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“The mountains were beautiful”
Review of Omega Institute

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Omega Institute
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Rhinebeck
Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

I Visited Rhinebeck Omega in May. Weather was beautiful The rooms were very standard no air-conditioning just a fan. I could not imagine being there without air in the summer. I went to see one of their programs Joe Cross. He made the trip great very good speaker. The grounds are beautifully kept The number one thing I liked was the restaurant their food was great very high standards Organic clean food. I would go back again if somebody i liked was going to be there.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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3  Thank jenhav3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 - 44 of 100 reviews

Reviewed August 1, 2014

Don't believe the bad reviews! this place is awesome! it is old but very clean and the dorms are renovated. It is nice and clean. The food is very good, the atmosphere is relaxing, the beach is beautiful and the activities are great...as well as all the people working there. all the workshops are an opportunity to transform your life. It has a feeling of a summer camp for adults and I thought it was overpriced at the beginning but after 5 days I loved it so much the price was secondary. I would go back every year for a week of relaxed vacations!

Room Tip: the dorms are small but very clean and the shared bathroom is new. there is no a/c.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with friends
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5  Thank reefloverdress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2014

Omega Institute is a spiritual retreat center focused on transformation and spiritual growth. It is located on the beautiful lakefront in upstate New York. When I tell my friends about it, I tend to call it a spiritual summer camp. Hundreds of workshops to pick from. Choices range from yoga, to psychology, to creative writing, bodywork, intuitive development and even trapeze. I have attended over a dozen of workshops over the last ten years and have brought many family members and friends. So far we have not had a disappointed person yet. While accommodations are basic and rather pricey unless you stay in the tent, they include local organic meals and numerous activities including dance, yoga and meditation workshops, miles of beautiful trails to go hiking, free boats on the lake and an incredible library. We have met some amazing volunteers at Omega over the years and many great instructors including Llyn Roberts, Bill Plotkin, Alex and Allyson Grey, Robert Moss and Laura Day. It is a place where when people ask you how your day is going, it is likely they really want to know. Meals are shared at the communal tables so each time we get to meet some fascinating beings from all over the world, some of whom have become our friends. I find Omega to be peaceful and uplifting, an escape from a busy everyday existence where you can't come out not changed.

Room Tip: Many options to pick from: you can bring your own tent, rent a tent cabin, have a dorm room or a sha...
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Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
6  Thank BalticTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2014 via mobile

This review is not about the accommodations, which frankly are very basic and overpriced.

What Omega has to offer though, is an opportunity to bring meaning to one's life. It is a centre that attracts some of the leaders in the contemplative life in North America. If we are to transform our way of life to be more compassionate and ethical this is one of the places where the transformation will be cultivated.

Consider going to one of the mindfulness retreats and consider staying off-site if you are cost conscious. Jeannie Vorndran rents out a cottage just 10 minutes away by car. Have a look her up in Rhinebeck.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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7  Thank Barry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2014

Omega has so much good going for it. First off, the fact that it exists is a gift. I am appreciative of a retreat center set in peaceful natural surroundings that's dedicated to bringing people together for positive transformation. The presenters Omega hosts on campus are simply top-notch.

There are some fantastic amenities as well: a beautiful new center for sustainable living, tennis courts, daily yoga, a meditation space, a sauna, a spa, a varied gift shop, a library and hiking trails. These alone make time at Omega a treat even before joining a workshop (if you do).

My main challenge with Omega - and it's a big one - comes after being there one full week in fall and two in spring. And that challenge is the food. The dining hall experience, if given the attention of the new sustainability center, could be extraordinary. As it stands now, I found myself dreading going into the space after 4 days. Largely, this was due to the food.

Yes, Omega buys food locally from farmers as much as possible. That is wonderful.

The problems?

1) The majority of Omega's meals include soy as a source of protein. Nearly every salad dressing also includes some form of soy. (I must say: I am grateful that Omega lists the ingredients on these dressings and that they offer olive oil and vinegars as alternatives).

You don't need to look very far to discover why no one should be eating much (or any) soy. Most of it is genetically modified. And that is a whole other horrific issue our country needs to deal with.
Check out the website of Dr. Joseph Mercola. For Omega to have so many daily and nightly entrees based around this food source is simply egregious.

