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“Go!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Expanding Light

The Expanding Light
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The Expanding Light
14618 Tyler Foote Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Nevada City
Sacramento, California
1 review
“Go!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

I have been to the Expanding Light numerous times over the past four years. Whenever I need a little spiritual boost or to get back focusing, I visit Ananda. The food is delicious, the staff is amazing, and the accommodations, while simple, are clean and comfortable. No phones, no televisions, just peace and relaxation! I would recommend this place 100% over! Love it!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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13 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Augustine, Florida, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

We went here after reading other reviews. We found the place to be about average. The attempt was there however we didn't find to be true what others have said. We feel like others might be "misrepresenting" what they offer and their experiences. I think people are getting a OK deal however we felt compelled to let other customers know.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cali
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

The food they serve is amazing. Their teachings invaluable. Great people, great atmosphere, pretty sure I'll be going back within the year.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2011

I went to EL for a life review as I was feeling under a lot of pressure. It was the best decision I made as it was a life changing week. I did the Radiant Health programme and intuitively this is what worked for me. The course was really well thought out and put together and the teachers were lovely. In fact all the people I met there in the whole community were so kind and loving that I was truly touched.

I took an extra day after the course finished to absorb the experience and I'm really glad I did as I wasn't quite ready to face going home. That extra day I did all the spiritual practices I could and finally found the peace I was looking for.

Since I've been home I have been using the tools they gave me to transform my life and I have to say I am a happier and more peaceful person for it. I will probably go to the retreat they have in Assissi next but if you are in the USA it's worth the visit. I went from the UK so it was a long trip but worth every second.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2010

I looked at so many retreats before choosing the Expanding Light (EL). I was looking for a place and program to renew my spirit and bring back some of the optimism I had lost due to some recent stressful events in my life. I needed a break. I looked at places in Hawaii, Arizona, and even Europe, but something kept bringing me back to the EL website. I am a mom of 2, a full-time teacher with a stressful job, an average 40-something woman, and I flew from the East coast to CA alone to visit EL--this trip was not something I normally do, but I NEEDED this retreat, and it was very much worth the trip.

I signed up for their "First Timers Week" because I knew very little about meditation and/or yoga and figured I could not go wrong. One concern I had was the transportation from the airport to the EL--at first the $230 round trip cost of the Foothill Express seemed like a lot, but it was well worth the cost to have door-to-door service. Because I flew from VA to CA, I arrived the evening before and spent the night at a hotel near the airport so I could go to EL the next day without being pressed for time or arriving exhausted.

I was a little concerned about the EL being part of a cult--it is absolutely NOT a cult!!! The people at EL are caring, peaceful people who practice meditation in their own lives and want to share it with others. There is no "religion" or pressure to join anything or buy anything or donate money. Everyone I met there lives a positive, peaceful life, and everyone was extremely patient and kind. The EL is a retreat center, and everyone (guests and employees) is there to meditate, do yoga, and share a peaceful, stress-free environment. The guests who go there are normal, average people--not cultish radicals or zealous environmentalists. It helps to have an open mind, but just about anyone from any belief system would find something good at EL. (They do talk about "God" there, but not in a "religious" way--even if you do not necessarily believe in "God," it would not be uncomfortable.)

The program for the First Timer's Week was fantastic! However, you could go there on personal retreat and attend the classes on meditation/yoga and be just fine, even if you have never meditated or tried yoga before. (In other words, don't worry about choosing a "program" necessarily...personal retreat is wonderful and has plenty of guided activities available that you will not feel lost. ) The First-Timer's program was 5 days long, and I stayed one day before and one day after--if you do a program, I highly recommend staying an extra day. The classes each day were varied and interesting, but I very much enjoyed some time afterward to enjoy the grounds and reflect on everything.

I stayed at Harmony House ("deluxe accommodations"). I knew I was not up for sharing a room/bathroom, and Harmony House was perfect for me. My room provided everything I needed. (Even wi-fi!) I didn't spend lots of time in my room, so it was pretty much a comfortable place to sleep.

