Article by: Luxury Travel Diary
“Access to wellness is a basic human right, not a privilege to only those who can afford it.” These are the thoughts of Valentina Lyubiteleva who sold everything and left a typical 9-5 lifestyle in Canada and moved to Cambodia to launch a non-profit luxury wellness program with her fiance and his partners.
That one sentence is what drives the team behind Tavoos Garden & Wellness Center. A motto they stand behind. A belief system that drives them to work hard each day to bring guests luxurious and affordable wellness retreats while giving back to the community.
Tavoos Garden & Wellness Center is a non-profit luxury retreat space offering daily drop-in classes and weekly retreats for those who want to give back to their body and mind, at the same time give back to the community.
“When we travel to countries such as Cambodia in order to indulge in the beauty, culture, food and zenfulness we are always greeted with open arms by the locals. Even when they barely have anything, they share with us the little food they have on their table. They share with us their rich culture, their beautiful land and most importantly allow us to enjoy the zen environment while escaping our stressful lives. They allow us to heal our bodies, minds and souls in their backyard. So why should we not share with them these wellness activities for which we travel thousands of miles to do?
They see tourists walking around their communities with Yoga mats. They see photos of us meditating in their nature. Often times they are curious and want to learn, but are shy or simply do not have the financial means to do so. This is why we decided to turn the wellness side of Tavoos into a non-profit social venture.” Says Valentina, co-founder at Tavoos.
Tavoos’ Non-Profit Weekly All-inclusive Wellness & Detox Retreats start on Mondays. Guests can attend a 3 day, 4 day, 5 day or 6 day package where they get to take part in Yoga, Meditation, NIA Dance, Medical Qigong, Moringa workshops and Art Therapy while swimming and enjoying three healthy meals and a detox juice each day. The packages can be purchased as daily drop ins if guests have their own accommodations already while in town, or they can add accommodations through Tavoo’s partner hotels such as the Green Leaf boutique hotel. Two of which are directly next to Tavoos Garden.
After each successful weekly retreat, Tavoos will use its profits to dig a water well for families in communities around Siem Reap. This way, by attending the retreat’s guests feel good knowing that not only have they given back to their own body and mind, but also provided access to clean water for years to come to families in need.
Daily drop-in Yoga, Qigong and NIA classes are based on the “Pay it Forward” concept. Meaning for each class a guest attends and pays for, one class is donated to a local woman or child. Each week the centre hosts Free classes so that locals who normally would not be able to afford classes can attend and learn about different practices and wellness rituals.
Tavoos also partners with different businesses in Cambodia such as hotels and restaurants. After each 100th guest that is sent to Tavoos by one of its partners, Tavoos donates a water well in the partner’s honour to a local family.
“The retreats have been designed to provide a luxury environment and experience which everyone can afford. Healing and wellness are about giving back, not about making profit” Says Valentina.
For those who are in town for a short visit and don’t have the time to dedicate to a 3 to 6 day retreat program, Tavoos also offers its Sunday Funday package as of January 2018. This is a full day retreat where guests can get a taste of all the activities and workshops offered, and enjoy a healthy lunch and massage poolside or in Tavoos’ zen tropical garden.
“Be a conscious wandering soul while travelling and share your wellness rituals, as we all need access to wellness programs. Give back to the world we all share”