A group of us stayed for a week at Sumalee a few weeks ago, and all of us wished we could have stayed longer. It was the highlight of our Southeast Asia trip for sure.
Firstly, communication with Lynne over email was great – she was super responsive and very helpful with answering all our questions. When we arrived at the gym on a Sunday afternoon – facilities are closed on Sundays – we were met by a really friendly staff member who showed us around and gave us helpful tips on what to do while the gym was closed.
We stayed in the deluxe rooms, and they were clean and comfortable, with plenty of storage space. Wi-fi was also reliable throughout the camp. The pool was great, the yoga space was really cool, and the food at the restaurant is superb. I have several food allergies, and the staff were able to tailor some of their dishes to fit my food allergies so I could still enjoy their delicious meals.
In terms of location, there aren’t many tourist attractions nearby, but I quite liked that about it, as we could just focus on training and chilling out between sessions. There’s some affordable, delicious places to grab food within a short walking distance as well. 7/11, supermarkets, and pharmacies are about a 15-20 minute walk away. Patong and other attractions are about a 20 minute taxi ride away if you did want to go out during your stay.
Training was every bit as challenging as I expected it to be – but also really fun. The trainers can gauge your level of experience and they work with you, pretty much 1 on 1. They’re all super approachable, friendly, and hilarious, and they push you to do the best you can. Sometimes they do games during classes to keep it interesting as well. Yoga classes were also very enjoyable. The other great thing is that there is absolutely no pressure to do all of the classes – if you need to take a class or 2 off to recuperate, there’s no stigma about it at all.
The atmosphere here is what really makes it special. It’s very open and friendly, and even though we were only there a short time, it felt like we were part of a family. Thank you to everyone there for making our stay so memorable! We’re already planning our next visit!
I recently spent 2 weeks at Sumalee and can honestly say it was an amazing and unforgettable experience from start to finish. Lynne was always quick to respond to emails and answer questions, and even before I arrived I felt I was headed somewhere friendly and welcoming – a real bonus as I was travelling on my own.
Muay Thai training was hard work (which I expected) but the trainers are very experienced and make it such fun that the time seems to fly! Everyone trains together, from beginner to experienced fighter, and right from the start you get swept up in the positive, fun atmosphere. There’s also no pressure or judgement if you feel you need to take some extra breaks during a session or skip a session altogether if you need extra rest time.
Food in the restaurant is excellent, it’s all freshly made and very tasty. The staff are friendly and helpful and are very happy to cater to any special dietary needs. The yoga and pool facilities are also great, as is the accommodation.
The location is also perfect – quiet and away from tourist sites so you can focus on training and relaxing, there are some good places to get food within a 5/10 minute walk, and on weekends it’s easy to arrange a taxi for the short (20 mins or so) drive to Phuket Old Town or a nearby beach.
As mentioned, I arrived on my own but left feeling like I’d made a group of new friends and was part of the family! I will most definitely be back!
I came to Sumalee because I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone. I had no experience With Muay Thai or boxing in general. My expectation were far exceeded on all levels. The accommodation was very nice, the food was amazing, the training was very intensive and enjoyable, and the trainers were the nicest guys ever and very good at getting you the techniques of the sport.
I showed up wondering if I would be any good and if I would feel intimidated by the other boxers but it was a personal journey and I showed myself what I can accomplish by putting myself into new situation. It was so much fun and now I love Muay Thai and will seek out more training. I wish I had more time at Sumalee but maybe one day I will be back for a longer stay and training. Trust me and go you will love it! 🙂
After being away for a couple of years it was interesting to return to Sumalee. We stayed for a week, training both Muay Thai and Yoga, before heading on to another highly rated camp nearby. Wish we’d stayed here instead.
Sumalee’s mellowed a little since the earlier days; the clientele is a little older, and while there’s still a lot of great fighters passing through, it’s no longer primarily a place for young western fighters looking to try their luck at the meat-grinder in Bangla Stadium. We met both people gearing up to fight inside and outside Thailand, people looking for a fitness focused holiday, and people looking to shed a few pounds and get healthy.
Common to all of them was that we enjoyed the training immensely, catered to push each of us to perform our best, but never feeling bullying or overbearing. The food at Ringside remains excellent, the attached lodgings are miles beyond what is provided at other camps, and the additional Yoga classes a great compliment to the hardcore training in mornings and evenings.
If you’re a Muay Thai novice there’s no place better, but even expert fighters can learn a lot from their trainers. Newbie or expert, you can be certain you’ll get the exercise of your life.