First and foremost a yoga retreat, Vikasa is a stylish boutique sanctuary in Thailand that encourages guests to embrace healthy transformation through exercise, clean eating and relaxation. Perched on top of a cliff on the Koh Samui coast, the proximity to the beach makes it a favourite with water-babies and beach-bums. In addition to the yoga programme, there are detox packages to promote lifestyle changes for guests beyond the retreat.
Set on a spectacular cliff on Koh Samui’s east coast, Vikasa’s vantage point is one of its best assets. Because of its close location to the airport, this yoga retreat is a conveniently situated beach getaway.
Vikasa’s modest yet cosy accommodation options include a range of Beach Bungalows (one-bedroom cottages that come in standard or superior styles), Ocean Rooms (with private balcony and king-size beds), Yoga Caves (apartment-style studios) and Zen Bungalows (eco-friendly wooden huts).
While this yoga retreat is by no means a five-star resort, it’s not pretending to be. However, what it lacks in bells and whistles, it makes up for in rustic charm.
Serving up wholesome, healthy food, the cuisine at Vikasa covers all bases including vegan-friendly and raw dishes. The menu mixes international cuisine with Thai classics, and includes meat and vegetarian food. Priding itself on cuisine that is ‘creative, fresh, colourful, fully flavoured and balanced’, the retreat can cater to all sorts of dietary needs, and regularly changes its menu to incorporate new dishes.
Consequently, Vikasa uses organic produce whenever possible, and fresh food is a top kitchen priority. In addition to regular meals, an impressive selection of freshly squeezed tropical juices and smoothies feature on the menu.
Created under the guidance of founder and yoga teacher Kosta Miachin, Vikasa is home to two expansive open-air yoga pavilions. They host a variety of yoga classes, workshops and teacher training retreats. Translating to ‘evolution’ in Sanskrit, Vikasa encourages transformation by connecting yoga students to a variety of accomplished teachers and yoga styles (including its signature ‘Vikasa Method’). The retreat offers Yoga Alliance Registered training programmes alongside its regular yoga retreats. In addition, Vikasa offers a range of lifestyle packages and personalised health vacations, including detox, fitness and meditation programmes.
For those on a detox package, Vikasa offers two exclusive five, seven or 10-day programmes named ‘Vitox’ and ‘Flexi-Vitox’. These combine healthy, tasty food with healing herbs to reboot the metabolism and promote health. When guests need an exercise break, they can take a dip in the resort’s infinity pool or visit Vikasa’s seaside spa. In addition to their South-East Asian therapies, they also offer European and Indian-inspired relaxation rituals.
Expect to feel…Like a healthy backpacker with some fine-tuned yoga skills and a serious suntan.