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“More like boot camp” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kamalaya Koh Samui

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Kamalaya Koh Samui
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Laem Set
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai (Bombay), India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“More like boot camp”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2010

The Kamalaya hotel website is misleading to say the least. This is NOT a luxury resort with spa treatments, it is a 'wellness centre' for people actually suffering from maladies. Throughout my five day visit there were elderly people walking around in white robes and everyone spoke in hushed tones. It was like being in some sort of an asylum.

My husband and I went to Kamalaya to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, and it was a huge mistake. Firstly, the hotel is very rustic and has none of the splendour and luxury that the pictures on the website lead you to expect. Our bathroom was almost completely open air, and it was raining at the time we visited, so going to the bathroom meant braving the wind and rain and showering with little frogs and big bugs at your feet. Going to the bathroom at night was of course impossible, much like living in the amazon.

The therapies and treatments are good, but the staff is intimidating and makes a big fuss about timings and schedules and appointments, even charging you a ridiculous fee if you happen to be unavailable for a session. So be careful before committing to a massage.

And now, to the food, which was absolutely the last straw. I am vegetarian, but my husband is non-vegetarian and neither of us really got anything to eat during our stay. Most of the time I went around faint with hunger. Unsuspecting vegetarians have only a variety of raw vegetables to choose from, and an array of nauseating 'health drink' concoctions. Potatoes are not even brought into the Kamalaya kitchen. By my third day I was ready to run out of the hotel and find some fries. My husband, equally famished, tried to get us a taxi to have a meal outside, but the reception staff was rude and did all they could to prevent us from going. Even my anniversary cake was sugar-free and made of wheat.

Kamalaya is ridiculously overpriced, the treatment is ok but not worth the starvation and discomfort. I would not recommmend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank AVC2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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356 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
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English first
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2010

Definitely a place for the chic soul traveller! After a stressful year I needed to get away by myself and "sort my head" ... The moment I arrived I could feel the tranquility and peacefulness of this place. The resort as you can see in the pictures and videos is just beautiful, the pictures actually doesn't do the place justice. The entire resort is spread out over a hill. The rooms are gorgeous (hilltop rooms rather "basic" though), the food extraordinary. At first, as a proper foodie l I thought what did I do to myself? Super healthy food? No carbs in the evening? But what I learned was the healthy food they prepared was the best I ever tasted. It took me a while to get used to "normal" food again after my holiday. The pool is pretty with luscious green around, the huts where you have your lunch are very comfy, the private beach is not great for beach lover as it is very shallow and you have to walk a bit for a swim, but they provide you with shoes at the beach. The Buddhist cave is also very peaceful place, great for meditation. The spa area is stunning, very quiet and top treatments (rather pricey though). Imagine a wonderful Thai Massage on a hill whilst watching the sun set. Breathtaking! Also, if you are spiritual person, there is loads of therapies and healers on side who are absolutely amazing people. It's the best place if you want some time out, need a "health and soul MOT", recharge your batteries. It's a great place to be alone without ever being alone. Beautiful spot on earth. I also enjoyed the fact that there were loads of other solo travellers, a few couples and families but no noisy kids. If you want some company, you'll find someone. If you need alone time, plenty of beautiful spots to retreat. Everyone, guest or staff, very very friendly and like minded. After 2 weeks I left as a different person, happier and focussed. This trip truly changed me and many things in my life because of what I experienced at Kamalaya.
However, even if you find yourself in paradise - do not forget you are still in Thailand -keep your money in the safe!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Cornelia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2010

Kamalaya is a great place to relax, workout and pamper your body and mind.

WHAT'S GREAT:
* food and drinks (amazing, very fresh, yummy) 99% of the menu is ultra-healthy and the curries are AMAZING. All the fruits/veggie cocktails are tasty.
* The property is beautiful and very well kept up. [As mentioned by other travellers, Kamalaya is on a steep hill that you cannot avoid, I didn't mind it but you need to be aware]
* the fitness classes (from personal training to yoga, pilates or a one-hour boot camp session on the beach) I LOVED IT ALL - the teachers are all great honestly.
* the SPA treatments: massages (prefered one by far is the Thai Massage), body scrub & wrap, manicure, pedicure... were FAB! the ladies at the Spa are delightful and very dedicated to their customers wellbeing.

WHAT'S NOT
Considering the amount of money I spent on this 10 day fitness retreat, I expected it to be perfect. It was great but far from meeting my expectations. I travel a lot and more often than not, I am very pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times.
* Although the personnel is very sweet, their level of English is appalling. It enduces many misunderstandings and unpleasant annoyances... I will spare you the details.. but grrr
* The room i was in was cute but for that price.. I was a bit surprised. (I had a suite) it's location was great though... the A/C is a real problem. I had no remote control so had to get up to adjust it and it's the loudest A/C i have EVER come across. not good (and it's too hot to avoid using it)
* you can change treatments in your package but at a cost (20%!).
* very pricey (especially for Thailand) but I knew that before I went so fine.