2) If you have soy or dairy allergies, you'll find hard boiled eggs and nuts are your protein in the Omega dining hall. Otherwise, go to the very good cafe and pay.

3) Canola oil and margarine (yes, margarine) are listed as ingredients. At an institute committed to the well-being of the mind and body, it's almost laughable to see these items served as food. It also bothered me that most of the produce is not organic.

These shortcuts just aren't acceptable. It's one thing to be lacking flavor and innovation in the meals; it's another to be scrimping on quality ingredients which are in integrity with your organization's mission. It's the kind of disconnect that makes guests pause. If the food at Omega is not matching the stated mission, what else might not be?

In the way of food, Kripalu blows Omega out of the water. At Kripalu, you'll find fresh, local, mostly organic products prepared in a way that is fresh, original and delicious. You'll also find FISH! And once a week CHICKEN! WOW! You feel more fully fed in the Berkshires, and there's more diversity as well.

[Kripalu's dining hall, it must be said, does not offer a sense of intimacy either. In both cases, you can go eat outside to get a bit of variety of view and ambiance.]

At Omega in October I stayed in the only space available: a tent cabin. Cold! I wouldn't repeat that. In May I stayed in a dorm. Yes, it's basic and could use improvement. Personally, the size of the room was comforting to me. I like the smallness and simplicity. That said, a few things would make the dorm room far more welcoming to guests: a sink in each room, soundproof walls, a small mirror, more hooks, a wastebasket.

And shockingly, laundry! Laundry service is only available (I was told twice at guest services) for staff, and those guests staying at least one month. That surprised me as someone sleeping there for 12 nights. It seems a reasonable, efficient service to provide. Laundry. Coin machines.

Finally, something I discovered on my final night was extremely reassuring...and that is, if you leave your keys in your room (as I did), even if it's midnight, you can go to one of the phones on campus and a 24-hour on-site staff member will bring you a key, and carry you on a golf cart if need be. I was so thankful for that ride since I still had to pack and had an early morning rise for my final day's class!

The take-away: Omega can be made into an awesome site. I hope the institute will listen sincerely to the ongoing consistent feedback about the dining experience. I know from being in classes with 70 people that food is as an aspect of the place that is bumming people out. I must say that if I weren't in a program that regularly held its classes at this site, I'm not sure I'd come back.

When you're working your mind, body and spirit in an intense and focused way, you need to feel well tended to, and well nourished. Food, let's face it, is huge on that front.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled on business
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19  Thank BlueTrueDreamOfSky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2014

I attended a 3 day retreat for women's organizations at Omega this past week. I stayed in a cabin where two double rooms share a bath that is in between. These are VERY basic accommodations but clean and the twin bed was comfortable. Fortunately for my daughter and I, the people on the other side never showed so we didn't have to share the bathroom. I am sure we could have heard every whisper, cough, sneeze, flush etc had we had to do that because these cabins are old and simple. You do get your own little sink in your room an plenty of extra blankets and pillows. No air conditioning but several fans and a ceiling fan.

We LOVED the food. I am vegetarian and was in heaven because I could eat everything! There were many choices and all were delicious. We wished there was a cookbook for sale. Omega handles crowds seamlessly and cheerfully. There is no cell service or internet except in the cabins which is a major adjustment but does support the retreat aspect.

Room Tip: I would pay the difference for a cabin with my own bath next time just in case the roommates really...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled on business
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4  Thank UpstateNyGrandma11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2014

Omega is a very restful place with a focus on spiritual and physical health. It has yoga, taichi, and meditation, and don't forget to get a massage. I stayed in a tent cabin which is a cheap way to stay, but I won't do that again--it's very dark when you have to make your way down to the bathroom at night. Leave your computer at home because they don't have wifi except in the cafe.

Room Tip: I heard from others that the dorm accommodations are very nice and are private, not open.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled solo
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3  Thank Jane W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Omega Institute

Address: 150 Lake Dr, Rhinebeck, NY 12572-3252
Location: United States > New York > Rhinebeck
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Rhinebeck
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Omega Institute Hotel Rhinebeck
Omega Institute Rhinebeck

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