Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa is an outstanding wellness sanctuary and holistic spa on the lush, palm-fringed tropical island of Koh Samui, Thailand, a magical, peaceful, luxurious and centering enchantment, all at the same time.
Founded by John and Karina Stewart in 2005, their vision was to bring together diverse traditions of healing and culture in a nurturing environment from which people can explore and embrace life’s potential. The facilities and accommodations encircle a centuries-old cave, once used by Buddhist monks as a place for meditation and spiritual retreat. Customized wellness programs merge the ancient holistic healing traditions of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda with contemporary Western philosophies. Holistic fitness practices, group retreats and individual programs such as Stress & Burnout, Detoxification & Rejuvenation, Sleep Enhancement and more are integrated with a healing diet for optimal wellbeing.
We visited Kamalaya recently to languish amongst coconut groves and dense, mountainous rainforest and arrived to a welcome of chilled butterfly tea tonics as a total sense of calm embraced us. We immediately spied other happy and relaxed guests who were drifting from one wellness experience to the next, completely unplugged from technology (cell phones use is only permitted in guest rooms). Many guests were solo–about half the guests at Kamalaya come alone–and seemed to be in no hurry to do anything.
We started our visit with a Vital Oil Essence Massage, but not before a consultation with an on-site homeopath who reviewed our health history, lifestyle habits at home, and wellness goals for our visit. The masseuses were the best we experienced in Thailand–highly skilled and truly attentive to problem areas and personal concerns. Post massage tea was self-serve in the “quiet room,” an outdoor living room for silent recuperation with private lounge chairs up in the trees.
Karina Stewart and her husband, John, are a dream team; he was a practicing monk for decades, she is a Master of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine bringing wellness through food. Together their special knowledge and this sacred space make true transformations occur.
The fitness and spa facilities were are world class. There are inviting plunge pools, steam caverns, fitness and yoga facilities. A small boutique sells stylish beachwear and necessities.
The attractive Zen-like rooms do not have televisions, encouraging serene connection with oneself. Villas line the path down to a private stretch of pristine beach. Alcohol is available, but many guests chose to abstain, making the public lounge areas quiet and free of chatty distractions.
Founded on principles of time-tested holistic healing traditions, Kamalaya offers artful and inspired cuisine that is healing in function and tantalizing in taste. Their extensive menu has western and Thai options for many diets such as detox, maintenance and weight loss. Dishes featured local Thai produce we hadn’t tried anywhere else on the island, and left us feeling light and very much satisfied. Every guest is gifted with the Kamalaya cookbook at the end of their visit, and we walked away with one, too.
Over all, Kamalaya is a very special place for those seeking a wellness program to destress, detox, connect with their mind, or improve physical health. But even if your ideal vacation doesn’t include working on yourself, Kamalaya is an incredible option. The resort itself is as beautiful as any five-star hotel but has a much more secluded feel. You will be indulged working your way through their huge menu, but will walk away from your vacation more svelte than when you arrived. And to top it off, because they employ wellness experts in massage and homeopathic medicine, you know any spa experience will be more than skin deep. Kamalaya has the power to truly improve your current state by realizing your life’s true potential.
All stays at Kamlaya include complimentary attendance to the scheduled holistic activities: yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Choose a cozy room, hillside villa, sea view or pool suite and opt for one of Kamalaya’s results-oriented wellness programs or custom design your own. Accommodations start at approximately $250 for two. A five-night Basic Optimal Fitness program is approximately $5000 for two. Evening activities like films and discussions are on the house. Start the healing and enhance the inward journey, comfort and nurture your physical body and mind with the extraordinary Kamalaya Experience. http://www.kamalaya.com.
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