Overall, I would recommend Kamalaya as I did come home happy, rested and fit. Would I go back?... I might! or I'll try Chiva Som instead which I hear might be slightly better (not cheaper though!)

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank L_Dana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bombay
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2010

a relaxing vacation.Fabulous spa treatments,healthy food and a variety of activities make for a super holiday

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank diva3066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2010

We just got back from our second visit from Kamalya and we loved it just as much as the first time 6 months ago. We brought a friend this time and she loved it too. Having been a couple of times, I can say whole-heartedly that we would recommend this place, with the caveat that you do a bit of research (ie read the reviews) to make sure it is YOUR kind of place. Here is what I mean.
- In my opinion this is absolutely NOT a place for kids. Period. If you have kids, don’t go to Kamalaya.
- This is NOT a place for people dying to be in the ocean. It has a small beach with lovely sand, and nice chairs etc, but (as is said on their website and in many trip advisor reviews), it sits on a tidal cove that when the tide is out, there is no water. That being said, the first time we went, low tide was mid-day so we could not swim at all. This time when we were there, high tide was mid day, so in the morning and until mid day we could swim. Water was only 4 or 5 feet at best, but certainly swimmable. If swimming in the ocean is important to you, then check the tide tables before going.
- Is it pricey … yes. I don’t disagree with people commenting on its price, however I question how much research people did before hand. All of their prices are available. Prices for a lot of the treatments are indeed NYC or London or HK prices. Right or wrong, that’s what they are. I must say though, that we have loved all the treatments, and I probably got the best massage of my life from Saimy (107 point Indian massage).
- We now have stayed in the villas and in the 2-room beach-front villa with its own pool. We loved both of them. If you are looking for cheaper, they do have hotel room type places towards the back. They looked nice enough and probably more reasonable.
- We thought the food was fantastic (except for the coconut sorbet … great idea but awful taste). All meals offered a cornucopia of selections, every one of them tasty. I commented to one chef that after our first trip, I had attempted to make a dish that they served, but with no luck. Without batting an eye he (Ki) invited me back to the kitchen to prepare that very dish. How is that for service!
- We got the meal plan for about US$110 per day. I didn’t think this was too unreasonable for a resort and for the quality of the food. Their juice menu alone had 20 to 30 different types to try. We had fun trying a lot of them.
- This place is meant to be a relaxing, calming place. If you are looking for night life or an active bar, then don’t go to Kamalaya.
- Both times we went, we hired a private yoga instructor to help take our “practices” to the next level. To say we are beginner yoga people is an understatement, but have always found their classes and instructors to be great. Maybe now we are advanced beginners.
- We had the same naturopath both times we were there. Samantha (?) could not have been nicer and literally did not try to force us to buy any treatments whatsoever. She listened to our goals for the visit and made suggestions on classes that might make sense (note: free classes that were offered to all pple).
- Management: Our experience has been nothing but positive. We have dealt mostly with Christian and Clive both of whom were very helpful with different aspects to our stay.
- Lastly is the hill. Please read carefully. This place is on the side of a HILL. For a short period (maybe 50 to 75 feet) it is a STEEP hill. I am sure they would send the buggy for you to get from a lower, beach level villa to the top where the restaurant is, but just know that it is a hill. Is it walkable? Without a doubt. If you can’t do hills and you don’t want to depend on a buggy, then think hard about this place.
The first time we stayed, we stayed for 5 nights. We felt completely at peace, de-toxed, stretched and relaxed. This time we were there for only3 full days, and felt like it wasn’t quite enough to get the full Kamalaya feel. I hope this is helpful b/c I think it is a wonderful place for those people looking for or needing such a place as is Kamalaya. They will certainly see us again.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nylonkong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2010

It appears a good idea to have a wellness center on an island like Samui, but Kamalaya is not enough. We expected to go to a friendly and welcoming place with a good spa scene and a chilled out culture but the staff came across as arrogant and superior and not very friendly. They seemed to want to make money than take care of the guests which is not what we expected. And the prices were very high. Also the location is very bad for families and young children. Perhaps an OK place for rich excutives who do not look for a family atmosphere and a personal touch.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank happyank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2009

Definitely, best holistic spa, best cuisine, most sophisticated treatment programs, most comfortable rooms, most peaceful location and friendliest staff. Trust me, I’ve experienced hundreds of spa all over the world.
The only drawback – it is not the place for those who are looking for intensive nightlife and the most beautiful beach.
Anyway, I came there not for endless parties, but to restore my body and mind. I loved the verities of activities (free of charge) and treatments, which I combined with delicious healthy food.
Unfortunately, I had only 4 days to spend in Kamalaya (although it was enough to recharge my batteries), but I definitely will come back and most probably choose one of their long programs.

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 7langit
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Kamalaya Koh Samui 4*
Number of rooms: 59
Reservation Options:
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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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