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“Great resort”
Review of Kamalaya Koh Samui

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Kamalaya Koh Samui
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Laem Set
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 August 2011

Spent three days here as a wind down. Did the job perfectly. Food and spa are excellent. Being built on a hill, you certainly get your share of exercise walking up and down to the beach. i had a hillside suite but on reflection think would have preferred one of the villas. Occasionally felt that the service was a bit slow and that they were little understaffed. Would happily return though.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank PKFlanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 August 2011

......then this is your place! Very good service and the massages at the "wellness center" were excellent, but it wasn't a perfect fit for me. I should have been in a 5 star hotel elsewhere on the island......felt quite isolated (many people come and never leave the property which is just not me) in the SE corner of the island. Plus very steep hill to get to beach made it a chore to get from your room to beach. I didn't do the detox so could eat what I liked from the menu which was all healthy and very good........but on reflection all I needed was a high end hotel with a great spa, not all the extra "crunchy" stuff too. .

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank redbritgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

I went on a weight loss and spa holiday with luxury in mind and booked myself in to the 1 bedroom ocean front suite with pool. On day one found out that 95% of what I had to do as part of my package was located at the top of a huge hill... I really thought I'd never be able to do it and huffed and puffed like I was 90yrs old. On day 1 the GM walked by and asked me how it was going and I could barely speak. The whole layout of the hotel is stunning, with views that I could sit and look at for hours and hours. I had medical analysis, healing, infra-red sauna, acupuncture, massages, personal training, yoga, beauty treatments etc etc - so I was busy. They also try to sell you other treatments and my bill went up quite a lot so I’d warn to be careful of this. Loved everyone = every single person who works here just the best people I met working in any hotel/spa. There are so many things to say, so many things to recommend, the food, the treatments - everything. Only disappointment is the pool, it's small but you don't care because the beach is glorious and really no time for lounging around. By day 5 I was walking up the hill and saw again the GM and he was asking how I was liking it and I said... yeah it's great but dreading that hill and he said "what the one behind you?" and as I turned around to look realised I hadn’t even noticed it, embarrassingly it looked so tiny I wondered why I'd ever found it hard to climb! Honestly, staying here for the 12 nights changed me completely. It made me look 10-15yrs younger, feel fitter, happier, content, healthy etc etc etc. I want to go back every year. I heard people complaining that it's not the Chiva Som or Six Senses Destination, and I guess it's not but they are not aiming at spoiling you they are aiming at healing you and believe it works. I was alone and I'd have liked a tv/dvd in my room but it's a retreat for relaxation and not their policy but I found the nights a bit slow. I also found the bed so damn hard but on my last day found out that they will give you mattress covers. Bathrooms are lovely and mine had part of the bathroom built into the rockface, really unique and you feel like you are having a shower in the jungle. Lots of classes to do and the view from the pavilion is stunning. I was a bit grumpy about lack of luxury but on reflection the positive changes the entire experience made to my life, has made me realise how lucky I was to stay here... in fact I went to the Four Seasons afterwards for 8 days and that was a HUGE mistake! It is a beautiful beautiful spot and it fills your soul with such contentment that stayed with me a long long time after I left.

Room Tip: I wouldn't worry about booking the suite, because you are rarely in your room.
  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled solo
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8  Thank tani267
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2011

Fantastic resort, super food, kind people. I did the Detox and it was great.
I lost 2 kilo's in two weeks, but Detox is not to lose wight, but I was happy with the results.
Detox is an easy way here to clean your body.
I was very happy that Ferran Moreno was there, he did the rolfing methode for my back, it was great. The whole staff was very kind and helpfull, when I was on the beach to bring me back with the buggy, was no problem at all.
I certainly want to go there again.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank nardastip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2011

When I researched spas and retreat locations in Thailand (and throughout South-East Asia, I looked at many places from the most basic to 5-star locations. I finally decided on Kamalaya even though at first glance I thought it was A LOT of money for a retreat center. I booked a 14 day visit (7 days Detox, followed by 7 days Ideal Weight program).The fact that they had won so many top spa awards in the last year or so was a key determinant.

However, I am here, writing my very first TripAdvisor review to tell you that it is worth every penny. Not only did I lose 5kg (-2% body fat and 2.2 % increase in overall muscle mass), but I added another 4 days to the end of my trip.

Here's what I loved:

From the pickup at the airport (with cool, wet fragrant handtowels and water waiting for me in the car after being in the non-air conditioned Koh Samui airport) to my arrival and throughout my stay there the service was excellent.

The staff are genuinely friendly (an amazing Thai cultural trait) and got to know "me" and my likes and dislikes very quickly. Unlike another review I read here, I was able to easily and quickly change the times of various treatments (though I bet this is easier because it was low-season).

The treatments from Chinese Medecine with Andé to the fabulous Thai massages from Moo and Rak (and I've had many of those in my lifetime), the lymphatic drainage massage, or the infra-red sauna's - every single one was very professional. The staff are clearly well-trained. My program kept me busy, but I enjoyed the treatments so much that I added on additional massages and various "visiting practitioner" events, like a Lomi-Lomi massage an and a very good astrological profile and palmistry.

The whole atmosphere of the place is warm and inviting. The medical staff (real nurses and a doc), the nutritionists (Joann and Renée were fab!) and practitioners were of very high calibre.

