Located directly on the edge of the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, California, the Esalen Institute is a spiritual, non-profit retreat center featuring ocean-side hot spring pools, yoga workshops, massage facilities, well-appointed accommodations, and a farm that provides sustainably grown food.
Esalen’s isolation not only provides guests with the ability to fully relax but also to disconnect from the outside world due to the lack of cellphone reception and restricted internet access points while at the facilities. Esalen boasts that the tranquility offered at their campus can lead to a significant change, as long as you are open to the deepening experiences provided during your stay.
Hot Springs Pools
Each hot spring pool at Esalen overlooks the Pacific Ocean from a high vantage point, providing guests with the ability to tune into nature through the relaxing and healing environment. Scaling geothermally heated mineral water flows out of the earth at a rate of 80 gallons per minute. By the time the mineral water fills the pools, it has cooled to an optimal temperature, perfect for guests and visitors.
Esalen offers a few larger pools with a max capacity of around six people as well as smaller, personal tubs for individuals. Clothing is optional in and around the tubs, with many guests choosing to forego clothing to enhance their “natural” experience.
One of the most popular hot spring pool activities is Esalen’s public night bathing. Offered nightly from 1:00 to 3:00 AM, moon bathing provides guests with an unparalleled relaxing experience. Due to its popularity, reservations are required, but they must be made on the same day that guests wish to visit. Registration opens at 9:00 AM PST, and slots often fill very quickly.
Esalen offers a variety of lodging accommodations ranging from standard rooms to secluded oceanfront suites, with balconies and separate living areas. “Standard” and “Premium” rooms feature one or two double beds and are meant for one or two guests. In comparison, “Premium Plus Rooms” provide king-sized accommodations as well as ocean views.
Additionally, Esalen offers luxurious suites, like the “Point House Suite”, which features a master bedroom, sleeping loft, living room, and small kitchenette. These suites are situated at the cliff overlooking the ocean, offering some of the best views on campus.
Towels, soap, and linens are distributed to each room, but no other toiletries are present. Similarly, the guest rooms do not include televisions, alarm clocks, or any sort of cell phone reception. This provision allows guests to more easily disconnect with the technological world.
Guests as Esalen are provided with three healthy, gluten-free meals a day. Much of the food is sustainably grown on-site in the large garden and farm facilities. In addition to the gluten-free meals provided, the resort also offers both vegan and traditional omnivorous options. During meal times in the Lodge, internet access is restricted to facilitate conversation between guests.
The garden at Esalen is massive, encompassing nearly four acres of cultivated land. The institute builds the soil’s fertility by composting nearly 500 pounds of food and green waste daily. In addition to the three meals provided by Esalen, guests are encouraged to bring their food and beverages to enjoy between mealtimes.
As a place of relaxation and learning, Esalen offers a variety of introspective and engaging activities for guests to enjoy. The Art Barn, a large art studio overlooking the ocean, offers art classes for those seeking to exercise their creativity. The Barn offers both weekend and five-day workshops throughout the year. When a class is not in session, guests are offered the opportunity to utilize the space as an open studio.
Besides the Art Barn, guests can make a reservation for an Esalen Massage overlooking the ocean. Reservations are required for seventy-five-minute massages, and it is recommended that guests make them at least three weeks prior to their arrival at Esalen.
Between visits to the Art Barn and massage facilities, guests can participate in a yoga workshop, healing arts experience, or hike in the nearby canyon.
Esalen institute offers a tranquil and relaxing experience, allowing guests to discover deep personal growth while connecting with nature oceanside. Plan your next trip to this cliffside paradise!
Address: 55000 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Season: Year round