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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: 888-837-2536
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 156 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 110
  • 24
    Very good
  • 9
  • 5
  • 8
great place to make new friends

I went here looking for solitude and reflection. I got that, but so much more. The workshops encourage interaction with the other attendees - its almost impossible to not... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 weeks ago
Frisco, Texas
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156 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I went here looking for solitude and reflection. I got that, but so much more. The workshops encourage interaction with the other attendees - its almost impossible to not participate (in a good way). I left with a great attitude and some great new friends. Easy to reach off highway 1. spectacular views. all levels of rooms for all budgets.... More 

1 Thank GeorgeandLeesa
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
133 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This must be one of the most beautiful properties in the world; pristine acreage set next to Highway 1 on the rim of the Pacific, bisected by its own stream that empties into the ocean, simple structures that harmonize with the rocky, tree-covered terrain. I suggest getting their catalogue of courses, enrolling in one that interests you and giving this... More 

Thank boudin
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
128 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2015

It has to be a secret - I waited 30 years to go and it did change my life like I knew it would but I don't want it to change - I don't want it to change like Two Bunch Palms did - I need it to stay just as it is - PERFECT in every way.

Thank fay V
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2015 via mobile

This is a private institute but opens at midnight for the public to enjoy the hot springs. It is quite an experience. Reservations are at a premium and there is a nominal fee but call the morning of if you want to get a chance to take a dip. It was a cool experience but they make u park up... More 

Thank Lori H
calgary, alberta
Level Contributor
65 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2015

I was just at Esalen for my fourth visit in 32 years. Yes, it is under renovation. No, it's not that big of a deal. No, it's not expensive - the food alone is worth the price. And next time I will take a sleeping bag instead of a bunk room - I talked to several of my workshop mates... More 

Thank randomhappiness
Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2015

If you like listening to mostly young, clueless lost souls talk about themselves in a never ending search for who knows what you'll love this place. Also tons of naked people who lost their razors years ago. Called a place where No Religion is the Religion. It didn't appear that too many productive folks would be leaving that place; they're... More 

5 Thank FLFIII
Level Contributor
193 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2015

We went to this place for an afternoon massage on a reccomendation of a friend. The baths were great. It is REALLY naked so be prepared if that is a new situation to you. The massage was excellent.

Thank Travelchicks
Calabasas, California, United States
Level Contributor
45 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2015

I'm not sure why - maybe because they have a fancy catalog - but I thought this place would be a swanky/snooty new agey kind of place that may not be up my alley, but I went anyway because a meditation teacher I had been studying with was having a retreat and I had never been. I have to say... More 

Thank Michelle K
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2015 via mobile

My husband and I spent an incredible long weekend at Esalen. We found it to be a magical place for relaxing, nurturing each other, our minds and bodies (the food is awesome). The gardens, landscapes and ocean was spectacular. The hot springs were perfect and included the option of no clothing. Bring shampoo!

Thank Nancy M
Coquitlam, Canada
Level Contributor
86 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2015 via mobile

I was not a registered guest. I booked a massage and was provided access to the hot spring bathes an hour before and after the massage. Now the massage was the best I have ever had, however sitting in the hot tubs on the edge of the cliff was simply amazing. The peacefulness broken only by crashing waves or Pelicans... More 

3 Thank adrian b

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  • 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?