There are some really beautiful things about this place, but you have to get past the obnoxious staff, unbelievable crazy rules, total breakdown of communication, inconstant information. Basically a total lack of service. And if you can jump through the maze of hoops they set up, you have to still surf this weird elitist, "we are so much better than anyone" attitude. And its crazy expensive. Basically...No service, you beg and maybe they will let you pay an arm and a leg to be there. The folks who love this place are mostly tourists who have never seen a retreat centre so they an unfazed by the crazy rules and lack of hospitality...chalking the dysfunction up to "sacred". But check out Mt Madonna, look up Asilomar, lots of really welcoming retreat spas around the area that don't have the crazy attitude of Esalen. Equally great workshops, and gardens and much better prices. And if you still decide to check it out, I have a 100.00 gift certificate to the place, you can have it!
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