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The Esalen Institute

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9546
Phone Number:
+1 888-837-2536

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 186 reviews
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    Very good
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Valid destination point and not to miss stop over- on the way from LA to SF, between Hearst castle and Carmel by the Sea

Stay for a couple of days and you will get an experience that shows you a different side of America, meet some interesting people, gain some tranquility, peek into hippy culture... read more

Reviewed 20 November 2016
San Francisco, California
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186 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 179: English reviews
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2016

Stay for a couple of days and you will get an experience that shows you a different side of America, meet some interesting people, gain some tranquility, peek into hippy culture heritage and enjoy the ocean view into the bargain. Complimentary yoga to enjoy most of the days as you wish – at 7.30am, noon and 5 pm (current schedule... More 

2 Thank Olesichi
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2016 via mobile

On my way to Boulder Creek, I stopped at Esalen to experience the hot springs and massage. The property feels AMAZING. It is gorgeous. Combining 360 degree views of Big Sur's cliffs and the ocean, a lovely garden and beautiful waterfall. The hot springs and showers are co-ed and most attendees were nude. A couple of us were wearing bathing... More 

3 Thank Danielle W
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
144 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2016

I visited to do a writing work shop. The place is beyond Beautiful, wild, raw, savage beauty. The grounds beautifully maintained with meditataion areas, gardens to explore and lovely walks. Plenty of seating overlooking views of the ocean. The accommodation was clean and functional with great views of the ocean. The hot springs incredible. Plenty of baths and pools on... More 

1 Thank Dublinlady28
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2016

If you are staying in Big Sur (or within reasonable distance) and DON'T sign up for the wee-hours hot springs session...you're missing out! Sure, you've got to take a nap around 10pm....but it's worth it. My love and I ventured out at midnight to Esalen, gathering in the parking lot at the top of the driveway on the side of... More 

3 Thank moonspies
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2016

What an amazing place. Nothing compares to soaking on the cliffs of Big Sur in warm healing hot springs under a blanket of stars! The energy of the place is great. They offer many different kinds of great workshops. The food is good and the staff are helpful and friendly. The reason they have only 4 stars is the beds... More 

3 Thank Isa M
Gilroy, California
Level Contributor
386 reviews
276 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016

Even if you do not attend any conferences or workshops at Esalen, you can get a massage (the famous Esalen massage) then watch the sun set from thermal pools on the cliffside above the beach.

Thank Norma W
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2016

This is the place to go for deep healing and relaxation. The natural hot sulfur baths and the gorgeous cliffs of Big sur and magical forest is a combination to not be missed. This is a bucket list place. I love it!!!! Oh and the most amazing organic (grown right on the property) food daily included in the rental. So... More 

3 Thank Dgale11
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2016

Esalen Institute offers classes, spa services and more.. I first visited the outdoor hot tubs decades ago and still remember it fondly! Built into the cliffs in Big Sur, you won't find a more beautiful, unique place to relax and experience. Be sure to call or visit online wa-a-y ahead to reserve a spot- in demand.

1 Thank M R
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2016

I spent a weekend here for a writing workshop and the whole experience was magical. The setting and the ethos of the place is so warm and beautiful. The hot springs are beautiful, and clothing optional is liberating. If you're open to new idea and spending time with like minded, interesting people this place is for you. If you don't... More 

3 Thank Newwhite
Kirkland, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2016

Magical wonderland. Love everything about this place. Had some of the best slumber in a long time. I had a phenomenal thai massage that was priceless. Enjoyed the incredible night sky while soaking in the hot baths.

2 Thank 29carole777

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