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“A quiet retreat with excellent yoga instructors”
Review of Samahita Retreat

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Samahita Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 September 2010

The retreat is set in a quiet location fronting on to a beach with views across the sea. The accommodation is simple, modern and clean with airco and fan. There were a variety of different yoga courses going on, some with larger groups, some with smaller. Although the ashanti yoga was quite strenuous (at least for a novice) the small size of our group meant each participant got a lot of attention from the teachers all of whom were very good and helpful. The food was fine, although it did start to get a bit monotonous after a few days; as another commentator noted, however, it is possible to order other dishes from the à la carte menu, which I did and these were very good. There are a variety of treatments available but these seemed to get booked up quickly so I'd recommend reserving early on in the stay. All staff were courteous, helpful and friendly.

It is possible to hire a scooter or car at the Yoga Retreat to tour the island. Depending on one's tastes, however, one whizz round the island might suffice: the focus appears to be on self-contained villa/resort complexes which are sprouting like mushrooms along the coastline. Otherwise, the main tourist attractions all seem to involve maltreatment of animals (monkey show, tiger show, cobra show, sea lion show etc.) details of which are, surprisingly, to be found in brochures on display at the Yoga Thailand reception. Not quite sure how that fits in with Buddhist thinking...

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank Robin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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159 - 163 of 191 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2010

I have stayed at Yoga Thailand on both organised retreats and "freestyle" i.e. paying by the night and at both the new and old sites. I have spent alot of time in that part of Thailand on Koh Samui and the neighbouring islands. I think its really great and fantastic for a very retreat like experience but I do have it say it is expensive if you are staying in a single room, by the night - I will get into more detail on that a bit later.

The rooms at the new place are fantastic. I have stayed in both the single and shared rooms. I think the shared rooms are the best twin room I have EVER stayed in. I really mean that. There are two levels, one at the entrance level with the bathroom and one on a mezzanine type area, each with their own extremely comfortable double bed, crisp, clean white sheets, air-con a volonte, and nice bit of organic soap in the bathroom, and a balcony over looking the sea, though with a bit of land, a huge ox and some palm trees in the way.

We opted for an enclosed shower - as I am mossie fodder - however the shared rooms with the showers outside have bigger bathrooms. The enclosed shower bathrooms are a wee bit pokey and hot, but really nothing to complain about given the space and privacy in the shared room. If there was a retreat that I really wanted to attend, and there were no singles available, I would definitely be OK with sharing one of these rooms with someone I didn't know. For a start it’s cheaper. There is enough room for you each to have your personal space. And BTW I think the mezzanine bed is the best if you do find yourself in this situation, that is if you don’t mind climbing up and down some narrow steps and keeping your clothes in a wardrobe on the lower floor. I can’t remember if there is one air-con or two in the shared room.

The single room I stayed in was on the ground floor. Easy, easy access and close to the free alkalised filtered water fountain and in the beautiful garden. BTW bring a water bottle with you. They do sell them at the shop but after some time they leak at the lid. There is also a water cooler in the eating area.

The room was large and extremely comfortable. A very comfortable bed, crisp clean linen and a huge bathroom with enclosed powerful hot shower. The free wifi in the rooms was a little unpredictable. And one night a couple of huge cockroaches (10cm long each) took up residence in the bathroom. This is the tropics after all. But I am very jumpy about that sort of thing. So, despite the horrendously un-eco friendliness of it, I left the bathroom light on all night and they never bothered me again. We didn’t see any signs of them in the shared rooms so maybe it’s a ground floor thing. When I reported them to the house cleaning staff they did laugh in that girlish Thai way and I did feel like a bit of an idiot, but I guess they are very used to all sorts of creepy crawlies. The single room also has a balcony type area at the entrance where there is a clothes airer, where you can air your yoga mats or dry any clothes.

