We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

The Esalen Institute

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9546
Phone Number:
+1 888-837-2536

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 186 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 125
  • 29
    Very good
  • 10
  • 6
  • 9
Heaven on Earth

Shocked at the previous negative reviews. I was in Esalen last month at a workshop and was so overwhelmed by the positive energy of the place I extended my stay for another 2... read more

Reviewed 16 December 2014
Josh F
Add Photo Write a Review

186 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 179: English reviews
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2014

Shocked at the previous negative reviews. I was in Esalen last month at a workshop and was so overwhelmed by the positive energy of the place I extended my stay for another 2 days. Great surroundings, beautiful and compassionate people, and touched by some of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. Will most definitely be back.

1 Thank Josh F
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2014

I loved my stay at Esalen. I went for a yoga retreat and genuinely enjoyed my stay. You are spoiled rotten with a delicious spread of food 3 times a day, much of which is grown in their organic garden on the property. They have scheduled activities throughout the day such as yoga, qi gong or dance. The spa is... More 

4 Thank Juliana K
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2014

I have been to Esalen once before last year and had recommended it to several over the past year up to this last visit a few weeks ago. Starting with the good first. The grounds are lovely, I have had a memorable experience both times I have gone. The first time I came back very rejuvenated, have had one of... More 

27 Thank Angieburlingame
Orange County
Level Contributor
31 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2014

This is the place where all can be achieve when you come to this heaven on earthly place. The healing abounds with all modalities of great food, company, and course work. This time I attended the CFR course, by Harriet Goslin, and I have more so than the past have now found even lasting healing for my hands and fingers... More 

1 Thank HotSpringslover
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2014

This is the best massage you will ever have in your life. The only catch, everyone is nude, even the therapists at time. Soak in the natural hottubs to loosen up first. We had the added luck of witnessing the seal migration in the waters below the institute

4 Thank Janice Y
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2014

Well I read about this place on another website, I read reviews prior to booking a public hot bath night/early morning. I was very hesistant and didn't know what to expect from Esalen. My girlfriend booked the public night hot tubs about 4-5 weeks previous to our trip. We had to call several times before we actually got in touch... More 

Orange County, California
Level Contributor
95 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2014

Esalen has a grand cult following, and many of the glowing reviews are from that group. I arrived as neither a Kool-Aid drinking devote, nor as a critical luxury traveler expecting top-notch service. But Esalen has difficulty providing an average option in the middle. The good: The hot spring baths are stunning! The real estate, views, sea life, gardens, and... More 

21 Thank Innerartist
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
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 

37 Thank Brian M
Brookline, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
79 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 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
Reviewed 18 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

Travellers who viewed The Esalen Institute also viewed


Been to The Esalen Institute? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Esalen Institute and other visitors
10 questions
Ask a question
United Kingdom

See all questions (10)

Questions? Get answers from The Esalen Institute staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
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?