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Reviewed 19 September 2018 via mobile

An absolutely amazing experience at Soneva Kiri. The staff are so attentive and the attention to detail is unreal.

I had lunches and dinners at all the different outlets and I kept wishing I could order more food! :-)

The ice cream parlour and chocolate room were to die for.

Treat yourself to a stay at Soneva Kiri. You won’t be disappointed.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled solo
Thank SunGoddess911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manjit G, Executive Assistant Manager at Soneva Kiri, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2018

Dear SunGoddess911,

How very kind of you to take the time to write a review and both I and all the hosts were delighted that you had such a 'complete' stay.

I was also very pleased, if I may say so, that you managed to enjoy the healthy, fresh and delicious food while also finding time to indulge in our Chocolate room and Ice Cream parlour! I was so encouraged to note how you recognized the work that the team does in supporting our sustainable approach which is one of the underpinning values of our company. Intelligent luxury coupled with caring and intuitive service is what we strive to achieve at all times and I am pleased we did so for you during your stay.

These attributes combined with the environment of the resort gave you a very memorable experience, which we hope will stay with you for many years to come, or until your next visit.....

Best regards
Manjit

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Reviewed 18 September 2018 via mobile

I had an amazing time in Soneva Kiri. The villa was unbelievable, felt like at home , elegant but relaxing at the same time. Ms Friday Chopoo and Tida are the best I have ever known in the hospitality industry, they know how to anticipate any needs, always with discretion and a beautiful smile. Food was also delicious, we had a great time in Benz restaurant, what an amazing experience. We lived also to visit the waterfalls and snorkeling. Wish we could stay longer!

Stayed: September 2018, travelled with friends
Thank Fernanda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manjit G, Executive Assistant Manager at Soneva Kiri, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2018

Dear Fernanda S

Thank you for joining our long list of Soneva Enthusiasts.

It is always exciting to read when guests are able to explore the true depth of ‘Rare Experiences’ and adventures the resort offers and you have painted a wonderful picture whether it was to explore the diverse marine life at Koh Rang National Marine Park, hike to the stunning waterfall or simply the seclusion and luxury of your villa.

The creation of our Thai gourmet restaurant, Benz, allowed us to exhibit one of our greatest finds. Discovered by Sonu and Eva, many moons ago in Phang-Nga, chef Khun Benz was our only choice when it came to finding a talented culinary artist to helm this open Thai kitchen, using ingredients grown here on Koh Kood and neighbouring Trat province.

Thank you for your kind words particularly toward our hosts at Soneva Kiri. Khun Chompoo & Khun Tida who, I know, will be very happy that they made you stay so memorable and when all is said and done it is the hosts that add to the memories that leave this island as guests return to their homes around the world.

Best regards
Manjit

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Reviewed 10 September 2018

Where do I start with Soneva Kiri? It was such a dream to stay somewhere like this. We had heard of this magical resort in Koh Kood and even though the reviews were excellent, it truly exceeded all of our expectations.

The design of the resort is beautiful, weaving the nature of the lush island with barefoot luxury. I loved our outdoor bathroom, we had a beautiful outdoor bath, showers, and lounge area. It was such a stunning space nestled within tropical plants and trees.

Our beachfront villa had the most incredible pool. It was big enough for the whole resort to share, but of course we had it all to ourselves. I particularly loved the outdoor lounge area, couches and a dining table on the decking. We sat here throughout the day, sipped coffee in the morning. It was just perfect.

The bedroom was stunning, I loved the net curtain around the bed, glass panelled doors that led out to the private pool, and the fact that the TV was hidden, not to ruin the feel of the place. Personally, I never watch TV on vacation, and I do feel its unnecessary at places with as much beauty as Soneva Kiri, but thought it was nice too that they found a middle ground where you had the option.

The staff at the resort were truly six star, to match the grounds. We had Taeko, our Mrs. Friday who anticipated all our needs, was on hand to help with everything we needed, and did so with a smile on her face. We were truly lucky to meet such a lovely lady. From booking spa appointments, to excursions and dinner, she was there to help. I even mistakenly left my beach bag on North Beach and she retrieved it for me the next day! Ting who works in the dining outlets was also just wonderful. So friendly and knowledgeable, she greeted us every single day, chatted with us, talked us through the dishes.

