A one-stop destination spa with spiritual undertones. People come here to lose weight, recover from illness, clear their minds and de-stress. Built on the site of a Buddhist’s monk cave, the vibe is very serene and the tropical hillside setting immediately reconnects you with nature.
Accessible from Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Singapore, and a 45-minute drive from Samui Airport. If you are travelling from the UK it’s a long journey so allow at least for a seven-night stay, and if you can make it 10 then all the better. Do be aware that the hotel is spread over a steep (if beautiful) incline.
Address: 102/9 Moo 3, Laem Set Road, Na-Muang Koh Samui, Suratthani 84140, Thailand.
Style & character
Think slick, jungle-forest living. Kamalaya is fresh and updated, yet the atmosphere is potent and meditative. There’s a peaceful if small golden beach, pretty pools, dragonfly ponds, even an ancient Buddhist cave.
Service & facilities
Immediately you feel looked-after. There are detox and weight-loss programmes, state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures (including tests for thyroid problems and hormone imbalances) and a mass of classes: pilates, fit ball, meditation, power walks, and different types of yoga, as well as cookery lessons, two pools, a library, boutique and temple.
The open-air, hill-top treatment rooms are what you will remember — a gentle breeze wafting over you as the sun sets, and an intuitive therapist unravels your computer shoulders and frazzled brain, ensuring you the best night’s sleep you’ve had in ages. Yes there’s a steam cabin, but it’s usually so hot you won’t want to use it. Treatments cover everything from Indian head massages and detoxing scrubs to Ayurvedic massages and acupuncture. Most guests opt for a dedicated wellness programme with stipulated meals and treatments. These vary from the balancing and revitalising to those that tackle stress and burn out.
The older rooms are more rustic, with outdoor bathrooms, whilst the newer rooms are bright and airy, and situated at the top of the resort, close to the Yantra Hall, so very near to the fitness center, yoga pavilion, wellness sanctuary and dining. Perhaps steer away from the darker hillside rooms.
Food & drink
Two restaurants offer zingy, fresh healthy food. For breakfast, dip into the gigantic buffet — fruits, yoghurts, juices etc, for lunch perhaps a spicy curry or mega salad by the swimming pool, and for dinner either lemongrass coconut stew or the likes of a detox pumpkin soup.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Not suitable for those with difficulty being mobile.
Kamalaya is not recommended for children and you must be over 16 to use wellness facilities or participate in activities.
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