UPDATE: December 2015: You can still get to this beach, but now it’s deserted. Soneva has abandoned it and the buildings are closed . The entire beach is empty. Sop you can enjoy what was a 6* resort’s beach in total privacy and for free.
Soneva Kiri is a luxury 6 star resort ( similar to a luxury 5 star resort, only it’s one better ) on Koh Kood. The resort prides itself on keeping their guests and normal people well away from each other.
If you try to ride your scooter to the resort you come a check point where a security guard will politely tell you that you aren’t allowed inside unless you have a reservation, and with rooms going for around 60,000 Baht / night you probably aren’t going to book simply to get the chance to have a nosey around.
The resort has two beach areas one a little removed from the main resort and this is the one that it’s possible to get to by scooter. All beaches are public in Thailand so there’s nothing stopping you from having a wander along it and trying to spot a minor celebrity or lottery winner basking in the sun.
Head past Baan Makok and follow the signs for Soneva Kiri. You’ll head down a hill and come to straight. Look for the sandy track on the left. This leads to the beach. ( If you go to far you start to see a worker’s village. A collection of ramshackle houses and small shops by the roadside.) The track immediately forks. Take the left hand fork. Both routes take you along sand covered tracks where your bike will be sliding around. The left hand route brings you past a couple of abandoned buildings and onto the Causarina lined beach. From there turn left and walk along it to Soneva’s stretch.
If you take the right hand fork you find yourself joining the resort’s access road to the beach. Guests take this to drive down to the beach in their golf carts. They don’t walk, as that’s what normal people do. Then you can park next to the guest’s golf carts behind the beach restaurant. The downside is that as scooters are banned in the resort and guests have their names on the golf carts, so it’s quite easy for the staff to tell that they have interlopers in their midst. More so when you walk out on the beach , past the restaurant and all eyes of the staff are on you as the average net worth of individuals on the sand drops dramatically due to your presence. That was the way we went first. A nice man asked if we were guests. But, I had a feeling he knew the answer already. And he then explained that it would be a good idea if we left the same way we came in. He obviously thought that we might not do this, as when we slowly rode back to the gap in the flower border where we joined the access road, the hum from an electric golf cart tailing us was in the air.
Turns out the Soneva beach is pretty nice, but not great. There are better on Koh Kood.
Photos: ( None of the sandy tracks leading to the beach as it’s hard to ride a bike and take photos when you’re sliding around in the sand. )