Embrace wellness travel: Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, Thailand

by possandruby

Stepping out of the air-conditioned comfort of the airport shuttle into the warm tropical air, I was greeted by a friendly chorus of ‘Sawasdee ka’.  I had just arrived at Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand – a beautiful wellness resort located on the island of Samui in the Gulf of Thailand.

I was here for the 5-day Absolute Sanctuary Reformer Pilates Bootcamp and whilst this was a holiday, I was aware it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and pool lounging. The purpose was to learn the ins and outs of reformer pilates, refine my technique, and focus on well-being. The program was fully inclusive of accommodation, meals and activities. 

The program

The 5-day Reformer Pilates Bootcamp is a program designed for reformer pilates beginners or experts.  The aim is to get participants long, lean and toned with 2 group reformer classes daily plus individual one-on-one private reformer sessions. The sessions accommodate all levels of ability and participants can control the level of difficulty for each movement.
The all-inclusive package also incorporates Absolute Sanctuary’s signature offerings such as a wellness consultation, massages to attend to tense muscles, meals and scheduled group fitness classes.

Based on the core bootcamp schedule, an individual program was created especially for me and presented on arrival. Each day was scheduled with a selection of activities – 2 reformer pilates sessions per day, 3 wellness cuisine meals daily, 2 health juices, 1 initial wellness consultation, 3 different massage treatments, unlimited group yoga and meditation and unlimited group fitness classes. There is also a selection of social acitivites such as the night markets, temple tour and morning beach walk that are included.

All activities are optional and participants are able to adjust the spa treatment time and meal times if there is a more suitable time that suits the guest, of course this is dependant on availability.

The room

Being a fully inclusive program guests stay onsite in one of the 38 rooms spread across 5 buildings. There are a range of choices from the Sanctuary Suite, Sanctuary Deluxe Seaview, Sanctuary Deluxe & Sanctuary Superior rooms that can be included in the package. All the rooms are fully equipped with air conditioning, free wi-fi, fans, bath robe and slippers, hairdryer, minibar, satellite TV, beach bag, yoga mat, safe deposit box, kettle and comfort amenities. The deep bath tub is a lovely way to relax after a long day of classes and the quality bathroom amenities by Lingzhi & Shitake are plentiful. Each night the turn down service leave a little healthy treat and tropical flower on the pillow. 

The food

The wellness cuisine menu at the on-site restaurant, Love Kitchen, is extensive and offers plenty of choice for all dietary needs. There are vegetarian and vegan options, hot and cold menu items, and gluten free and other dietary requirements that can be catered for. The meals are plentiful and delicious and are healthy and portion controlled. 

Drinks were also included with meals, guests can choose from hot tea, iced tea, juices and smoothies.  Each day there were 2 additional juices or smoothies included in my package available anytime from The Vitamin Bar. Note, there is no alcohol served at the resort so if you enjoy a cocktail by the pool you will need to try a fresh coconut or tropical juices instead.

The spa treatments

There is a wide selection of spa treatments available from massages to facials, reflexology and body scrubs. The 3 massages I enjoyed were the Absolute Thai Stretch massage, a deep stretch massage in the outdoor cabana which wearing cute cotton pyjamas provided by the resort. The upper body flow and deep calm massages were both traditional massage styles with the option of gentle or firm pressure tailored to your liking. The spa attendants and masseuses are wonderfully attentive and excellent at providing quality treatments. Each treatment commences with a refreshing tea and cool towel and ends with a warm ginger tea and a snack. You can add more treatments to your existing package at an additional cost the treatment menu can be found at the spa or in your room.

The activities

Along with all the program activities in my case it was the reformer pilates bootcamp, there are many other group activities such as morning meditation, yoga, wellbeing sessions, night market shuttle and beach walks. These are great options to add to your stay but they are completely optional to participate in. Each individuals program is different so when you arrive the staff will go through what your inclusions are and what options you have outside your program. I like to give everything a try but sometimes there were clashes with my set program. I would suggest mapping out your plan early and choosing which activities you really want to do.

The verdict

I successfully completed the 5-day reformer pilates bootcamp at Absolute Sanctuary and managed to attend all allocated sessions. The style of holiday is really suited to those who enjoy a schedule and are seeking to work on themselves.  As an avid adventurer this type of holiday was very different but I found there was opportunity to complete the wellness component and still enjoy a little adventure. 

I highly recommend a wellness holiday at Absolute Sanctuary – the service is exceptional, the staff are lovely and caring and will ensure your every need is met where at all possible. The activities and facilities are all very high quality right through to the equipment in the exercise rooms and the linens in the spa. 

If you are looking for a travel experience that is focused on wellness and you need some me time this is the place for you. There are a range of programs on offer for various fitness and wellness needs for example the Prime Years Program experienced by Jenny from @littlewanderingwren.

Have you experienced wellness travel? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below or on our social channels @possandruby on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Absolute Sanctuary and was generously hosted for a 5-Day Reformer Pilates Bootcamp. All opinions and experiences are my own.

You may also like

1 comment

Little Wandering Wren December 10, 2023 - 5:36 pm

This takes me back to my wonderful stay at Absolute Sanctuary last year. I loved hearing more about the Reformer Pilates Bootcamp and I am glad to hear you had a great time too. We must go back, together!


Leave a Comment