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The Esalen Institute

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9616
Phone Number:
+1 888-837-2536

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 182 reviews
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  • 124
  • 28
    Very good
  • 10
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  • 8
Heaven on Earth.

I went for the public night bathing, and while I was excited and thrilled to be doing it even my wildest dreams couldn't have prepared me for the true experience. Imagine... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 29 December 2016
Danielle G
Brooklyn, New York, United States
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182 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 176: English reviews
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2016

I went for the public night bathing, and while I was excited and thrilled to be doing it even my wildest dreams couldn't have prepared me for the true experience. Imagine feeling like you are transported to a place with no rules, no time, no boundaries. You are left to your own devices, naked, not judged, just at peace with... More 

4 Thank Danielle G
South Jordan, Utah
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2016

I was here with my husband for a 5 day yoga intensive workshop the week before Christmas. I LOVED it! I had low expectations for the food. I was surprised to find it plentiful and very tasty! I am on a vegan diet and there was more than enough for me to choose from. The location is jaw dropping gorgeous.... More 

1 Thank yogajesse
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2016

This review is for the late-night hot springs experience only. The hot springs at Esalen have been on my to-do list for a long time. I lucked out and was able to make a reservation online the morning of December 21st for 1am late that evening (early am on the 22nd). Words almost can't do justice to the experience of... More 

1 Thank Angela S
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2016 via mobile

While the grounds are beautiful and the main buildings appear to be recently constructed or updated the actual place where you will stay is an abomination. While they work to be eco-friendly, I don't know that they are human friendly. For over 1k for 5 days you can stay in a room with 3 people. While I had indicated and... More 

10 Thank brenefollower
Anna Maria, Florida
Level Contributor
124 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2016

You should know going in, that this place is like the birthplace of the New Age Movement. If that's not your thing, or you can't tolerate it, you shouldn't go. I was there for a week long workshop, and by the fourth day I had had enough of the place but I stuck it out to the end, and i... More 

2 Thank Craicshack
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
128 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2016

My husband and I went to Esalen to attend a 3-day couple’s workshop and opted for the “premium” housing which afforded us private quarters with high ceilings, a large bathroom, and private balcony, with easy access to the main lodge and event centers. Our cabin was perched right on the cliff which gave us amazing ocean views. All meals were... More 

1 Thank XtinaDunham
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2016 via mobile

I have been coming here for years but now I am over it / it's dead - maybe that's why the place is covered in flies ? Feeding off the bones of what it used to be. cheap food,sub standard workers, multiple sexual harassment lawsuits, and increasing prices... human potential has moved on. A million dollar lodge remodel presumably by... More 

14 Thank Frejacayman
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2016

Stay for a couple of days and you will get an experience that shows you a different side of America, meet some interesting people, gain some tranquility, peek into hippy culture heritage and enjoy the ocean view into the bargain. Complimentary yoga to enjoy most of the days as you wish – at 7.30am, noon and 5 pm (current schedule... More 

2 Thank Olesichi
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2016 via mobile

On my way to Boulder Creek, I stopped at Esalen to experience the hot springs and massage. The property feels AMAZING. It is gorgeous. Combining 360 degree views of Big Sur's cliffs and the ocean, a lovely garden and beautiful waterfall. The hot springs and showers are co-ed and most attendees were nude. A couple of us were wearing bathing... More 

2 Thank Danielle W
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
131 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2016

I visited to do a writing work shop. The place is beyond Beautiful, wild, raw, savage beauty. The grounds beautifully maintained with meditataion areas, gardens to explore and lovely walks. Plenty of seating overlooking views of the ocean. The accommodation was clean and functional with great views of the ocean. The hot springs incredible. Plenty of baths and pools on... More 

1 Thank Dublinlady28

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?