The Tamarind Springs Story
Tamarind Springs, Koh Samui’s first dedicated day spa, is the story of three individuals with very different backgrounds and talents but with a shared love for Samui’s unique tropical environment, for traditional Asian architecture & aesthetics, and a refined appreciation for a natural and wholesome way of life.
It is also the story of a beautiful hillside grove, with giant granite boulders, at the edge of the forest, which grew slowly into a business, a sustainable destination for spa lovers and massage enthusiasts, and for travellers in search of relaxation and tranquillity.
The beginnings of Tamarind Springs go back to the late 80s - it was then that we first considered how to allow visitors a natural yet luxurious stay on KohSamui, surrounded by the plentiful plants and rocks of our tropical hillside grove. Combining our creative energies, the result was Tamarind Springs Tropical Villas – a unique collection of architecturally designed buildings scattered with maximum privacy across a large and serene hillside property.
Never rushing our developments, we took the time to reflect and contemplate how else to enhance our surroundings and the experience of our harmony-seeking visitors. The giant boulders and natural water features, coupled with the local and age-old tradition of Thai massage, provided the inspiration for what is now Tamarind Springs Forest Spa. Slowly developing the property further, adding buildings and integrating other man-made features into the land’s existing features first led to one herbal steam cave and then two, a collection of rock pools, and our first massage sala, later adding several private massage pavilions scattered across the hillside, a Yoga sala, a large reception and café building.
The story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the many years of support, encouragement and inspiration we drew from our large community of friends, from artists and therapists, customers and staff, locally and around the world.
Our Environmental Philosophy
Tamarind Springs Forest Spa is Koh Samui’s first dedicated day spa and a leader among green spas. We subscribe to the belief that humans are inextricably linked to, and dependent on, the web of nature, and that we should think and behave accordingly.
We developed our large hillside property, not only to allow visitors access to this diverse tropical environment, but also to preserve and protect it from more destructive alterations. We accomplished this in a gentle, low-impact manner, without imposing on the intrinsic natural beauty.
We also believe that the living world of trees and plants, rocks and flowing water are potent tools to heal disease and calm the spirit. Living in the 21st century, the man-made world and technology permeates everything we do and every step we take. At Tamarind Springs visitors can truly reconnect with the slow measured beat of the natural world in a potent environment – and find themselves nurtured, refreshed and revitalized.
Our philosophy has been reflected in our long and creative history of eco-leadership: Tamarind is the only spa in Thailand awarded the 5 Leaf eco-ranking by the Green Leaf foundation, after 20 years of placing environmental conservation and sustainability at the centre of our vision.
The awareness, behaviours and processes that drive our eco-vision have always been in place: they cover the whole spectrum of operations, from the use of building materials, electricity, water and locally sourced food ingredients, to the unobtrusive and gentle way we have developed the lush property to give our guests access to the unique Samui natural environment.
The beginnings of Samui tourism were always about connecting with an unspoilt natural environment – a tradition that visitors, in their pursuit of rejuvenation and healing, continue to celebrate at Tamarind Springs. Read more about Our Green Path≫
Our Massage Philosophy
Our customers expect a Tamarind Springs massage to be an exceptional experience. We believe deeply in the effectiveness of quality massages, and our experiences as therapists and massage enthusiasts have long confirmed the many profound benefits of good massage. We therefore never compromise on our quality, and continuously improve and enhance what we offer to our guests.
Since we first opened, we have selected a number of the best-known and respected massage therapies, along with carefully chosen, less conventional, but effective treatments. Our styles are inspired by eastern ancient traditions and philosophies, developed out of a rich grassroots herbal heritage and a genuine tradition of massage handed down through generations. Building on this foundation we combine the local tradition with western methods such as Swedish massage and Manual Lymphatic Drainage technique, to suit each individual visitor’s needs and preferences and to deliver optimum results.
We believe in results. Our massage therapists are therefore rigorously screened and trained by qualified teachers, ensuring the highest quality and consistency of massage standards, to increase their understanding of clients’ expectations and to continuously stay ahead in their professionalism as therapists.
Another feature of a Tamarind Springs massage is that our customers and their therapists really take their time – we know the best results to emerge from extended and ideally repeated treatments, as our guests’ body and mind slowly but surely respond to the individually attuned massage techniques of the therapist.
Advocating a holistic approach, our massages are enriched by an extended prior visit to the herbal steam caves and rock pools, which soften the skin, relax the muscles and calm the mind, and by the wholesome, tasty snacks we serve. Naturally, the serene and beautiful hillside forest setting magically influences how treatments are experienced.
The Tamarind Springs team
Managing director Kanyapha Kitjapirak is a native Samuian and in charge of operations. With her artistic sensibility and profound experience in massage training she is a driving force in the continued success of Tamarind Springs Spa and Tamarind Springs Massage Academy.
Detlef Dirksen is the architect of Tamarind Springs’ magnificent spa and homes. German by birth, he has travelled extensively in Asia and draws much of his inspiration from his knowledge of South East Asian arts and his love of this unique tropical landscape.
Shelley Poplak co-founder of Tamarind Springs is from South Africa. Drawing on her love of words, images and her background in publishing Shelley applies her creative energies to marketing.