Disclaimer: This post is brought to you in part by Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui.
One of the things I may have mentioned in talking about how to lead successful yoga retreats is making sure I am acclimated to the best of my ability before the students arrive. To that note, I generally try to arrive to the retreat destination ahead of time, because as you can imagine, it doesn't do anyone any good if they show up exhausted, cranky and jet lagged and find an equally exhausted, cranky, jet lagged yoga teacher. This time around, I wasn't prepping for a yoga retreat; I was prepping for our first ever Namaslay® Yoga Teacher Training program, but the same rule still applied. So I packed up and headed out to Thailand a week before our training started.
Dan, YBC's® strength and conditioning coach for the YTT, and I arrived to Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui after three long flights from New York to Seoul to Bangkok to Koh Samui. While I've been to Thailand before, I'd never been to Koh Samui, so I was really looking forward to it.
There were so many highlights for me, including the Muay Thai class, teaching yoga there, and the boating trip. My entire week there was absolutely fantastic. Even when I had a bit of an upset stomach! I mentioned it in passing to one person working there - just one! And throughout the day I had numerous staff asking how I was feeling. Don't get me wrong - I don't need that kind of service in order to have a good time, but it certainly makes you feel at home. I think that's what I loved most about my experience at Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui. Like, yes, it is a large property, but they somehow make it feel like a boutique hotel experience. I don't know how they manage to do that, but I was blown away.
Ok let's break it down.
The room they assigned me was heaven. It had a little patio out front, a small, private infinity pool, a large bedroom, separate sitting area, and oversized bathroom. The space felt private without being secluded. Just walk out the door, and there you were - right in the mix of things. But inside, you were all alone. It was the perfect space for getting work done, relaxing, and kicking the jet lag.
The property is absolutely beautiful and there are so many sweet little spots, like this pavilion area, where I held a yoga class for the guests.
For those wanting to get off the resort property, just five minutes away sits Big Buddha and a cute little shopping area. It was super easy to get a taxi to go to and from the Big Buddha. I did a little shopping, too - bought a cute little elephant statue - trunk up, for good luck!
And if you really want to be adventurous, you can rent a boat and cruise for about 45 minutes for what will likely be one of the best days of your life. The boat we rented took us snorkeling, to Ko Mu Ang National Park where we did some hiking to overlook those amazing islands you see at the top of this post, and then finally to a private beach before heading back to the resort. It was such a fantastic day, and the highlight of my entire trip.
As you can see in the vlog above, I had a fantastic week, and I'm so grateful for the experience. It was far better than I ever imagined, and the perfect way to acclimate before heading out to northern Chiang Mai for our Namaslay® Yoga Teacher Training. More on that coming soon, stay tuned!