She even met me specifically for breakfast to prepare some ginger tea for me, the way she thought i'd like it because I said I wanted to be a little more healthy and drink it more often at dinner the previous night!

On the food at Soneva Kiri, every single dish we had really, in every restaurant was just so beautifully prepared, presented and tasted so good! A highlight for us was a visit to Benz, where there is no menu. Local dishes are prepared from the freshest of ingredients, I loved that, sometimes its nice not to have to choose. I thought it was ingenious, completely novel and nothing i've ever heard of before. A restaurant outside of the resort, but to the high standards of Soneva Kiri, that guests can go to when they feel they would like to go outside of the resort. A more local feel, although nothing about it is local, its truly six star, but it is nice to have another setting. We immensely enjoyed this.

Another dining experience I highly recommend is in the treepod. So much fun, entirely unique and makes for quite an interested picture. Our waiter James is a certified zip lining waiter. He retrieved fruit juice, coffee, pastries via the zipline (very cool) for us to enjoy with our breakfast. The view of the neighbouring island was beautiful from here.

If you're a spa lover, then you have to go to the Six Senses spa. Not only is the spa setting beautiful, the therapists are fantastic. I was in a state between awake and dreaming the entire time, I don't think I've ever enjoyed a treatment as much as at Six Senses spa.

North beach was about 10 minutes by private speedboat transfer from Soneva Kiri. Clear turquoise coloured waters, palm trees, swings and hammocks as far as the eye can see. We just loved this beach, one of the best we have ever been to. Completely private and only for Soneva's guests.

What was really fun was the complimentary icecream and chocolate throughout stay. They had a room dedicated entirely to chocolate that you could pop into throughout the day to pick whatever you wanted. This resort felt like an adults playground! I loved being able to indulge my inner child a little here. You even get your own buggy to drive around the resort. Such a fun thing to be able to do.

Also something unique is the Celestial Room where you can watch the star nightly from 8pm to 10pm. I believe all Soneva properties have this, and its such a wonderful idea. How often do we stop to watch the stars? And have a telescope to do it? Soneva truly brings memorable experiences to their guests.

For getting to and from the island, a private 8 seater plane takes you from Bangkok landing at the island opposite Soneva Kiri. It is such a lovely experience to fly in small planes, but this one was such a pleasure. Leather seats, healthy snacks of dried bananas and nuts, water and smiling pilots. We arrived and left refreshed, happy and taken care of.

Thank you Soneva Kiri for the most magical stay. We couldn't have dreamed a place more perfect than this one.

Room Tip: We were beachfront villa number 5 and loved everything about this villa.
  • Stayed: September 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank agirlwhoblooms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manjit G, Executive Assistant Manager at Soneva Kiri, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2018

Dear agirlwhoblooms

Thank you so much for your insightful and thorough review and I was delighted that you managed to immerse yourself in the whole Soneva Kiri experience and that the airplane journey, spectacular villas offering both space and privacy reflecting the Soneva SLOW LIFE culture, varied dining venues and of particular interest your wonderful experience at Khun Benz Restaurant, and the overall service exceeded your expectations.

The hosts were thrilled to read your review and I will be sure to share your personal thanks with Taeko san, Khun Ting and Khun James. I never cease to be amazed at our wonderful team at the resort. We are blessed to have an amazing team of Hosts who deserve all the credit for their continued efforts and dedication to all our guests with a key focus to “Inspire a lifetime of rear experiences”.

Again thank you for staying with us and I hope you will cherish your memories until you return to Soneva Kiri.

Best regards
Manjit

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Reviewed 14 August 2018 via mobile

Sonu and Eva have maintained their property so well ! I’m not sure how they do it. This is my third visit and was pleasantly surprised to see how well kept the property was. Service was amazing by Khun Marisa our Ms. Friday. Chef Kanemoto was so kind to meet us in person for all our meals Breakfast, lunch and Dinner. Chef also served us our Invilla dining and made sure all our meals were up to expectations. This was service above and beyond. Very unexpected but highly appreciated. Chef Umeed also was very highly skilled with all the Indian flares my family expected.

