I t didn’t take long for the magic of celebrity-fave wellness retreat, Kamalaya, to weave its charm. One night, in fact. I realised that for the first time in what felt like forever, there was no chatter – not around me, nor in my head. That elusive peace, which had been so hard to find in my busy everyday life at home, did still exist. It was daylight when I entered Kamalaya’s Wellness Centre for my 90-minute massage, but dark when I left. The surroundings – and I – had transformed as day turned to night. Lanterns draped in Spanish moss lit the paths, making it feel like I was moving through an enchanted village. One that’s shrouded in an esoteric energy forged from the physical and spiritual healing that’s taken place here for more than a decade. Many of Kamalaya’s guests have been here before – it’s not unusual to meet somebody who has visited 10 or 12 times. I joined the returnee club in late 2016, checking in nearly seven years after my first visit. The lush retreat is spectacular, with the resort and facilities cascading down unspoiled terrain to a private beach on Thailand’s second largest island of Koh Samui. Checking in will have your wellness levels rising on the spot. Like everything at Kamalaya the accommodation is discreetly integrated into the landscape through a relaxed, tropical 84 “You can peace out in a cosy seaview suite or splash out on a beachfront pool villa” design. You can peace out in a cosy hillside room or seaview suite, or splash out on a beachfront pool villa, perfect for couples on their way to relaxation and reconnection. Choosing your own path to wellness is part of the experience, with 13 packages to choose from under the core programmes of detox, healthy lifestyle, stress and burnout, yoga and emotional balance. On my last visit I chose to detox, but in the intervening years Kamalaya introduced a brand new state-of-the-art fitness centre, including a 25-metre lap pool, so this time I booked in for the basic optimal fitness programme (found under healthy lifestyle). All programmes offer a choice of accommodation plus generous wellness inclusions (an initial consultation, meals and access to numerous group fitness classes), and then they vary. My programme included a fitness assessment plus three personal training sessions, four far infrared saunas to help burn calories and detox, and three different types of massages.