“A beautifully secluded ‘wellness sanctuary’ offering a holistic haven a world apart from its many competitors”
The huge variety of accommodation blends beautifully into the environment. Gorgeously appointed suites and palatial villas give the impression of being open to the elements, with walls of sliding glass doors offering panoramic views onto the beach and beyond. They're minimally chic - not ostentatious in the least - with décor that aims to enhance rather than outshine the surroundings. We loved the earthy tones and incorporated granite boulders. Expect sumptuous soft furnishings, Asian antiques and fabrics, huge beds, cool marble floors, extensive wardrobes, romantic outdoor bathrooms and vast wooden balconies with outdoor daybeds.
The facilities are excellent, but you won't find in-room TVs or alcohol in the minibar. Alternatives are on offer in the form of an easel and watercolours from reception, vegetable juices and non-alcoholic beer in the minibar.
The standard Villas are the least secluded of the villas, but are beautifully designed, with tall pyramidal thatched roofs and a largish balcony looking over the valley towards the sea. Our top pick for couples are the Beachfront Villas which, apart from their privileged position overlooking the sand, offer tonnes of space including a living area, a balcony and a semi-outdoor bathroom. Best for families is the Rocktop Villa which can sleep 4 in a double and a twin bedroom (both ensuite); you also get a choice of indoor and outdoor living areas (both with daybeds). The Pool Villa is filled with the sound of flowing water thanks to a thin strip of private pool, which is bordered by trees and granite outcrops. The largest, most secluded and most luxurious villa is the 1 Bedroom Beach Front Pool Villa, surrounded by greenery, with a private pool overlooking the ocean. A 2 Bedroom Beach Front Pool Villa can be made by booking the 1 Bedroom Beach Front Pool Villa and a Beach Front Villa; they are then connected by a courtyard.
The 10 Suites are slightly smaller and further up the hill, closer to the main buildings. Open-fronted designs provide panoramic views of the sea and surrounding hill. These are popular with couples on a budget. The 24 Hillside Rooms (with varying views) are much smaller and more conventional. They're perfectly comfortable, but it seems a shame to miss out on the inspiring architecture of the suites and villas. These are situated in a row near the restaurant and yoga shalas, they would suit less mobile guests, however.
The most recent additions are the Superior Suites, Garden Pool Suites, and 1 Bedroom Penthouse Pool Suites - all of which are housed in a new building overlooking the sea. We haven’t viewed them yet, but with the highest location in the resort, their views are sure to be stunning.
The food at Kamalaya is gloriously healthy without being remotely dull. A menu packed with clever creations offers both continental and oriental, all bursting with freshness and health but never scrimping on flavour or presentation. A vegetarian detox menu is also available, offering a mouth-watering array of dishes from clear Thai broths to water chestnut Maki rolls with spirulina dip, or Mieng Kam (fresh green betel leaves served with dried coconut, pineapple, ginger and shallots). Elsewhere, rack of lamb on goat cheese risotto and chocolate souffle will delight non-detox guests, although you can mix and match from both menus.
Breakfast is a paradise for health freaks, with its huge buffet of tropical fruits, freshly prepared juices, yoghurt, jams, imaginative muesli ingredients and salads that extend to hummus and olives.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the Soma Restaurant atop the hill, while lunch - a fragrant curry, or a healthy a la-carte option - is served in romantic salas by the swimming pools from Amrita Cafe. Lingering over the tasty morsels, and knowing we'd (sort of) earned it, made this one of the most delicious moments of each day.
There's also a bar, The Alchemy Tea Lounge, situated above Soma which serves drinks and snacks, including alcohol and health shakes.
Kamalaya accepts children, but its secluded location and contemplative atmosphere means that it is not ideal.
Specifically you should bear in mind that:
• Children below the age of 16 may not participate in any wellness activities or treatments and are not allowed into the wellness centre or its facilities
• For every room booked there must be one adult with a pre-booked wellness program for the duration of their stay
• Maximum 1 child sharing room with their parents is permitted
• Children are not allowed to use the swimming pools between midday and 4pm
Children below the age of 8 can stay free of charge on the sofa bed of a Villa when sharing with their parents. Baby cots for children below the age of 2 are free of charge (upon availability).
If you do decide to visit as a family, we'd recommend the 2-Bed Rock Top Villa, which has 2 bedrooms and lots of private living space. You could also book the 2 Bedroom Beach Front Pool Villa. Suites, Villas, Beach Front Villa and the Pool Villa can each accommodate an additional guest on either a rollaway bed or a single sofabed.
Babysitting available by arrangement
Children below the age of 6 are entitled to 50% discount on all meal rates; children will be served half portions from the regular menus
Kamalaya's beach is very quiet and the water is shallow and generally sandy. There are also games (chess and backgammon) and a collection of films (not just self improvement but also classics and comedy) to watch on the library's large screen. A TV can be brought to your room or villa on request