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Our review : Kamalaya in Thailand

Nestled on Koh Samui’s southern coast, Kamalaya is not just a wellness sanctuary, but a veritable oasis where mental, physical and spiritual health meet. Inspired by the experiences of its founders, John and Karina Stewart, in the Indian Himalayas and by traditional Chinese medicine, Kamalaya offers a unique experience. Upscale without being ultra-luxe, the key word here is authenticity. Pascal Languillon, Director of Luxe Wellness Club, shares his unforgettable experience in this magical place.

A benchmark in wellness

Upon arrival at Koh Samui airport, guests are greeted with a private transfer in a luxury air-conditioned SUV. Once on site, a guided tour in a buggy reveals the various facilities, from rooms to private villas with swimming pools, as well as the fitness center, yoga pavilion, meditation grotto, beach and communal areas…

A beautifully landscaped hotel (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Kamalaya unfolds on a sacred hill, a place of spiritual quest for Buddhist monks and nuns for centuries. It was here that founder John Stewart found a cave and decided to build a unique wellness center in 2005. Surrounded by rocks, tall trees and lulled by birdsong, this place offers total immersion in nature, with a tranquil beach and many charming spots for contemplation.

With its thatched-roof villas, airy pavilions, waterfalls and lotus ponds, Kamalaya offers an extraordinary experience. Its peaceful atmosphere attracts a varied clientele from all over the world, all in search of peace and serenity. The communal tables make it easy to chat and get to know each other, which is very useful when you’re traveling alone, as I was.

An interesting aspect of Kamalaya is its encouragement of digital detox. Mobile devices are not really welcome during meals, favoring enriching interactions and conversations. The superb pools, framed by lotus basins and adorned with elephant statues, evoke the traditional bathing areas of Nepal and India. It’s truly magnificent!

The only bad surprise as far as I’m concerned: the beach isn’t particularly swimmable because it’s so shallow. So you have to walk in the water for a long time before you can fully immerse yourself. Of course, there are plenty of swimming pools to make up for this, and I found the beach to be truly magnificent in spite of everything. It’s private, so it’s very quiet! I loved my sunset kayak trip

Rooms with rustic charm

The 76 rooms and villas are set amid ancient granite boulders, soothing streams and tropical vegetation. The first room category, Hillside, is reserved for those on a budget (from around only 200 euros/night), but if you can afford it, I recommend opting for at least one sea-view suite.

My bright room (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

I found my room bright, quite comfortable and pleasant, but certainly not ultra-luxurious. Compared with the establishments marketed by Luxe Wellness Club, Kamalaya is a step down in this respect. This is because the establishment is some twenty years old, and this can be seen in the furniture, and the bathroom design in particular.

However, the higher categories are luxurious in terms of space, views and private pools, so those looking for a very high-end experience can find it if they go up a budget. That’s why I liked Kamalaya too, because it offers high-end wellness that’s much more affordable than its big Thai competitors, Chiva Som and Rakxa Integrative Wellness.

The XXL version of wellness

Kamalaya boasts a multi-award-winning spa, a hammam built into the rock, several open-air Jacuzzis, an infrared sauna, and numerous treatment rooms. The wellness center is surrounded by greenery-lined paths, linking the accommodation to the rest of the resort.

Each stay begins with a personalized consultation, guaranteeing an experience tailored to the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of each guest. The wellness programs are comprehensive, integrating Eastern and Western medicinal traditions, with a team of over 50 wellness professionals. In fact, I had this initial consultation by video conference before even arriving on site, which enabled the staff to build up my program so that it was ready on the first day of my stay.

A Jacuzzi with an unforgettable view (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Kamalaya offers over 70 therapies and treatments. Programs are designed to offer a personalized approach, enabling clients to achieve specific goals and maintain the changes they have initiated once they return home.

An expert team of therapists, ayurvedic doctors, acupuncturists and wellness specialists offer daily treatments, complementing the holistic experience with traditional Thai massage, reflexology and other specialized treatments.

I really enjoyed the group yoga sessions in the magnificent sala overlooking the sea. There are many other group classes on offer: Qi Gong, Meditation, Fitness…

Thai massages, dressed (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The range of body care products I tested was very satisfactory. However, what left me with the greatest memory was the “Emotional Healing” session with an ancient Indian monk, Srini. In the space of an hour, Srini succeeded in getting me to talk about the wounds of my childhood and to seek support for the little boy I once was. A deeply moving moment for me… That’s when I realized what sets Kamalaya apart from other wellness resorts around the world: the spirituality! Perhaps only India’s Ananda in the Himalayas can compete in this respect.

What’s more, Kamalaya is constantly innovating in its health and wellness care. With the introduction of advanced therapies at Longevity House, customers can enjoy treatments such as IV vitamin infusions, ozone therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, offering a modern, scientific approach to health.

Very healthy cooking

Magnificent view from the restaurant (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The food at Kamalaya is another highlight, offering a superfood buffet for breakfast, with an impressive variety of vegetables, juices, milks, homemade breads, salads, fruits, nuts, seeds and teas. This breakfast, with this view… I’ll ask for it again and again!

Lunch and dinner menus are filled with fresh, organic ingredients, offering delicious dishes without feeling deprived, even for those following a detoxification program. Of course, the vast majority of the cuisine has a Thai flavor. However, some international dishes can also be prepared.

Super healthy breakfasts (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Compared with Rakxa , where I’d been a few days earlier, I found the food relatively simple, but just as delicious. Prices are low!

In particular, I remember eating curries of all kinds, not very spicy and very tasty. Also excellent fish dishes… Gotu Kola (Tiger Herb) shots were another highlight. It’s said to have proven health benefits, and to help treat anxiety… If you’re still not relaxed enough in this dream location!

Our video of Kamalaya

Our feeling

Kamalaya is more than just a wellness sanctuary: it’s a place of transformation and reconnection with oneself. Its exceptional natural setting, combined with a holistic approach to well-being, makes it an essential destination for those seeking to regenerate. Not the most luxurious in our collection, but certainly at the top when it comes to spirituality and authenticity!

Luxe Wellness Club

Book Kamalaya

Take advantage of our expertise in medicalized wellness stays and contact us for a personalized quote for Kamalaya.

Prices: From around 3,000 euros per week per person. Enjoy exclusive Luxe Wellness Club benefits: a free treatment and a half-day boat trip from April to October.

Call us for the USA: +1 (646) 980 6652 or for the UK: +44 20 4577 3258 to discuss your holiday plans.

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