PAUSE-Worthy Holiday Destinations in Thailand

Words: Tamara Kisha Tan
Photos: Kamalaya Koh Samui






  • Kamalaya, Koh Samui 

At the prestigious World Spa & Wellness Awards held in London in 2017, Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa was named “Worldwide Health & Wellness Destination of the Year”. As one of the leading honours in the wellness industry the World Spa & Wellness Awards acknowledge the global excellence of care, service and quality with the aim to both inspire spas and to develop global standards. Kamalaya was shortlisted alongside five highly reputed properties from across the world. John Stewart, Kamalaya Co-founder and Chairman, collected the award on behalf of the truly dedicated Kamalaya team. He said that, "it is such a great acknowledgement for each of them, devoting their time and skill with heartfelt compassion and great care every day to make a difference in our guests’ lives. They are the ones who bring Kamalaya’s vision to life, to inspire people to live with greater health and harmony." Assessed by an independent jury of experienced industry professionals, this is the third time Kamalaya has been recognised in the awards, having won “Destination Spa of the Year – Asia & Australasia” in 2012 and 2014. This latest accolade follows on from Kamalaya’s success in 2016 winning prestigious awards such as the Condé Nast Traveller Spa Award for “Best Destination Spa” and the Spafinder Wellness 365™ Crystal Travel Award as “Best in Asia”. Kamalaya is located amid a lush, tropical landscape on the southern coast of Koh Samui, Thailand. Founded by John and Karina Stewart in 2005, the resort offers a holistic wellness experience that integrates healing therapies from both East and West, a breathtakingly beautiful natural environment, inspired healthy cuisine, holistic fitness practices and customised wellness programs ranging from Detoxification to Stress & Burnout, as well as Healthy Lifestyle, Yoga Synergy and Emotional Balance.

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Karina Stewart, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, introduces Kamalaya's holistic approach to wellness - our programs, treatments and therapies offering solutions for detox, yoga, stress and burnout, fitness, weight control, sleep, and emotional balance.

“Awakening Your Essential Self” with Kamalaya Co-founder Karina Stewart 4-13 Aug ‘17 • 22 Sept-1 Oct ‘17 Guests will have the unique opportunity to work closely with Kamalaya co-founder and Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Karina Stewart, who will personally facilitate a series of intimate group retreats to support participants through a subtle process of awakening to their essential self. With over 35 years of experience in the Asian healing and spiritual traditions, her approach to integral health and life-renewal inspires people to discover themselves in new and heartening ways. Within the group setting and one individual consultation each, Karina will guide participants in experiential practices and processes designed to discover, clear and release habits and patterns that no longer serve a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, to let go and eliminate what is extraneous and non-essential to their health and wellbeing, and reconnect to their inner source of health and happiness and restart anew. Similar to a profound and liberating exhale, Karina’s truly holistic retreats combine a dedicated nutrition concept and a range of therapies for cleansing the body, with powerful practices that promote letting-go on a mental and emotional level. In a gentle and nurturing way, Karina will help each individual to transform emotions, experiences and thought patterns that hinder personal growth, and inspire them to cultivate their full potential and renew every aspect of life. Prices for the 9 night retreat start at 185,392 Thai Baht per person sharing a double room, including all meals, daily classes and treatments.

  • Chivasom, Hua Hin

Chiva-Som is your “Haven of Life” on the Gulf of Thailand. Chiva-Som is about learning to live, enjoy and appreciate every moment, and in so doing, creating a personal path to health and wellness.

Located in the Royal city of Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand, 185 kilometres south of Bangkok, Chiva-Som celebrates 21 years of continued success in being at the forefront of health and wellbeing. For the past 10 years, Chiva-Som is the only destination spa in the world to have consistently appeared in the top three of the Conde Nast Traveller (UK) Reader’s Travel Awards. Chosen as the “World’s Best Destination Spa” in the 2009 Travel+Leisure Reader’s Travel Awards, Chiva-Som is also a proud member of the Destination Spa Group (

A secluded world of beauty and serenity, Chiva-Som is the “Haven of Life.” Nestled within seven acres of lush tropical gardens, our beachfront health resort represents tranquility at its best with luxurious accommodation comprising 54 stylish rooms; Thai Pavilions offer traditional charm and Ocean rooms and suites provide spectacular views of the Gulf of Thailand.

In addition to 70 treatment rooms, the resort facilities comprise a kinesis studio, gym, watsu pool, flotation pool, large outdoor swimming pool, bathing pavilion with kneipp bath, sauna, steam, jacuzzi, and indoor swimming pool.

Indulge in their award-winning Spa cuisine using organically-grown fruits and vegetables from the Chiva-Som garden, proving that low calorie, nutritious food can truly be a gourmet experience. Enjoy the elegance of fine dining in the Emerald Room or relax outdoors and the Taste of Siam restaurant by the sea.

  • Amanpuri, Phuket

Overlooking the Andaman Sea, Amanpuri is a luxury beachfront resort with pavilions and villas located in close proximity to Kamala Beach and just over a 30 min drive away from Sirinat National Park. Thailand’s distinctive gentle healing arts have evolved over millennia to include both practical and philosophical therapeutic elements. At the resort's Aman Spa, natural herb-infused treatments are offered in six light-filled pavilions that include a private steam room, shower, bath, and outdoor meditation sala. These are joined by a gym and Pilates studio with panoramic views, a yoga and meditation pavilion and four floodlit tennis courts.

Inspired by its tranquil setting on the shores of Thailand’s Andaman Sea, holistic hideaway Amanpuri invites you to experience one of its 3- to 14-night Individual Wellness Immersions. Designed to promote profound change, these carefully calibrated programmes aim to gently steer you on a new path. Whether you seek to increase fitness levels, shift unwanted weight and its emotional root causes, deep cleanse your entire system or attain renewed awareness, Amanpuri’s four Immersion Experiences ensure palpable results and a deep sense of inner peace and happiness. Here's more about them: 

FITNESS – Designed by sports medicine, nutrition and therapy experts for those wanting to increase their fitness levels or sports performance, this enjoyable active Immersion incorporates a full nutrition programme and a wide variety of movement workouts. These range from Muay Thai, bootcamp classes and circuit training, to Pilates, yoga and TRX.

WEIGHT – For those seeking to not only shift weight, but dispel its root causes, this finely-tuned Immersion incorporates raw, liquid and cooked food programmes tailored to the individual. A gentle approach addresses everything from cravings to hormonal imbalances, while water-based movement sessions reduce stress and inflammation in the body, greatly aiding the process.

CLEANSE – Created to reduce stress and promote self-healing through a return to internal homeostatis, this holistic Immersion addresses the wellness obstacles put in place by high-stress lifestyles and possible environmental toxins. Tailored to your individual needs, the programme works to deeply purify body and mind, and to rejuvenate your entire system.

AWARENESS – This highly meditative Immersion is designed to bring you back to yourself, with a renewed internal focus heightening awareness, calming emotions and clearing a busy head. Meditation, yoga and reflection combine with modalities such as cranial sacral therapy, reconnective healing and Reiki to encourage stillness and inner healing.

As well as initial assessments and regular consultations, every day of your individual immersion will be personalised to include two to three movement and specialist therapy sessions, a 60/90-minute spa treatment at the Aman Spa and group movement sessions. Unrivalled nutritional support and education lie at the core of each Immersion: Every meal is created with your goals in mind, while the latest knowledge in fitness, nutrition and health is shared to ensure your journey continues when you return home, with our continued support.