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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

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Esalen, A Special State of Mind in a Beautiful Place

My wife and I spent a weekend at Esalen doing a workshop (our 5th such visit) in late August. We both really enjoy going there, as the place seems to have this wonderful kind of... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 19 September 2014
Brookline, Massachusetts
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178 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 172: English reviews
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2014

I visited Esalen in June of this year - on the strength of its reputation and the experiences of colleagues who had visited there over the years.I am a trainer, coach and author based in Ireland and working mainly in Europe. While the setting is stunning, the baths met expectations, and the workshop was satisfactory the rest of my Esalen... More 

35 Thank Brian M
Brookline, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
70 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2014

My wife and I spent a weekend at Esalen doing a workshop (our 5th such visit) in late August. We both really enjoy going there, as the place seems to have this wonderful kind of medicinal effect on us both. It usually begins right after we pass thru the check in gate at the entrance. We're both high energy accomplished... More 

8 Thank medtraveler2013
Key West
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2014

These are truly amazing hot springs! You can also do workshops that allow for unfettered access to the baths, or camp in the area (Julia Pfeiffer Burns or Nacimento area) and volunteer in the organic farm in the mornings for access to the property for the day.

1 Thank quotidian
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2014

We did the 1-3 a.m. nighttime bathing session in the hot springs. As other reviewers have mentioned, a little more than half the party (25 bathers are allowed each night) went nude, but it's no big deal either way. Besides, once you get in the pools (shower quickly and claim a spot in one of the two larger pools overlooking... More 

1 Thank StephZeilenga
Toledo, Ohio
Level Contributor
115 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2014

This was a fun experience, I would go back. If you're reading the other reviews and worried about being naked, don't. Only about 1/2 of the group when we went were naked and you'd hardly notice anyhow. I was semi-concerned about taking a 12yr old there but there were no problems with it. The worst part is trying to get... More 

1 Thank skirack
Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

My wife and I have visited Esalen frequently for massage appointments and to use the incredible mineral baths. We haven't yet signed up for one of their retreats, which is really their main purpose, but we hope to soon. The baths are absolutely incredible and unique. Try to picture a modern architectural masterpiece perched directly over the cliffs above the... More 

3 Thank Jonnymar
Azusa, California
Level Contributor
67 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

Yes, I was naked and afraid! Ok, ok, the afraid part is because I'm very modest, and being naked around a bunch of strangers made me very nervous, but listen carefully: it's not as bad as you think! First of all, getting the reservation for a 1-3 am hot tub soak was pretty hard, but keep calling multiple times a... More 

3 Thank JJDB1400
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

I have taken 3 week long workshops here for massage continuing education. The atmosphere supports your personal journey. The bath house and massages are very relaxing. And the food is simply amazing.

Thank MassageGuru
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

Esalen is not for everyone, but if it is for you... it might just be your favorite place on Earth. Whether you come alone, with your significant other, or even with a friend, this beautiful destination is one of a kind. Overlooking the ocean with breathtaking views, you're surrounded by nature in a quiet relaxing setting. This experience offered healthy... More 

1 Thank Sydnee B
Morgantown, West Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

I went here for a massage while on vacation in Big Sur. I had some trepidation about the clothing optional aspect, I opted to wear my bathing suit but everyone else was naked and I did not feel one bit uncomfortable, as all of the other folks seemed to be minding their own business, there was definitely no gawking or... More 

Thank haley s

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?