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“Phuket is an ideal setting for meditation!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Phuket Meditation Center

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Phuket Meditation Center
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69 / 509 Moo 1, Soi Chaofah 5, Chalong, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
5.0 of 5 stars 67 Reviews
Greenwich, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Phuket is an ideal setting for meditation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

I can highly recommend this place for learning meditation. Pan and Toby are a really sweet couple guiding travelers into deep meditation, beginners to advanced.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketSamadhi, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, July 16, 2012
Dear Jake, Thank you so much for your lovely review my friend. Yes, I can only agree. Phuket is an ideal location for Meditation. Although often people might think it is not the right place because of all the nightlife on the Westcoast. Well, the Eastcoast and central Phuket are very different and I found many great teachers, guides and generally wonderful spiritual people here. I found that Phuket has two sides. One is the Party/Nightlife side. The other one is the Spiritual/Wellness/Training side. So many people are here to get out of their harmful habits, establish a new beginning and find peace. It gives Phuket this very special energy that both Parn and me like very much. Jake, you are definitely an amazing person and I wish you all the best on your spiritual path - strength and internal power. May Buddha bless you!
Warm regards from Tobi and Parn
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

I attended the Phuket Meditation Centre in April 2012; I have a fair bit to say so here it goes;

Arriving at the Centre – I was delivered by taxi to the back of a Thai suburb, when I got out I was standing in front of a private home with a banner on the fence with the centre’s name on it. I thought to myself “Oh my God, what have I done”. I looked over the roof thinking maybe the nice resort is behind this building? What I later found was the resort was just down the road about 5 minutes away. The house is where Toby and Parn live and they run the centre from here.

Checking in – I believe the website said to make sure you arrive before 4pm. I arrived around lunch time and they were just about to have a session. I think it was the daily meditation session open to the general public. Parn took me to the office and Toby came in to greet me. He commented on my being early and I was taken aback by his nature. To me it seemed like I had inconvenienced him? I was left with Parn who very briefly went over the schedule. She provided me with a menu to select my meals. Not being too familiar with Thai food nor a vegetarian I knew that I would find the meals difficult but I had made the decision when booking that I would just go without if I didn’t like something. Parn didn’t seem very confident and at first I found her English a little hard to understand, she kept saying that Toby would go over everything with me later so I didn’t press her for too much information as I didn’t want to make her more uncomfortable. Toby never went over anything later but I think perhaps I should have asked him when we had our first meeting.

Resort – The resort was lovely, situated far away from stores and distractions, beautiful little cabins, surrounded by palm trees and a pool. The cabin had a little verandah, was air-conditioned with a TV (that you’re not supposed to watch) and a private bathroom. Unfortunately the shower head was quite near the toilet, this meant the seat was always wet and had to be dried off. On my first two days I asked 5 times for toilet paper. On the second day Parn gave me a small packet of serviettes and told me the resort didn’t have any paper left and the manager was too busy to get some. As there were no shops close by I couldn’t go out and get some for myself (also you need to be careful in the streets as there are quite a few dogs roaming about – Parn warned me). Luckily I had a couple of packets of tissues in my bag which lasted the rest of my stay, but I was very annoyed by this. Also my room was never cleaned and I had to mention this to Parn who told me the cleaners don’t come because they don’t want to interrupt in case you’re meditating (fair enough). Perhaps this is one of the things that should or could have been mentioned when checking in (maybe if I had spoken to Toby I would have found this out?).

Meals – As previously stated when booking I knew I would find the meals difficult but I had decided I would go without if it was something I didn’t like. What I hadn’t counted on was the cook (also the manager of the resort) taking offence to me not eating her meal. During breakfast she came and asked me why I did not eat dinner and I had to explain that there was nothing wrong with the meal it was just me not being used to that type of food. She told me to just tell her what I wanted and she would cook it for me, Parn also agreed that if I didn’t like a meal it could be changed. I thought well ok if you’re happy to do that then I’ll change my order, no point in wasting time cooking a meal that won’t be appreciated. The following day I thought I should ask for a lunch change as I was sure it was the same meal I disliked previously. Parn was reluctant to make the change which I found strange from the previous days conversation but she accommodated my request however she stated I should really talk with Toby. Later in the day Toby asked to speak with me to find out what the problem was and I had to explain all over again. He was quite annoyed and told me that since I was only there for 3 days he would let it go but if I was staying longer than I would just have to go without. I was caught off guard and tried to tell him that was my intention from the start but in the end I gave up, it just seemed pointless.

