Koh Kood: Beyond Buddhas In Thailand
Business Traveler|July - August 2019

This distant island resort delivers Robinson Crusoe seclusion, service by Fridays and tea in the trees

Jark Gould

Thailand is not an easy trot from the US. It takes strong intention and a lot of patience to sit in a plane for the 15- to 18-hour trek to this land of smiles. Yet, Americans are coming – in droves. More than a million Americans will visit Thailand this year as part of the expected 40 million international visitors the country anticipates in 2019.

Most of those visitors will head to well-trod touristy destinations: the beaches of Phuket, the jungles of Chiang Rai covering Thailand’s northern tip around the Golden Triangle, the sophisticated and artful secondary city of Chiang Mai and maybe the party island of Koh Samui.

Naturally, a day or two in Bangkok is on the list with its six-star hotels and five-star shopping malls, but most visitors will venture forth toward the soft sand beaches and raw natural beauty Thailand offers to shake off urban stresses and steep in the slow life for as long as their time will allow.

Business travelers trying to wedge in some leisure time between meetings and pit stops might want to go a little farther afield to escape the crowds and Instagrammers flocking to the country’s many stunning temples and UN- ESCO World Heritage sites. For that “deserted island” effect, the choice would be the rustic luxury that awaits at Soneva Kiri resort on the island of Koh Kood.

An outreach of land in the Gulf of Thailand that edges up to Cambodia along the country’s southeastern borders, Thailand’s fourth largest and least-populated island is home to maybe 2,000 people. This protrusion of wildland mass is so remote that the staff at this 34-key resort are referred to as “Fridays.” It does not matter who it is or what their position, Friday will be the name.

FAR & AWAY

The Crusoe-style adventure will start at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok where a private,eight-seater Cessna Caravan aircraft takes guests on a scenic hour-long flight to an adjacent island. The island’s dirt landing strip offers a clean and stylish open-air bathroom, an open waiting room with a few seats, even a security portal of sorts for enplaning guests.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BUSINESS TRAVELERView All

TRAVEL STARS SHINE BRIGHTEST

The 2020 Best in Business Travel Awards highlight resilience, innovation and staying power

9 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

The Great Vegas Meetings Magic Act

The city is working hard to conjure up events and make millions of visitors reappear

9 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

TEE TIME IN TOKYO

The Tokyo Olympics may be delayed, but the golf courses around Japan’s capital aren’t slowing down

5 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

MEMPHIS CON BRIO

Music and history flood through the heart and soul of this quintessential American river town

6 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

Live & Learn in Lockdown

Just because you’re quarantining doesn’t necessarily mean your brain stops. On a screen near you, there’s a world beyond

4 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

Membership Gets You More

In the days of coronavirus, what subscription travel offers is a sense of being in this together – apart

6 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

Taking Scotland in Stride

A walk through the Highlands and Borders is the best way to touch this country’s history and nature

5 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

LITTLE ITALY

The lesser-known northeastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia boasts unspoiled vistas and sail-friendly waters

6 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

CROSSROADS OF THE WEST

With the opening its new airport, Salt Lake City maintains its standing as one of America’s key transportation links

5 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

Amen to Amenities

For hotel guests, the little things that have gone missing can feel like a big deal

3 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021