An Invitation to Inspiration
For centuries, the stunning beauty and powerful geography of Big Sur have beckoned artists, authors, musicians, thinkers and spiritual leaders seeking creative inspiration, personal transformation and inner well-being. Now, the Alila Experience Program extends a similar invitation to you, with workshops and activities designed to help you develop a deeper connection to yourself, your partner and the natural world
We invite you to explore the following menu of workshops and discover which experiences most resonate with you. All workshops are focused on couples, but can be adapted to group and/or single participants. For reservations or more information, please contact The Glass House Gallery at Ventana at
844.277.4279 or email . [email protected] Daily Group Hike
Big Sur Guides and Hiking offers an off-property group hike to all Ventana Big Sur guests, beginning at 11:20 a.m. daily at Social House. Inquire at Social House for details.
Duration:2.5-3 hours Price: $125 Sip Like a Sommelier
Learn about wine — and the special stories of this rich and fertile region — with Thomas McKay, Ventana Big Sur’s resident wine expert. We’ll focus on the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH), a neighbor to us and one of the state’s premier winemaking districts, featuring exceptional (and highly rated) pinot noirs and chardonnays. Paired with delicacies from the delicious coastal cuisine of Executive Chef Paul Corsentino, this truly is a food and wine experience to remember.
Duration:1.5 hours Price: $125 per person Coastal Cuisine with Chef Paul
Cook a seasonal feast with ingredients harvested from our organic garden as you learn about Central Coast cuisine. This demonstration and lunch with Ventana Big Sur Executive Chef Paul Corsentino is an experience, an adventure, a conversation that ultimately leads to an opportunity to create and inspire. You’ll share your creations with others, too, as you enjoy a family-style meal paired with wine around our communal table and celebrate a special afternoon.
Duration:3 hours Price: $225 per person / $400 per couple Slip Into Sleep Wellness
The impact of stress extends beyond waking hours — it can interrupt your sleep, compromising your ability to perform at your best. This innovative and gentle hypnotherapy treatment will allow you to de-stress in minutes, leaving you relaxed, calm and free of tension. Soon, you'll be on your way to deeper, sounder sleep! A recording of the session will be yours to take home, and the self-hypnosis techniques you learn will prove beneficial long after your visit to Ventana.
Duration:80 minutes Price: $500 per person Flora and Fauna of Big Sur
Join our naturalist and Big Sur resident Jamie for a hike of your choosing, an outdoor adventure that inspires your spirit. Climb up to the ridge, stroll along one of our beautiful beaches or meander through the majestic redwood forest — whatever you choose, local flora and fauna await at every turn. See brush rabbits. Bats. Even humpback whales and dolphins. And don’t forget to look up for raptors and condors!
Duration:2 hours Price: $100 per person / $180 per couple Falconry Experience
Join Master Falconer Antonio Balestreri for an exciting introduction to hawks and falcons, where you’ll learn about the role of raptors in the Big Sur environment, see a flight demonstration, have a meet-and-greet with the birds, enjoy photo opportunities and more. Private and group experiences include a "hawk walk,"" a short hike where you’ll be accompanied by a special flying guest, and even a special engagement package where a hawk will fly the proposal to your intended recipient!
Duration:90 minutes Price: $200 per person Organic Garden Tour (available beginning spring 2018)
Join our gardener at the Organic Garden on Saturday and Sunday mornings to harvest the week’s bounty! You’ll learn about soil, planting and growing practices — and get some tips and tricks to use in your own garden, too.
Duration:1 hour Circle of Life Meditation Experience
Join our Meditation Facilitator and Big Sur resident Krystle Dawn on this inspiring journey for the spirit, body and mind. You’ll experience nature’s wisdom and the deep power of inner and outer peace as you gather for a centering practice and guided walking meditation. The Circle of Life is a natural ring of 100-year-old redwoods, a place that awakens awareness and revitalizes your connection with yourself and your surroundings. (The trail is a mild to moderate 10-minute walk. Please bring water and wear supportive hiking shoes.)
Duration:1 hour Price:$175 Glass House Art Classes
Every Saturday afternoon, expand your creative boundaries by joining us at the Glass House Gallery for a class featuring a local artist. You’ll learn new skills, find new inspiration and create a new piece of artwork to take home.
Duration:2.5 hours Price:$395 per person/$475 per couple Photography Hike Workshop
The topography of Big Sur has fueled the dreams of seekers and nature lovers for hundreds of years. Learn how to capture it with your camera in this photography workshop and guided hike around Ventana’s wilderness. You’ll hike some of the most beautiful trails in California and learn powerful image-making techniques to improve composition, light exposure and visual language — regardless of your skill level, camera or previous experience.
Duration:2 to 2.5 hours Price:$225 per person The Jack Kerouac Experience
This driving tour by Big Sur Guides and Hiking is a photographer's dream come true! Traverse the Old Coast Road — the original coastal highway stretching from Andrew Molera State Park to Bixby Bridge — in your own car, following your guide along a well-maintained dirt road offering vistas of the Ventana Wilderness. We’ll picnic along the Little Sur River, saying hello along the way to old-growth redwoods and a variety of wildlife. Includes a copy of "On The Road."
Duration:2 hours Price:$225 The Big Sur Galleries Tour
Join Big Sur Guides and Hiking on a tour of area galleries — a rare opportunity to see the art of Big Sur and meet some of the artists as well. Discover treasures at the Hawthorne Gallery, the Coast Gallery, The Big Sur Arts Initiative Gallery, The Phoenix Shop at Nepenthe and The Heartbeat Gallery, before finishing with a Champagne toast at Ventana’s Glass House Gallery. There will be surprises along the way, including a picnic lunch on the Big Sur River.
Duration:2 to 3 hours Price:$225 Spiritual Hiking Excursion and Hermitage Tour
This excursion provides a special focus on the intense spirituality one can experience here in Big Sur. Your senses will awaken among the cathedral-like redwoods, cascading waterfalls, wildlife, flora and fauna. You will learn about forest bathing and the powerful connections that nature can provide. Your spirit will soar as you take in the breathtaking beauty of the untamed Pacific Ocean, rugged coastline and rock formations. The experience culminates in a picnic lunch and tour of the New Camaldoli Hermitage property, which features unsurpassed ocean views and a serene chapel where you can pause to pray, reflect or simply admire the peaceful setting.
Duration:4 hours Price:$250 per person Wild Foraging Hike
This seasonal hiking excursion in the wet months of autumn/winter takes us to the forest in search of some of the most sought-after wild foods — mushrooms. You’ll learn how to look for wild mushrooms with a specialist guide who will teach you how to identify edible and nonedible varieties, along with medicinal plants such as Redwood Sorrel, California Sagebrush and Bay Laurel. A picnic lunch is included.
Duration:3 hours Price:$225 per person