I recently spent six days at one of Thailand’s top detox resorts. Koh Samui may be a famous party town, but it certainly was getting ready for an early night when I flew in from Hong Kong just before sunset one Sunday. From the Koh Samui airport, I checked into the Absolute Sanctuary health resort for a holiday of raw juices and raw foods.

Yoga and Pilates Retreat at the Absolute Sanctuary Resort in Koh Samui

Yoga and Pilates Retreat at the Absolute Sanctuary Resort in Koh Samui

The quiet of Koh Samui might have been unnerving to visitors intent on getting a tan by day and painting the town red by night. But it was all well and good for me, as I’d come here mainly for rest and relaxation. And to experience one of the most serious detox programs in the world.

HOW TO DETOX

The multi-awarded Absolute Sanctuary has become a by-word among fervent believers in detox therapy for its no-nonsense cleansing programs. It’s also well-known for its effective cocktail of juices and raw foods, and its variety of Pilates classes and yoga classes to complement the food and treatments.

Yoga and Pilates Retreat at the Absolute Sanctuary Resort in Koh Samui

Yoga and Pilates Retreat at the Absolute Sanctuary Resort in Koh Samui

RESORT WITH A MISSION

In fact, the Absolute Sanctuary is so focused on its cleansing experiences that you won’t even see the beach on your stay unless you actually make a point of doing so. You’ve got to be up early for the 7 AM power walk by the beach with a guide who accompanies you there and back on foot.

Or else you take the shuttle to a designated area for a day in the sand. As for the sea – you are in one of Asia’s top beach destinations, after all – the resort is inland so you will only see a sliver of it from the top suites.

LIFE AT ABSOLUTE SANCTUARY IN KOH SAMUI

Otherwise, life at this spa is confined to a modest property – modest, as far as luxury Thai resorts go, that is – with a busy treatment center and a Moroccan-inspired restaurant where most diners will probably be feasting on fruits and leaves, if they are eating at all.

Yoga and Pilates Retreat at the Absolute Sanctuary Resort in Koh Samui

Yoga and Pilates Retreat at the Absolute Sanctuary Resort in Koh Samui

DIETS FOR DETOX AND LOSING WEIGHT

The hub of activity is a large swimming pool with an adjacent bar that serves raw juices all day from 7 AM to 9 PM. This pool is really lovely especially at the end of the day. 

Meanwhile, the juice bar is Absolute Sanctuary’s main lifeline as most guests are on restricted diets. So only coconut juice, raw juices and shots of wheatgrass mixed with enzymes and nutrients are allowed. So this is where everyone congregates to make small talk and to compare notes on kilos lost – because many do lose weight here.

A SERIOUS DETOX CENTER

This resort is not a pampering spa nor an especially luxurious haven. But it’s succeeded in making its guests happy. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with positively palatial bathrooms. And the service is warm and friendly. Moreover, the entire resort is designed with enough pretty and exotic touches. You’ll see shades of Northern Africa and the Middle East, and these will make you think of anywhere else but Thailand.

Yoga and Pilates Retreat at the Absolute Sanctuary Resort in Koh Samui

Yoga and Pilates Retreat at the Absolute Sanctuary Resort in Koh Samui

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

But few guests have booked a stay here to holiday in a typical Thai beach resort. Most are intent on getting on the fast track to good health. They have done their due diligence, including searching online for phrases like “best detox” via Google. 

So almost everyone here has arrived with a mission: to detox, to lose weight, or to get a physical makeover. For these, this spa perhaps offers the most effective and best value detox packages.

Read more articles on yoga, Pilates and detox retreats in Travelife Magazine.