How A Monk’s Meditation Cave Became A Luxe Koh Samui ResortHow A Monk's Meditation Cave Became The Luxe Kamalaya Resort

How A Monk’s Meditation Cave Became A Luxe Koh Samui Resort

There are some things that money can’t buy, especially when it comes to health and wellness. Set around an ancient cave that was once a Buddhist monk meditation site, Kamalaya channels the innate spirituality and energy of Koh Samui into their multi-award-winning wellness sanctuary. Since 2003, the luxury resort has offered a plethora of restorative healing therapies from east and west, uniting the visions Karina and John Stewart who have studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and Himalayan spiritual communities for over two decades respectively. explores the resort to see what lies beyond the unique location… 

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A beachside paradise | Image courtesy of Kamalaya


Set alongside a serene private cove on Koh Samui’s southern coast, Kamalaya is located 45 minutes from Koh Samui airport. Nestled into lush jungle, amid an enchanting tapestry of majestic granite boulders, cascading streams, lotus ponds and tropical greenery, this illustrious healing hideaway is built around an ancient Buddhist meditation cave and emanates peaceful tranquillity at every turn.

The Kamalaya resort is surrounded by jungle | Image courtesy of Kamalaya
The Kamalaya resort is surrounded by jungle | Image courtesy of Kamalaya


Kamalaya has 75 rooms, ranging in size and set up: 24 Hillside Rooms (one bedroom, some with twin beds, some with king beds), 10 Suites (one bedroom with balcony), 13 Superior Suites (one bedroom with balcony), 20 Villas (one bedroom), one Superior Garden Pool Suite (one bedroom with private balcony and private pool), one multi-floor Rock Top Villa (two bedrooms), one Pool Villa (one bedroom and private pool), one Beachfront Villa (one bedroom), two Penthouse Pool Suites (two bedrooms and private pools), one Beach Front Pool Villa (one bedroom and private pool), and one Beach Front Pool Villa (two bedrooms and private pool).

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To infinity pools and beyond | Image courtesy of Kamalaya

Artfully designed to harmonise with the natural landscape on which it is built, Kamalaya’s understated design is offset by modern amenities. Discretely staggered amid tropical vegetation, streams and giant boulders, each living space has been crafted to complement with the surrounding elements: inviting nature in via open open-air bathrooms, expansive windows, outdoor terraces and alfresco balconies. Created with understated elegance in mind, each sophisticated space is steeped in contemporary style and flaunts distinctive Asian touches: while tasteful interiors, neutral color tones and comfortable furnishings work to complement timeless architecture that subtly blends into the resort’s exotic surroundings.

Fresh and raw | Image courtesy of Kamalaya
Fresh and raw | Image courtesy of Kamalaya

Food Programme

Revolving around a ‘Food as Medicine’ philosophy, the dining menu at Kamalaya supports healing from the inside out. Healthful nutrition is an integral part of the holistic healing journey at the resort and consequently, its healthy plant-based menu is based on principles derived from the ancient healing traditions of China and India, combined with current medical research.

Fresh, seasonal, colourful, organic produce is a Kamalaya signature and processed foods, additives and preservatives are nowhere to be seen. All meals are created with a low sugar, low salt, low fat, low dairy policy, while the retreat’s detox cuisine supports a vegan, low inflammatory, low allergenic and low glycemic concept.

Kamalaya’s gentle cooking methods include baking, steaming, grilling, sauté and stir-fry in order to preserve the vitamins, minerals and other natural nutrients in each dish.

Massage the days away | Image courtesy of Kamalaya
Massage the days away | Image courtesy of Kamalaya

Treatment Programme

Kamalaya’s integrated approach to wellness is reflected in its extensive wellbeing offerings, which encompass a diverse array of holistic healing packages, mind-body wellness programmes and therapeutic spa treatments. The main packages revolve around six themes which include ‘Healthy Lifestyle’, ‘Detox’, ‘Stress & Burnout’, ‘Emotional Balance’, ‘Yoga’, and ‘Tailor Made’ options. Within those packages, there are multiple programmes including fitness, weight loss, stress management, sleep enhancement, relaxation & renewal, balance & revitalize, and emotional healing options.

See also: A Review Of Kamalaya’s Comprehensive Detox

Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, Homeopathy and conventional medicine practices are all on offer, along with a collection of holistic fitness activities such as meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi and yoga. Supported by a team of resident wellness experts, local healers, lifestyle coaches, personal trainers and visiting specialists, each programme and treatment is carefully crafted to facilitate positive transformation and nourish the soul.


Expect to feel… like you’ve gone to the mechanic and had a serious mind-body-spirit tune-up. It’s not exclusively for those seeking a spiritual wellness break, but this certainly adds another dimension to those seeking to deepen their yoga and meditation practice.

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An authority on all things wellness, Rebecca is the founder of boutique consultancy, ‘The Conscious Wordsmith’, & former Editor-in-Chief of popular luxury lifestyle publication ‘Asia Spa Magazine’. Passionate about holistic health, she is a professional wellness journalist, certified yoga teacher, meditation instructor and ‘Peaceful Kids’ facilitator. Rebecca was based in Asia for over a decade, where she reviewed some of the world's best resorts and healing sanctuaries as ‘The Wellness Nomad’. She now lives in Australia and loves writing about wellness in all its forms.

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