Living the high life?
Laem Pong Lak Uan, Ko Kut T: (039) 61 9800, (081) 345 2791 F: (039) 61 9808
This astonishing resort sits to the north of Captain Hook Resort and offers around 30 super deluxe private villas overlooking a couple of semi-private beaches towards the northern end of Ko Kut.
When we visited there was a large wedding getting ready to kick off so the only room available to look at was a five-bedroom villa that kicked off at 520,000 baht (around $17,000) per night. Yes, that's not an errant comma. The accommodation was truly lovely, with beautifully soft bamboo floors, plenty of space and a fabulous outlook. The resort area is enormous and guests are supplied with buggies to make their way around. While the size helps to build a feeling of isolation and privacy, if you'd prefer not to use a buggy, bring your walking shoes. The main beach culminates with a white sand point jutting out into the sea -- beach barbecues are held here with a fabulous sunset in the background. We had received mixed reports about the food and drinks before we visited and that was borne out in the two mediocre dishes and drinks we were served -- perhaps we just picked the wrong things. Don't fret if the food isn't what you'd hoped -- seek solace in the dedicated chocolate room (where you're welcome to eat your fill if you are a staying guest). Like the food, we found the staff to be a bit mixed in attitude -- perhaps they realised we were an interloper, though to be fair with an all-encompassing wedding party in residence, perhaps they were just a bit harried. If you'd like to visit the resort for a meal, you need to make a reservation the day before. Just showing up at the rear gate is not recommended as the security officer is a mannerless goon. With more typically sized villas kicking off at around the US$700 mark, this truly is a retreat for those with the means and friends who have stayed here on comped or heavily discounted stays have been universally complimentary of the actual accommodation. Just be sure to enquire if there is a wedding underway before making that reservation. The resort also has its own timezone -- operating one-hour ahead of Ko Kut time. Yes really. Rates displayed are estimates as their website lists prices in US dollars.
Check rates at Soneva Kiri - rated 8.9/10 on Agoda.com.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Superior double room, low season: 21,000 baht, high season 57,000 baht. Notes: Hill villa
Room: Deluxe double room, low season: 27,000 baht, high season 69,000 baht. Notes: Cliff villa
Location map for Soneva Kiri