Wellness just for you

Kamalaya is not just a getaway, but its programmes will also help all aspects of your life get in shape

A simple Google search of wellness programmes or retreats will have you bombarded with countless results. It's not at all difficult to book wellness treatments around Bangkok or in the provinces if you feel like doing a healthy getaway. But the numerous options out there can be overwhelming, and unless you take the time to also research what these treatments are, you might end up signing for something that will make you feel worse rather than better. Kamalaya, however, will do all the heavy lifting for you: they'll tailor a programme based on your goals and needs so you get treatments that actually help you. On top of that, it doesn't hurt that it's located on the beautiful island of Koh Samui.

First impressions

If you went to Kamalaya without doing any research beforehand, you'd think that it's simply a picturesque resort built into a cliffside with a breathtaking view of the ocean. The story goes that one of its founders, John Stewart, was walking through the jungles that used to be in place of the resort. It was here he found a cave that was religiously used by monks, and so he decided to preserve the cave and build Kamalaya on that piece of land. The cave can still be visited until now, but that's not the only thing that's been preserved. The resort's architecture seamlessly blends into nature with man-made structures as the buildings are built around rocks and trees, so don't be surprised to have a tree right in the middle of the balcony in your villa much like I did. Because of this, a majority of the resort is hidden behind a luscious array of trees and greenery, serving up a tranquil aesthetic. We haven't even mentioned the gorgeous beach they also have, complete with clear waters and white sand. However, there's more to Kamalaya than just the sights.

Chi Nei Tsang, Chinese abdominal massage.

Staying in

Kamalaya is a wellness resort that takes wellness seriously. When you book a room, it comes with a free consultation where they measure your weight and body mass index among other things, so they can suggest what treatments or programmes you should take. This ensures that the programmes you sign up for, whether it's time with a personal trainer in the gym or a Thai massage, are actually beneficial to you and help you in what you want to achieve. Feeling stressed? They might suggest a programme for you to relax. Feeling bloated? Detoxifying might be what you need.

The treatments are just the tip of the iceberg though. Kamalaya seeks to combine everything from their wellness programmes, their food and the environment you're surrounded with to create what they call a "synergistic wellness experience". A good example of that is in their cuisine. They have specific items especially made for those on a detox programme, but their entire menu is also healthy to a T. Everything is organic and none of it is processed, and while they do serve alcohol, they encourage guests to try some of their natural smoothies and juices instead. The detox doesn't just apply to food and their treatments but they also encourage guests to go on a digital detox. Using your phone is discouraged when out in the public spaces of the resort. Though they don't fine you or do anything harsh if you do use your phone, the staff have said that fellow guests are usually the first to ask people not to use their phones.

Traditional tea ceremony.

Raw chocolate cake.

There is nothing to be said about their rooms other than it offers the same tranquil relaxation that the rest of the resort already offers. Their Villa Sea View, which I stayed in, was spacious with high ceilings that make it seem like a loft. You can customise your sheets and your pillows to your preference, and the bathroom has an outdoor shower that adds that magical spice to your showers because there's nothing like showering under the starry Koh Samui skies. If you plan to spend some time soaking up the sun on the beach, you can go for their Beach Front Villa so you're not too far away from the sandy white beach. They also have rooms with their own private pools or ones with a garden view as well as a Hillside Room for those looking to stay at Kamalaya on a budget.

Final verdict

Kamalaya is the ultimate wellness getaway. It doesn't matter if you're someone who knows exactly what kind of remedies and treatments you need or if you're someone who simply wants to de-stress and detox. Kamalaya will not only suggest and provide the treatments you need, but they'll also have you staying in rooms where you'll have no choice but to relax because really, the whole resort is primed for your relaxation. In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Kamalaya is offering a special rate for domestic travellers that starts at a price of B3,500 per day which can be used for stays until Jun 30. If you're looking to stay for a longer period, which is the best way to really avail everything Kamalaya has to offer, they have the Extended Bliss package starting at a price of B75,000 per month for stays until May 31.

Kamalaya Wellness Resort, Laem Set Road, Na-Muang, Koh Samui, Surat Thani / Call 07-749-800, email info@kamalaya.com or visit www.kamalaya.com.

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