Condé Nast Traveller - Soneva Kiri, Thailand
April 2016

Way out on the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand is the wild island of Koh Kood, with rainforest, waterfalls and mangrove tangles. And in the middle of this jungly spot is the extraordinary Soneva Kiri. Spread over 150 acres, it has 35 enormous villas with free-form infinity pools, round-the-clock butler service and electric buggies buzzing between the beach, boutiques and spa. Yes, many places have all that, but this hotel will sniper young heads like few others. Reached across a drawbridge, The Den kids’ club is one of the best kids’ clubs you’re likely to find: an ingenious bamboo structure shaped like a giant manta ray up in the treetops, with peepholes down to the forest floor and catamaran-style netting underfoot in the library. On the timetable there are music classes with traditional Thai instruments, tie-dye workshops and bracelet-making using recycled paper. There are also quid ditch matches in the pool, obstacle courses, cooking lessons and good old-fashioned postcard-writing. Star-gazing sessions are held at the observatory and family-favourite films are screened at the outdoor cinema. For toddlers, the gorgeous, ground-level Eco Den offers face-painting, kite-making and bug hunts, as well as sandcastle-building on the beach and treasure hunts. To cool down, kids choose a scoop from one of the 60 flavours at the ice-cream parlour or try a junior treatment at the Six Senses Spa, which includes a honey-and-yogurt facial and coconut-oil scalp massages.
INSIDER TIP Take a trip to one of the island’s waterfalls where you can swim in the cool plunge pools.