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
800.628.6500 or email . [email protected]
MANDALA COLORING FOR COUPLES
Collaborate in the process of coloring your own beautifully intricate, 11-by-17-inch mandala and experience the power within one of the most ancient forms of meditation in movement. The pure energy created during this coloring becomes absorbed into the unique identity of your mandala.
Mandalas visually and aesthetically represent the beauty of the macrocosmos within the microcosmos. Most contain specific sets of geometric forms and colors that are believed to emanate positive energy from any location. No previous experience is required. We have a large selection of mandala designs to choose from, and all other materials are provided. Duration: 2 hours Price: $100 per couple For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] 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 on film in this photography workshop and guided hike around Ventana’s wilderness with our award-winning resident photographer and Gallery Director, Alfonso Corona.
In this workshop, 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. This program offers a unique, fun and informative approach to photography in a spectacular setting. You’ll soon be creating art you never thought possible! Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours Price: $180 per person / $300 per couple For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] QUARTZ BOWL ENERGY SOUND BATH
This sonic experience relaxes, balances and promotes good health for the body, mind and soul through the use of quartz bowls as instruments of sound.
The crystalline structure of quartz is very similar to the structure of our bones and DNA, both of which have a unique interaction with electricity. Every time we make a quartz bowl “sing,” our bone structure resonates and “sings” as well. This is important because our bones are the core of our physical and energetic structure; they also produce most of our blood cells, so this sound bath helps to rejuvenate your bloodstream by enhancing its production from within. And on the bioelectrical level, the acoustic resonance of the quartz opens and balances the lattice and chakras one by one. Each unique sound in this nurturing workshop resonates accordingly with specific areas of the body, while helping to release any existing energy blockages. Duration: 45 minutes Price: $70 per person / $90 per couple For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] NEUROACOUSTICS MEDITATION
If you’ve ever tried to meditate, but found it difficult to achieve, this experience is for you! You’ll lie back and enjoy Big Sur's incredible surroundings while listening to specially engineered audio that slows down and relaxes your mind.
This audio features subsonic frequencies, designed by neuroscientists, that positively induce your brainwave patterns to resemble those achieved after decades of dedicated practice by lifelong meditators and monks. First, we’ll pick an ideal location on the Ventana grounds among the meadows and redwoods. Then, after a brief introduction, you'll be enveloped by our unique selection of enhanced audio — all against the backdrop of Big Sur. The experience will leave you energized, aware, and at the same time, relaxed. At the end of your day, you’ll sleep like you’ve never slept before. Duration: 45 minutes Price: $50 per person / $90 per couple (headphones included, or bring your own) For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] GLASS FUSING & PENDANT FABRICATION
In this workshop, you will learn how to fuse glass — bonding separate pieces of glass by applying high heat in a kiln or oven — and how it is used to make one-of-a-kind pendants, small paperweights and other decorative objects. You’ll then put your new skills to good use, creating your own fused-glass piece to take home.
No previous experience is necessary. You will learn the entire production cycle and create up to two glass pieces per couple. Duration: 1.5 hours Price:$150 per couple For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] STRING ART & MINDFULNESS
Using string as a colorful art form is a magical process — one that will help you reveal your creative potential as well as develop new skills.
This workshop also focuses on practicing mindfulness, offering gratitude and gaining a new appreciation for time itself, in ways you have never before experienced. Using our beautiful templates to inspire your own unique designs, you will create and take home two 12-by-12-inch string-art pieces. In the process, you’ll learn powerful mindfulness techniques that will help you be more present and aware in your daily life. Duration: 2 hours Price:$90 per person / $110 per couple For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] BLOCK PRINTING & STAMP CARVING
One of the most ancient forms of decoration and communication, block printing has a wealth of different applications. In this workshop, you’ll focus on designing and hand-carving your own unique seal or stamp on a special piece of rubber.
No previous experience is necessary. You will learn the complete process and create up to two stamps. Then, take your blocks home and keep printing! Duration: 1.5 hours Price:$90 per person / $100 per couple For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] CANDLE MAKING & AROMATHERAPY
Nature’s top healing plants have many uses, including aromatherapy. Here, you’ll learn about these plants and experience their benefits in order to understand which are best for you and your environment.
Then, you and your partner will each create your own clean-burning, soy-wax candle with essential oils to enjoy for months to come. Housed in your choice of beautiful ceramic and glass vessels by Carmel Candle Co., your candle will be both functional and beautiful. Duration: 1.5 hours Price:$190 per couple For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] CHARCOAL DRAWING IN NATURE
Big Sur, one of the most treasured natural landscapes in the world, is home to some of the rarest and most ancient trees on Earth — which makes this the perfect place to explore the art of tree drawing. You’ll enjoy a profound and freeing walk in the wilderness surrounding Ventana, connecting with yourself, living in the moment and building a greater appreciation for the trees and the landscape.
The goal of this workshop is to help you understand lines, forms and the most essential aspects of drawing. You'll illustrate these magnificent trees in a supportive and nurturing environment, with artist Terese Garcia as your guide and instructor. No art experience is necessary — simply bring yourself and an open heart. All supplies will be provided. Duration: 1.5 hours Price:$100 per person / $160 per couple For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] WATERCOLOR IN NATURE
The natural scenes and unique colors of Big Sur invite artists to create — and expanding your own abilities here will give you a new appreciation for this majestic setting.
In this workshop, you’ll enjoy three hours of drawing and painting with one of our region’s most talented artists, Joe Adams, whose nature-based abstract and realistic works are included in numerous collections of significance. Well-versed in a range of styles and techniques, Adams will help you explore and nurture your individual creative spirit, while adding a few useful things to your artistic toolkit. Paper, graphite, watercolors and brushes will be supplied, and painting techniques will be customized to your individual skill level. The goal is for you to take home your very own personal artwork. Duration: 3 hours Price:$175 per person / $300 per couple (includes all materials) For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] DRUM CIRCLES
A drum circle is more than an ancient form of human bonding — it’s a connection, a celebration of our existence and even a light workout all in one. This grounding experience, incorporating the instruments’ deep resonance and live dynamics, will awaken your senses and empower your core energy.
Even if you don’t have any previous musical, rhythmic or performance experience, this workshop takes you inside the magical, mystical and therapeutic universe of percussion, digging into the deep roots of Big Sur’s ancestral wisdom. One of the first evolutionary steps we achieved as a species was through the power of music, dance and drawing. Now, you’ll experience this primal connection to the nurturing “Pacha Mama,” or “Mother Earth,” as the Native Americans have called our home for eons. After a brief resonance experience that allows you to choose your ideal instrument, we’ll gather in a circle and build an evolving rhythm. The beats we create empower, balance and heal our energy fields, balancing the chakras too. It’s an exhilarating experience of music, dance and rhythmic bliss. Duration: 2 hours Price:$50 per person (four-person minimum) For reservations and availability, please email . [email protected] Flora & 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!
2 hours Duration: Price: $100 per person or $180 per couple 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 around our communal table and celebrate a special afternoon.
Duration: 3 hours Price: $185 person or $350 per couple 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 hour Price: $50 per person FROM "A TO BEE" AT VENTANA
Put on a beekeeping suit and visit our apiary to observe the sophisticated structure of bee civilization — and perform meaningful hive duties as well. Our 60,000 honeybees forage for the pollen and nectar in every flower at Ventana, including 7,000 lavender plants; Ventana’s resident beekeepers will help you understand the critical role these endangered creatures play in our lives and the health of our planet. A portion of proceeds will go to the Honeybee Conservancy.
Duration: 2 hours Price: $75 per person For reservations and availability, please email [email protected] . 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