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  Kamalaya Koh Samui Wellness Sanctuary  

The Quest for the Perfect Spa: Kamalaya

Karina and John Stewart needed only four years for bringing Kamalaya on the list of the most important spa and wellness centers in the world. “Best Asian Spa” award, the nomination for “Top 10 spas of the world” and the “Spa personality of the year” title (awarded to Karina Stewart, co-founder and Concept Director), all won in 2009, are the reasons for which our journey within healthy tourism world begins at Kamalaya.
While most of the Asian resorts usually attach a spa to their accommodation facilities, Kamalaya approaches things the opposite; they concentrates everything on the wellness programs while the accommodation – starting from simple rooms to private villas – comes to complete and support these programs. I will explain in a moment.
Kamalaya offers 4 categories of packages: Healthy Lifestyle, Detox, Stress & Burnout and Yoga. Whether it’s a 3 days Relax & Renew or a 14 days Comprehensive Detox, all include consultations, treatments, accommodation and last, but not least, a special diet menu for each guest. On my first night, while having dinner, the waitress came to ask me: “I know onion is not good for your stomach. Should we prepare the salad without it?” I had just arrived and they already knew my culinary preferences. But that’s far from being the most impressive thing about their cuisine.
Kamalaya offers an unique menu, especially designed by Kai Mueller (Executive Chef)
and Karina Stewart. It is based on the idea that food should not only protect the health but also improve it. The courses base on fruits, vegetables, seeds and spices. No pork, no beef. Low fat, low sodium, low sugar. If you’re tempted to add “no taste”, stop it. Everything I tried at Kamalaya was absolutely delicious and extremely nourishing. The Gordian knot was cut: it is possible to have tasty and healthy food at the same time. I have their recipes book, I will gladly borrow it to anyone interested. No, I didn’t have to take Kai as a hostage to get it; I simply received it as a farewell gift.
Your experience at Kamalaya begins with a general check on your health situation. Don’t panic, you won’t be taken blood samples. The diagnosis is delivered by an electronic equipment which establishes the bio-impedance of the body – flesh and fluids composition – by detecting right from the start the excesses and the deficiencies. If you hadn’t already chosen a program, the Kamalaya consultant will recommend the best solution for you or suggest a supplement.
The general feeling at Kamalaya is that you are at the same time carefully monitored but completely free to do everything your way, at your own pace. It is a rare combination of delicacy and control, kindness and rigor. The location, the organization, and the people you meet, the treatments or the food you try, all stimulate you to want and to be able to make a change in your life with the minimum amount of effort.
The spiritual plexus of Kamalaya is the small cave where monks used to live and pray a few decades ago. Probably this is the source of the wonderful energy one feels everywhere around Kamalaya. An energy that gently empowers the skillfulness and dedication of the therapists, transforming even the earthiest experience into a memorable ritual.

You must try the Shirodhara, an Ayurvedic technique which acts upon your Ajna chakra (“the third eye”), the one responsible for vision and intuition. You lay on the bed while healing warm oil pours onto your forehead for one hour, emptying your mind of thoughts and your body of stress.
Shirodhara was initially developed in Kerala, India and it is used as treatment of different medical conditions such as sinusitis, rhinitis, greying of hair, insomnia or psoriasis. Elena tried it:
“I didn’t know what to expect. I chose Shirodhara because I had some problems with my sinuses. When the oil first poured onto my forehead, I felt shivers all over my body; I remembered the first kiss when I was a teenager. I wished it never ended. During one hour of the treatment, the shivers didn’t stop. I managed only to accommodate and float somewhere far away, forgetting about everything. At some point I didn’t know where I was, with whom or maybe even who I was. I felt an immense peace.”

We also tested the Kati Vasti massage (which literally hands  away the pain from your lumbar area) and the Chi Nei Tsang Taoist massage (a real blessing for the stomach and liver).
You can also try: Reiki, Yoga, the sound therapy, the acupuncture, the Tui Na medical massage, Pilates, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Pranayama, the lymphatic drainage or the hypnosis therapy.
Kamalaya Wellness Sanctary and Holistic Spa Resort is placed South of Koh Samui island in the Golf of Thailand, one hour flight away from Bangkok. A program costs between 1,200 euro (relax & Renew, 3 nights) and 5,800 euro (Comprehensive Balance and Re-vitalize, 14 nights). Prices include taxes, accommodation, meals, treatments and transfers. www.kamalaya.com