DEFINITELY Esalen! You MUST check out esalen. The hot tubs are gorgeous, especially at night under the starry sky overlooking the pacific ocean. The massage is excellent too, well worth the $. Have a great time, Big Sur is probably my favorite place on earth.
Esalen Institute This is an awesome place for a relaxing weekend. The institute offers excellent workshops and a stunning Pacific Ocean backdrop. This is a place to devote time to working on the inner self as well as the outer tan. The food is above average and it's all inclusive. Esalen is similiar to Harbin Hotsprings in that there is a spiritual component to the place. There seems to be an embrace of eastern religions. While I love this place it does not have quite the diversity that Harbin has. This is a very expensive place and draws guests who reflect that demographic.
Meditation/Yoga Retreat The Esalen Institute is just a short drive down Hwy 1 in Big Sur and poised along the epic cliffs of the California coast. They hold regular Meditation and Yoga focused workshops and lots of other programs throughout the year. The workshops can be pricey, but they also have a work/study program, check the website www.esalen.org for details.
They also have invented their own world-class style of massage and have hot springs perched along those aforementioned cliffs that make for a sublime soak.
Naked. Mineral baths. Massages. Go South - Esalen. Naked. Mineral baths. Massages. Pass out on pillows. Stone tubs on cliffs. 100 feet over the ocean. Overnight deals. Inexpensive. Go to www.esalen.org for details.
Go North - Sea Ranch. Ocean. Sunset. Sunrise. Hot tub. Great hikes. Great drive up and down. Oysters on the way. For price of B&B you get whole house to yourself.
Go East - 2 people. Leave Friday afternoon. Arrive Friday night. ~45 hours stay. No bags. No hotel. ~$580-620. New York City baby. Jet Blue.
Massage offers great food and access to the tubs Yes yes and yes on the Esalen Hot Springs. I was there in the Fall after a week of off roading in and around the Death Valley. If you aren't staying there you can usually get a massage that includes great food and access to the tubs. MOst beautiful sunset I have ever seen. Enjoy the Ride...
Check the Hot Springs Eternal Tribe A non-recommendation is the Big Sur River Inn, unless you stay in one of the rooms directly facing the river. We stayed in a room in the "cabins" across route 1. We kept being awakened by the rodents running in the walls and in the crawlspace under the room. Then again, if you go in the winter, maybe they'd still be hibernating :)
I recommend the brunch at Ventana. It's not cheap, but it's very nice.
I thought I read some stuff on Esalen in the Hot Springs Eternal tribe. Try posting your question there otherwise.