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“Not what I expected” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Karuna Meditation Center

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Karuna Meditation Center
Ranked #22 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Kamala
Jakarta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not what I expected”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2009

I Stayed at the Karuna Mediataion Centre for 8 days.
On arrival I was shown to my room. I requested my key and was told that someone(i do not know who) had the key and that Tom would look into the matter.
I never did get akey.
There were not heavy curtains at the windows in my room so at night there was no privacy if you need the light on.
My room was right next to the main road and was very noisy
I too was shocked by the position of the Centre i expected it ot be in a quiet villiage.
I mentioned this to Tom after my first night there, His comment was you should be able to meditate and not let the noise of the road disturb you. Thats OK whilst you are concentrating on your meditation, but at 2am when you are trying to sleep and a huge truck goes through all its gears to reach the top of the hill , is another story.

I was suprised to find out after several days that my room was not being cleaned and that Iwa expected to do it myself.
This included washing of bed linen and towels.
I was not told about having to clean my room whilst I was there or that I had to wash my own linen.prior to arrival. I was also not told that I had to clean my room on departure ready for the next tennant
The Yoga teacher was great. I am 61 and she modified the moves to suit my body.
I enjoyed the guided meditaion but aprox one hour a day was not sufficent for my likings.
I felt that I needed more guidence.
On Sunday you are expected to do chores around the Centre. I did not do them. I felt that paying $86.00 per day for my room and having to do wash linens etc was as much as I was going to do.
This centre does not provide what is advertises, and I was not the only one to think like this.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank deesatu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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16 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
49 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2009

I have recently stayed in KYMC for a month. I have chosen this place based on what is presented on their website and subsequent exchange of emails with them.
I was looking for a peaceful and quiet place in the middle of the forest as they advertise. The scope was to combine meditation with rest.
From the selection of rooms they offer I chose a single/ private (non-sharing) room.
When I got there I was presented with something totally unexpected.
KYMC are two somewhat run down buildings at the entrance of Nakatani Village, a private and close modern condominium. The village is up a very steep road so expect trucks going up on second noisy gear. These buildings are next to a very busy road – motorbikes, cars and heavy duty trucks drive along this road day and night. The noise is neither for the faint hearted nor for the light sleepers. Additionally there are building sights all around that area. So, basically, if you expected peace and quiet as advertised, you will not get it.
My room gave view to this busy road and building sights. I did not sleep properly one single night for the duration of my stay due to the noise.
There is a huge discrepancy between all rooms. You can find rooms at the ground floor located in the laundry area (add the constant noise of the washing machine going) – your view from the ‘window’ is the laundry area. These are horrible and claustrophobic. You can find rooms at the basement. These are spacious, with plenty of windows, private bathroom and view to vegetation. You can find rooms at the first floor, with private bathroom. All rooms are basic, aircon may or may not work, lights may or may not work, all are exposed to road noise, aircon is old and cranky (very noisy) all could be less run down, all could be cleaner. If something is not working don’t expect it to be fixed during your stay, even if they say they will fix it. In short they don’t give you much for your money (=> it’s expensive). Alternatively there are the cabanas. These are located in another building, further up the village, next to the swimming pool area. These are very nice and don’t even seem to belong to KYMC. Spacious, clean, private garden, own kitchen, away from the noisy road (although you can hear some noise from far). These two cabanas are surrounded by private houses, 50 meters (+-) from KYMC main building.
If you are two people sharing it cost you $55 per person in a shared room in twin beds (ie $110 per room) in the main building. But if you don’t mind sharing a huge bed (if you’re a couple than that is sorted!), then for $15 extra each, the cabana is zillion times better. There is no possible comparison. The cabana is serviced, clean, etc every day while for all other rooms is… do it yourself as you never know if the cleaner will come that day.
If you stay longer than a week and need changing bed lined and towels, don’t wait for it. You are expected to do it yourself. Put the stuff in the washing machine and drier and make your bed again. You are expected to pay for any laundry you do. There is no service at KYMC. On Sundays you are expected to help with general duties for 2 hours. All these chores are included in your room rate – after all it’s a pleasure to do them!
Rooms, except cabanas, do not have keys. I haven’t experienced any problems but be advised that there are no keys if you have security issues with that.

I enjoyed the food. It’s basic but good. It’s on a self service basis and it isn’t much, so make sure you get to the dining room on time or you may end up without your meal. This is no joke and I have seen this happen various times during my stay. Breakfasts and lunches are ok quantity-wise but there is nowhere near enough food for all guests at dinner time. Expect a small quantity of soup and left overs (if any) from lunch. Alternatively there is the restaurant from the resort across the road (which I had to use in a couple of occasions – not cheap although Thai dishes not expensive).
Although they say fruit is available between meals this is not always the case. Expect mainly bananas and oranges, if any.
If you stay at KYMC I recommend you do some shopping before you get there. Buy any fruit and snacks you think you will need. There is a fridge you can use (although sometimes your food disappears). Once at KYMC there is nowhere you can do shopping apart from Patong or Kamala (both 15 minutes by tuc tuc – 200 Bhat each way).

The beautiful beach mentioned on their website is about 20 minute walk but once you get to KYMC they tell you that they don’t recommend women to walk there alone! You can however use the resort private beach across the road (5 minutes). Sometimes they can pose problems as you are not staying at the resort but be nice to them and with soft dialogue you should be fine. It also helps saying you are staying at KYMC.
There is also a swimming pool at Nakatani Village. It is not from KYMC but shared by all people that live at this condominium. Although at the time I was there, it was almost always empty, I can imagine it gets very busy in the high season.

When it comes to yoga, ignore the pictures on their website. It’s not done by the beach or any other fancy place. It either at the yoga sala by the pool (nice area) or indoors if raining. While I was at KYMC there were only classes at 11:00. No 17:00 class as advertised (never).
However, yoga classes are great and the teacher, Julie, is phenomenal. Everyone that came to yoga classes praised the classes and the teacher. She is an energy booster! Julie adapts to all levels and follows everyone individually making sure they are doing stuff right and that they are neither overdoing or are under doing. The yoga practiced at KYMC is Ashtanga primary series. Yoga is Monday to Friday. Some Saturdays as well but not Sundays.

As to meditation itself, there is only one guided meditation followed by teachings – Monday to Sunday. All other session are not guided. You join in when you want and you leave when you want. I will not comment on these as it’s really very personal. Some people find the talks very useful others not so much. Some find them ‘enlightening’ others negative and almost frustrating. It depends on what you are expecting and what your previous experience is.

Conclusion: for $86 a night (what I paid) I rather have stayed in a nice resort, isolated and quiet. Somewhere where I could do my own non-guided meditation and complement the experience by reading Jack Kornfield book “The wise heart” as a way of daily teachings. I would make sure the place had yoga lessons as well. I would miss out on Julie, true, that would be a big loss.

Why did I stay at KYMC for one entire month? Because I made the mistake of paying full upfront and they don’t do refunds. I decided to make the best of my stay anyway. After all you meet great people during this journey, people from all over the world that come to KYMC. Some (the majority) deceived by the promises on their website but others actually enjoy their stay.

Whether or not you stay at KYMC, make the best of your stay. This review sole purpose is to give extra information so that you don’t feel deceived when you get at the Centre.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank been-there-yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Karuna Meditation Center

Property: Karuna Meditation Center
Address: 6 / 30 Moo 6, Nakatani Village, Kamala, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Kathu > Kamala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Kamala
Number of rooms: 16
Also Known As:
Karuna Meditation Hotel Kamala
Karuna Meditation Center Kamala, Phuket

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