Who we are - Jaiyen Resort


Shela Riva
Co-founder of Jaiyen

I joined Jaiyen during its construction in 2018, after meeting and falling in love with Kevin and his vision.

We became a team pretty quickly. We spent years in lockdown together, planting the first seeds that grew into trees, sourcing our furniture, creating our menu, growing our team and cultivating our ethos along the way. So many memories have been made here. Each plant and item of decor or furniture has a story behind it. Jaiyen, and Kevin have taught me more than I can share in a text box. This space is so special to me and will always be the home Kevin and I created together. It will always be the space I go to connect to his spirit.

His unexpected passing in November 2023 has turned things upside down. As I try to heal and rearrange the pieces to make sense again, I hope to share a conversation with you. If I do, I welcome questions about who he was, his personality and vision, and his spirit. I love talking about who he was and what we built together.

I strive to create a supportive, inspiring, and memorable setting for this moment in your life, always making time for human connection, inspiring conversations and pockets of creativity wherever it beckons.

Kevin Mendoza
(1980 – 2023)
The late founder, creator, and forever living spirit of Jaiyen. 

I juggle playing host, handyman, cook, and creator in residence, open to sharing moments that inspire joy in your story. With a lifetime spent as an entrepreneurial chameleon (drummer, web developer, graphic designer, restauranteur, creative director, carpenter, etc.) which eventually led to burn-out, I traded life in Australia to build Jaiyen; a place for other creatives to get re-inspired, cultivate ideas, and spread more goodness in life.

My part in seeding Jaiyen lead to a larger vision in the form of Artisia, a global network of future locations where residents and visitors alike learn and practice that kindness is key; as custodians to our ‘self’ and our relationship to people and our planet. I hope that my journey progresses from fixing leaks and short circuits in Koh Yao Noi, to solution-hacking systemic issues in global society, while empowering those who are ready and willing to take action in creating a better world.

What's unique about our resort / home?

At a material level, we offer most of the expected resort facilities. What’s a little bit different is that we exist with the intention to help visitors to experience what their soul most needs; whether that’s reconnecting meaningfully with loved ones, being alone, creating art, reflecting on a necessary life shift, or connecting with nature in order to keep the flame of inspiration burning onward in our heart along our journey.

To support this, we aim to offer a variety of tools including yoga mats in all rooms, tilting art desks, nourishing plant-based food, homely service, awesome sunset views, painting tools, musical instruments, a beachfront, dozens of games, relationship strengthening prompts, a bay perfect for kayaking, a punching bag and Muay Thai gear, an outdoor gym, kettlebells, gym rings, a yin-yang hot and cold spa, steam room, a sauna, unlimited filtered drinking water, plus free hugs, free chats, and human comradery.

Guests and friends have stayed to write books, paint, draw, build better relationships, create motivational courses and content, or simply create amazing memories. Many beautiful friendships have formed here. To get the most out of this place, we encourage you to bring the intention to create something uplifting – even if it’s a mindset – for yourself or others.¬†

We’d like the Earth and its inhabitants to suffer as little as possible due to our business. This is why we used bamboo to build our domes, which are made to feel as organic as possible by emulating the curves of nature instead of the block shapes that make up most artificial structures. Our cocoon-like rooms should feel like a nice hug from Mother Nature.

We don’t serve meat but are more than happy to refer you to nearby local seafood restaurants and businesses. For us, community support is as important as supporting the ecosystem.

We have a food garden with numerous medicinal herbs, vegetables, fruits, spices, and flowers. Our long-term goal is to implement a full permaculture system.

We honor all individuals as thinking, feeling, and evolving beings, and acknowledge that we all thrive from extra support. We hope that you find our space beneficial to experiencing more joy, more beauty, and more soulfulness. Your kindness, ideas, and attitude of openness are well-received here.

Jaiyen” means ‘Calm Heart’ in Thai. We believe that Jaiyen, both our place and a calm heart, are ideal spaces from which we can cultivate the recharging and strengthening of the spirit.