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Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
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Reviews (24)
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All reviewshot springsvery special placestage coachmorning and eveningpeaceful retreatunique experiencemeditationstudentswildernessbathspractitionersnarrowsbuddhistguests
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Reviewed January 5, 2012

My wife and I (in our 60s) enjoyed an outstanding weekend guest retreat. We had a workshop on Clowning with a master clown and a Zen buddhist priest. The combination of meditation, movement, and expression created an engaging experience with many useful insights for both business and personal application.

The food, redwood yurt-style cabin, and refreshing creek and baths made it a fantastic opportunity to recharge.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the new redwood yurts. They have a good location, comfortable king-size bed, etc.
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank HopeAbounds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2011

How I wish this special place were not reviewed, which means my secret of over 40 years is out.... a place where I restore clarity of mind and heart... a place to indulge in culinary delights, a place where I can care for myself without distractions....
As one reviewer stated, this is not for everyone, but if one wishes to be still and be in the moment and feel a world larger than theirs, this is the place.
And for those who might expect it to be a "resort", it is NOT! This is a Zen monastery that opens itself to the public during its guest season- a gift for us guests and a gift of sustenance for the monastery....

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank EWWSanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Nothing happening here. If you are a practitioner of Zen Buddhism you'll know what I mean.
If not, know that the food is the best on the planet, the bath houses are like something out of a dream with hot spring fed outdoor soaking pools, and if you bring your own wine there is a refrigerator next to the dining room where you can chill it. It's a place to sleep, eat, read, soak, and get a taste of monastery life if you desire. And the coffee is excellent - if that matters and it does to me. Every guest house has many kerosene lanterns for night time lighting so if you like to read in bed, bring a little reading light.
It's remote and a hair raising drive into the valley but oh, so worth it

Oh, nothing like room service in case that's your deal.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank janemccoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2009

I just returned from my fourth visit to this magical place and feel renewed and relaxed. Tassajara isn't for everyone, especially those who needs lots of activities and a steady stream of media (TV, internet, phones, etc.). But those who appreciate the splendor of nature, the taste of a locally-grown organic food, and richness of mindfulness activities like hiking or meditating, this place might be for you. Separated from the rest of Carmel Valley by an unimproved and twisty 15-mile road, getting to Tassajara is an odyssey and once I arrive, I feel like I am very far away from civilization...akin to being on Santorini or Corsica.

The cabins have a rustic quality, with kerosine lighting and simple furnishings. But everything is done with a zen-like attention to detail, including quality bedding and sheets, beautiful woodworking, and cleanliness. There is no media of any sort -- just one telephone for all the visitors to use, if they must. As a technology executive, I really welcome the opportunity to be this unplugged.

There is a Japanese-style bath house that is wonderful. The setting is green and lush, with the sound of rushing water in the background due to the stream, with hotsprings, that runs the length of the valley.

All meals are taken communal-style in beam and stone-faced dining room. Going alone? Not a problem because you meet interesting people at every meal. The recipes are from the famous Tassajara cookbooks. I am not a vegetarian but enjoy the meals and never feel hungry or short-changed afterwards.

Be sure to book a massage, which is done outdoors in a screened tent. One of the best I have ever had...the resorts invites a different massage therapist every week to stay at the resort and provide massage services.

Like I said, this is not for everyone. But if you like unstructured time to hike, nap, and read, talk and cuddle with your partner, this is the place. It is a truly unique experience that leaves me with the feeling that I went faraway...even though it is just four hours away from San Francisco.

Highly Recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank DogenJoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2009

I didn't know what to expect when my partner invited me to Tassajara. I thought "oh my God" another spa-like place in Carmel Valley. Not that that is bad but I really didn't understand what Tassajara was til I got there. It is gorgeous, serene and the subtext of Zen students who quietly make the place run without a glich is quite something. It's all the attention to details, the food is exsquisite. The bells to wake you in the morning sound like sleigh bells on rain deer. The laterns that light the paths at night. The outside tubs where you can star gaze and hear the river ripple by. And the rooms, so peacful and well appointed. I don't think calling them cabins is quite accurate. Of course there is no electricity but I didn't feel deprived. I also loved being able to get a taste of zazen, which is sitting quietly in meditation. But I didn't feel like I had to.

My favorite was the outdoor courtyard where everyone gathers for tea in the afternoon. What a relaxing place.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank livenotexist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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