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Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat
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Reviewed 7 May 2014

This is the first time I write a review on a facility and I have traveled the world. My experience was so bad that I thought it important that I share it with you. If you are into roughing it, this would be the destination for you. Since I am not, I want those of us who go on a vacation to rest and relax to know about this place. First, I want you to know that I was in an "ocean front" cabin for two that cost a little over $300 per day, so I wasn't paying for a bare boned facilities. I say "ocean frront" because we had a window we could see the ocean, no porch, no door, nothing, just a window. When I say bare boned, I mean we had a wooden bed with a foam pad on it, see the attached picture. On the website, it looks like a twin bed with a mattress, it is not. At 6 feet tall and 250 pounds, I simply could not find anyway to get any rest and in fact, woke up in so much back pain that I couldn't sit long enough to participate in the yoga class the next morning. I then went to the office at 9 am and asked to speak to a manager to see if they could find a room with a mattress for me. After waiting an hour and a half, the manager came to the office and advised me that the few rooms they had with mattresses were occupied and that they had no other occomodations for us. It is important to note that we had not been at the Ashram a full day yet. They recommended that I see if there was any availability next door at the Atlantis and that is eventually what I did. In the interim, however, I asked them to please give me a refund since it was not my fault that they could not provide a room with a mattress and I simply could not function do to my back pain if they had no other availablity other than a foam pad on a wooden board. I then got the line that there were NO REFUNDS at the Ashram. Mind you, we were originally booked for 4 nights and when we got there, before we went to our "ocean front" room, we extended our reservation for another night, total of 5 nights. I found this particularly offensive since they only required a $200 deposit to hold the reservation and they now were keeping $1,545.00 for less than a 24 hour stay at their facility. I was told by the manager on duty that she simply did not have the authority to give me a refund and that she would see what she could do. This is also interesting since this Ashram is apparently so religious. They obviously find no problem with keeping customers' money when the service they provide that customer is substandard. To be clear, we entered the Ashram in the afternoon of April 29, 2014, left in the morning of April 30, 2014 and it is now May 7, 2014 and I have not heard anything back from them on keeping all of our money for our very brief stay at their facility. But it gets better, and I think you should know the whole story before you elect to stay at this facility. Our "ocean front" cabin for $300 a night had a communal bath that the shower did not work and the bathrooms, also communal, were not very clean. We joked that we could take a bath in the ocean then wash off the salt at the outdoor shower. I thought that was a better idea than running the risk of catching something in the shower. The first day we arrived, on our way to our room we passed the kitchen where we saw workers working on food prep in the open air with no gloves or attention to sanitary conditions. The food, although very basic, was aweful and served from large pots that looked like they contained pig slop. NOTHING LIKE THE PHOTOS ON THE WEB SITE. Still, that did not phase me, I've been to war and I have had to deal with unsanitary conditions in the past. Although I could not eat any of the prepared food because it was simply so bad, we joked about how that was a positive becasue we would lose some weight while we were at the Ashram. For dinner, they had tea, also prepared in a large pot that people would ladle into their cups. Oviously, as people handled their cups and ladled tea into them, over the pot, tea would get on the outside of the cups and fall right back into the pot of tea for the next person to ladle into their cup. Frankly, it grossed me out and I stuck to my bottled water. I suggest that you read the negative reviews on this place, they are pretty much on the mark and I wonder if the positive reviews are coming from the folks that work there or are volunteering there to get their yoga certifications. I have never experienced such a huge discrepancy between the reviews on this cite and reality as it relates to the positive reviews. My final suggestion is that unless you are into roughing it, you reserve only one night and check it out for yourself so you don't have my experience of paying over $1500.00 for a one night stay in a dump. I hope you realize it was that bad, that we left without a refund. Finally, let me end this on a positive note, the beaches on Paradise Island are absolutely gorgeous and the facilities at the Atlantis are awesome!

Room Tip: I would never return to this facility so there is no tip I can offer other than, STAY AWAY!
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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45  Thank George L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

I have been to the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat more then once.
I have found that when you reach the grounds of the ashram, you are being transported to Paradise.The ashram is shrouded by the trees and plants that were planted there by nature itself untouched and undisturbed by human hands.
As soon as you step in, there is a feeling of calmness and serenity and after a short while you feel like you have left all your worries behind. Life takes a different pace here and suddenly you are able to think clearly without pressure and view and value things in your life from a different angle.
After you have settled into the yoga classes and meditation things material in your life take less importance then before and you start listening more to the inner self. Your problems and your achievements take a different roll and you become calmer and able to think more clearly without pressure and suddenly see easier solutions to your personal problems.
Your day goes by at ease and in between classes you can attend lectures on different subject not necessarily related to yoga, given by highly qualified individuals for those subjects.Those individuals come from all over the world as guests of the ashram.
The people who come to experience the yoga in the ashram are all by and large interesting individuals and you hear a lot of interesting life experiences as you join them for the fulfilling relaxed meals served by the staff and fellow members.
During the day you have plenty of time to relax, read a book or just take a nap and at night you retire to your quarters facing the blue ocean and just fall asleep listening to the endless waves.
The staff are all very helpful and knowledgeable and you will always find a good listener to your thoughts.
Once experienced the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, you leave knowing full well that you will come back again for that special experience you had there.

Room Tip: I would always prefer being close to the sea & sun
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank RANI S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

My experiences at this retreat have been wonderful. I was impressed with the overall cleanliness of the retreat, including the washrooms, showers and kitchen area. The retreat is set on a beautiful beach and it ia just a short taxi ride away from the airport. The reception desk is very helpful and informative, providing you with information about yoga classes, presentations and any other events happening at the retreat. I am a novice to yoga and the classes were very helpful towards beginners. I entered an intermediate class and they were very informative and encouraging.

The food is amazing. The food is lacto-vegetarian and it is served buffet style. There are many options to choose from and the brunch and dinner are both delicious and plentiful. I was initially concerned that there was too little choices for a non vegetarian like myself, but was pleasantly suprised with the amount and choice of foods offered at the retreat.


Overall, I would definitely recommend this retreat to newcomers. It has been an amazing experience.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank Emmy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

I have taken (ATTC) Advanced Teachers Training Course in the Yoga Retreat, and it was far beyond my expectations, it was even much stronger experience than the TTC that I did in Canada one year before. The Ashram at Bahamas, was like a heaven for me, great weather, clear sea, balanced, tasty food, and most important - the atmosphere of love, harmony, peace...
I wish so much that there were more places like this....
My most sincere recommendations !

Ilia

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Ilia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

The setting is gorgeous with white sand beach and emerald green-blue carribean sea. Food is delicious and wholesome. The energy in the ashram is amazing. Accomodation is simple and clean, in line with yogic living. I just finished the Raja Yoga course. The course is highly recommended if you want to find answers to burning questions such as: "who are we," "where are we going," and "why is it so hard to find permanent happiness and peace in this world". The answers will blow your mind, and you will receive practical instructions on how to answer these questions for yourself and how to achieve the ultimate goal of humanity -- to find God. This knowledge is sacred and was revealed to Yogis many thousand years ago. It was definitely a transforming experience for me, and I will be back for more.

Room Tip: you can bring your own tent, or book a tenthut or a room; I like simple living and stayed in a tenthut - clean and simple and it had all I needed.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Thomas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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