Samui Wining & Dining

For fitness, health and total serenity, there’s Absolute Sanctuary.


Feel great, look great and have peace of mind too. The benefits of yoga are well-documented. But there’s something even more special about coming to a retreat that’s wholly designed around wellness. A place where a team of knowledgeable and dedicated staff is there to answer your every question. And where every element of the building and surrounding gardens are geared towards relaxation and tranquillity. Absolute Sanctuary is more than just a room somewhere in the city where people come together to practice yoga – it’s a sprawling site on a paradise island, which has a spiritual aura running throughout.

      But to those yoga and health buffs on the island, Absolute Sanctuary needs no introduction. It’s renowned for its premier detox and yoga programs that leave people glowing and with a new lease of life. It’s located up a quiet side-road, just outside Choeng Mon, and its aesthetic very much reflects the spiritual ethos. Around a large, tranquil pool are the Moroccan-themed residences, yoga studios and onsite restaurant, Love Kitchen.

        A brand new addition to the site is a fitness studio, where fully-fledged fitness and weight management holiday programs are offered. The programs begin with a comprehensive fitness assessment to ensure that each experience is fully tailored towards that individual’s particular needs. During the program people do both indoor and outdoor sessions, which will cover a variety of exercise types, including indoor and outdoor cardiovascular, weight training, Pilates and Muay Thai sessions. That way people never get bored and can really train their whole body. But it’s not all hard work – they also get daily healing spa treatments and delicious healthy meals and shakes too. The average length of these programs is five, seven and ten days, but you can opt for longer or shorter periods of time depending on your particular requirements and time constraints.

          There are also some exciting new treatments on offer at Absolute Sanctuary – Gua Sha and Cupping. Gua Sha is a therapy that comes from traditional Chinese therapeutic techniques. Special oil is rubbed into the skin and then the smooth Gua Sha instrument is rubbed over particular areas to stimulate and normalise blood circulation, as well as aid in the draining of metabolic waste congestion by encouraging lymph drainage. Cupping is a more widely known therapy, also originating in China, whereby glass cups are attached by vacuum to the skin. It’s used to mobilise blood flow and promote healing, as well as simply to massage.

          The restaurant, Love Kitchen, has an impressive array of menus that are all specially designed for particular needs. For example, there’s a detox menu, spa cuisine menu, weight management menu and yoga holiday menu. Needless to say, fresh and all-natural ingredients are used throughout, and there are no additives either. Even the nuts, seeds and legumes used have been sprouted to maximise the ease with which your body can digest them, as well as their nutritional value. Seasoned seeds used in Love Kitchen have been dried under low temperatures, rather than toasted, in order to retain their essential fatty acids and antioxidants. And everything that can be handmade, is. Like the granola that’s made from cold-pressed oils. Sea salt is sourced locally from Thailand, and hand-picked local produce is used as far as possible. Nutrient-dense superfoods feature heavily, like spirulina and flax seeds.

          Many people are concerned about how they’ll keep up their fantastic diet after they leave Absolute Sanctuary. In response to this need the dedicated nutritionists have devised a cookbook, Food Made With Love From The Love Kitchen, which features enticing appetizers, vegetarian and nonvegetarian main courses, tempting guilt-free desserts, and refreshing detox dishes. Not only does the book outline how to make the dishes, it also gives you the nutritional benefits of each ingredient.

          Absolute Sanctuary is of course a spa too, and offers great treatments using only the very best products. Pevonia brand lotions and potions incorporate all-natural botanical and marine elements, alongside potent delivery systems and advanced manufacturing to create products that really do what they say on the tin. And to top it off, they even use recyclable, biodegradable and reusable packaging. Treatments on offer at Absolute Sanctuary include an Absolute Radiance facial therapy, which will leave your skin glowing and perfectly balanced, and an Anti-aging Body Wrap, which will make your body not only feel replenished, but also visibly repaired. There’s also a Pevonia 7-day Slimming Ritual, which combines exfoliation therapies, body contouring therapies and massage rituals.

          But lest we forget the thing that Absolute Sanctuary became so very famous for in the first place – the yoga. Popular celebrity Yogini, Briohny Smyth, whose viral YouTube video, Yoga By Equinox, has had over four million views, is now the centre’s Brand Ambassador. In addition to this, reputed Yin Yoga teacher, Paul Grilley, has chosen Absolute Sanctuary to run his teacher-training courses from.

          There’s a lot on offer at Absolute Sanctuary, and nothing is done half-heartedly. The team have gone above and beyond to ensure that every person who goes to the sanctuary, be it for a yoga class, meal or detox program, feels like it’s made a difference in their life. And that’s why Absolute Sanctuary is known as a premier yoga and well-being centre on Samui.


 Christina Wylie


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