We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Esalen massage

Which Big Sur hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Barachois, New...
posts: 126
reviews: 4
Esalen massage

Hi All!

My wife and I are vacationing in California (Cambria for 6 nights and West Hollywood for 3 nights) this month and one of our planned day-trips is to drive Hwy 1 from Cambria to Carmel, explore Carmel and area, have dinner there; and then return to Cambria at night via Hwy 101. I've read great things about Esalen and we're thinking of stopping there on the way up to Carmel and have a massage, hot-springs soak, and lunch. I'm thinking that we'd leave Cambria at about 7:00am and reserve the massage for 11am. It's our first trip to California.

Does this seem feasible from a timing perspective?

Can anyone offer any opinions/reviews about their experience with the Esalen massage and hot springs?

Thank You!

Barachois, New...
posts: 126
reviews: 4
1. Re: Esalen massage

Also, can anyone recommend a good place for lunch near Esalen?

santa rosa, ca
posts: 657
2. Re: Esalen massage

Nepenthe is about 10-15 minutes north of Esalen. The food is good but a bit pricey, however the views are incredible and gorgeous....it's a real Big Sur experience.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
posts: 21,661
reviews: 24
3. Re: Esalen massage

I love Esalen, love the massage there and love the hot springs. However, it is really an experience for those who are there partaking in one of the several day workshops. Coming in from the outside, from what I understand, is extremely limited - I believe they offer only one or two massage bookings a day for the non-resident visitor. If you're lucky enough to score that 9AM massage, then go for it. Know that it is a clothing optional property, meaning, you really won't find anyone there with clothes on - especially not in the baths.

For lunch, I recommend driving to Carmel and eating at one of the many great restaurants there.

Avila Beach...
posts: 936
reviews: 8
4. Re: Esalen massage

Esalen is spectacular, and booking a massage is one of the only ways you can see the grounds and use the hot tubs without staying on the property as part of a workshop. As mentioned above, they only offer massages to outsiders at certain times and it's limited so definitely call and find out what's available. They also will not let you on to the property unless you've pre-booked. The other option is to book to use the hot tubs between 1 and 3 am when they are open to the public - challenging but oh my goodness spectacular. They hang off the side of cliffs overlooking the ocean.

Barachois, New...
posts: 126
reviews: 4
5. Re: Esalen massage

Thanks everyone for the advice!

I called Esalen and reserved a massage for each of us at 11am. This also gives us an hour before and an hour afterwards to experience the hotsprings. I realize that the ideal situation is to spend a few days on a workshop, but the more we read about Esalen, the more we wanted to experience it, even for only a few hours. We've experienced spas in Germany which have the same "clothing optional" conditions and have no problem with it.

Also looked into Nepenthe and will probably go there for late-lunch after Esalen. It looks great!

Thanks again!

Edited: 9:15 am, February 17, 2013
Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Big Sur
posts: 555
reviews: 45
6. Re: Esalen massage

Sounds like you are all set, but I just wanted to chime in and say that your plan sounds perfect. You will love Esalen and Nepenthe. Both places are unlike any other experience in the world.

As an interesting side note...each time I go to Esalen, it seems that about 30% of the guests are from the San Francisco Bay Area, and another 30% are from Germany! I've often wondered how so many Germans hear about Esalen.

Anyway, enjoy it! You have an amazing trip in store for you.

7. Re: Esalen massage

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:16 am, February 19, 2014