Thailand - as beautiful a country as it is strong - this kingdom in the Southeast Indonesian peninsula is steeped in mystery and spirituality. With a population that is nearly 95% Buddhist, spiritual awakenings and the practice of yoga are integrated into the very fiber of its people. As the worldwide perception of yoga has changed so has the concept of combining International travel with this fitness and spirituality experience. Yoga retreats in Thailand have become a huge business and in this review, some of the best will be discussed.
Welcoming visitors from all over the world, the events are located in every region of the country and with stays as little as two days to as many as 15 days. Teacher training retreats are also available but are not highlighted here. Many of the retreats reviewed are all-inclusive. With hundreds of different retreats offered each year, Thailand is the perfect place to mix wellness and cultural experience into one amazing trip.
1. Wonderland Healing Center
(4 day/3 night Yoga and Meditation)
Available all year round, this 4 day, 3 night yoga and meditation retreat can be booked as one might book a hotel stay. With its peak season being between July 15 and August 31 each year, discounts are available for low season booking. The cost is one of the most reasonable researched.
Designed with a holistic philosophy, the experience seeks to foster a deeper connection to one’s spirituality. Maximum class size is 30 people but the instructors take the participants through 3 daily yoga sessions, guided meditation session and pilates practice. Three vegan meals, access to the swimming pool and herbal sauna are included. Evening events and occasional workshops tie the experience into a complete package.
Five traditional styles of yoga are presented as well as Therapeutic and Alignment programs. Each of these class styles can be adapted for all skill levels. Instructors are fluent in English and Thai languages. Reservations can be made online and all major credit cards are accepted. Accommodations are shared dorm or private room.
Dorm rooms house 4-6 people with a private bath and shower. Private rooms have a private bath and may be used for daily massage sessions. The Center has WiFi, computers, television, an attached terrace for outdoor relaxation and housekeeping services. Meals are included in the total package fee that begins at $208 USD. Payment is expected in advance and generally the fees are non-refundable.
2. Natural Detox
8 Day 'Full Body Reset' Koh Samui, Thailand
This all inclusive island retreat will have you in the best shape ever with its ‘Full Body Reset’ program. The beachside location in Southern Thailand requires a short shuttle ride to reach the Center and then follows up with 8 days and 7 nights of therapeutic yoga and fitness.
All accommodations include a private bungalow that over looks the pool, private bath, porch and one of the best rejuvenation programs in Thailand. With the primary language used being English even the less traveled yoga enthusiast can feel comfortable in this health resort. Days start with yoga and cardio sessions, vitamin and mineral detox shakes, pampering at the Spa and many other features.
The program includes 40 hours of activities such as daily massage, 3 vegan meals a day, healthful beverages, and use of the health club, sauna, and outdoor pool. Tranquility is promoted through walks on the trails or a visit to Lamai Beach. Restaurants, shops and nightlife are within walking distance if you are the more social kind of person.
Modern conveniences include air-conditioning and WiFi. Reservations can be made online with a 21% deposit and a generous refund policy is in force. Check in time is 2 pm with check out at 12 noon. Shuttle service from the airport is included and all major credit cards are accepted. Costs start at $1323 USD per person.
3. CC’s Hideaway
5 Day Yoga Adventure Holiday in Phuket, Thailand
Part vacation - part wellness retreat, this 5 day/ 4 night retreat starts with a beautiful stress free location. Designed to accommodate the beginning and intermediate yoga enthusiast, the program include daily yoga sessions, excursions and cultural tours, meditation sessions, restaurant style cuisine and beverages and all transportation once you arrive at the airport. Private rooms for singles and couples are available.
Services include air-conditioning, WiFi and computer access, housekeeping services and in room beverages. Step out onto the balcony for a view of the ocean. Guests can customize the program which changes daily. Start the day with a yoga session before breakfast, eat meals in the restaurant and enjoy a wide variety of classes and tours.
This 42 room hotel style resort has all the conveniences of modern life in a jungle like atmosphere. Reservations can be made online. Check in is 2 pm and check out is at noon. All major credit cards are accepted. Costs vary by date and room type but generally start at $847 USD per person.
4. AMAYEN Sanctuary
6 Days Clarity Yoga Retreat, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Located in Northern Thailand, this 6 day retreat seeks to offer clarity and rejuvenation of the body and soul. With a cooler climate and crisper feel than other locations, AMAYEN Sanctuary has resort accommodations in a small community. It is within walking distance to local shops and just an hour from a major airport.
The foothills of the Himalayas provide the backdrop for an intimate yoga experience. The program includes daily yoga and meditations sessions, vegan meals and beverages. Excursions can include trips to the local waterfalls and hot springs, visits to local shops and cafes and in-house activities such as massage and cooking classes. Reservations can be made online.
King and double rooms are available with private baths, luxury linens, housekeeping and other customary hotel amenities. Rates vary by occupancy, room type and package options but generally start at $1245 USD per person. A 15% deposit is required which can be refunded if canceled within 5 days of the arrival date. All major credit cards are accepted with check it at 2 pm and check out at noon.
