This was my second time at Omega and I am so glad I had the opportunity to go back!. My previous trip was four years ago for a weekend yoga workshop. It was a wonderful trip, although now having spent 5 days there this time 'round, I realized that being there for a weekend is really just too short.
I think you really need at least 4 days there just to allow yourself to come back into balance and relaxation, and to take advantage of all the different activities and opportunities at Omega (from yoga classes, to meditation, to sauna, kayaking, reading by the lake in a hammock, walking trails, enjoying a massage....)
So let's be clear about what Omega is. Omega is a great place to go and relax and rejuvenate, but it is not a luxury resort or destination spa type place, so if you're expecting 5 star stuff, this may not be the place for you. (Although having been to Miraval and other luxury type resorts, I can tell you I had just as good a time at Omega, which is much much cheaper).
So......having said that:
If you go for simple R and R program, stay at least 4 days, if you're going for a workshop I suggest adding a day or two to your stay before or after your workshop, just so you can enjoy all that Omega has to offer, because the workshop does take up most of your day.
Housing: This time I stayed in a single A Cabin and loved it 'til the last night. Last time I stayed in the dorms and had a terrible time due to noise all through the night. The single A cabin was great. The room was beautifully appointed, had heat and ceiling fan, and gorgeous tiled bathroom. My only complaint about my room was that sound traveled rather easily from the room next to mine. I was fine the first 4 nights I was there, but my last night people arrived in the room on the other side of the wall next to my bed and I could hear every step they took as they walked around their cabin. I could also hear them talking. Nonetheless, I was extremely pleased overall with my choice of housing this time. I will never again do the dorm housing. Now, it's private cabin all the way for me!
Grounds/Location: I feel like I'm in this protected "bubble" when I'm at Omega. Everything is right there, so you don't need to leave to do activities or go back into "the real world". The grounds are beautiful. There is wildlife all around--I saw so many groundhogs on a daily basis. You can sit on a bench in the sun and drink your tea, or eat your lunch on the lawn in front of the dining hall,or enjoy a few hours just sitting by the lake area where they have hammocks and lawn chairs set up. Omega is just a beautiful, peaceful, calming place. It's also nice to be without TV and phones (they do have several payphones which I used frequently--the cell service there is pretty nonexistant). They do have free Wifi in the cafe, which I also used without any problems. I brought my own computer but they have 3 computers (with Internet access) for shared use in the back of the cafe.
Food: I remember the food being really good there the first time I went. However, my situation this time was very different, as I recently discovered I have multiple food allergies, including most notably gluten, dairy, and soy. Honestly, I found it difficult for me to eat at Omega b/c of my dietary restrictions. I highly recommend you bring your own food (protein supplements, especially) if you have food allergies/sensitivities. Omega serves only vegetarian food, so I found getting protein there a challenge b/c of my restrictions. Their food is very soy "heavy", if you ask me. Almost every entree at lunch or dinner had soy in it. If you like soy and are not allergic to it I guess it's no big deal. I literally was unable to eat any of the "main" entrees on the buffett at lunch and dinner because they all inevitably had soy, gluten or dairy, so most meals I ate a salad and hard boiled eggs. I actually brought my own special cereal for breakfast, which I'm glad I did, because I would have had literally nothing to eat at breakfast. They do have a "plain foods" ( a grain/vegetable/ and legume) option at lunch and dinner, which was really great for me. Oh, and the Omega Cafe does serve food as well (although you have to pay separately for this), and they do serve meat there. They have some awesome desserts at the cafe (try their raw vegan chocolate macaroons), although the food there is pricey. The cafe staff was really friendly and even gave me some recipes for desserts I ate there.
Other stuff: Definitely get a massage at the wellness center. I did an 80 minute deep tissue massage with Lynn that was incredible. I also did a reflexology treatment b/c I'd never done it before, it was just average, and a Tip Top Toe, which basically seemed like a repeat of the reflexology. Next time if I want to do some treatments at the wellness center I think I'll stick with just straight massage.
Omega and Kripalu seem very similar to me, if you like Kripalu you'll probably like Omega, and vice versa. There is definitely a "hippie" vibe at both places, with plenty of dreadlocks and "earthy" vibe, which I'm totally into, but it might not feel OK for some. I think I actually prefer Omega to Kripalu, if only because it seems easier to spend more time outside at Omega, whereas at Kripalu it seems like everything is inside.
- Also Known As:
- Omega Institute Hotel Rhinebeck
- Omega Institute Rhinebeck