Shanti Som Wellbeing Retreat, tucked away amongst the pines and olive trees, just a short drive away from Marbella but far enough away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy a relaxing getaway. Widescreen views of the Sierra de las Nieves Nature Park, unbroken by buildings, make this a relaxing spot to escape to. And that is exactly the purpose of Shanti Som ….
When we arrive it is already dark and a path through the woods leads us to the hotel. Shanti Som appears in the dark as an Asian temple, with a large Budha welcoming us and beautifully lit under a sky filled with stars. Could come straight out of a fairytale from 1001 nights…
The hotel that used to be a rustic, two-star hotel, has been completely renovated in 2011 so that it mixes asian style with luxury. This gem of a hotel offers yoga, detoxing, life-coaching and weight loss programs.
From the moment we arrive at the hotel we feel welcome. The reception desk is located in a spacious living room like area with ´plunge´ sofas and a huge fire log, nice to sit around in the evenings once the sun has gone down, one of our favourite spots of the hotel! All of the staff are extremely attentive and can’t do enough to help the guests. At Shanti Som you are welcomed with a smile! We sit down by the fire and get offered a nice cup of herbal tea.
Our room is beautiful and cosy, not very big, but comfortable, and set together with the other 13 rooms around a pretty exterior courtyard. Our room has a small private garden with lounge chairs, the rooms on the other site of the courtyard have private sun terraces that look out onto the inspiring mountains.
The style throughout is a nice blend of Mediterranean and Asian features. Parisian sofas, Ibiza style parasols and lounge couches, Moroccan candle holders and oversized Buddha´s everywhere, give you the sense that you are in a far, far off land… there is always a place to sit quietly – whether by the pool, in the healing or organic gardens or on many of the magnificent day beds placed considerately around.
After a good night sleep we enjoy a lovely fresh breakfast of yoghurt with crunchy muesli and fruit salad, freshly squeezed orange juice and a nice cup of tea. We prefer a light breakfast, but for the guests with a larger morning appetite there is plenty to choose from…
The majority of the guests come here for a health program. You can opt for a yoga, a detox, a weight loss or a life coaching program. Because we are a little short in time we try a bit of everything.
After breakfast it is time for some action! We take a personal training with Christine, nutritionist and personal trainer. An iron lady with a golden heart, you will hate her during the exercises, but love her afterwards…Results guaranteed!
After the personal training and a relaxing swim in the pool, it´s time for lunch. The restaurant serves lovely, light, Asian, Mediterranean & Middle Eastern influenced food, with vegetarian dishes but also some options with meat and fish. Healthy and very tasteful! We had a Thai vegetable green curry with lime-scented rice, roasted vegetables, home-made flat breads and a salad on the side. Yummy!
In the afternoon we enjoy a wonderful yoga class. The outdoor wooden yoga pavilion is truly spectacular! With amazing views to the mountains you practice outdoor yoga. The yoga teachers are very professional and inspiring and take the time for each of their pupils to practice yoga at your own level.
We end our lovely day in the spa, a steam bath, a relaxing massage by the marvelous hands of Nikki, a light meal and we sleep like babies….
The next day we meet Kezia Jacobsen, the founder of Shanti Som and an experienced beauty therapist, healer and life-skills counsellor. If you come to Shanti Som for a life coaching program, Kezia will be your guide investigating your health, family, career, fitness/ exercise, passions, goals, dreams and spirituality. After helping to work out how to develop your strengths and conquer your weaknesses, she then helps you achieve it through twice daily yoga sessions, meditation and healing therapies like Reiki.
We decide to explore the surroundings a bit more and go on a hike. The mountains are ideal for hikes especially since our guide knows the nicest trails and tells us a lot about the vegetation and animal life. We fall in love with this beautiful and unspoiled area…
Unfortunately our short trip has come to an end. Although short we experienced Shanti-Som as a full-on wellness retreat, with in between all the healing, enough opportunity to sunbathe, swim, read a book, relax or meditate.
The location is ideal! Although you have the feeling of being in Asia, you are at less than three hours from the UK, Holland, Germany and Belgium. You are in the middle of nature, although if you’ve had enough of nature, then Puerto Banus is a 20-minute drive away with its many designer shops, restaurants bars and private yachts.
Two more big pluses of Shanti Som are that it is a perfect place for a solo traveller as you feel at home very quickly with super friendly staff and only 14 rooms. The other huge plus is that it’s good value for money. From Shanti Som you return home completely refreshed with healthy kidneys and, crucially, a healthy bank balance!
For an overview of the Wellbeing programs we offer at Shanti Som, please see: http://www.spa-in-spain.com/hotels-and-spas/hotel/shanti-som-wellbeing-retreat/#packages