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Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa, located on the balmy southern shores of Koh Samui in Thailand, is a shining example of how immersive wellness and luxury hospitality can blend to create a compelling world-class destination. Opened in 2005, this award-winning resort was created to provide an escape for health-conscious travellers looking to balance body, mind and spirit.

Tucked away on a lush tropical hillside that cascades down to a private beach, the resort’s unassuming architecture has been carefully crafted to celebrate the beauty of nature. A perfect backdrop for contemplation and rejuvenation, its sense of place helps to underpin a wealth of wellness programmes and retreats that bring together healing therapies from east and west, as well as inspired healthy cuisine, holistic fitness and life coaching.

“Kamalaya translates as ‘the realm of the lotus’,” says co-founder John Stewart, who decided to create this beautiful sanctuary with his wife Karina back in 2001 when wellness was not even a defined reason for travel. “This is a place where the heart can peel off all the layers of trauma and any negative thoughts or ideas to emerge nourished, revitalised and transformed like the lotus flower.”

Inspired by the sense of spirituality that Stewart gained during 16 years of service as a monk in India, as well as Karina’s distinguished medical career as a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and scholar of Asian healing and spiritual traditions, the couple realised their desire to provide a unique destination to help people achieve their potential.

Kamalaya’s biophilic design is the work of artist and architect Robert Powell who wanted to emphasise the sacred spirit of its location. Discreet buildings and contemplation points softly meld with the landscape and the resort hums gently with tropical birdsong from the canopy above, which gives shade to 76 varied types of guest accommodation ranging from hillside rooms and suites to luxurious private villas.

Guests are afforded plenty of space to roam between facilities including the spa, two restaurants, the Yantra Hall for gatherings and meditation, a dedicated yoga pavilion, two swimming pools, an extensive gym, an art gallery, a tea lounge; a boutique and the resort’s private beach.

Working alongside the Stewarts is Swiss-born managing director Marc A. Cornaz who has experience with multinationals including Pepsico Restaurants and Hilton. “Kamalaya is very different to most destinations, as everything comes from the original aim of its co-founders, John and Karina, to create a place that would truly help people. It’s a very different process when you create something from the heart and mind rather than looking at it from a corporate point of view,” explains Cornaz, who joined Kamalaya three years before its opening.

“I always say that when you walk into a hotel you always know who won – sometimes the architect, sometimes the accountant, or even the hotel operator. It’s very hard to get the balance right,” he says. “Here, we work as a team to create everything and this is always more powerful than following one individual’s capability. Together you are able to see the bigger picture and find a balance. Of course, a therapist is working very differently from an accountant, but you need people with these different mindsets and skills to harmonise.”

“As well as our personalised wellness programmes, we also offer a range of intimate group immersion retreats with various facilitators, plus the ‘Awaken Your Essence’, which I lead myself.”

Karina Stewart, Co-founder

 

 

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa

Owner: Kamalaya Koh Samui Co.

Founders: John and Karina Stewart

Managing director/CEO: Marc A. Cornaz

Wellness and spa director: Gopal Kumar

Architect and interior design: Robert Powell

Spa size: 55 treatment rooms over an area of 8,000sqm

Spa team: 109

Gym suppliers: Life Fitness, Stott Pilates

Additional facilities: Alchemy Lounge, yoga pavillion, Pilates studio

Thermal spa: Steam room, infrared sauna by Komeda

Wet spa: Plunge pool, hot tub and lap pool, leisure and vitality pools

Product partners: Sodashi, Subtle Energies, Amala, SpaRitual

 

European Spa Magazine is published by Spa Publishing Ltd.

Head Office: Halifax House, Halifax Place, Nottingham, NG1 1QN, UK.

Copyright © 2020 - Spa Publishing Limited. All rights reserved

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Welcome to European Spa, the no.1 business magazine for spa and wellness

European Spa Magazine is published by Spa Publishing Ltd.

Head Office: Halifax House, Halifax Place, Nottingham, NG1 1QN, UK.

Welcome to European Spa, the no.1 business magazine for spa and wellness

Welcome to European Spa, the no.1
business magazine for spa and wellness

European Spa Magazine is published by
Spa Publishing Ltd.

Head Office: Halifax House, Halifax Place, Nottingham, NG1 1QN, UK.

Welcome to European Spa, the no.1 business magazine for spa and wellness

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa, located on the balmy southern shores of Koh Samui in Thailand, is a shining example of how immersive wellness and luxury hospitality can blend to create a compelling world-class destination. Opened in 2005, this award-winning resort was created to provide an escape for health-conscious travellers looking to balance body, mind and spirit.

Tucked away on a lush tropical hillside that cascades down to a private beach, the resort’s unassuming architecture has been carefully crafted to celebrate the beauty of nature. A perfect backdrop for contemplation and rejuvenation, its sense of place helps to underpin a wealth of wellness programmes and retreats that bring together healing therapies from east and west, as well as inspired healthy cuisine, holistic fitness and life coaching.

“Kamalaya translates as ‘the realm of the lotus’,” says co-founder John Stewart, who decided to create this beautiful sanctuary with his wife Karina back in 2001 when wellness was not even a defined reason for travel. “This is a place where the heart can peel off all the layers of trauma and any negative thoughts or ideas to emerge nourished, revitalised and transformed like the lotus flower.”

Inspired by the sense of spirituality that Stewart gained during 16 years of service as a monk in India, as well as Karina’s distinguished medical career as a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and scholar of Asian healing and spiritual traditions, the couple realised their desire to provide a unique destination to help people achieve their potential.

Kamalaya’s biophilic design is the work of artist and architect Robert Powell who wanted to emphasise the sacred spirit of its location. Discreet buildings and contemplation points softly meld with the landscape and the resort hums gently with tropical birdsong from the canopy above, which gives shade to 76 varied types of guest accommodation ranging from hillside rooms and suites to luxurious private villas.

Guests are afforded plenty of space to roam between facilities including the spa, two restaurants, the Yantra Hall for gatherings and meditation, a dedicated yoga pavilion, two swimming pools, an extensive gym, an art gallery, a tea lounge; a boutique and the resort’s private beach.

Working alongside the Stewarts is Swiss-born managing director Marc A. Cornaz who has experience with multinationals including Pepsico Restaurants and Hilton. “Kamalaya is very different to most destinations, as everything comes from the original aim of its co-founders, John and Karina, to create a place that would truly help people. It’s a very different process when you create something from the heart and mind rather than looking at it from a corporate point of view,” explains Cornaz, who joined Kamalaya three years before its opening.

“I always say that when you walk into a hotel you always know who won – sometimes the architect, sometimes the accountant, or even the hotel operator. It’s very hard to get the balance right,” he says. “Here, we work as a team to create everything and this is always more powerful than following one individual’s capability. Together you are able to see the bigger picture and find a balance. Of course, a therapist is working very differently from an accountant, but you need people with these different mindsets and skills to harmonise.”

TOP

Copyright © 2020 - Spa Publishing Limited.
All rights reserved