110 Moo 4, Koh Kood District, Trat 23000, Thailand

“If it’s good enough for the Pitt-Jolie brood, then it’s good enough for mine”, were the only words in my head as I walked (barefoot – this resort has a ‘no shoes no news’ policy) into this resort sitting on Thailand’s least populated island. I mean a resort with a chocolate room (which, by the way, you are free to raid whenever you want), not one but two kids’ clubs, an ecofriendly version of the Olympics for the tots, an observatory from where you can count the cracks on the surface of the moon and a free for all ice cream bar serving homemade ice cream doesn’t just come along every day. The fact that the most sane way to get there is a 70-minute ride from Bangkok on the resort’s eight-seater private plane, only to have your private butler waiting to receive you at the resort’s private airstrip just makes this super luxury family-friendly resort a tad easier to fall in love. Seems like Brad and Angelina did make some good decisions after all.

Essentials:
  • Baby cot
  • Bottle warmer
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Baby bath tub
  • Baby monitor
  • Child toiletries
  • Stroller
  • High chair
  • Child menu
  • Child gift in room on arrival
  • Baby-sitting services (600 THB/hr)

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Family Favourites:
  • Just like the stars who live in them, the villas here are something out of the movies too. Stunning to say the least, villas are huge and all come with a pool. Oh, and some of the larger villas come with a kids’ room with bunk beds and a slide right from the kids’ room to the swimming pool, ensuring sleep to swim for junior!
  • Like the rest of the resort, it’s main beach (private, of course) is a class apart. The water was warm and clear and the nicely sized waves had my boys body boarding the entire time we were there. A bar and a restaurant just off the water made it that much easier to loll around on the beach the whole day. But the real charm lay in the fact that the beach could only be accessed from the resort by a three-minute private speedboat ride (a classic Soneva touch!), which made getting there a little adventure in itself, something my family completely loved!
  • My first time in an observatory, the kids and I had goosebumps looking at planet Saturn with all its rings, planet Mars, the moon, Scorpion constellation, Vega star and a lot more from its top-of-the-line Celestron computerized telescope.
  • Decision making is never easy, especially when it’s chocolate and ice cream you’re choosing between! Imagine the plight of my children, courtesy the chocolate room , with its unending varieties of homemade premium chocolates and the ice cream room serving countless flavors of delicious homemade ice cream. Both open from 11 am – 11 pm and both free!
  • We movied under the stars like never before at the breathtaking Cinema Paradiso, first for a family-friendly movie at 7 :30 pm and then one for the adults at 9:30 pm. With fresh popcorn and a blanket, of course.
  • When it comes to kids’ clubs, Soneva sets the bar high with not one but two age specific kids’ clubs. The Eco Den (10 am – 6 pm) houses a kids’ club for kids one to five years old. With nothing but the choicest wooden toys strewn around, an engaging programme includes activities like Thai snack making, aqua aerobics, jungle swimming and coconut octopus making. And oh, good luck trying not to curl up into one of the many adorable wooden cots lining the sleep room. The older lot (aged 5 to 12) have exclusive access to The Den – a gigantic manta ray shaped bamboo structure sitting above the trees with a slide to zip in and out. The Den (10 am – 6 pm) boasts of an art and craft room, book room, music room and a games room where the kids are engaged into a whole host of activities including learning the Thai alphabet, playing instruments, creating their own jigsaws, designing clothes and even jewellery from recycled materials.
    Parents hoping to give their kids an iPad – free holiday will be thrilled to know that here there are no gaming consoles and that at Soneva, all activities revolve around the environment. Children go on mangrove walks, snorkel with the marine biologist and build rafts. Soneva occasionally organizes a kid-friendly version of the Olympics called the Ecolympics , whereby kids can compete in fun eco friendly games.
  • Mealtimes at Soneva Kiri are an experience by themselves – watch the young (and the old) be mesmerized as they journey by boat through mangroves to Benz’s, a traditional Thai restaurant built on water over stilts; or dine in a bamboo pod hoisted above the trees where they are served by a waiter attached to a zip line. Breakfast here deserves a special mention – it is fantastic.
  • The iconic Six Senses Spa caters to children too. They are also happy to set up family-friendly experiences like mother and daughter spa dates.
  • Family experiences take precedence over everything else at Soneva Kiri. Private cruises, trips to waterfalls, fishing trips and honey tasting with beekeepers are just a few that this resort would be happy to organize for your crew and you.
  • Saving the best for the last – getting to this remote Thai island (Koh Kood is just a short boat ride away from Cambodia) in true James Bond style is half the fun. The resort’s seven-seat private plane takes 70-minutes to take you from Bangkok International Airport to the Soneva Kiri airstrip. From there you are whisked on an electric buggy by your private butler to the jetty, only to be put on a beautiful speed boat that then takes about five minutes to get you to the resort. Not a bad start to a holiday right?

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Parent’s Perks:
  • Famed Six Senses Spa with its extensive range of spa services will amaze. The watsu treatment, where the body is fully immersed in water, is a must-try .
  • A slew of complimentary classes like making homemade coconut oil, making a Thai herbal compress, homemade scrub making, cooking classes, yoga and meditation.
  • The resort organizes day trips to Cambodia (by private helicopter, naturally), which is only a short distance from Koh Kood.
  • Upon arrival, every villa is handed keys to their very own electric buggy. Zipping up and down the island on your own set of wheels is so much fun!
  • This is one resort where you don’t need to carry your shoes. For that matter, neither do you need to flip channels to catch the latest news. They have a strict ‘no shoes, no news‘ policy so that guests can truly unwind (for those of you who are frantically scanning the page for the words internet, they do have it!).
  • Free international calls.
  • Romantic destination dining organized by the resort in the choicest of hidden spots around the island.
  • A personal butler called Friday is appointed to every villa. Friday will do everything right from checking you in to packing your suitcases, should you need them to.
  • Fortunately (or unfortunately) the chocolate room and ice cream parlor is complimentary for the adults too!

The Resort:
  • Resort 70-minute private plane ride from Bangkok International Airport
  • Beachfront property
  • Private beach
  • 35 villas, each with a pool
  • 6 restaurants (treepod dining included)
  • 2 bars
  • 2 swimming pools
  • Six Senses Spa

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Mandy’s Tip: There is second way to get to this resort. This involves a flight to Trat Airport, a drive to Lam Suk Pier and then a boat ride to Soneva Kiri. But honestly, do the private place ride (budget permitting, of course), because really, I can’t honestly think of a more befitting start to what is likely to be the resort of your dreams!

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Travelling to Thailand? Check out our other fabulous family-friendly hotels here

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