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Campus Renewal Milestones

We are pleased to have reached a number of important milestones in our Campus Renewal Project over the last few months. These achievements are the result of the dedication and commitment of Esalen staff and community members as well as the generous support of our friends, donors, and partners.

Highlights of key accomplishments include:

Guest Reception and Conley Bookstore

The guest reception area and newly expanded and renamed Conley Bookstore allows for streamlined office service flow and an intimate bookstore area that inspires contemplation and tranquility.

Features include:

  • Increased capacity for more books, CDs, and other retail products that promote self-inquiry and inner growth
  • Improved natural lighting and sitting areas for a relaxed, peaceful environment
  • Repurposed existing cabinetry, casework, interior wall, ceiling finishes, force-air heating system and existing doors

Dining Areas

Indoor Dining

The gathering place for life-changing conversations, the indoor dining area has been expanded to seat 250 faculty, students, guests, and staff. Overall, the energy-and resource-efficient renovation design of the Lodge was developed by architectural firm, Arkin Tilt Architects. An award-winning firm, Arkin Tilt ensured our efforts stayed true to the spirit of our historical roots while incorporating advancements in environmental sustainability, designed to endure for future generations.

Features include:

  • Improved acoustics to support the community-focused, family-style dining
  • Energy-efficient interior dining area infused with natural light
  • Larger, more efficient windows offering increased ventilation and passive solar heating
  • Additional seating and windows that offer magnificent, panoramic southern and western views of the Pacific Ocean

New Café & Bar

Destined to become a favorite gathering spot, the new café and bar is located in the southeastern corner of the Lodge, on the site of the old Huxley meeting room.

Features include:

  • Windows at the far end that overlook the deck and offer views of the coast
  • Café ceiling made of reclaimed pieces of Huxley’s current beams and wood
  • Flooring that commemorates the many years of teachings and transformations that have taken place in this space
  • Big Sur wood bar and masonry stove support far-reaching conversations with a cappuccino or glass of wine


The Meg Coyle Dining Alcove

The new indoor/outdoor dining area incorporates roll-down glass doors that offer a flexible space for meetings or dinner groups, regardless of the weather.





Lodge Back Deck

The expanded Lodge deck, located outside the southern end of the main dining room, delivers more opportunities for conversation, contemplation and stargazing.



The Esalen Kitchen

The kitchen is the source of our nourishing, farm-to-table experience that sustains approximately 350 people each day. Our re-designed kitchen and food service environment has been expanded to include approximately 2,300 square feet of new/remodeled kitchen and storage space.

Features include:

  • Replacement of aging kitchen equipment with walk-in refrigerators, state-of-the-art culinary tools, multi-use service equipment for varied menus, etc.
  • New skylights and solar tubes to leverage natural sunlight
  • New storage spaces located substantially underground for natural cooling
  • Low water-use plumbing fixtures for natural resource conservation
  • Ergonomic equipment layout with wider aisles and improved product/equipment storage
  • Expanded food service stations for broadened menu offerings and refrigerated salad bar to reduce food waste
  • Streamlined layout for food delivery and dish-drop area for improved dining experience

New Huxley Meeting Room

Built upon the foundation of Huxley with similar aesthetics (e.g. beams and tongue-in-groove ceilings), and brought up to the second level of the renovated Lodge, this expansive sunlit space is 35% bigger to accommodate large groups.

Features include:

  • East-facing windows will offer beautiful mountaintop views and south-facing windows will offer views toward the baths and down the coastline
  • Designed for future technological capacities to support transformative educational programs
  • Honors sacred universal patterns of the golden ratio, analemma and solstice with celestial windows and skylight orientations that capture the sunset light on the equinoxes and solstices
  • Cushioned bamboo dance floor with radiant heating, ideal for yoga, dance and movement classes
  • Optimized storage to reduce transportation of meeting room equipment
  • Shares second-story deck with adjacent meeting room

Second Floor Meeting Room

The 1,000-square-foot meeting room is located adjacent to the new Huxley meeting room on the second floor and will add much-needed capacity for groundbreaking workshops.

Features include:

  • A shared second-story deck with the new Huxley meeting room
  • Windows that offer stunning views of the Santa Lucia Mountains
  • Close proximity to the Esalen kitchen facilitates hosting of private dinner functions
  • Designed for future technological capacities to support transformative educational programs

Northside Guest House

To better meet our current guest housing needs, we have constructed a new six-unit guest building located adjacent to the Art Barn, on the northside of Esalen’s property.

With beautiful ocean views and outdoor patios, these rooms also feature energy-efficient designed windows and solar heated hot water. Three of the six rooms are design for accessibility needs.


“In many ways the building is built on the foundation of the principles and historic significance of Esalen. Some of the more decorative aspects of the new Lodge are meant to inspire imagination, wonderment, and connection to the patterns and presence of nature. We are literally building portions of the new Lodge on the old foundation of the Huxley meeting room, and we have incorporated reused materials from the old lodge and pool deck into the new spaces. We have built into the project an honoring of the history of Esalen, a recognition of the Esselen people who previously inhabited this land, and a reverence for the profound power of the natural landscape.”
— Ian-Michael Hébert, Esalen Property Development Manager



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Campus Renewal

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