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“What a wonderful experiance”

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Hariharalaya Meditation Retreat Centre
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“What a wonderful experiance”
Reviewed May 3, 2014

From the regular yoga and meditation classes to the talks and workshops. From the vegan feasts to the green gym. We came with busy heads and stiff limbs and left after only 10 days feeling a sense of not only belonging but also of longing to return. A routine in place to take forward. since we left we have continued to practice the lessons we learnt. Being mindful and present, using patience with practice and opening our hearts to what really matters. with love and respect we extend our gratitude to Joel for his knowledge and guidance, Sean for his personality and professionalism, Jen for her introduction and communication, Claire, Amy, Stephan and Brittany for their classes, talks and treatments (awesome).
What a wonderful place with amazing people. If your looking for a retreat where you get pampered and spend time drinking cocktails in a spa... don't go. If however your looking to learn about the complete process of yoga and meditation. Find out about yourself and your place in this world, then there a few better things you could do than get in touch with Hariharlaya and yourself.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Neil W W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 20, 2014

I was lucky enough to spend a week at Hariharalaya in March after attending a two week retreat in Thailand, and a week long home-stay/retreat in Siem Reap. I would not call Hariharalaya a retreat (to no disadvantage), but instead more like a learning center. Although you can attend the center for just 10 days, or partake in the longer-term student program, the two coincide quite nicely offering different programs for different needs. The center offers a number of practical body-language, memory and nutrition courses (there may even be more!), as well as massage therapy. I didn't have the chance to try the massages, but I hear that Claire has the hands of a goddess (and as you'll see from her yoga classes that she is a goddess). Equally as great (but totally different), was the lovely Amy, who literally bursts with love, positive energy, and hand-stands! New to the team, when I arrived, was Brittany, and let me tell you... she will kick your butt (It was awesome!). Together, they offer different styles, but a comprehensive yoga practice; I highly enjoyed it. Plus, if you're wanting to test out your yoga teaching skills, they have no problem letting guests and students teach classes (after careful consideration, I'm sure) ... we truly had an excellent array of both students and teachers. Speaking of teachers, the meditation classes are also focused, and practiced seriously, so I think it's important to be aware of the fact that you will be required to meditate often. Looking upon my experiences, I think I have improved most at incorporating meditation in to my daily life and practices (thus far). Sean and Joel, both meditation teachers, were very inspiring people who helped me on that path. Sean was often present for chatting, and offering his opinions, and knowledge about incorporating meditation in ones daily life, and somehow Joel happened to sit by me on my last day, and offer me an immense amount of practical knowledge and spiritual advice. I have yet to fully tap in to that, but I feel like they both helped lead me in a very positive and uplifting direction. Thank-you all so much.

Along with the dedication of being a student, comes the lovely free time to chill and just be. I thought I would spend a lot of time reading, but actually spent a great deal of time talking to people. Everyone who was there seemed to be discussing a similar topic - the human condition. We were all working at becoming our best selves, uninterrupted by the noise and chatter of everyday life. Yet, ironically this brought us in to much chatter with one another - I learnt so much through other people; I have a book full of resources, a mind full of new/ different perspectives, and memories of my mind finding some clarity. It's this clarity that I continually try to carry with me; my memories, and meditation serve as reminders.

From conversations I had with the staff, it seems as though they are constantly re-evaluating the best way in which the center can run, which I personally think is admirable - always re-evaluating, fixing, and planning ways to improve- the embodiment of life-long learning. Very cool. Comparatively speaking, it was on par and surpassed my experiences with other yoga/ meditation centers/ retreats, mainly because of the community factor. Hariharalaya is situated in the countryside of Siem Reap, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, which was refreshing for both my mind and lungs. Community building, and shared living is a huge part of Hariharalaya's nature. The food was delightful, the living space quaint, and homey, the people: like-minded, conscious, and open ... all working at finding a balance.