I fell out of bed each morning and into a yoga class at 8am. (18 days straight of yoga is a world's record for me!) The teachers were excellent and were able to teach to both beginning and very advanced students simultaneously. The Yoga Pavillion is this round, thatched roof building, with a beautiful view to the bay. It was a magnificent way to start the day. Each day was a different type of yoga which kept it fresh and exciting.

In the late afternoons I also participated (occasionally) in several classes such as Pilates, Cardio Combat, Abs Express, etc for those that weren't into yoga or wanted even more workout in a day. Though I had only a few personal training sessions in my Ideal Weight program, I liked my trainer (Khun Em) so much, that I added more sessions in so that I worked with him every day. He made me laugh as much as he made me sweat! The routine was varied and he was very knowledgable. He also took the time to stretch me at the end of every PT session, which was like having a mini-Thai massage thrown in!

There were also great social events like the lighting of the lanterns out at the beach (where you got to tie a wish onto your own lantern), meeting some local monks who came to a special ceremony at Kamalaya (or you could visit them during the temple tour).

Last but not least - the food! The FOOD! Magnificent. I was never, ever hungry. There was plenty of amazingly beautifully served and well prepared food. I could not imagine that I could eat no-carb, low calorie,low fat, non-dairly, low-glycemic index for this many days. Bravo to the chef and the fantastic wait staff. (Especially smiling Toon!) - If you are one of the waitstaff's favorites, they'll even sing you their special Kamalaya detox song - not to be missed ! : ) My favorite was the pumpkin curry (though I think that was a little less low-fat than some of the other things!).

Don't worry, if you are just coming for rest and relaxation or have a partner not on a program, there is plenty of non-detox/weightloss food, including yummy wines, good meats (I hear the lamb was especially good) and deserts to make the Community Table people drool. I ate the Pad Thai with prawns and a chocolate mousse on my last night.
The Community Table was a source of much laughter and "comparing notes" on programs and practitioners every evening. Not only that, but I met dozens of people and at least three of them have already become new, long terms friends. We are plotting how to all meet up again there next year!

One other thing - another review that I read before I went said that the place was just out to get you to spend more money. I did not get that impression at all. I did add 4 days and a bunch a treatments to my stay, mostly because of the great reviews I heard at the community table and because I was so pleased with my success and measurements that I wanted to continue. The "extras" I added were well worth it. But forewarned is forearmed. You will be tempted by many things, but you can easily just do a program and not be pushed into any extras.

A few things you should know:

Kamalaya is built into the side of a hill, and so you will be doing a lot of walking up and down steps. This adds to the workout, but can make you sweat even more the first few days until you adjust to it.

I had a hillside room with a sea-view. This was good though I think next time, I'll spend the little bit extra and get the next level up or share a villa. This is a wellness center not a 5* hotel, so you can't compare it to the Mandarin Oriental or an Intercontinental, but the room was spacious, nice and did have a lovely view.

There are plenty of fun things to do on the island and getting out of Kamalaya every once in a while is easy and fun. It's easier to rent a motorbike or a car and cruise around to see the rest of the islands sights.

My one minor disappointment was the beach. You need to wear swim sandals or booties (provided by Kamalaya) because there is so much coral and shells that your feet will get too scratched up. The lagoon/bay is protected by a coral reef so really you can only wade in the water even at high tide at low tide there is almost no water. You need to walk about 300m to get to a break in the reef so you can really swim. However there is a great hammock and plenty of lounge chairs and people to look after you. The pools were great but some hardcore lap swimmers might be disappoined. I wasn't.

I can't thank the owners and staff of Kamalaya enough for a thoroughly enojoyable, relaxing and rejuvenating vacation! I'm looking forward to returning!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
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10  Thank Libbyinfrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2011

I arrived very exhausted and covered in rashes and left three nights and a petit detox program later in pretty good condition. I enjoyed my stay which was full with classes, treatments and other activities, but can't imagine staying longer - it gets boring after a while.
Here's my account. First, the good stuff:
- great fun and effective classes led by knowledgeable instructors
- phantastic naturologist (unf. Lily is not there any more)
- fresh fruit juice around the clock
- pretty good treatments
- healthy and tasty food, which however gets boring after two days i.e. after you have gone through the entire menu, as the basic ingredients don't change.
- the quietude
- pretty and friendly women staff in the restaurants (they get to know you after a while)
- clean rooms
Now the not-so-impressive part:
- NO real beach, no lap pool. How can you be in Koh Samui, and not have access to a proper beach!!!!!
- again, the food gets boring after a while. I don't mind turning vegan for a few days, but I need greater variety (I am from Japan and accustomed to tasty and healthy food).
- Rooms are very basic, considering the prices. Clean, but not luxurious at all. The lack of a clock in the room, despite the staff urging you to be on time for classes is a drawback.
- and yes, it is quite expensive, especially if you book extra stuff.
But, all said, I would still recommend a 3 or 4 night stay to an overworked executive!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled solo
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3  Thank Tawanaanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2011

Lovely treatments in a peaceful setting with attentive staff. Probably the most relaxing vacation I've ever had.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank michelle77773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kamalaya Koh Samui

Address: 102/9 Moo 3, Laem Set Rd, | Na-Mueang subdistrict, Laem Set, Ko Samui 84140, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Laem Set
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Laem Set
Price Range: £178 - £458 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kamalaya Koh Samui 4*
Number of rooms: 59
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Also Known As:
Kamalaya Koh Samui Hotel Laem Set
Kamalaya Hotel Koh Samui
Kamalaya Spa Koh Samui
Kamalaya Koh Samui Ko Samui, Thailand

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