For years, I have gotten to know The Esalen Institute through its natural, outdoor hot springs. But, only in the dark, dead of night (1am to 4am!). This was the only time it was open to the public. It is actually an amazing time to soak in the tubs so late. It’s dark and misty from being right on the cliffs of the Pacific ocean. You see very little, but, you hear the crashing waves on rocks reverberate in the hot baths… you soak and take it all in.
When you are there at night during Esalen’s public hours, you only experience the baths. What you do see during the day, if you are a guest of Esalen and staying in one of their accommodations, is their entire 18 acre property- the organic farm, the chickens, the yurts and humble cabins, the wood decked dining hall, and the trails meandering through grass and flowers. It’s amazing.
This is not a resort, or hotel, this is a true experience, one where you can dedicate a weekend, a week, a month, or several months to a yoga workshop, learn about horticulture at their organic farm, hike in the depths of the Big Sur forests, and of course, soak in the baths morning, noon, and night.