Take the time to take care of yourself and all benefit. Topics are varied, location amazing, cuisine delicious.
51 - 55 of 79 reviews
My husband and I knew before we went to the Omega institute that a lot of folks here said it was a con with small rooms and high prices. For that reason we rented a guest house elsewhere and felt clever. The workshop we took turned out to be very different from advertised and they were completely unwilling to refund us. We stayed anyway and actually enjoyed our workshop quite a bit but the feeling of being conned didn't leave us.
We were told to arrive at 4 when the workshop didn't start till 8. Why? Ostensibly, to get us registered but even with a line out the door registration only took a couple of minutes and the longest part was them marking the bookstore/gift shop and cafe on the map.
I have never before stayed at a retreat center (and I go to them all the time) that didn't have free tea and coffee throughout the day so you can stick with the program. Why? Because they want you to buy beverages at their cafe. And what if you bring your own tea and just want hot water? You pay 25 cents
The food in the caf was pretty good, I'll admit that, but in a way that still made me feel profiled.
This place was filled to the brim with liberal affluent white people and decorated with an eastern theme. Even on a weekend where Oprah's favorite marriage councilor was teaching there were almost no people of color to be seen. The whole thing left me with a sour taste.
I would go back (and hold my nose) if there was some program that I really needed to attend but I wouldn't go just for a weekend away.
I recently spent a weekend at Omega. Flew from Toronto to Newark - rented at car and drove.
Could not stay on the premises as it was fully booked. It was the Brian Weiss weekend so it was packed. Not a problem. Everything went very smoothly. Unfortunately it took me until Sunday to feel relaxed and it was time to go. I will definitely go back and try and stay for 5 days. I'm sure the fall is brilliant. The food and staff were great. I spent many summers at camp and the food was nothing like Omega!
Omega is wonderful.
I spent 5 days at Omega this summer. I went for a retreat on health/nutrition/wellness. I should say upfront that I commuted daily to and from Omega. I wanted to stay on campus but there were no more single dorms when I booked. I was told I could either bring a tent (not my thing!) or share with a stranger in a double room (also not my thing). So, I forked up some extra dough (approx $175??) for the status of "commuter" and booked a room at the Courtyard Marriott in Kingston, NY, about 25 minutes away. (There are closer places but we are Marriott points people and try to stick with Marriott whenever possible.)
As a commuter, the parking at Omega was tight. They are a bit short on spots in the parking lot and it was not always easy or fast to find a spot.
Once there for each day, though, it was great. I found the workshops to be top-notch. I found the presenters to be very well credentialed, enthusiastic, dynamic and articulate. The sessions in our conference were well balance and non-redundant. They meshed well with each other, and the scope and sequence of the week's "curriculum," if you will, was created and executed well. (As an educator, I appreciated this!)
I met people from all over the country. Some of the people at Omega are definitely uber-hippie-crunchy types. Others seemed more conservative/corporate, less hippie-ish. All were friendly and lovely. The male/female ratio was surprising to me. I expected fewer men but I would say that perhaps 30% of our group of 200 were men.
There are often several concurrent groups at Omega all at once. It was nice to meet and greet with guests who were taking other subject areas, and hear a bit about the cool stuff they were up to.
The yoga and tai chi were great. The walking trails are beautiful and well marked. The meditations were great, too, although I felt the meditation sanctuary (which you reach by climbing a couple of hills and some stone steps up, up, up!) needed some better air quality. It can be stuffy in there and (not to be gross!) but once the room was hot and stuffy and smelled like FEET - you have to be barefoot in that particular room. I had to exit that day. But if the air quality was good, the meditation sanctuary is awesome!
I liked hanging out when I had free time in the library. It has some cool nooks and crannies to sit in. I was able to charge my phone and read for a while in there. By the way, there is VERY LITTLE wifi or cell reception at Omega, as many other reviewers have mentioned. If you are addicted to your smartphone, you will be in for a change! Just be aware. The cafe does have wifi and also is a fun place to hang out. They sell coffee and baked goodies there, too. I didn't try any of their food items there but they looked good.
The dining room. Yum. Health-heaven. Local, local, local produce! The mixed greens at the salad bar were gorgeous! Just pristine. The offerings are almost all vegetarian, but not all. Once I saw fish there at night, and once I saw turkey chili (alongside vegetarian chili, of course). They have a wonderful array of vegetarian and some vegan dishes, both cold (raw) and cooked. Lentils, various beans, quinoa, millet, rice dishes, tofu, etc. Try their natural peanut butter and jam - yum. Everything in the dining hall is free of chemicals. No refined sugars, that I could see. And what is awesome is that every dish served is clearly labeled with full ingredients listed. I loved that! I just loved how it was all organic, fresh and local. The milk is local. The breads are made locally. The veggies and fruits are local. Fabulous! And most of it tasted great! If you are used to sugary, highly processed foods, this may be a shock to your system but I think for most, it is wonderful. By the way, don't go looking for ooey gooey desserts. There are no desserts served at lunch (unless you consider a piece of fruit dessert). At dinner, there was usually some sort of natural cookie (sometimes vegan, sometimes not) or another simply prepared sweet. But the dessert offerings were small and simple.
The dorms: As I said, I was a commuter but I asked lots of my pals how they liked the dorms. One woman said, "well, it's no four star hotel but it's okay..." Another said, "when the ants move over, I can actually get into bed." Others said they were fine, totally functional and they loved being on campus. It gave them a chance to not worry about driving to and from places, to settle in, to open the windows (no A/C in many dorms) and just relax. When and if I return to Omega, I will probably commute again, as I loved being able to return at night to A/C, tv, internet and a hot shower in my private bathroom (lots of shared bathrooms at Omega).
The bookstore - love it! Quiet and calm, soft music playing, lots of books on health and wellness, from nutrition, to yoga, to relaxation, to sex, to couples' intimacy, to meditation, etc. It's no Barnes and Noble - the whole angle is earthy/crunchy/healing/health. It has a nice vibe. There are cushions on the floor here and there if you want to sit down and peruse a book. They sell some good looking t-shirts, too (expensive, though), as well as organic toiletries and little non-book items.
Last but not least....this is a great tip: THE BEST BATHROOM IS IN THE LIBRARY!!! : )) It is clean and private and modern. It doesn't feel rustic and campy and kind of gross like some of the other public bathrooms. I visited the library bathroom many a time over the course of five days!!
All in all, I had a great time. I needed to "get away from it all." I left my husband and family for the five days and gave this as a gift to myself. I was able to focus on my own wellness and came back feeling calm and inspired to be healthier at home, for myself and for my family. Omega is a happy place. The staff are hard working and helpful, for the most part. The grounds are gorgeous. Gardens, trees, flowers, beauty everywhere. It is a truly serene place with opportunities for learning, introspection, reflection and socializing with people from near and far. I went alone but came home with some new friends on Facebook and a lot of great inspiration. I hope to go back to Omega sometime soon!
Imagine an area where you can sit in a garden or a cafe without someone talking on the phone, no newspapers, television or radios and people actually talk to each other even those they have not met before.
Accomodation is modest but very comfortable and the food whilst vegetarian was very good.