The ashram was great for what I needed; a getaway with no distractions to clear my head. The food was delicious, it's right on the beach and people are friendly.
The one thing that drove me nuts was that the bathrooms were filthy. I know it's an ashram (I'm Hindu so I'm quite familiar with the concept) but still it was disgusting. The problem is the bathrooms are cleaned in the morning and by afternoon, there are filthy towels on the floor, tampons strewed about, skid marks in the toilet, hair everywhere.
Also if you're looking for spiritual guidance, forget it. I took a tour of the ashram with "Arjuna" (a white guy from Canada) who seemed consistently annoyed with us the entire time. First he snapped at someone for looking at their watch, (she was trying to make a note of the sun in accordance with the time, not because she was bored), then he became irate when we asked a question about something he mentioned in the tour, (that the ashram has a 99 year lease). He then became annoyed when someone else asked about the meaning of the different colored robes. I found it odd that someone who has been practicing yoga and meditation for 30 years could be so rude and snippy.
I also went to take a Bhagvad Gita class. I peeped my head in and asked if I was in the right spot and he just grunted at me. This was someone training to be a priest. I've gone to a million pujas and have been to Hindu camp as a child and the priests are always warm and friendly so I was pretty surprised.
Interestingly the only person with a bright personality and energy was Dr. Amit Goswami who was simply dropping in to lecture about quantum physics.
If you're looking to just be by yourself and clear your head (not being able to drink, smoke, have caffeine, or go out helps) this is a perfectly good spot. Just don't depend on the ashram itself on helping you with that spiritual awakening. If you have the money spring for the rooms with private bathroom.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Yoga Retreat is a spiritual center & retreat place offering courses and workshops and yoga vacation. The daily schedule includes two yoga classes, two Satsangs (meditation sessions) and two vegetarian meals. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Hotel Paradise Island
- Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas/Paradise Island