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Reviewed July 31, 2008

I was planning on doing a detox in Spain, but having met one of the yoga instructors from the Sanctuary in my neck of the woods I decided to nose at the website. In terms of cost, I couldn't believe how cheap it was going to be. Two weeks in Spain, or a month in Thailand.....
Hmmmm. No contest.

So I packed my bags and headed off. I decided to go "Posh" and opted to be collected at the airport and whisked off in a private Speed boat and dropped on the shore at the Sanctuary. Here My bag was lifted from my shoulders and I was escorted to reception and then to my room. Oh what Bliss. A HUGE bed, fan, sea view, and the most amazing bathroom built into the rocks.

All the advice I received on email before I left was accurate and helpful, and later discovering what the internet connection was like out there, heartily impressed by the speed of response!

A week of pure unadulterated nothingness then helped my first week to pass, with the aid of a good book, daily yoga with the fantastic Ushma and Luiz, and a good go at everything on the pre cleanse menu. The food is second to none and I enjoyed everything put in front of me. The staff all made me feel like a princess and most guests were of a like mind, there to recuperate, re-group themselves and heal mind, body and soul.

After a spit test on Sunday I then started my detox and giggled like a school girl at Moon's instruction on how to do the Colonic. But the first one over, I wondered what all the fuss had been about and it soon became my best friend twice a day, and the originally disgusting thought of going through my poo with a pair of surgical gloves, soon turned into the highlight.

The shear joy of talking to a load of other people doing the same thing is also a heartening experience and talking about Poo, Sex and Food with a load of strangers was quite a humbling! (yes you know who you are - Strangers no more I fear!)

After the week of Clay shakes and large herbal supplements was over, and a loss of one stone in weight, I was ready to don a new bikini and hit the beach again to show off the new body. The post cleanse was also very important and who knew about the effects of eating food on the system? How amazing to feel the different foods and what they do to you and how your body reacts when your internal organs have been cleansed, polished and jump started into action.

Thanks to everyone in the Wellness Centre. Moon your chats will stay with me forever and your face appears in my fridge whenever I reach for something naughty.....also to the team of bathroom cleaners who are always smiling and laughing, singing and enjoying life. You guys all rock.

Back up to the Sanctuary and another fantastic room, ok, so more steps to this one, but after 2 weeks of yoga and dancing on the beach, I was ready for it (kinda). Friday night then came and Guys Bar kicks on at around 11pm. It's just along the beach and you can't beat it, so best to join it. 3 awesome DJ's with great music, and a bar, where no one cares what you look like or how badly you dance, and my Friday nights will never be the same again.

Then of course, if you go to Koh Phangan, your visit wouldn't be complete without the obligatory Full Moon Party. And what a party it is. Go there, dance and enjoy yourself. Think I lost more weight there too!

Then of course, my last week, back on all the right foods and able to sample the fantastic food of the Sanctuary chefs, and hats off to them. It might be a wee bit more expensive than other places, but the portions are huge and the quality was perfect without exception. When is the recipe book coming out?

The whole place is run on a tab system, whereby you mark everything off to your room. I would only suggest to those who are on a budget to clear it every day or pay it with cash as you go. If you are going to quibble over it then carry a pen and paper to mark down what you buy and when. I have to say though that the system was perfect for me and I appreciated not having to carry money everywhere, and I paid of my bill at the end of the month no problems.

A huge Thank you to Mike, Sara, Ta, Dae, Nui, Ott, Jacky, Katy, Joe, and all the other staff, including those behind the scenes claening the rooms and keeping the jungle looking so beautiful. I felt as though I was treated like a princess for my whole stay and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It probably isn't for everyone but it caters for about 96% of people.

Take your mozzie rep, don't be scared of the wildlife that you will encounter and enjoy the food. Hopefully I'll be back soon!

