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Updated: July 10, 2010 17:35 IST

Sensing nature

RUPALI DEAN
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Soneva Kiri by Six senses
Soneva Kiri by Six senses

Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood island blends nature and luxury inextricably

Set in its turquoise sea, Koh Kood is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. It is ideally located, just an hour's flight from Suvarnabhoomi airport in Bangkok. The island, a melting pot where the past and the present are smoothly blended together, offers a rare beauty that will compel you to return to its shores time and time again. One can savour here the relaxed colonial elegance of the resort, the delights of tropical ambience and recreation between palm grove and sea or the sheer joie de vivre of colourful Soneva Kiri by Six Senses, for a serene, energetic or action-packed holiday. Our every whim was catered by the very friendly and obliging resort staff, and with so many dining options and activities that we were literally spoilt for choice.

I was blown away with the level of service, from the moment we arrived in Bangkok and we were whisked through the airport to board their private plane for the one hour transfer. The resort conjures up images of how the Swiss Family Robinsons might be living after many generations, had they found themselves settled on a large gold deposit.

Our sprawling room, more like a villa, was over 2,000 square feet with its own private pool and steps down to the beach, which was completely isolated from the other guests. The look of the villas was natural and understated, with weathered timbers and elegant furnishings. There was everything we could ever need apart from some unexpected luxuries. That evening we just chilled in our villa and ordered room service.

Koh Kood is one of the world's finest destinations for snorkelling and diving, and Soneva Kiri has its own fully-equipped PADI diving school staffed by professional instructors. So that day, while my hubby snorkelled and scuba-dived and my daughter got busy with the hermit crabs by the seaside, I treated myself to a “Balinese” Spa treatment. On offer was an extensive range of pampering therapies such as the Six Senses signature treatments to holistic wellness programmes administered by specialist practitioners and their resident Ayurvedic medical doctor. Spa products are made only from natural ingredients, in harmony with the environment. I enjoyed a massage while mesmerised by the fish I could see beneath the glass on the floor. Later, I donned my snorkel and joined them.

A variety of other water sports was on offer too, such as windsurfing and sailing, and there were tennis courts and a large freshwater swimming pool. Beyond the island we also went in for deep-sea fishing and excursions.

During our stay, we did some in-villa dining and foodies that we are, also tried all the restaurants. Each meal experience was top draw with great variety, especially the evening boat trip up the creek to their authentic Thai restaurant Benz. It is easily the best Thai food I ever had! I was most impressed by their “No No list”. Dining here was a culinary indulgence that we enjoyed with a clear conscience.

This Six Senses resort aimed to offer the best selection and quality of food and beverage whilst remaining in harmony with the fragile nature of the pristine environment. Interestingly, any resources that are endangered or mismanaged; genetically modified or ill-treated are not served.The majority of vegetables are grown on the island itself. One hundred per cent of the produce harvested from the gardens is organic. I loved my organic garden lunch. One thing is for certain Soneva Kiri exceeded my expectations across the board.

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