Absolute Sanctuary is a Mediterranean-inspired boutique wellness resort and healthy hideaway tucked away in a peaceful corner of Koh Samui in Thailand. Their tagline is to ‘reconnect, recharge, revitalize and re-energise’ and it certainly does deliver with more than 18 comprehensive wellness programmes to choose from including yoga, detox, weight management, burnout recovery, reformer Pilates retreat or a complete overhaul with the lifestyle change programme.
The resort is just a 15-minute drive from the airport in a tranquil location in Cheong Mon and offers an immersive health and fitness holiday for those looking to rest and recharge the mind and body.
Absolute Sanctuary is a haven for wellness where every detail is thoughtfully designed to promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. As soon as I entered the resort, I felt an instant sense of peace and serenity. The buildings are uniquely painted pink; Jee, the resort manager, explains to me that this is inspired by the fact that pink is the healing colour of nurturing, emotional healing, and harmony which matches the tranquil atmosphere at the resort.
My schedule was filled with 2 - 3 treatments classes per day and the wellness reception were always happy to rearrange my schedule when I wanted to join classes and activities from the weekly schedule which included fitness classes, educational workshops, temple tours, shuttles to Chaweng and Cheong Mon beach and the local night markets - perfect for souvenir shopping - although it was great to return from the hustle and bustle back to my bedroom sanctuary after the outings.
Absolute Sanctuary is very popular with solo guests and despite there not being a community area or dining table for single travellers, I found the resort to be very sociable, perhaps due to the fact that it was smaller size than other wellness resorts I’ve been to, which made it much easier to meet other guests by the infinity pool, communal lounge area and Vitamin bar. One guest I met was only 3 days into his 60-day lifestyle change programme and told me he was already noticing a positive difference in himself.
There are just 38 rooms and suites spread across 5 buildings with some offering sea views in the distance. All the rooms are decorated in a contemporary Mediterranean style with calming light colours. My Deluxe room was bright and airy with a private terrace, large free-standing bathtub and yoga mat provided for self-practice if the twice daily classes aren’t enough for you.
The Rest and Rebalance programme
With 18 programmes on offer, it was difficult to decide which programme I should choose but after some careful consideration of what my main wellness goals were, I decided that the Rest and Rebalance programme resonated with me the most as it was described to ‘help bring back balance into your life with a holistic approach to rebalancing the mind and body’.
I really liked the variety of the programme as I felt it offered a balanced approach to my health and fitness experience. The stress management and life-balance coaching sessions with Stephanie were especially supportive in helping me acknowledge and adapt to some recent changes in my life, allowing me to learn some new tools to introduce into my daily routine back home.
The morning meditation classes followed by the yoga classes were the perfect way to start the day as the retreat offers a variety of yoga classes for beginners and advanced levels from yoga Pilates to detox yoga to gentle flow. I also found the private yoga session with Jana very beneficial as I mentioned to her that I had been struggling to focus on my breathing during the morning group classes, so we worked on a series of breathing exercises that left me so relaxed that I ended up falling asleep.
One of my favourite activities at Absolute Sanctuary was the reformer Pilates class - my private lesson with Kevin felt simultaneously effective and fun as I rediscovered some forgotten muscles and I ended up signing myself up for more classes throughout the week. The retreat offers a mix of beginners and advanced level classes focusing on different areas such as abs & arms, butt & thighs and fit & tone.
The spa treatments complemented the programme perfectly to relax and re-energise and I felt completely pampered during my stay with a Thai stretch massage on the open-air pavilion, perfect for easing out those aching muscles and several pampering massages to increase the energy flow of the body.
The Love Kitchen serves up a creative menu of organic, locally sourced dishes that are as good for your taste buds as they are for your body. The wellness cuisine menu offers a healthy, nutritious low-calorie menu enriched with superfoods and I was pleasantly surprised when my waitress explained to me that I could choose 2 dishes every breakfast, lunch and dinner which meant that I never felt restricted in any way - there were even chocolate brownies and carrot cake included!
Located by the poolside, The Vitamin Bar was a perfect place to relax between treatments with an extensive menu of juices and smoothies with nutritious fruit and vegetable combinations with each wellness programme including 2 juices per day.
Who’s Absolute Sanctuary for
Absolute Sanctuary is ideal for anybody looking to kickstart or continue a healthier lifestyle in a supportive and relaxed environment. Whether you’re seeking to cleanse the body, de-stress the mind, boost your fitness, or simply reconnect with yourself, there's a program designed for you.