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Review Highlights
Worth it if you can get a spot!

We tried for a few days to get a reservation and luckily we were in the area long enough to snag... read more

Reviewed 12 November 2018
Perfect escape

I attended a writing workshop at Esalen. I had read about it several times and was really looking... read more

Reviewed 28 October 2018
Ann Arbor, Michigan
via mobile
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  • Excellent74%
  • Very good13%
  • Average5%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible5%
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55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9546
+1 888-837-2536
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Reviews (220)
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All reviews hot springs sleeping bag overlooking the ocean personal growth bunk room dining hall bath house summer camp quiet side life changing experience every meal amazing massage single person shooting stars an incredible experience own bathroom shared room
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1 - 10 of 212 reviews
Reviewed 23 November 2018

I had the opportunity to visit Esalen Institute as a work scholar some years ago. I really love the beautiful environment, but I’m not so sure about the level of competence and the intention of some of the course leaders. I feel obligated to warn...More

Date of experience: May 2018
10  Thank MariaMarielle
Reviewed 17 November 2018

I emailed them about my workshop in July and asked if I could stay in the female dorms (hey, I'm from Canada - I don't assume anything when I go to other countries). I thought the worst that could happen is they would say no....More

Date of experience: July 2018
6  Thank chrismmm
Reviewed 12 November 2018

We tried for a few days to get a reservation and luckily we were in the area long enough to snag one. The first two attempts were lack of reception/wifi speed. Be ready at 9am to claim one and they're day of! ------------- Once there,...More

Date of experience: November 2018
2  Thank noantsinmypants
Reviewed 28 October 2018 via mobile

I attended a writing workshop at Esalen. I had read about it several times and was really looking forward to visiting the retreat. It met all my expectations. Here are some highlights: 1. The Baths: they are magical and I'm not even sure how to...More

Date of experience: October 2018
2  Thank JulietR475
Reviewed 17 October 2018

This place is a piece of heaven... classes year round to better yourself and others physically, spiritually, yet emotionally in all things we do we must know or learn how to relate to others well no matter where we travel. I experienced awesome love, friendship,...More

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank Lawns-Gardens
Reviewed 16 October 2018

The experience is one I will never forget. You must sign up online each day to see if you can be one of the 30 people. The hot springs are warm water... we had to arrive at 12:45am to be there from 1am-3am leave the...More

Date of experience: September 2018
3  Thank Jana D
Reviewed 4 October 2018

A cross between Brownie Camp and Wikininnish. Cafeteria dining. Hostel-style group sleeping arrangements unless you have a private room. Nowhere to relax other than the hot tubs--exactly one couch. Elitist entry guards. Insufficient parking. The workshop I attended didn't engage me and the lecture I...More

Date of experience: September 2018
5  Thank Cynthia B
Reviewed 2 October 2018

I had an amazing life-changing experience. The accommodations are nothing fancy but the staff and other workshop attendees were all positive amazing people. I felt the staff went out of their way to be helpful and genuinely caring about everyone. It is imperative that you...More

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank Robert W
Reviewed 25 September 2018

I have been going to Esalen for over 30 years, and it just gets better each time! There's something for everyone, including day care for the little ones at the Gazebo School...Parents can take workshops, get massages, and soak in the hot pools, knowing their...More

Date of experience: August 2018
3  Thank mogador2004
Reviewed 23 September 2018 via mobile

I’d tried for years to get a reservation at Esalen at the same time I was in California. This time I made it! What a spectacular beautiful comfortable place. I was there not for one of the many interesting workshops but just for 5 days...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank krisloken
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Questions & Answers
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20 August 2017|
Response from Jackie E | Reviewed this property |
Yes, the bathed are clean and open during the day, but they are for folks participating in their programs. You should email or call them to verify that nothing has changed given the winter/spring road closures. I personnally... More
18 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from yogajesse | Reviewed this property |
Hi Christine, I am not on staff at Esalen, but I did stay there. I booked a higher priced private room and it was mold free from what I could tell. It wasn't fancy but it was comfortable with a beautiful view of the ocean... More
30 October 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from M R | Reviewed this property |
I'd check the reviews for all the Air BNB's, Bed and Breakfasts etc in the area. The area is magical - there are possibilities to stay in unexpected places.