Imagine a journey that will avow you speechless, then after experiencing the glorious moments, you have a hundred tales to tell. And I am on such grounds, as if some never land where words don’t come easy to describe a thing of beauty in its many forms. Read on, the simplicity in my expression as I narrate the story of my indulgence, for your sense of wonderment may inspire you retracing my foot prints into the land of enchantment.
With flashbacks of my first experience, then taking a one hour fifteen-minute flight on a private plane from Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok) to Mai Si (private Soneva Kiri) Airport; I return for the second time, arriving at the environmental-friendly Soneva Kiri, barefoot luxury Resort, located on the island of Koh Kood along the East-coast of Thailand. Alternatively, Boonsiri Bus and high speed Ferry is the means of land transfer to the Island on the east coast. The bus departs 7 AM from Khaosarn area (Bangkok) to Trat (5 hours travel time) and from Trat pier, the ferry takes about A 1 hour and forty minutes voyage to the final destination on the Island. www.boonsiriferry.com
A few days here bring me close in the comforting realm of Mother Nature, further enhanced in the premises of the Resort tastefully created to synchronize with untouched natural surroundings of rich tropical jungle teeming with fauna and flora, some native to the Island and scar with rivers, streams and waterfalls.
Soneva Kiri in itself is an unforgettable holistic journey. I explore the tastes, unscathed nature, and an insight into culture and traditions in the nearby local village and fisherman’s colony. Service is an integral part of the many things of beauty at the Resort. Through the day, Ms. Friday is my butler who tirelessly catered for every need and information on the retreat. Ms. Friday takes me into my sea view Villa, attached with a dressing lounge and an open restroom in the backyard abound tropical plants equipped with bath, shower and washroom.
The front of the Villa is edged with a splash-pool that merge into the main pool area with a patio to relax under the cool shades of the tropical green. A feeling of space blends with environmental friendly features of the villa abound wilderness and I settle down for a few days, that illumed me with an out of the ordinary memories of quality time in luxury amidst nature’s calmness in the howling and yet peaceful sound of backwoods (do not expect sound proof villas, while each of the villas built with quality sustainable material, mostly wood), the signature aspect behind the no news-no shoes-slow life philosophy at the Retreat.
Each day I indulge into the flavors of the world in each of the many gourmet venues tastefully created by the Executive Chef David Newstead with Benz (named after the master Thai chef khun Benz), Umaid (Indian Chef), Danny and Tang-Chai (the Pastry Chef). Authentic Thai at the Benz’s mangrove restaurant; Mediterranean and local style Thai food stalls at the Dining Room, which is also the venue for the daily super Breakfast. Next to it is the So Chilled Menu at So Chilled (best selection of cheese, bread, yoghurt, homemade jam and croissants and pastries. The View Restaurant is the candle lit fine dining Restaurant abound the jungle overlooking the sea meeting the shores of this tropical island paradise. A more elusive eating place is the North Beach and your host will take you on a speed boat to land on the sublime beach for a BBQ lunch.
And not to miss, the Chocolate Room and Ice Cream parlor . . . oh so sweet – what can I say! You have to be there to reinvent the child within you.
The one of its kind, the Tree-Top Dining in a pod is incredibly unique. The waiter comes swinging from tree to tree in a “Tarzan” manner and serves you a delectable variety of food before lunch or during the High-Tea hours.
Out of the culinary region, my journey at Soneva Kiri continues into the wellness zone at the Six Senses Spa and I begin with Wellness Screening. The wellness expert strap me on advanced technology apparatus to make an analyses of key psychological biomarkers of health and am pleased to be aware being OK on body composition, heart function, circulation, metabolism, oxygen distribution and stress level. My host guide me the essentials and useful tips that help adopt a healthy lifestyle to maintain a hale and hearty living.
Next, I am taken to a therapy room overlooking the sea and here, I am in the healing hands of a professional masseur who apply lymphatic massage therapy (after I am put into a complete relaxation mood with a hollow-ringing sound of the Himalayan Bowl), the treatment session last for about an hour. This particular remedy drains body toxin, opens up blockages, restore and improve flow of energy. The center also holds morning or evening group meditation and yoga sessions under an expert instructor.
I am on the Island in the rainy season, which is supposed to be low season on the Island and quite many hotels closes down during June and July. But, there is romance in the rain and when you are at peace within, you can listen to the music that nature composes in the falling rain, the trees sway with the whistling noise of the wind passing through the leaves.
The rain paused and I availed the company of my host on a journey to Eco Centro Tour along the wilderness trail within the Resort area. This not only introduced me to the awareness of the Resort’s responsible tourism on energy, water and waste management but also enriched with the knowledge of the variety of Eco system, more bio-diverse than found in the entire UK; ever green trees, flora and fauna, and I see some trees native on the Island.
The Resort is packed with many other aspect of journeys. Limitations disallowed me to complete my journey, and so I may return to explore outdoor activities, nearby islands, waterfalls and other services at the Soneva Kiri, including outdoor “Cinema Paradiso”, cooking class, cave lunch, water sports and much more that you may want to find out at www.soneva.com/soneva-kiri/