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“Life Changing”

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Karuna Meditation Center
Ranked #22 of 31 Speciality Lodging in Kamala
Ireland
1 review
“Life Changing”
Reviewed 14 April 2010

My stay at the Karuna Meditation Center was a unique, thought provoking and insightful experience. The staff, the teachings and the surroundings encouraged safe personal development and growth whilst cultivating and nourishing inner peace, calm and contentment. I thoroughly recommend a visit - definitely the potential of a life changing experience.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled solo
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Thank IrishLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Denver
1 review
Reviewed 15 March 2010

The Karuna Meditation Center is a great place! As a solo traveler it was great to meet like minded people and take some time to sit and stretch. I spent a few extra days I liked it so much. The rooms are nice and clean and the staff was friendly and very helpful. The yoga and meditation are fantastic and helped me in my practice. I highly recommend!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled solo
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Thank kunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2010

Plus points: Near Kamala town/beach with all the usual amenitites, pool and yoga sala area lovely and peaceful. Julia’s yoga classes at lunchtime really are are great fun and I learned a lot from her. The meditiaion classes were also really informative, Sarah’s a good teacher. Small beach 5 minutes walk away. There is wi-fi included which was useful. Plus it's Thailand!

Minus points: The main communal areas are right on a main road, so loud you had to stop talking at times and my room was also very noisy, not ideal for a retreat (though the rooms up by the pool are quiet).

Food – breakfast is ok, (though I expected something healthier than fried eggs and French toast with white bread!) the other meals are austeer, little choice, bland, small portions and certainly not enough protein for a veggie diet. I ended eating out in the evenings (though you do have the option to buy frozen meals at the centre).

Didn’t find much ‘loving kindness’ in practice here, I only saw one person get a hug the whole week and I didn’t feel that I was in an emotionally supportive environment at all. The staff will walk past without acknowledging you (just rude) and the morning yoga teacher gave no help to the beginners in the class to the point where people dropped the yoga afterwards. I could have learned so much more about Buddhism and practice but nobody seemed to have the time or inclination to talk. They also ran out of drinking water one afternoon and did nothing about it until the next morning – in 30+ degrees heat that’s baaaad.

Some rooms are lovely, nicely furnished and great views, mine was hostel level – the bedsheets had rips and a child’s bedspread, the bins weren’t emptied all week. I did expect more for my $85.

In short, the centre is set up for experienced serious retreaters and to be fair they seem happy and getting what they want from being at Karuna, but for me there were some major areas which took away from my experience and unfortunately I couldn’t recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank jumbobelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sherwood, OR
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2010

I wanted a tropical beach & jungle setting to relax, do yoga a couple times a day, and maybe learn a little about yogic philosophy and meditation. I was sorely disappointed by what I found.

The traffic noise lightly mentioned in the website is actually traffic thunder. The "center" (consisting of the several front units in a residential condominuium still under development) is right next to the highway between tourist centers Patong and Kalama.
Even worse was the construction noise. I really enjoyed the high-quality yoga classes in the yoga sala by the pool by Julie ... until the sound of motors, skill saws, and construction vehicles straining up the steep hill intruded and left me feeling annoyed and angry.

When I booked my trip, the website claimed there was a beach within a 10 minute walk. Not true (and they've since removed the lie from the website). There is a beach that is within a very strenuous up and down hill, at least 30 minute, hike along a dirt road down to, you guessed it, a major construction site. This is the beach to which they drive yogis in a truck for morning yoga class. Not kidding about yoga"on" the beach; there is no yoga deck and I discovered that being covered in sand while trying to do yoga on a shifting surface is really not very pleasant and didn't do much for my practice. Especially when deeply inhaling the smoke from the construction debris burn pile.

In the context of trying to relax while being assaulted by construction and traffic noise, it was quite ironic that I myself felt that I was walking on eggshells trying not to disturb anyone. Per the website, I expected to keep silent while in the meditation hall, but I was informed on arrival that speaking was not allowed in any common areas, including the dining areas. So much for meeting people with common interests from around the world! And since my room was in the basement under the meditation hall and the doors and closets would slam without great care and caution, I couldn't even relax by myself in my room without tip-toeing around and feeling that I should stay put as my comings and goings to and from my room might disturb meditators. The somewhat run-down atmosphere and metal torture device masquerading as a mattress did not help brighten my outlook.