Emily.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank emilyinafrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2008

This place is a must to visit if you are at all interested in your health and wellbeing. I spent almost the whole month of June here and I completed a 14 day cleanse. I travelled to The Sanctuary specifically to do their infamous cleanse and I was not disappointed. Everything is prepared for you and the staff make everything so easy. Help is on hand if you need it, advice is there if wanted, or if you want to just chill and read a book then you can, undisturbed. There is a steam room built into the rock, scented with lemongrass and cinammon - mmm, heaven! There's a spa offering everything from Traditional Thai Massage to their delicious Bali Body Scrub. With the prices being so cheap, it is a must place to visit every day. It was so lovely that it was hard to drag myself back to my family and friends at the end of the trip! I will be going back as soon as I possible can. I travelled out there on my own and I felt so safe the whole time. The Thai people are terrific and all the staff at the Sanctuary are so helpful, especially Moon. What a great guy he is and such a source of information and inspiration. I can't wait to go back next Jan/Feb.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank PamelaYoung67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2008

I can't believe that the Sanctuary resort Ko Phangan has been around so long and I havent visited sooner. I recently spent a few weeks in the resort, even though i only planned to stay a few nights.

The resort was a breath of fresh rather than leaving a holiday feeling like I need to hit the gym and shake off those excess pounds, I left the Sanctuary feeling helathier than ever. The food is delicious and nutritious. The menu is really quite inspiring I never knew that healthly food can be so diverse and scrumptious. I enjoyed ever meal ate there, of course the sea view and friendly atmosphere helped.
I had hoped to learn to converse in Thai, but the local staff spoke such fantastic English that I slipped up on that one, and found myself chatting away to the cheery staff throughout my stay.

The accomodation is varried, which was great for me as I stayed longer than planned. I started off in top ended accomadation which had a beautiful ocean view and spacious bathroom with hot water, but found that i really didn't need such luxaries. I spent most of my time on the beach, enjoying the yoga classes, at the spa or socialising in the resturant. Thus, I was perfectly happy with my little bungalow and a hammock in the jungle.

Though the resort is not easy to get to it is so worth the trip to feel that you are living with the nature

1  Thank Elizabethbay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2008

You will love the Sanctuary - and that was my problem too. I had saved up all year for a 6 week trip around Asia. Two days after arriving in Thailand found me at the Sanctuary. I heard about it while camping in France and checked it out here on trip advisor. I booked in advance for a 7 day cleansing and rejuvenation. BUT the place KIDNAPPED me. I ended up staying 5 weeks out of my total 6 away.

The place was so welcoming and friendly. The food was world class delicious (only veggie and seafood) and covered South Thai, North Thai, Burmese, Indian, Italian (it was voted number one Pizza on Koh Phangan) and English and all of it done to perfection. My accommodation was very comfortable and every little detail was thought of and a great view of the ocean as well.

The cleanse really helped me feel better than I ever had before and it probably helped that I did yoga twice a day and lots of steam baths and plenty of massages - all part of a package. After the treatment my days were now spent on one of the three beaches or in the restaurant hanging out with my new friends - I met such a different bunch of people than I would normally meet at home - I met and became firm friends with two semi famous musicians, a carpenter, a cameraman, a captain of a boat and a belly dancer - pretty diverse eh!

The restaurant is to be seen to be beleived - imagine a steep cliff with a canyon running thru it with an avalanche of huge boulders thrown in - then somebody building a multi tiered structure running half way up with hidden nooks and crannies the boulders are like big modern works of art that are part of the bars, kitchen and eating areas - its a masterpiece.

The Thai couple that own it are to be found hanging out on the beach from time to time and are simple fisher folk who struck a deal with a zany English couple. I heard that Alex Garland stayed here and used it for the theme of his book - The Beach. You can see why - its very remote, very quirky and immensely popular.

So my advice to you if you are going on a long trip - go there last or you will get stuck there for the whole duration.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank PK99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2008

I recently heard about trip advisor and love i its great.
I also found the the Sanctuary recently and love it too. I have just finished the most amazing 10 days of my life. I did a detox program , yes it included colonic therapy - strange but wonderful experience. What made it do good was the caring staff there. Every 1 of them wanted me to have the best timne possible, and i did. i will nto tell you about the stuff that came out though.

Before my detox i enjoyed 3 days of food which was so good i almosty didnt do the detox program. The staff here wera also very helpful and friendly. They were really great.

I went to 7 yoga classes when i was there, that was hard but it was good for me too. The teacher really helped me when it got too hard for me, thank you .

Ican understand that some people could be disappointed if they want to have 5 star sertvice but if they want to have 6 star friendly and helpful service then this is what you will get here. I think too that maybe some people do not see what a special place this is, i think they miss out.

We were 16 people detox together and all loved the sanctuary. 5 people will meet here again next year. maybe see you ?

If you like to relax in nice place and have nice peopel around this is good - Anders

  • Stayed: June 2008
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1  Thank kinganders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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