:) Lots of love for Hariharalaya <3

Room Tip: I liked the private rooms. Bring ear-plus... Cambodia has prolonged wedding traditions :) But, it...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Xiaonanan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 20, 2014

If you feel drawn to this place, then you should absolutely check it out, you won't regret it.

My time at Hariharalaya is something I will take with me throughout life. It's not a vacation, it's an experience like few others.
I learned a great deal while I was there, about a great many things. It was a journey of discovery.

During my month there I was helped by all the staff, they all bring their unique skills and personality to help the participants.
Their gentle guidance helps people to do their best. They genuinely believe in what they say, and truly want to help and heal. I am immensely grateful for all their help.

Hariharalaya is beneficial for anyone; those just beginning meditation and yoga, to those who have experience and seek to deepen their practice; it's all there.
The great part is, no matter where you're at, you're supported. By the staff and by the other participants, who are sharing the journey. They have useful information, cause they've been through similar things. Hariharalaya attracts like-minded individuals, and it's a great place to discuss ideas, talk through struggles, and forge amazing friendships.
I remember many great after dinner discussions, from what Yoga posture is best suited to a specific problem, to the favorite talks of Alan Watts and Osho, to what are the must see places in Loas.

There are always great activities, it goes beyond yoga and meditation. There are magic shows, Thai massage workshops, tours of the local village, and more.

It's a place for healing; a variety of massage techniques, Reiki sessions, and one-on-one yoga are available to participants.

It's delicious; so many delicious (and nutritious) meals (I still have dreams about the palm sugar rice porridge).

It's a great place to sit in hammock, play a little guitar, and just be.

Thanks to everyone at Hariharalaya, you guys are amazing!
Namaste.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank T P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Adelaide, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2014

I made a very quick decision based on timing and opportunity to go to Hariharalaya, I booked into the student program for 2 weeks yet really had no idea what I was getting myself into and the reality is although I’ve been on a spiritual journey for a few years I rarely exercise, I have never done yoga, I’ve done some meditation, I’ve never eaten vegan food and nearing my mid 40’s the body was starting cease up and show signs of aging after years of neglect.
So what harm could really come of this? I was ready to jump in and embrace this experience.
Day 3, I had a semi melt down, questioning myself why I wasn’t lazing by a pool sipping on cocktails, Thankfully it was student meeting day and I had an opportunity to have a vent, Having the group support was invaluable. Day 4, I was back into it feeling happy and eager. Each day I felt better and better, the deep relaxation experience after each yoga session was euphoric, my body was feeling more flexible and lighter my energy increased, my skin felt clear, I appreciated the silent days and the fasting. I loved my cosy hut and enjoyed watching the sun go down each night in my hammock, I was even lucky enough to hear the monks chanting in the distance.
The staffs were always helpful and professional; Shaun’s day work shop on body language was well worth doing, still waiting for the email links after it though. Claire’s treatments were magical. Joel’s and Shaun’s talks were always interesting and Joel’s book is a good read. Leib the blind masseuse was fantastic. Amy’s one on one yoga session was very helpful. Amber was always around the place if anyone needed anything. During the yoga class I never felt pressure to push myself from either Amy or Claire; they constantly reminded us it was our own practice. It was clear they were all passionate about what they do.
The centre offers a couple of day trips which I felt were well worth doing; it was a good opportunity to get to know other people a bit better and have some Cambodian adventure. During my time there was also some chanting, a fire ceremony, a visit to a neighbour’s house and bike riding.
Hariharalaya had just celebrated their 3 yr anniversary it is a credit to Joel and his team to what has been created. I was disappointed I couldn’t stay longer as I feel it would have really cemented some new patterns and habits.
Yes there were dogs barking and roosters crowing we even had a resident rooster in the yoga hall, The techno version of gangnam style was thrashed on every wedding night too, Yet it was what it was and being in a village that’s what happens, I felt I had good value for my money, so I didn’t see any cause to complain, it was all part of the experience.
Thanks to everyone there and I hope if you go there you will enjoy it too.

Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank smiller1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 5, 2014

I was supose to stay one month but I loved it so much so I ended staying longer. It is a great place to get in touch with yourself and learn a lot about everyhting...it is also a great place to make friends, its just such a lovely vibe. everyone there is so nice and the yoga teachers and memebers from the staff are absolutely lovely.
Its just a fnmatastic experience.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Xi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed March 28, 2014

I stayed at Hariharalaya in January this year, and a had a truly fantastic experience. After leaving the retreat, I can say that I came away more flexible, feeling healthier and with lifelong friends.

I had never tried meditation before and was a little worried about being thrown into the deep end, but so many others were in the same boat which was comforting. The yoga was great and some days challenging (but in a good way). Amy and Claire's guidance was very helpful, and they were always available if you had any questions. I also got a massage from Claire which was FANTASTIC and very relaxing! I had some upper neck/shoulder problems when I arrived, and Claire was more then willing to answer my questions about it and offer me some advice about stretches.

Apart from the people at Hariharala (which really made my time there), I have to say one of the biggest highlights was the food- WOW! I never knew vegan food could be so delicious. Every meal was a treat. I think for the quality of the food, you really can't beat the value of this place.

I also opted to take part in the detox with Amy, which went over 3 days. I had never done a juice detox before and despite the price, it was great to do, even just to know that psychologically, it can be done. But it was especially good to do it with the support of friends who were also having to resist the temptation of every meal, and of course Amy (who is a nutritionist). The consultation with Amy was really helpful as she was able to answer all my questions relating to food and general diet.

Thank you Hariharalaya and especially Claire and Amy who went above and beyond to make me feel welcome during my two week stay. I also have to mention Sean's magic shows- amazing and unbelievable, I have no idea how you did any of it. Thanks for the laughs and for running such a great centre!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Lily G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jaisalmer, India
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2014

As a beginner in yoga and completely new to meditation I came to Hariharalaya to give myself a break. I loved being there for 4 weeks and still miss it.
The yoga classes taught by Claire and Amy are varied, challenging and exciting. I never thought my body could change so much in a months time. There is a morning session everyday and sometimes another one in the afternoon. Combined with a personal practice that is quite a bit of time spent on the mat.
The meditation was very challenging, sitting completely still for 20-60 minutes isn't easy! It has really helped me become calmer, overcome some challenges and leave things behind. Physically and mentally it hurts but the release is amazing. With an open mind Hariharalaya is a safe place to let go. Claire's words still go through my head: "It's ok to relax, it's ok to let go."
It is a basic lifestyle, walking barefoot, cold showers, simple accommodation (amazing pillows!) but that's what I was after. Not having wifi or 20 computers (there is one) is great, people actually talk to each other again!
The student program I found was set up well. The extra asana classes were fun and helpful, the weekly group meetings with Joel helped me get rid of what other people think of me, the silence days were a big plus too.
After a month I feel confident to be myself, enjoy my daily practice and thank all of the staff for that!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank nimbufresh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hariharalaya Meditation Retreat Centre

Property: Hariharalaya Meditation Retreat Centre
Address: Tnal Trung, Bakong, Siem Reap 17715, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Siem Reap Province > Siem Reap
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 268 Specialty Lodging in Siem Reap
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hariharalaya is an oasis of peace and transformation located in a quiet Khmer farming village near the Ancient Temples of Angkor (just outside of Siem Reap). We have 7 comfortable rooms in a traditional Franco-Khmer wooden mansion, 5 private retreat huts overlooking the fields and pastures, as well as a shared dorm and a private family house. We offer daily yoga and meditation classes, as well as regular meditation and creativity retreats. Our rates are ALL INCLUSIVE - including yoga and meditation every morning, meditation every evening and 3 delicious and fresh vegan meals a day. We also have a wide range of healing services as well as spiritual and health courses. ... more   less 

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