Going to Soneva had been a huge huge wish of mine and so when on one trip we could stay a few extra days that’s where we decided we’d go!
At the Bangkok airport , there’s a separate small counter for Soneva Kiri. Here they check you in and you’re escorted to a lounge. On this particular morning, there was no-one at the counter and it was rather stressful but the next time we took the same trip; they had someone waiting, so I’ll count the first one as an anomaly.
You then board a flight which is about an hour long and you reach a small strip of land converted into an airstrip. From there it’s a boat and you reach the fabulous Soneva Kiri.
The first time Aditya and I went to Soneva Kiri I have to admit it was glorious. The barefoot luxury was at its best and our Ms. Friday (our butler) was incredible. The room is huge and spacious; outside of which there is a glorious pool.You can wander further down into a little beach or you can take your own buggy (with your names) and wander towards the spa, the restaurant or even to just get ice cream.
The first time we traveled to Soneva was in 2018 and the 2nd was in 2022. In 2018 , to go to their private beach you’d take a long tailed boat and in a few minutes you’d e at this most gorgeous strip of land! Now in 2022 , they’ve created a small beach like area on the island itself which you can drive to. Personally I preferred 2018- both the beach and the experience. On both our trips we chose the all inclusive package. This allowed us to enjoy each of the different experiences offered without worrying about the additional cost.
The View is one of their most beautiful spaces. It has fine dining and incredible views. Eating there at sunset is truly memorable.
Cinema Paradiso is also exceptional. to watch films across a strip of water on a large screen is wonderful especially if you love films like Aditya and I do.
We paid only extra for the Treepod dining. The Treepod dining is a wonderful little table on the top of a tree The view is gorgeous, but the service is slow as the staff is quite literally swinging down. This makes the meal longer than necessary and once you tire of the view ; well all you have left is to wait.
Our Ms. Friday was always less than a phone call away and was unobtrusive and yet always available. This was very different on our 2022 trip though. This time our butler was loud, spent time complaining about himself and was an absolute nuisance. In fact if we wanted to do anything, we tried and avoided him as much as possible. And likewise , he avoided picking up our calls as well.
The resort has not aged well in the 4 years and the staff like our Mr. Friday are not doing anything to make the experience memorable. In fact, he has ensured I will never go back again. The rooms is 2022 are still gorgeous, but in 2 of the rooms we tried this time the air conditioning wasn’t working at all. Despite the staff ‘fixing’ the air conditioning in our final room (we had moved 3 rooms thus far), it barely worked and it didn’t help that this was summer.
The one experience however that we truly loved was the trip to Chef Benz for Thai food. This is an exceptional experience. You are taken by long tailed boat to the restaurant and fed till your hearts content. The food is fresh and delicious and thought we had the same experience twice; it was still exceptional!
Would I go back?
No. The butler this time was awful. He wouldn’t pick up calls, was uninterested and rude and had his own drama happening. Service in a hotel of this calibre is paramount and the service had just dropped. You are only as good as your last visit. And so despite the incredible views and the perfect location, the service just was such a let down. A shame, especially since I’d brought my parents to Soneva to show off what I had seen and experienced- ‘a little slice of heaven.’ Sad, that it takes just a lax attitude to destroy even paradise.
Cost-:$1300 upwards for Bed and Breakfast. All inclusive is additional.
Best times to Travel-October to February when the weather is cool
Posted on April 19, 2023, in Personal and tagged aditya, air conditioning, all inclusive, all-inclusive, Bangkok airport, barefoot luxury, best times to travel., buggy, butler, Cinema Paradiso, cost, divya, hitkari, hotel, Kruua Mae Tuk, lounge, Ms. Friday, pool, private beach, service, Soneva Kiri, Thai food, The View, travel, Treepod dining. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.