On my last trip to Thailand, I discovered a natural forest garden spa with amazing herbal steam caves and waterfall fed swimming lagoon.The Tamarind Springs Forest Spa on Koh Samui Island, Thailand is easily accessible from the main road that runs around Koh Samui (also spelled Ko Samui), but feels as though you’ve traveled far from civilization. A convenient oasis.
The Forest Resort Property
Situated on many acres and built among stone mountain walls with a meandering creek, the Tamarind Springs Forest seems more like a natural wonder than a resort. It is lushly tranquil, calm and quiet. The only sounds are bird’s songs and water falling. Thoughtfully manicured, there are huge granite boulders with colorful koi ponds at their base surrounded by towering green bamboo trees. Besides the two steam caves, every building and amenity is open air. Greeted with a Thai wai by a uniformed employee within a large Tahitian style building, you are cheerfully directed to your gender specific hut to change into the sarong and disposable slippers provided. There is an walled, open air shower within the hut that I enjoyed prior to and after using the facilities. The retreat also features luxurious tree house style bungalows for overnight stays.
Spa Menu Options
My husband and I booked the Steam and Dream option from the online menu. The menu itself is extensive and offers many variations. Our selection is listed on the day spa menu and basically you can enjoy the three rock plunge pools and two steam caves the entire day for about $50 U.S. It includes a small meal served in an exotic wood covered dish labeled with a cute name card, left for you at the food and beverage pavilion. Our meal consisted of a freshly prepared exotic fruit platter on a banana leaf and a healthy, light Thai lunch. There was a self-serve beverage station which offered a variety of hot and cold tea and water.
To me, Tamarind Springs is a VIP spa because they thoughtfully time facility use and treatments so you don’t encounter too many of the other guests. The uniformed employees melt subtly into the background; there if you needed them, invisible when you want privacy.
There is something so restorative and therapeutic about scrubbing yourself with the various herbal scrubs provided outside the steam room, stepping into the deep stone steam chamber, laying on the stone platforms, pouring cool water over yourself occasionally from the water bin, then exiting to plunge into the cool, waterfall-fed lagoon pool. I was giddy as I repeated this process over and over and left feeling entirely invigorated. My husband was wowed and said that the experience felt surreal.
Next time, I plan on extending my visit and indulging in the yoga retreat. It is a 6 day yoga holiday program that includes yoga, massages, and a bungalow. In my opinion, this resort is a Thailand itinerary must, and puts the amazing in “amazing Thailand”.