At first, I determined to make the best of it since wandering homeless around Thailand was not my idea of a relaxing retreat, so I took off to nearby Kalama beach town in the afternoons. As I began to realize that I would be paying an extra $10/day in cab fare to spend my vacation wandering around a dirty, over-run, tourist beach slum without even a lounge chair to sit on (unless I rented one for another several dollars a day), I determined that I needed to move on quickly before I wasted my vacation time and money on a miserable experience.

It was unfortunate that it took no less than 3 serious discussions with management over a period of a day and 1/2, wherein it was necessary to point out with diminishing delicacy that they had misrepresented thier center's policies and amenities in thier website, to get them to refund the money I had paid up front for my stay. Actually, they refused to refund all of it and I ended up paying for the three nights I stayed PLUS $100 "bribe" to get them to let me leave with most my money and without a nasty credit card dispute to work through when I got home. I will NEVER again pay up front for accomodations and will look very suspiciously upon any establishment that would request it.

It was worth the extra $100 to get out of there, though! I ended up enjoying just the idyllic island eco-yoga retreat I had envisioned with nicer accomodations and for less money at nearby Koh Yao Noi Island. Check it out at http://www.thailandyogaretreats.com/ THAT was a great experience!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank annetteinspain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
1 review
Reviewed 31 January 2010

This Yoga and Meditation center was everything I hoped for...and then some. The rooms were great, the people were great, I was sad to leave but happier for the experience!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Peepers123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Breckenridge, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2010

I stayed at KMC for a month in 2009 and will be returning for another month in May of 2010. While this is not a plush spa it is a clean and comfortable retreat center with wonderful yoga and mediation teachers. When I was there, I took the yoga classes 3 times a week and then took the rest of the time to practice on my own. I also attended all the meditation sessions which occurred 4-5 times a day. Teachings were given once a day Monday thru Friday and there were several times during the week when individual meditation interviews were held with the teacher. I found these extremely valuable in deeping my understanding of the practices and in having my questions answered. I also enjoyed walking along the streets which are quite steep and offer a great aerobic work out but afford lovely views of the ocean as you reach the top of the community.
The vegetarian meals were simple but delicious and I have to admit that i looked forward to them every day. I did do my own laundry and clean my room which I totally expected to do. There are various types of accommodations at this center to meet just about anyone's needs.
The purpose of my trip was to relax and spend 30 days with myself exploring the inner workings of my mind. I felt totally taken care of while I was at the center and with the guidance from the teachers, I felt that my purpose was fulfilled and then some. The whole staff was most helpful and accommodating during my entire stay. I would highly recommend KMYC to anyone wishing to deepen their yoga and/or meditation practice.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank bethmf999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
14dashow
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2010

I came to Karuna to deepen my mediation practice. What has come from my experience at Karuna is so much more. The practices taught at Karuna (both yoga and mediation) aren't about finding a "quick fix" or a way to escape life's problems, rather they are directed towards giving people the opportunity to find the inner strength, wisdom and confidence to transform their lives.

In my year here, I have seen people come in looking haggard and worn out and, within a matter of days completely transform Those who have truly put in the work (both on the cushion and the mat), have left literally looking brighter, happier, and, in some cases, years younger. (Being witness to others' transformations-not just my own-has been one of the lasting experiences that I will carry forward.)

Out of the meditation centers I've been to and heard about, I have to say, Karuna is one of the nicest (especially considering it's in Thailand!!) Not only do they offer private rooms, but everything you need (from food to laundry) is provided, leaving practitioners the time and space to focus on the "inner" exploration. It's nice to have the support KMYC offers while embarking on this journey.

If anything, my time at KMYC has afforded me the opportunity to strengthen personal discipline to continue my practice, find trust in myself and my own experience and further open my heart and mind.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
Helpful?
2 Thank 14dashow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Karuna Meditation Center

Property: Karuna Meditation Center
Address: 6 / 30 Moo 6, Nakatani Village, Kamala, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Kathu > Kamala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 31 Speciality Lodging in Kamala
Number of rooms: 16
Also Known As:
Karuna Meditation Hotel Kamala
Karuna Meditation Center Kamala, Phuket

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