We once again had a memorable meal at Chef Benz restaurant. Remarkable as always. Chef was very kind to meet us again and made sure we enjoyed our meal. Truly splendid as always. Khun Ting our server was so kind and helpful throughout.

Khun Kay was our guide during our trek to Yai Kee waterfalls. A must go for all visitors. 30 minutes trek and you arrive in an Oasis. Don’t forget your swim wear.

We were upgraded to a beachfront villa. This was amazing as we could walk off our villa down to our private beach with such beautiful calm waters. We swam/ relaxed a good part of our day in the sea.

Our spa experience was second to none. All three days we were given a 50 minutes Orient massage for both me and my wife. Such a wonderful treat for us. I would also recommend meeting Dr. Dinesh at the spa, he was able to guide us exactly what treatments were suitable for us based on our lifestyle.

Basically everything about our stay was just marvelous. We’ll be back not before long to experience Soneva again. Thank you once again for creating such a lovely once in a lifetime experience for your patrons.

Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
5  Thank sarj2299
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisca A, General Manager at Soneva Kiri, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2018

Dear sarj2299

Greetings from Soneva Kiri. Thank you for your lovely comments, it warms our hearts to see we continue to wow guests when they return to us. I especially love your parting comment that you will not stay long before coming back!

The waterfalls are especially stunning this time of the year, it shows how beautiful our island really is. As you mentioned, our team is the greatest differentiator, from Khun Marisa, Kengo, Umed, Khun Benz, Khun Ting and all the others, its the passion for this project and the Soneva concept and values that make it extra special.

We are now preparing for festive season, we plan to outdo ourselves again!

We hope to see you soon

Warm regards
Francisca Antunes

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Reviewed 6 August 2018

Soneva Kiri is first class. The food quality throughout is excellent, albeit the children’s menu is a little bit limited. The food variety is extremely good and the service in the restaurants is largely excellent. There is no question the staff are motivated, happy and really want to help. Slightly frustratingly both the View and Benz close on the same nights of the week, I assume for staffing reasons, but it leads to limited dining options and is rather foolish.

The kids club, stunning in its architecture, seemed to lack any areas offering air-conditioning, which for smaller people just getting off a plane from Northern Europe can be a bit oppressive, and here it felt as though brand had triumphed over utility, or to put it another way style triumphed over substance. In every case where that happened the substance was still very good, but the style was allowed to negatively impact it. This is no the fault of staff or management, but the fault of concept and brand. The staff in the kids club were caring, and kind, and extremely dedicated, even if my two children were being diffident and shy and refusing to participate!

The spa is very good, the gym is great, and of course the villas are amongst the best and most discrete accommodation in the World. Having your own buggy is not only huge luxury but something other resorts are going to have to realise is the new standard for high end.

The Mr./Ms. Friday concept works very well if your Mr./Ms. Friday is good, luckily ours was exceptional and did everything she could to make our stay the best it could be. I can imagine a less able or committed individual could cause guest dissatisfaction, but I didn’t witness anything other than first class service throughout from any member of staff, save one waitress with an attitude. However, she was the exception that proved the rule that all the staff here love working in the resort and really, really want you, the guest to have a great time. The night our Ms. Friday received a call from us on our 'Ms. Friday mobile “bat-phone”’ at 11pm saying we were being visited by a family of mice, her reaction and that of the duty manager was excellent. We were temporarily re-housed because of the noise our clog-wearing feral friends were making in the roof, and the problem was sorted the next day. For those who have an issue with wildlife making themselves known to you, just remember this resort is in the middle of a jungle so either get over it or go elsewhere.

The beach is fab, with the beach bar food and service amongst the best in the whole resort, and the cinema is an experience not to be missed, no matter the film.

So, there is a lot of good, great and exceptionally amazing things about this place. There are of course some negatives, brand being the major issue for me and something that permeates the product in silly and unnecessary ways.