5. Visit Natural Detox
15 Days "Boost Your Energy" Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand
Starting at $816 USD per person, this basic detox yoga retreat is held at the Visit Natural Detox health resort in a tropical part of Thailand. The 2 to 3 star hotel accommodations offer private rooms and baths, housekeeping, air-conditioning and a program that changes daily.
Budget rooms are located in a building separate from the resort and spa and include a single bed and in-room refrigerator. Deluxe rooms are larger, located farther from the street and include a King sized bed and in-room refrigerator and beverages. Activities include yoga and cardio sessions, self-defense classes, meditation experiences and ginger tea and bottled water.
Meals as such are not included but can be purchased at the “Wild Tribe” Superfood Cafe located on site. Beginning and intermediate instruction is offered in English. Reservations can be made online with all major credit cards being accepted. A 21% deposit is expected at the time of booking with the remainder due at check in. The deposit is fully refundable if done within 7 days of arrival time. Massages, spa treatments and other special services are not included in this package.
6. Elysia Boutique Resort
2 Days Yoga Holiday in Koh Samui, Thailand
No time for a long stay, this 2 day package offers a chance to relax for a 24 hour period and enjoy the practice of yoga, meditation and healthy cuisine. It is truly a yoga holiday. Single and double occupancy rooms are available in this quaint location that mixes old-world charm with modern amenities.
Included in the package is a 90 minute oil massage, 3 meals served at a local cafe and the chance to sit by the pool or walk to the beach. The resort is within walking distance to shops, restaurants and nightlife if you crave a more social atmosphere. Reservations can be made online and there is a flexible cancellation policy. Rates start at $280 for a single guest. Instruction is in English with check in at 2pm and check out at noon.
7. Vikasa Yoga Retreat
7 Days Yoga & Meditation, Koh Samui, Thailand
More for the beginning yoga enthusiast who is looking for a traditional experience, this 7 day retreat focuses on adopting stress free lifestyle and assists the guest in personal growth of mind, body and spirit. Each morning begins with a 7am yoga session. Healthy meals served buffet style follow meditation and exercise.
Single and double occupancy rooms are available - some with ocean views. Amenities include WiFi and computer access but the experience is simpler than a vacation style hotel stay. Some rooms have shared bathrooms while others have private baths and showers. Twin beds are most common with a few rooms equipped with a King size bed.
Guests may choose to visit the nearly Lamai Beach or visit the local shops and restaurants. Spa treatments are available on site or in nearby businesses. Reservations can be made online with rates beginning at $607 USD per person. Guests who are looking for a quiet yoga based program of activities will find that in this simpler yoga package.
8. Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort
8 Day Relaxing Yoga Holiday Phuket, Thailand
Specializing in the Vinyasa form of slow-paced yoga and deep breathing pranayama, this yoga retreat package is intended to send you back to daily life more relaxed and stress free. Daily yoga and breathing classes are combined with massage and healthy meals to drain the tension from the body. The multilingual staff of this small and intimate program focuses on individuals rather than a vacation like experience.
The large rooms that include a seating area in addition to sleeping arrangements come in basic and deluxe models. Bathrooms are private and some rooms are equipped with hot tub/ jacuzzi options. Activities include morning yoga classes, massage, art and cooking classes as well as use of the gym and spa. WiFi and air-conditioning are available throughout the facility.
Three vegetarian meals are provided daily along with all beverages. Guests may choose to walk to the beach for an afternoon of free time. Reservations can be made online with check in at 2 pm and check out at 11am. Rates begin at $1236 USD per person. Diving, cultural theater and sea canoeing excursions can be arranged at additional cost.
9. Wareerak Hot Spring Retreat
5 Day Bath, Yoga & Cooking Retreat in Krabi, Thailand
This retreat specialized in soothing the body with a bath in the local hot springs while feeding the mind and soul with healthy food and exercise. More for the intermediate and traditional yoga participant, guests can immerse themselves in local Thai culture as well as the hot springs during this stay.
Sleeping arrangements are in simple but comfortable bamboo cottages that can accommodate 1, 2 or 3 people. Each room as a private bath, in room beverages and housekeeping services. A few deluxe rooms are available in the main villa and include a kitchenette and private garden. Excursions to local national parks are part of the experience.
Rates begin at $899 USD per person. Check in is 2pm and check out is noon. Reservations can be made online but payment in full is expected at the time of booking. Fees are not refunded in the case of cancelation. Airport shuttle service comes with the package and meals are Thai cuisine.
A Few Last Words
Truly, the kingdom of Thailand offers much to the international traveler but as with all travel, it is best to go understanding the laws and customers of this small country. The US State Department has put together a website and printed information for the prospective Thailand traveler. That information can be accessed by visiting https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Thailand.html
Enjoy and be safe.