On the Thai island of Kood, Soneva Kiri by Six Senses has created The Den, the hotel's latest addition to its kid-friendly property. Built in the shape of a gigantic manta ray among the property's trees, the over-ground, bamboo-framed structure was created by Dutch architect Olav Bruin, whose recent eco-friendly summer house in Sweden prompted Six Senses' green light.
Using bamboo from a site just north of Trat, Brun developed a system for joining 'poles' had to be devised using dowels lashed with ropes to establish the length of The Den. After building on an on-site steam over, and consulting bamboo construction experts in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, Bruin and his team used steel grids to bend bamboo lengths for the structure's framework.
With bamboo shingles, which Six Senses had used for the undulating roof at the Gourmet Cellar at Soneva Gili and other projects, established for the outside, the interior was divided into four areas within the open auditorium, each featuring natural finishes, including river red gum and rattan, cloth with resin-adhered soil, and texture derived from bamboo sawdust. Across a drawbridge, up a wave of stairs, The Dean, measuring 98 by 98 feet, opens up to an Art Room, Music Room, Fashion Room and a library with a catamaran-style netting floor ensconced with overstuffed cushions, underneath windows looking down onto the forest floor.
Like Six Senses' Soneva Fushi, where children can visit the resort's Eco Centro recycling hub, The Den also features educational fun. Alongside playing music and designing clothes, kids can learn about local culture including useful Thai phrases and the Music Room's traditional Thai instruments, and making mobiles and bracelets from recycled magazine paper.
Other hotel features for younger guests include the Chocolate Room's library of children's DVDs, Cinema Paradiso, where guests can enjoy private screenings, and outdoor screen inflated over a reservoir and activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, stargazing and nature walks. At Six Senses Spa, junior treatments complement excursions, the restaurants' children's menus and the beaches' sandcastle building potentail.
For more information visit www.sixsenses.com.