions in Khoh Rang Marine Park just north of Koh Kood, followed by swimming at blissful Ao Cho Beach, or even (for over-11s), scuba-diving lessons. Sunrise and sunset cruises or private beach or boat picnics will also entertain your gang.
 

+ Enlarge
Soneva Kiri
110 Moo 4, Koh Kood District, Koh Kood, Trat, Thailand 23000
Hotel setting

Palm-fringed island bay

Getting There

Soneva Kiri is set amid palm-fringed hills around a secluded bay on the north-west coast of unspoilt Koh Kood island, near Thailand’s border with Cambodia. Located 350 kilometres south-east of Bangkok, the isle is 80 kilometres off the Thai mainland.

Planes

Fly to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, serviced by airlines from all over the world; our Smith24 team can arrange your flights. Guests are met by private airport representatives of Soneva Kiri, and transferred to the resort's waiting custom-fitted eight-seater Cessnas for the 70 minute flight to Koh Mai Si, the resort's private airport island, followed by a five-minute speedboat journey to Soneva's shores. Planes leave Bangkok at 6am, 7.40am, 11.40am, and 3.40pm seven days a week, with two additional flights departing at 10.15am and 2.15pm Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays-Saturdays. Flights leave Soneva Kiri at 750am, 1.30pm, 4.05pm, and 5.30pm everyday, with two additional flights leaving Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays-Saturdays at 9.30am and 12.05pm. The other option is to fly to Trat Airport. From there it’s a one-hour taxi ride to Lam Suk Pier, then a 45-minute speedboat ride to Soneva Kiri. These transfers aren’t organised by the hotel, but staff can advise on connection times.

Trains

There are no train services to Trat, the nearest mainland jumping-off point for Koh Kood.

Automobiles

Given Soneva Kiri’s island location, we don’t recommend hiring a car and driving from Bangkok as you’ll need to make the final hop to the hotel by boat. Buses run from Bangkok’s Ekamai eastern terminal to Trat, where you can pick up taxis to the pier to catch the boat to Koh Kood, but with a journey time of around six hours even a first-class ride won’t be much fun.

Parent travel tip

Getting to Soneva is a bit of a trek, with an hour-long flight and quick speedboat haul tacked on to your international leg (if you're flying to Bangkok). Bring plenty of distractions for the journey, including lollies for the kids to suck as the flight comes in to land, and consider a night or two in bustling Bangkok to break it up. It’s simplest to opt for the hotel’s transfer arrangements though, as longer boat connections via Trat can be unreliable in bad weather, especially during the monsoon.

Reviews

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Soneva Kiri Hotel – Koh Kood – Thailand

Smith & Family  Parent Panel reviews

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Soneva Kiri – has been selected and approved by parents.

How often have you had to decide between a child-friendly resort and one that caters to discerning adult tastes? Soneva Kiri does both with superlative ease, offering white-sand beaches, a gentle bay for swimming, jungle treks, offshore adventures and the (free) kids' club of children's dreams (literally – the designs drew on the big ideas of little imaginations). Want proof? That other Mr and Mrs Smith – Brad and Angelina – have holidayed with their brood here.

It would be easy to stay cocooned in the huge villas – castaway-luxe in style with everything you could possibly need, including vast pools and gardens and a personal butler (called a Friday in a nod to Robinson Crusoe). You’ll be lured out though by the excellent dining options (suspended in a tree pod, served by ziplining waiters, if you like), acclaimed Six Senses Spa, open-air cinema and out-of-this-world kids’ club – not to mention soul-stirring activities from fish-market foraging and cookery classes to waterfall paddling and private-island picnics. This is a no-holds-barred tropical idyll that caters to everyone. What’s more, because Koh Kood is relatively undeveloped and off the beaten track, eco-friendly Soneva Kiri has been designed to offer a complete experience on the island, so you won’t be tempted to stray. Utter bliss.

Smith & Family

Soneva Kiri is consciously super eco-friendly, almost Robinson Crusoe in style. It is designed so cleverly that all man-made structures blend seamlessly into the rugged natural surroundings, yet every modern luxury you could ever need or want is subtly installed and discretely hidden behind, or within, bamboo walls or wooden panels. A TV, DVD and Bose surround sound system (with pre-loaded iPod) planted inside a pile of vintage luggage trunks at the end of the bed… it’s like something out of a James Bond movie. Don’t expect to pick up cable though – the TV is purely for those who can’t do without a cinematic fix, maintaining the ‘no news’ theme. I must admit, this Mr Smith starts to panic, before realising that the WiFi connection is excellent, and I can still (covertly) keep up to date with the outside world (namely who is leading the golf).

The words ‘one-bedroom’ don’t resonate well with most families travelling with young children, and this Mr and Mrs Smith (self-confessed night owls), are anxious at the prospect of spending the holiday tucked up in bed by 7.30pm, so as not to disturb the kids. ‘One-bedroom’ at Soneva Kiri, however, doesn’t quite mean the same thing as it does anywhere else. There is indeed one bedroom, but this is housed in one of three standalone ‘huts’ that make up what is really a one-bedroom villa complex. The two additional huts house a ‘dressing room’ (think massive walk-in-wardrobe) and an enormous double bathroom. With the dressing room large enough to comfortably fit two single beds with accompanying hanging mosquito nets (naturally transforming them into ‘princess beds’), Miss 5 and Miss 3 shack up on their own – albeit only a few metres from the main bedroom – and love it.

It is always a reassuring (and guilt-relieving) feeling for parents when the kids are falling over themselves to get to the kids club on a holiday. The Intrepid Explorer’s dens are split into two spaces – one for under-5s; one for over-5s. Both are an absolute treat for little travellers. The over-5’s club is a bamboo tree house in the shape of a manta-ray, complete with giant slide, and is a real adventure, with room-upon-room of various activities. Miss 5 makes so much art and craft that we are able to ‘donate’ to almost every staff member on the island! The serene setting of the littlest adventurer’s club is so inviting and calming that Mrs Smith almost settles in for a story herself... 

Anonymously reviewed by Ian Curley, chef

The Guestbook  Smith member reviews

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith & Family hotel, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what real-life family guests had to say about Soneva Kiri in the Guestbook below.

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