The food was good overall--I am a vegetarian anyway,so the lack of meat was not an issue for me. It was nice not to worry about a dish having meat in it! Several non-vegetarian guests said they really didn't miss meat while being at EL because the food is so good. We had homemade bread everyday! The food is simple but beautifully seasoned. Fresh salad is available at lunch and dinner. 2 minor comments about the food: First, they served lots of beans and other foods that may be a little hard on the digestive system--these foods+yoga/silent meditation may require Beano or over-the-counter gas medicine for some(!) Second, for those with a sweet tooth, there is no dessert served. They sell cookies for $1.50, but if you like your sweets, consider bringing some M&M's or favorite sweets with you! Also, the beverages are limited to water and tea. Coffee is served at breakfast and lunch. (I discovered that the Master's Market sells sodas, including Diet Pepsi!)

The grounds are so beautiful there...I enjoyed taking walks and soaking in the peaceful environment. I was skeptical at first about the whole notion that the place had "a peaceful feeling" about it, but it really does!! If you are a woman looking for a safe place to take a retreat, nothing could be safer than EL. Many of the guests there are women there alone.

My week at EL changed my life in so many positive ways. I left there feeling refreshed and happy, having met wonderful people in a beautiful environment. I have carried what I learned there into my life at home/work and plan to continue to practice many of the techniques I learned there. I arrived at EL weak, stressed, and anxious--I left calm, energetic, and optimistic. I plan to return to EL for a personal retreat. I highly recommend the EL to anyone looking for personal renewal and peace of mind!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2009

Our stay at The Expanding Light has been one of the best vacations of my life! From the start, a very friendly woman (sorry, I forgot her name) gave us a tour of the property and a brief description of what The Expanding Light offers. During our stay, they offered yoga classes twice daily along with a lot of other activities. You decide which classes and workshops you want to attend. At The Expanding Light you can choose to be busy all day or you have the option to do nothing but relax. If anything, please attend the yoga classes which are wonderful. All of the yoga instructors are terrific and very accommodating to beginners like me. I am overweight and out of shape but felt very comfortable and relaxed during the classes. Your meals are included with your room and they offer excellent vegetarian cuisine. The dining room atmosphere is casual with a touch of elegance. The food is excellent and don't be surprised to make some new friends while you are dining. The only problem I had was that coffee was not available until about 8:00 in the morning and they did not brew it during the day so bring instant if your a coffee fanatic like me. We stayed in the cabins which we liked very much. The cabin was clean and the bed was very comfortable. The cabins are also spaced to allow for maximum privacy and clean bathrooms were less than a minutes walk away. The landscaping at The Expanding Light is also breathtaking and is done in a way that actually enhances the natural surroundings. Their are lots of areas around to just relax and meditate if you like. Their are also miles of beautiful trails and roads to hike or bike ride on. I would also like to add that all of the staff at The Expanding Light were very friendly and helpful. It was beyond 5 star service and I felt that they genuinely cared about all of their guests! The gift shops in the area also had very reasonable prices on their merchandise and I did not feel like anyone was trying to gouge me price wise during our stay. We only stayed for 2 nights and did not accomplish as much as we wanted to. You might want to allow yourself at least three nights. Your body and mind will thank you for coming here.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alaska
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

I went on a retreat. The surroundings were amazing (even with the smoke at the time from forest fires) I have never met a more wonderful group of people and I am planning another retreat. Since I am traveling from Alaska it is quite a compliment for me to spend the traveling money to come back. I found a peace at Ananda that was priceless and changed my life. I spent the extra money for a single deluxe room but it was well worth every penny. The food was amazing too!!

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Expanding Light

Address: 14618 Tyler Foote Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959
Location: United States > California > Nevada City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Nevada City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A meditation and yoga retreat in Northern California and part of Ananda Village, one the world???s most successful spiritual communities, on 800 acres in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. From yoga retreats and meditation teacher training to personal retreats, here you will find peace, healing, and the practical tools necessary to make them a reality in your life. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Expanding Light Hotel Nevada City
Expanding Light Nevada City

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