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Caroline Sylger Jones
Caroline Sylger Jones

Has been visiting and reviewing spas and retreats worldwide for twelve years.

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kamalaya

7 night retreats from £1,575 kamalaya koh samui

This holistic island wellness retreat is a wonderful place of sanctuary where you can do as much or as little as you want.

Set away from the throng on Koh Samui, the settlement is centred round a tiny cave temple where Buddhist monks used to meditate, and has a genuinely peaceful feel. Serene, uncluttered villas and thatched public spaces are tucked into a fairy tale ravine strewn with granite boulders and tropical plants. Food is delicious yet still detoxifying, and service calm and friendly.

There’s a sensitively designed yoga pavilion, a dramatic Yantra hall for seminars and workshops and a Buddha-orange Alchemy lounge filled with comfy day beds. Take a dip in the soothing outdoor swimming pool, or sunbath on the private beach beside a chalky blue lagoon.

At the heart of the site is the hilltop spa, with its inspiring sea views out to the far horizon and over 70 wellness treatments and services on its menu. There are detox, stress and burnout, weight loss, fitness and yoga programmes, or you can create your own bespoke experience in consultation with a naturopath. Expert help is at hand from all manner of doctors and therapists, from acupuncturists to visiting spiritual gurus.

This is a place to feel the beauty of being outdoors. Have a thai massage in one of the elevated, open-air rooms, wander in and out of the steam room and plunge pools set into natural rock, sip fruit mojitos in a waterside wooden booth. There’s a daily programme of complimentary classes, from Kundalini yoga and expressive dance to sound therapy and martial arts. You can go on local hikes or take out a kayak, though we rather think you’ll be tempted to stay on site for the duration.

Highs

  • Inspirational, genuinely peaceful setting
  • Consistently good therapists and visiting experts  
  • Delectable near-vegan food that makes detoxing easy

Lows

  • To walk along the main long beach you often need to negotiate some local dogs
  • You have to wade quite far out to swim properly in the sea
  • Koh Samui is a popular, often busy island, so venturing out during your retreat can be a bit of a shock to the system

Healthy Traveller Tip

  • Book a personal mentoring session with Rajesh Ramani, who was a monk for 14 years and can offer practical advice and tools to set you on a happier path.

Room tip

Book Kamalaya’s Beach Front Pool Villa to enjoy the expansive beach front balcony, sun decks and private pool.

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Price

7 nights from £1,575 per person sharing a Hillside Room on a full board basis, including wellness consultation and access to all complimentary activites, airport transfers and flights.

Accommodation

There's an extensive selection of accommodation at Kamalaya:

  • 24 x hillside rooms
  • 10 x sea-view Suites (all with balcony)
  • 15 x Superior Suites
  • 20 x villas with sea-views (all with balcony)
  • 1 x boutique beach front villa (with private balcony)
  • 1 x luxury rock top villa (two bedrooms, living room and outside area with day bed)
  • 1 x luxury one-bedroom villa with private pool
  • 1 x luxury one-bedroom beach front villa with private pool
  • 1 x luxury two-bedorom beach front villa with private pool

All accommodation features the following:

  • Air-conditioning
  • CD player
  • Refridgerator
  • Safe
  • Hairdryer
  • Yoga mat

Food & Drink

Artful and inspired cuisine which mergers culinary traditions of east and west using fresh, tropical and where possible, organic produce.

Soma Restaurant - Sanskrit for 'food of the gods', Soma is open everday for breakfast and dinner, and overlooks Kamalaya valley, offering spectacular views of the coast and outlying islands. Intimate tables are arranged throughout the spacious room, in addition to a 'community table' where guests may unite for dining.

Special daily menus in addition to à la carte items include tantalising salads and raw food preparations, delectable vegetarian dishes, with fresh fish, seafood, poultry and lamb options. Selected wines and desserts are available, as well as customised dishes for those undertaking a Kamalaya Detox Programme or with other dietary requirements.

Amrita Café - Sanskrit for 'divine nectar', Amrita Café is open for lunch every day and offers informal dining nestled amidst lotus ponds adjacent the swimming pools. The sound of running water with private dining salas and intimate alcoves overlooking the beach creates a serene venue for fresh juices, inspired salads, and vegetarian dishes. A barbeque for freshly grilled fish, poultry, meats and vegetables is an added feature, along with the special detox menu.

The Alchemy Tea Lounge - Located above Soma Restaurant, overlooking Kamalaya and the coastline. A serene spot for savouring appetisers, desserts, juices, herbal infusions, a wide range of teas, wines, and elixirs based on Taoist and Thai herbal blends.

Spa

With an extensive menu of holistic therapies and spa treatments, Kamalaya does offer something for everyone. It doesn't matter if you don't know your Kati Vasti from your Tui-Nai, because every Kamalaya stay begins with a wellness consultation where you can work with one of our qualified professionals to tailor a program that fits you perfectly.

Other facilities include:

  • Fitness Centre
  • Herbal steam cavern
  • Plunge pools
  • Elixir Bar
  • Yoga Pavilion
  • Yoga Sala
  • Pilates
  • 2 x swimming pools; a 25m lap pool and a leisure pool
  • Art gallery
  • Library
  • TV Lounge
  • Monk’s Cave - an inspiring place for reflection and meditation

Children

Children can be accommodated but are not actively encouraged.  There aren't any child concessions available, children below the age of 12 can stay free of charge, maximum one child sharing a room and no inter-connecting rooms available.

Location

40 minutes from Koh Samui airport.

Awards

2011 AsiaSpa Award Winner for Spa Retreat of the Year and Spa Cuisine of the Year.

5 night 'intro to detox'

From £2,410 per person

This program is ideal for people new to detoxification and cleansing. A great starting point for many health goals. More

7 night 'optimal fitness'

From £2,365 per person

Optimal Fitness is a personalised program designed to help people achieve their fitness goals.  More

7 night 'yoga synergy'

From £2,855 per person

This personal yoga and wellness retreat is suitable for beginners and experienced yogis alike, as is tailored to the individual’s skill level and goals. More

7 night 'asian bliss'

From £2,900 per person

A rare and life enhancing immersion into the holistic healing traditions of Asia.  More

7 night 'ideal weight'

From £3,045 per person

This is not a ‘fad’ diet designed for rapid weight loss, but a healthy lifestyle approach for long-term weight management and improved wellbeing.   More

7 night 'sleep enhancement'

From £3,320 per person

The focus of the Sleep Enhancement program is to re-establish healthy and restful sleep while addressing sleep issues and imbalances. More

5 or 7 night 'embracing change'

From £2,025 per person

Suitable for anyone seeking support for life change and life challenging situations of any kind. More

 

see all places to stay in koh samui