Opened in 1998 as Koh Samui’s first dedicated day spa, Tamarind Springs is a tranquil wellness retreat fostering relaxation and rejuvenation through exotic back-to-nature facilities and top-notch traditional therapies.
Set into a picturesque hillside, within a verdant landscape of coconut palms, natural rock pools and Flintstone-esque boulders and caves, Tamarind Springs is Koh Samui’s longest-standing healing oasis.
As a boutique retreat, Tamarind Springs has six tropical villa options. Supporting the retreat’s back-to-nature theme, the resort has adopted an indoor-outdoor design. Accommodation is open and airy with minimal decoration or electronic ‘distraction’ (not a TV in sight, and don’t even ask about wifi). Individually appointed to blend into the lush tropical garden setting, each villa complements the natural environment. Granite boulders appear as feature walls, while giant trees grow in the middle of open-air bathrooms.
Absolute privacy is ensured so guests can shower under the stars in peace or enjoy some uninterrupted silent solitude. While you’ll be undisturbed by neighbours, you can expect a friendly visit from lizards, frogs and geckos, which all adds to the jungle-living experience.
There are no swimming pools on the property, so if you want to top up your tan poolside, this isn’t the place for you. However, there is a beach close by to take an ocean dip.
Tamarind Springs has an organic health café, so guests can nibble on healthy spa cuisine between treatments.
Lovingly crafted by local chefs, dishes are free of chemical residues and MSG and contain no refined sugars: only unrefined cane sugar or wild honey are used. Meals also incorporate locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and organic produce from the retreat’s own gardens, along with high-quality cold-pressed oils. The healthy menu favours vegetarian and vegan cuisine, but some ‘catch of the day’ fresh fish selections are available. Classic Thai cuisine is also on offer along with a range of international favourites. For those with allergies, vegan, wheat and gluten-free options are also on offer.
Beginning with a ‘steam and dream’ session, all treatments commence with a languid herbal steam in a granite rock cave. Followed by a dip in one of three natural plunge pools, the treatment concludes with a restorative massage in an open-air pavilion.
One of the best therapies is the Prakop Massage. This is a traditional Thai therapy in which steaming Thai herbs are applied to the body’s energy lines. Another signature is the Manual Lymphatic Drainage therapy, a therapeutic technique ideal for detoxing.
Other holistic health activities include yoga, Tai Chi and Thai massage classes. In addition, Tamarind Springs can be booked by visiting teachers for custom-tailored yoga retreats. However, it doesn’t host its own signature retreat packages.
Expect to feel…pampered, nourished, restored and inspired. The focus is relaxation, and the setting and accommodation will give you a feeling of being at one with nature while still enjoying all of life’s little luxuries.