The negatives are all largely traceable back to that ‘brand’ issue in one way or another. The first negative is price. You are told up front about additional costs to your package, which is of course quite right. However, when you are paying significant amounts of money in the first place there is a resentment at being asked to pay an additional supplement for this or that or the other, regardless of how much it may be. The whole point of no news, no shoes is not to go on a spiritual journey, it is to put aside worries like how much things are, what the most economically efficient way of eating this or that may be or doing this or that trip is. I don’t want to be thinking about that when I’m on an island paradise searching for a Bond villain's secret lair. Its the sort of place that must have one! The second ancillary problem is for those fond of a tipple, booze is expensive! Two cocktails and two mocktails at the View Bar can come in at over £100, that’s quite a lot, even if you’re an Eton and Oxbridge educated Bond villain (which I’m becoming ever more convinced Sonal co-founder and owner of “Soneva” must be)…

But finally the biggest “little gripe” I have is that the staff are all so lovely, so refreshingly down to earth and so unpretentious, that the brand they are having to sell jars with that. The solution to my mind is to alter the brand slightly, make it more fun, less self-consciously “cool.” This isn’t Monaco, this isn’t St. Tropez or Gstad, or Lake Como, this is a beautiful place, providing a real economic boost to an agrarian community in a wonderful backwater of Thailand, be proud of that, not the pseudo-spirituality of Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall, whose book about curing world ills seems to be ubiquitous around the place.

That said would I go back? In a heart beat. Will I go back? If I can afford it, then yes as soon as I can. Is there anything the staff can do better? Nothing major, no. Is there anything management can do better? Nothing major, no. Is there a slight sense of staff having to be on best behaviour? Yes, and I’m not certain if that comes from an internal desperation to please the customer or whether it comes from an internal blame culture. I certainly hope the former, because the latter would be wholly unwarranted.

As with a lot of top end places it’s about the little things. Offering an unpacking and packing service is wonderful, taking the time to ask for children’s feedback at the end of the holiday is excellent, greeting and saying goodbye to guests at the pontoon makes you feel special and loved and personalising your anniversary with a cake and plaque is a lovely touch.

So if I could give 4.75 out of 5 I would, but I can’t, so its a 4, but I will make it my mission to go back because its fantastic in spite of my reservations about the “message.” Plus I’m certain that Sonal, ably assisted by his former Swedish model wife Eva, has an extinct volcano somewhere on the island in which he is designing some fiendish device to take over the World, whilst petting a long-haired white cat and housing a tropical fish tank full of piranhas.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank TimG457
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisca A, General Manager at Soneva Kiri, responded to this reviewResponded 10 August 2018

Dear Tim G
Greetings from Soneva Kiri. What a joy to read your comments, Sonu will have a blast knowing he is a Bond character (and it is Eton and Oxford…).
Closing 2 outlets twice a week is not about cost, its mainly because historically nobody books the other restaurants during buffet nights, so we decided to close them – we will rethink how we do this. We do offer special in-villa or destination dining for guests, I apologize if that was not done during your stay.
The Den design - we are looking into creating a couple more windows to create better airflow, that part of the resort has always a nice breeze, we are studying a way to improve. Our Eco Den for the toddlers does have air-condition, it is under renovation now, will be ready by end of August. I would love to hear what you would add to this area.
In my totally biased opinion the incredible team we have originates from Soneva culture for sure but also the fact most of our team has been working together almost since beginning, this creates the feeling you got, they communicate very well with each other, so guests needs/likes/dislikes are “synchronized” very quickly with all. The aim to please is first of all cultural and second is very Soneva.
Beverage rates, we will work on this, make it more appealing and less a cause for stress, F&B team is now adamant to change your mind about this when you come back. Since reading your comment, they have come up with a couple of great ideas, we will explore more.
On branding and concept, Sonu and Eva will most definitely take your comments into consideration, a lot of our changes and new ideas come from their conversations with guests. We all meet twice a year and unpack and repackage everything, nothing is off the table. It's quite interesting how you perceived us vs how we perceive ourselves, I can see this as the topic of our next meet in November…as a gm of this resort, I am doing a silent prayer that we will not end up with a volcano on North Beach (we do have the white cats already).

Best regards and most definitely we have to see you soon
Francisca Antunes
General Manager

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