Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

What bliss was my first thought as my Indian head massage came to an end at Kamalaya Koh Samui Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa.

Kamalaya Koh Samui *

Looking out on the resort’s verdant green vegetation to the blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand from my Sea View suite ensured those thoughts continued well after my massage ended.

Talking to fellow guests suggested many held similar thoughts although I quickly discovered one woman’s idea of bliss is different to another’s!

I was experiencing Kamalaya’s seven night Relax and Renew program – the wording of which I took to heart.

My suite at Kamalaya.

As a result, most of my days were spent in the wellness sanctuary enjoying all sorts of different massage and ‘pampering’ treatments, morning sleep-ins, lots of afternoon naps and healthy meals chosen from an a-la-carte menu.  Others staying at the resort were on programs such as detoxing, optimal fitness, embracing change and ideal weight all of which seemed far more demanding and less indulgent.

Having the flexibility to choose what you can and can’t do was the attraction of Kamalaya and on that front it didn’t disappoint. As the resort’s literature explains: “Every person that walks through our doors has different needs, and at Kamalaya we give you the space, time and support to define and refine your wellness goals and personalise your program.”

The view from my bed which made it rather difficult to leave in the morning!

So while I savoured my daily caffeine hit and initially my ‘flop and drop’ style break, others could `enjoy’ a dandelion caffeine free coffee, chose meals from the Detox, Ideal Weight or Mediterranean Keto menus and attend all sorts of classes listed on the Holistic Activity Schedule.  No one said I had to attend any of these classes, change my attitude to life or any of the other mantras adapted by many wellness/spa resorts.

Some suggestions were made as a result of my meeting with a wellness consultant after my `body bio-impedance analysis’ which was conducted at the beginning of the program.  This test, which covers such areas as fat mass index, skeletal muscle mass and body composition, suggested I needed to do more to build up my muscles and probably lose a few kilos. But there was no pressure to do so during my stay although after a few days I did decide it was time to use  Kamalaya’s gym and lap pool. Given all menu options are based on the use of very healthy ingredients I ate what I wanted without feeling guilty – albeit only choosing the delicious chocolate and macadamia mousse on two nights!

The lap pool.

While signs all around the resort asked guests not to use mobile devices in any public area (sadly a few found this request hard to follow) there is internet connectivity in the guest rooms and the library, which also has several computers, ensuring those who want to stay connected with the outside world can do so.

What: Kamalaya Koh Samui Seven Night Relax and Renew Program.

When: May 2024.

How Did It Rate

My outdoor bath and shower.

Room 29, my Sea View suite.  The room had everything needed for a relaxing and very comfortable stay. The highlight was being able to see the sea from my large and extremely inviting bed. The room was spacious with a separate indoor seating area, balcony and outdoor bath and shower. The only disappointment – the request not to use the bath due to water shortages. Like all of the property’s 76 rooms the suite included tea making facilities, with complimentary herbal teas, daily fresh fruit, options of different pillows and a sleeping mask. The feel of and views from the room made it, at times, hard to leave!

The spa treatments. My seven-day package included a number of different spa treatments including a traditional Asian hand massage, Indian head massage, traditional Thai massage, Vital Essence Oil massage, Upper Body Tension Relief massage, Anti-Aging Revive and Awakening facial and Lotus Scrub and Wrap.  Treatments were delivered by efficient and very friendly therapists and were brilliant.  On hearing what was involved in the Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage I decided to replace it with a couple of other favourites.  While there was an extra cost, due to the discounts involved in packaging treatments, the Indian head massage and Asian foot massage were worth the money.

One of the wellness treatment rooms.*

The staff. Everyone I came across was extremely friendly and helpful including the reception staff and engineer who on my arrival and the following morning worked hard to fix my air conditioning which was having a ‘few issues’.

The food. While the food wouldn’t classify as gourmet there were many options on offer according to the wants and requirements of guests. The al-a-carte menu featured local fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, whole grains and legumes. No red meat is served with protein options coming from eggs, fish, seafood and poultry. No processed foods, additives, preservatives, artificial flavourings or colourings, MSG or foods that contain trans-fats feature in any of the menu options. While some of the food/broths/juices offered on the Detox, Ideal Weight and Mediterranean Keto menus  didn’t look or sound all that appetising I was certainly satisfied with my options.

My balcony.

The resort’s design.  Built on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, the resort features plenty of tropical vegetation, streams, granite rocks and has a restful and aesthetically pleasing look and feel. It also features its own 250 metre beach. The only disadvantage – all the treatment rooms are located at the top of the hill which, given the May heat, meant arriving at the treatment room rather hot, sweaty and out of breath!

Kamalaya’s beach.

The facilities including a well equipped fitness centre, a hall where meditation and yoga are held, another fitness centre used for pilates classes, two swimming pools – one a lap pool the other a leisure swimming pool – and several different types of saunas and plunge pools.

There are three dining areas – the Soma restaurant which is open for breakfast and dinner, the Amrita Café which is open for lunch and the Alchemy Tea Lounge which serves afternoon tea. The resort is located around 50 minutes from Koh Samui airport and is rather isolated. While most guests seemed to want to spend their time enjoying the resort’s facilities it does offer a sunset cruise, a Thai Temple Tour and other sightseeing options at an extra cost.

Soma restaurant (lower level) and the Alchemy Tea Lounge (upper level).*

A few guests seemed to struggle with the resort’s no use of mobile phones in public areas despite internet access being offered in the rooms. There’s no televisions in the room but there is a television with satellite connection in the library and TV/DVD players are available on request.

Choosing the right package can be very confusing.  There are many options and while the flexibility to change is welcome it can be confusing and costly. Given the range of options – there are around 18 different wellness packages ranging in length from three days to weeks – working out what you want can be overwhelming. Interestingly, most of the guests during our stay had been to the resort more than once and knew exactly what treatments/programs they wanted. Given a stay at Kamalaya is not cheap, ensuring the right option is likely to assist in achieving the resort’s aim of inner peace and tranquility!  The resort offers  a 15-minutes complimentary pre-arrival consultation to help guest choose the right wellness program,

*Photo credit: Kamalaya.



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Annette Schaub
Annette Schaub
24 days ago

Great review Jenny. I’m glad you enjoyed your time at Kamalaya and refreshed in readiness for another adventure!

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