When I checked in at Suvarnabhumi the staff called a wheelchair….
63 burnt out, exhausted, stressed and in constant myofascial pain from head to foot in both legs I acquiesced and allowed the man to push me through the airport.
With my hat pulled down and my glasses on I must have looked a sorry sight.
Arrived at Koh Samui last to leave the aeroplane and stuck in another wheelchair, collect luggage and the Kamalaya had arranged a car as they do with all their guests. Heck they even arrange flights for you if you want. I shared a car with a delightful young lady who was staying for the long weekend.
We arrived at Kamalaya and I was greeted by some lovely people who checked me in and then the monk in the cave arrived owner and joint founder John Stewart. What a lovely man. He apologised that his wife Carina was not there as she was stuck in Phoenix in the US. She is the wellness and TCM guru and he obviously does what he is told. Happy wife, happy life!
He told me that he was known as the monk in the cave and explained that he had been a monk in Nepal for many years and had met this beautiful lady who x years later became his wife. They had a business in Nepal but lost that in the revolution, moved to Thailand against Carina’s wishes at first and set up a home on Koh Samui. One day he asked his landlord who had become a friend if he would help him get to the nearby beach and the two men set too with machetes. Cutting through the deep forestation John came across a cave and his friend told John that was where the monks prayed. John knew he had found his new home.
I was taken to my villa, which was a small house, 100 metres from the beach by a little golf cart and I was pleased as the resort is set on a hillside.
The villa was lovely with a covered terrace with days beds and a table to eat, work or just take your tea at. Tea is the order of the day. Mulberry, Ginger, Jasmine and various others in the room.
They told me to call the reception when I was ready to eat although midweek I started to walk to the main restaurant. The food throughout the week was wonderful. So much so that when I do catch up with Carina the Wellness Director I shall suggest that she creates a book just for the food although I hope to convince her to share the Kamalaya ‘experience’ with everyone as I was so impressed.
I went hoping to lose some bad habits and develop some new ones, more off that later. Ate a lovely dinner and retired for the night to my villa.
The day starts at Kamalaya early as you can see through the blinds and watch the world emerge and then they encourage you to drink hot water with the limes and or lemon left in the room. Nice start and something I shall try and adopt from now on.
They frown on coffee, caffeine, alcohol, whistling and loud music, using your smartphone or tablet especially in public places like the restaurant, Wellness centre etc.
I guess that it makes sense as we are all addicted to our phones nowadays.
The golf buggy collected me for breakfast and delivered me to the restaurant there is only one so no decisions to be made there.
There were 4 ‘shots’ on offer. Kale, Turmeric, Butterfly pea and Goto something. They all have antioxidant qualities and as I could not decide which I should have I asked for them all. I need as much help as I can get!
I ate Bircher muesli with fresh fruit every day but discovered the granola, with nuts, fresh fruit and yoghurt as I was leaving so had that too.
Then poached eggs and although they have their own breads like sour dough, wholewheat, croissants and many others but I tried to kick the bread as I am a fat, old, grumpy bloke from England.
They gave me an assessment, a test. But I think that I failed as the young lady that weighed, measured, prodded and poked me did not look happy. My blood pressure was high 155 over 85 and she said I was morbidly obese… I was very sad. The said my BMI was …
They devised a Wellness programme for me and it all looked very nice and I was off and running. The steam room was a real pleasure, like a blue mosaic cave With shafts of sunlight coming through from above and a waterfall coming into a pool at one end. I vowed to come back every day as I like steam but in 6 days I did not return. There were so many things to do and my ‘programme’ kept me very busy.
Over the years I have worked with many readers, some sufis that have encouraged me to do yoga, Pilates, meditation, breathing techniques and I have always listened sceptically but now I am a convert this stuff actually works!
I had intended staying a couple of days and moving on as I have never been to Koh Samui and wanted to see so much of the island and meet so many people but after 24 hours there I was bitten.
It is quite simply the most delightful place. With lovely plant based food – I am with you Lewis Hamilton I just wish I could get it, or prepare it our better still have someone prepare it for me. I bet Lewis has someone to get his every day though… I am not that lucky!
The resort is obviously an internationally renowned and they, like everyone else at the moment, are really hurting. They are offering so crazy packages at the moment and Dwain that they would offer Expat Life in Thailand readers something special so please tell them that Nick sent you and prepare to be amazed.
Over my 6 days I loved the beach and the two main pools and wanted to spend more time at both. I kayaked out to the reef that protects their private beach and if there was anyone else on the beach that week with me it was a ‘crowded’! It felt like I was the only guest at times and that all of this had been laid on for me. Now is obviously the time to go as the serenity, the sounds of nature and the private access to all the facilities was just amazing.
I did myofascial massage, foot soak and massage, meditation, prayarama, aqua aerobics, stretching exercises, Ayurveda oil head massage, breathing exercises I am now a new man – I wish! I can’t wait to go back.
Kamalaya Wellness Resort Koh Samui, www.kamalaya.com