Meditation Sessions – Perhaps I misunderstood when booking but I thought I would have one solo session, a one on one session with my instructor (Toby) and one group session. However it turned out to be 3 solo sessions with a 1 hour break in between (not much time to really do anything) and then an evening group session. The one on one session with Toby occurred on my first day and lasted only a few short minutes and then again on my last day which resulted in me being in tears. In the group session Toby would raise a subject and the conversation was supposed to flow and change on the basis of retreat members contributing. Again this was not something I knew (nor other members I suspect) and most of the talking was done by Toby and I either couldn’t understand what he was saying, couldn’t relate or just didn’t agree with him, it was a lot of repetitive rambling. There were a few occasions he would say something quite interesting or on the mark that made me think but for the most part it was too much? I recommend he ask retreat members what questions they have about meditation and such instead of picking a subject and going on about it for far too long. We would end the session with a brief meditation before the evening was over. I shared my retreat with a young married couple who started a day before me and I felt on some occasions that I seemed to be missing something, like I was a step behind. Also on their last evening they spent a lot of time talking about their feelings and relationship, the subject matter was quite serious. They also spoke of the retreat and what they thought of it. During this time I felt there was no way to move the conversation onto another subject that I could contribute to and benefit from, it just didn’t seem right to interrupt. On my last day I raised these points with Toby and was quite surprised by his response. He basically told me that on our first meeting (which lasted a few short minutes) he had me pegged as being someone who spends all their time comparing themselves to others and should just worry about myself. As for not being able to contribute during discussions again it was all my fault and I only needed to speak up, he said he lets the retreat members drive the conversation and if I wanted the subject to change I should have said so. At this point I decided to give up, he seemed to have labelled and judged me and I thought it just wasn’t productive to continue. There were some valid points he made but I do feel like he was quite intolerant.

Extra Options – Yoga, not an extra option but I just wanted to say I was not fit and knew I would have trouble with this. However the instructor was a lovely considerate man who provided a lesson that allowed me to fully participate. I really appreciated that. I also had a Tarot Reading and Reflexology (by Parn), both were enjoyable although I did felt a bit awkward with Parn being my masseuse but she is a lovely lady who puts you at ease.

Toby and Parn – On my last session with Toby he came back determined to help me leave with some satisfaction and learning from my retreat. Whilst he and I clashed I do respect what he is trying to do and I think it does come from the heart. However I also think he must remember that a beginner is a beginner and it is hard. Parn was lovely, so nice, she was much more relatable and would talk about her failings and how she uses meditation to help her resolve issues. I really enjoyed our morning excursions to the Big Buddha and the Beach. Getting out of the resort in the early morning was like a breath of fresh air.

Recommend – Firstly I must say be sure this is what you want to do. I thought spending my days meditating and discussing meditation would be great and a real chance to learn but I found it very difficult. Sitting for an hour 3 times daily for solo meditations was hard. Being at the Resort with nothing to do and no-one to talk to was also hard. I started to feel like a caged animal in a zoo with feeding time when Parn would drop off meals. I tried to steer clear of the television but the evenings were so boring I couldn’t help myself. I confessed this to the other retreat members at breakfast and they also admitted to reading books and using their ipad for entertainment! As I said I do believe this is all done from the heart but Toby is hard core (as a fellow retreat member stated) in his approach. I really think he needs to take a step back and remember what it was like to be a beginner again. On leaving the retreat Parn kindly saw me off and I must say I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I do like meditation and actually do it even more now I just think my approach is different to what the retreat offers or believes in. It simply wasn’t for me but I’m glad to have gone and experienced it and now I know what I want to gain from my meditations so it was useful in its way.

Room Tip: Just take mozzie repellent
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Dear Jane,
First of all, thank you very much for your lengthy review. It surely will help a lot of people to know what they are about once they start a retreat with us. You also give us a great opportunity to improve a few points that we have not been made aware of when you were still here with us. I did not know that you perceive me this way - I was clearly mistaken because I thought you'd be feeling good - in fact I remember you as such a joyful and open person. I truly didn't notice that you've had such a hard time here with us - to be honest I would have loved to know from you that you are feeling this way so I would have changed it immediately. Like this it's too late - that's really sad since both of us, Parn and me did not intend to make you feel bad in any way.
We always tell our guests upon arrival that they clearly need to tell us when they feel unhappy with something to avoid offering the wrong type of service or guidance. This retreat lives by the input of our guests so clear communication is vital for us.
I can't be sorry for your personal experience of the program, but I am sorry for not having had the chance to help you making it a beautiful experience as it has been for the absolute majority of our guests. I am very grateful for your review as you teach me that we have to devote ourselves even more to understanding our guests the right way. You also teach me that I obviously can't make it up to everybody on this planet. This gives me further strength to let go and be myself - just in a continuously better way. Thank you for that, dear Jane.
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Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

I attended a 3 day retreat with Tobi and Parn recently and I hope to return as soon as possible to stay for 7 days. I have attended group retrets in the past but this was altogether different. Meditating alone was a powerful life changing experiane, made relaxing and comforatable by the quiet and pleasent surroundings and made intersting by the great daily activities. Most importantly though the support, guidence and openness of Tobi made the whole experiance safe and special for me.
They also offer a whole range of complimentary servicies and therapies which I would like to indulge in on a future visit.

Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Dear Lewis,
Thank you so much for your lovely review. Parn and me are really happy that you've enjoyed your time with us so much. I appreciate all the communications we've had, the shared openness and basically both of us are grateful to have met you. Hope everything is going well for you and you have a good time integrating the techniques you've learned.
Warm regards from Phuket - looking forward to see you again soon.
Love
Tobi and Parn
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Phuket, Thailand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2012

it s always been a difficulty for me to express my feelings. But this time, I decided to write it down.
The accommodation is just perfect, clean,quite and has friendly staff. The owner of the resort P'Lek took really good care of me and cooked my favourite green curry for me everyday. I was truly appreciated. And the swimming pool there is clear and fresh as well.
The yoga teacher there is brilliant. As a rookie, I totally enjoyed it.
I took a 3 days Retreat for Meditation, But for me, it more like a Heeling Program. I have to admit that, I came to Tobi & Parn as a confused, unhappy and half-souled person. And I didnt even remember what i said in the very first conversation with them.
Well, they noticed my problem, and set a unique meditation program for me. In these 3 days, we had quite a few long insightful conversations about all sorts of humanity issues concerning life, death, parenting,love and so on. And Tobi didn't teach me "How to be a master of Meditation", but much more importantly, "How to truly and sincerely live your life". At the end of the session, my heart is full of joyousness and fulfilment. And i have no idea how to express my gratefulness towards them.
I believe this retreat will be a lifetime treasure for me. If I have time, I ll definitely do it again.

cheers

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Hi Chen Chen,
Thanks for your very positive and uplifting words. We were really happy meeting you here. The retreat was indeed a very nice experience, profound and heart-opening. I enjoyed the sessions very much myself - you gave so much great input and made me think a lot.
We wish you all the best of success, spiritually and otherwise.
Warm regards from your friends
Tobi and Parn
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Montreal
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at the Phuket meditation retreat for only 3 days but left with positive changes that are still following me in everything I do. I went in with a fear of cats that has existed for as long as I can remember. There have been many attempts in the past where people tried to help me get rid of this silly fear, but it getting closer to cats made me hate them even more. The subject about cats came up at the retreat when I was asked by Tobi if I am ok with cats walking around the resort, and I shared my fear with him. He suggested that we could work on it during my retreat if I wished, which I gladly agreed to. Amazingly enough, after 1 day's meditation and exercises done with Tobi, I was able to leave the retreat picking up a cat and petting it in my arms. That was a magical moment in my life that I will never forget. It has made me realize how strong my mind actually is and how I can use it to create many more positive changes in my life. Tobi & Parn are extremely kind and have made me feel well and comfortable during my stay. I felt like I was visiting family. Thank you!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketSamadhi, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear Consuela,
Thank you so much for your positive review. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your three day retreat so much. Most of all we are happy that you left with a big personal change :)
We hope to see you again sometime soon,
Warm regards
Tobi and Parn
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Phuket, Phuket, Thailand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2012

Toby is my teacher of Qi Gong for nearly 3 years...I was learning with him since his early opening days of the Qi Gong and I keep on practicing with him until now (2012). His traditional Chinese teaching is impressing me by his devotion and endurance on class. I m feeling of peace and calmness when I go to class. Parn is a very good assistance for Tobi. They are both giving professional teaching with hearted attention that I myself, could not have been experienced somewhere else like that..!! My experience with 3 days retreat was changing my points of view in life and I'm definitely reorienting my life differently than I was thinking before..! It's a very good experience for those who are suffering or suffocating of a stressful modern life..! With love to Tobi & Parn!!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketSamadhi, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear Tico,
It is truly a great pleasure having you on board. You have been one of our first guests and stayed with us for all the years. Your progress in Meditation, Insight and calmness is mind blowing!
During the retreats we offer now Yoga every day in the afternoon. If you still remember, we had Yoga only once every two days when you came for your retreat. That has changed for the better by now and we have a full Yoga program. We hope that you will join in the future to unwind and relax with us while on retreat. Until then we will see you in our regular public classes for Qigong as always.
Thanks again for your lovely review.
Blessings
Tobi and Parn
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2012

Toby is the reason to do this retreat. I did a 5 day retreat with Toby & Parn and it was an insightful, challenging experience a wonderful beginning into the stillness of the mind. The teachings with Toby are a highlight & this young man is wise beyond his years. I was well looked after & the accommodation is basic, clean & comfortable. Food is vegetarian Thai so lots of white rice.
You are here to meditate so you will get the most out of it if you take it seriously,

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketSamadhi, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear Tamara,
We are both very happy you liked your stay with us so much. It was truly a pleasure having you and we hope to see you again sometime soon. You might love the news that we have changed the white rice for red or brown rice - it's much healthier ;) You are also right about the remark that it's good to take it seriously. Let's put it this way: If you come because you really need it - you will experience the best results.
We hope you are doing fantastic back home and your practice helps you master your life,
With warm regards
Tobi and Parn
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Additional Information about Phuket Meditation Center

Address: 69 / 509 Moo 1, Soi Chaofah 5, Chalong, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Phuket Town > Chalong
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Chalong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dharana Meditation and Retreat Center in Phuket. We offer high quality authentic meditation retreats, workshops, seminars and Wellness activities on Phuket Island. We have beautiful and clean rooms and create an atmosphere of loving kindness and warmth for our guests. Our facilities include a beautiful swimming pool, herbal steambath, Sauna and lovely Thai Style retreat houses. We really look forward hearing from you or seeing you soon at the Retreat. With love, Tobi and Parn ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Phuket Meditation Center Chalong

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