Even though it was just Thai New Year when we were there, it was getting pretty hot but I wasn’t bitten at all. That’s pretty remarkable. I did keep the air-con on under 25 degrees which helped but even at night sitting around in the common areas I wasn’t bitten.

Yoga Thailand has a fairly grand reception area at the entrance. The facilities are excellent, in my opinion. I know someone complained that the pool was small but I found it completely adequate (I wasn’t doing lengths) and it’s salted instead of chlorinated. I personally don’t like the sea around Koh Samui. The beaches are lovely but I have an aversion to the water there so it was nice to be able to swim. If you want to swim in the sea, there are excellent beaches on Koh Pangnan.

The food is also excellent, vegetarian and very healthy, organic where possible on a Thai island. There is no alcohol or smoking allowed on site, which adds to the very serene vibe around the place. We were there when all the planes in Europe were grounded, so it extended our stay a little and we went over to Koh Pangnan for a few days. We decided to go back to Yoga Thailand and it felt like we were bringing in all this noisy energy from the outside. Not a bad thing, just not a place to party.

The yoga is Mysore style in a lovely shala. That means that it is self practise Ashtanga style. There are yogis in attendance to help adjust you and give you some instruction but it is better if you know the sequence. In fact I think they kind of expect it. It depends on the personal style of the yogi/yogini but I found the adjusters mostly to be extremely kind and helpful and there is also self practice meditation before the yoga starts (at 7am I think). There was a very gentle restorative session in the afternoon, but am not sure if that’s the case with all non-retreat guests.

After my morning practise I liked have a quick shower in the facilities near the shala and then to cool off in the pool. It was a fabulous start to the day. Breakfast is available for hours and morphs into lunch. Great fresh peanut butter, strong organic coffee, delicious eggs some morning, fresh fruit, juice etc. There is a dining area and then a loungier area above it. People just sit at tables together and its very relaxed. Dinner is similar self-serve style buffet. Pull up a pew and have a chat and a laugh. Things slow down around 9 unless there is a movie on. In places like this I love getting to bed early and getting up early. So it’s perfect for me.

There is a shop that sells all manner of things yogish. Its great but given that it’s in Thailand, pretty pricey. And I had a couple of Thai massages in the Wellness centre. Again pricey for the area but good, though the rooms are small and quite warm and I did get bitten in there. I didn’t do anything else at the Wellness centre as I do think they are extremely expensive. I think a colonic there is around £80, more expensive than central London!!!! Their fasting/detox programs seem equally highly priced but well administered and supervised. There is a Thai woman at the top of the road who gives massage for around 400 baht an hour. Also there is a place just near the staff quarters that will do your laundry for half of the price of the retreat centre and it comes out smelling gorgeous.

I think they treat their staff pretty well. I saw that they have a crèche and I know that they give back to the local community. It is a business though and they have been very successful. I have met Paul a couple of times (though not this time – he was travelling) and he is a lovely, sincere Yogi with an edgy Irish sense of humour.

It is VERY out of the way. And not near a main road. So you can’t walk for a bit and then hail a Songthaew (sp? - a pick up truck type thing that acts like a cab service or bus service around the main roads on the island). Organising a taxi through reception comes at a premium rate. So we went to the little kiosk where the laundry is done and ordered cabs there. The locals have pretty much cottoned on to the fact that the YT guests aren’t short of a few bob so it’s pretty much top dollar. Though at least that way you are spreading the wealth a little bit. I flew direct from London to Bangkok on EVA (better than Royal Thai – guaranteed TV screen in the back of the seat in front of you) and then straight down to KS on Bangkok Air. By that time I was really glad I had organised a YT taxi despite the extra cost.

And if you stay by the night it’s as much as £90 for accom, yoga and food, depending on the exchange rate. Not great if you are budget conscious. If you stay off site its still £50 a day for the yoga and food. Which I think is COMPLETELY taking the pee. But again they want to keep the place for their guests, which is why. We even tried negotiating a group rate as we were stuck because of the volcanic ash and it was no go. On the upside it did mean that we went over to KP for a bit. On our last night on Koh Samui, we stayed up the road at Easy time and ate there, good accom etc but that’s a different review.

