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“The massage of a lifetime”

The Esalen Institute
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 12, 2013

Esalen allows non-workshop visitors for massage and use of bathhouse. Go! The mineral baths run right from the mountain stream into the different outdoor stone pools all set on the cliff edge overlooking the ocean. Your massage is in another ocean overlook room so you hear the waves the whole time. Wonderful masseurs who use the Esalen method. It is coed and nude, so go with the flow.

4  Thank soccersenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 - 123 of 186 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2013

Esalen seems like a throwback from the 60's/70's, and is very cool. Never attended classes or had a massage here, but used to go to the hot tubs late at night while on weekend camping trips.

Not sure if they still offer it, but Esalen provided limited access to the hot tubs overlooking the seaside cliffs from 1-3 AM each night for around $20/person. The hot tubs are divided into two sections: no talking areas and talking areas. They also provided complimentary towels and a shower area where you can rinse off before and after.

Warning: If you're offended by public nudity, don't go. It's a clothing optional area, and you have the choice to either wear bathing suit or nothing. Last time I went, there was a lady who was freaked out and uncomfortable being surrounded by naked people. It didn't bother me, so I had a great time.

2  Thank mustang9975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

The food is incredible.., the location of the pools is breathtaking...I loved taking a shower high on the edge of the surf. The grounds are soothing and the wine is pretty wonderful. Go see the redwoods.

Thank Joan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013 via mobile

Esalen is an experience. Went there for a massage and to take the mineral baths. First off the baths and massage are nude. They give you a towel. You just have to be comfortable with that and if you are, fine. If not, stay home

The massages are given in a large room overlooking the ocean. No need for spa music as the ocean waves provide all the music a body needs. There are other people in the room so again, if this makes you uncomfortable, don't go.

The therapists are well trained and attentive. But I do think the therapist who was chanting over her person was a bit much. I kid you not

8  Thank Beth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

The Esalen Institue. I have never seen anything like it. Just off of the PCH there is what reminded me of an old hippie commune or village. They have cabins, conferences, and opportunities for personal retreats. For me, I went to get a message and enjoy the baths. The grounds are awesome and truly inspiring! The baths, smell a little of sulfur but feel sooo good, sitting in the warm water overlooking cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. There is nothing like this--it is just you and the ocean. The baths literally sit right over it. People go nude in the baths but you can wear a bathing suit if you don't feel comfortable. I am a bit of a prude, so I kept my bathing suit on but I ended up feeling like a weirdo because everyone was nude. Nude or clothed, do not miss this! Oh and the message was heavenly. I feel bad I can't remember the name of the message therapist but he did an exceptional job. Laying down getting a message and hearing the ocean was so relaxing. This place is truly special. Please make time for it. The only reason I could not give it an 'Excellent' rating had to do with the administrative staff. I tried calling several times to schedule an appointment but nobody would pick up the phone. All I received was some unhelpful generic recording. Could never speak to anybody. Finally, I just showed up in person to schedule the appointment and that did the track. The front desk staff were nice but a little too out of it for me.

1  Thank Sarc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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