So the best and most cost effective way to experience YT is by doing a retreat there. I think a single was about £890 for the week and a shared room around £680. And they do have a very high standard of guest teachers. In fact, they have high standards all round. It’s a great place to get into your Ashtanga practise and be at peace. The guests range from new Ashtangis to lazy practitioners (like myself) to the serious and dedicated, so you will find someone on your wavelength. And it’s not all serious, navel gazing – there are quite a few laughs to be had. I had a great time there and I will definitely return there at some point in the future.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with friends
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4  Thank tandiweLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2010

Yoga Thailand is a place that you can have a beach-front wholesome retreat experience. I come here to further my yoga study. The Mysore practice and breathing practice /(pranayama) in the morning and the guest teacher's program have enriched my practice and learning of yoga. The food here is healthy and delicious! The staffs here are friendly and welcoming. Everyday, after practice, you can have a class of fresh juice from the juice bar and then jump into the salted pool or the ocean (your choice)! The entire set up of the place is to create a space to allow me to be introspective and re-nourished. If you have the love for yoga and is into LOHAS and wholesome life style, this is the place to come and visit!

Stayed: July 2010, travelled on business
1  Thank Michelleyogini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2010

The lives of my teachers Paul Dallaghan and Neil Barker of Centered Yoga Institute and the teachers before them inspire me everyday. In my two weeks of stay in Yoga Thailand for the yoga teacher training course conducted by Paul and Neil, I discovered so much about myself and the world around me than I did in the past 30 years of my life. Yoga Thailand is the perfect place to learn and thrive in one's yoga practice. Thank you Paul and Jutima and Thai friends who made my stay lovely and happy. The day I left Yoga Thailand, I promised myself I will come back with my husband and son. Soon. :-) Warm regards, Joanne Barriga-Quintana

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled on business
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2  Thank JoanneBarriga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2010

I really enjoyed my stay at Yoga Thailand. It is definitely a great place to chill-out and practice yoga. It has a peaceful and friendly atmosphere, the food is delicious and healthy, the rooms are simple and cozy... there really isn't anything that I can say I didn't like. There are daily yoga classes and a wellness center offering various kinds of treatments. Yoga Thailand is an eco-friendly place, with power saving facilities and a natural and healthy approach to life. I surely recommend this place.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank AmaliaRRR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Samahita Retreat

Address: 55/20-24 Moo 4 T. Namuang, Taling Ngam, Ko Samui 84140, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Taling Ngam
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Taling Ngam
Price Range: $167 - $507 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Samahita Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Samahita Retreat, the lifestyle retreat center for yoga, fitness and detox, was established in 2003 on the island of Koh Samui, and has been called by many a "hidden gem" located on the quiet beach of Bang Kao. Owned and directed by Master yogi, educator and researcher, Paul Dallaghan, our yoga and wellness retreat center has been a location for practice, learning and holiday for literally tens of thousands of guests from all walks of life over the years. Being the original Yoga Thailand, our center has grown and developed over the years and now encompasses a wellness center as well as its traditional yoga offerings. The name Samahita is translated from Sanskrit as "centered" or "balanced". To find balance is key - in daily habits, in weight management, in dealing with stress.. Samahita Retreat's clear and dedicated purpose is 'to provide both the tools to work on yourself through specific practices and dedicated programs as well as the environment within to learn, change and renew. Choose from Fixed-date programs such as group yoga retreats or trainings or Flexi-date programs such as the integrated yoga & fitness YogaCoreCycle, health focused programs: detox, de-stress or weight loss. This all inclusive beach resort features 40 rooms suited for single travelers, couples and families. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samahita Yoga Thailand Retreat Hotel Koh Samui
Samahita Retreat Ko Samui/Taling Ngam, Asia

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