We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

“Massage tables to narrow.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Refuge

Refuge
Ranked #1 of 14 Spas & Wellness in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Refuge is the first American facility dedicated to Hydro-thermal therapy and offers the ultimate in relaxation that is one of a kind! Truly the best 3 hours in Carmel! Through heating up in our Co-ed Sauna and Steam bath, cooling down in our cold pools and relaxation in indoor relaxation rooms or outdoor areas with fireplaces - you will be relaxed! Massages are available as well!
1 review
“Massage tables to narrow.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2012

Loved the exsperance. But the massage tables are way to narrow

Helpful?
Thank Seawaters413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / PAYBACK
50

377 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    289
    62
    14
    7
    5
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

My boyfriend and I planned a day trip to Carmel on Easter. I researched a little more what to do in Carmel and stumbled upon Refuge. I ignored it at first thinking it was some extremely expensive spa. Later I clicked on the link and found out you can use this facility for $40! For $99 you get a massage included (which is a great deal because massages are usually about $70-$110 for 50 min). We passed up the massages and just did the $40 experience. The staff is so nice! We went around 6 pm and stayed until 10 pm because there is nothing like being in a hot tub at night. I love how this place is sort of in the middle of nowhere because it is so quiet. Everything seemed to be very clean there too. I highly recommend you follow the treatment. They have two cold pools one which is similar to the pacific ocean and the other similar to a cold river. My boyfriend and I tried the cold river and it is FREEZING! But the after effects of hydro-thermal therapy made us feel great! I slept super deep that night and I am one of those who do not sleep!

I highly recommend...
Bring your own water (and drink about a gallon because you get super dehydrated during the treatment). But the hour ride home was so hard because no restrooms were open for about 30 miles!
Bring a robe if your doing the treatment at night because it gets cold! They have robe rentals there for $12 which isn't too bad.
Eat before, even though my boyfriend and I had a huge dinner we were starving afterwards, so bring something and keep it in your car to eat afterwards.

This place is great though! Next month I am bringing my group of friends to this place.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
133 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Great Value - make sure you get a massage !”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

We came across this place by accident through a tourist leaflet
- Great value. We paid 99 USD for an hours massage and four hours in the thermal pools
- Half a dozen different heat pools
- Steam and sauna rooms
- Very basic but very tranquil
- Make sure you take a robe !
- Would return

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank Canadauk2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Luis Obispo, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A $300 experience for only $40!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2012

I enjoyed this experience so much I tried to recreate it at the gym by taking a cold shower after some time in the steam room. Not quite the same, as Refuge is designed to enable the ultimate relaxation experience. It's quiet and peaceful with the sound of the flowing water everywhere. We spent an hour doing the recommended "heat up" "cool down" "relax" process, followed by massage and then some soaking time in the warmer pools. The process can be a challenge for some, which is appealing to male clients, but also very pampering, which is appealing to female clients. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that we could have a relaxing spa experience together, as most places separate male and female clients. We WILL return as soon as we can. We've already recommended it to friends and it certainly doesn't hurt that the location is in the city of Carmel, CA, which is a preferred destination of ours. Final verdict - Go here!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank JRHoar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Quite simply an Amazing Experience!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

I am not a sauna or spa person. A friend of mine talked me into trying Refuge out on my recent trip to Monterey. I am so glad he did. I have never experienced everything like Refuge before - and I felt so good afterwards, I went back for a second visit before heading back home.

The staff was exceedingly helpful and polite in explaining how it works and how to complete a cycle of heating up, cooling down, and relaxing.

What is a 'cycle'? Well, first you sit in the very nice sauna or steam room to heat up. Then you take a quick dip in a cold pool, then you relax either inside one of the rooms with zero gravity chairs and relaxing music, or else outside by one of the numerous fire pits listening to the several waterfalls build into the various pools. Then repeat. They suggest a minimum of 3 cycles. I would say try 4 or 5 or more.

A quick note on the cold pools: it was quite shocking the first time, second was a little better, third time through my body was used to it. The second day, I was actually looking forward to the refreshing plunge.

I was frankly shocked at how I felt after going through a few cycles. It is very hard to describe - the best I can do is to say that my stress (and I have plenty of it) melted away. I felt completely relaxed and calm, but at the same time I felt energized in a very positive way.

In addition to the sauna/steamrooms, cold pools, and relaxing areas, there are several warm and hot pools throughout the property with waterfalls creating an exceedingly relaxing atmosphere to just relax in after you do the cycles. It is quite simply an amazing escape from every day life.

I am going to make it a point to come to Refuge every time I am anywhere near the Monterey Peninsula. I have been on the road throughout CA and Mexico for the last couple of weeks and I have to say that my experience at Refuge was a major highlight of the trip!

Even if you are not a 'spa person', don't miss Refuge - it is a completely unique, one of a kind experience. I have never seen anything remotely similar and am so glad I went.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank cdphx2k5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Refuge also viewed

Carmel, Monterey County
 
Carmel, Monterey County
Monterey, Monterey County
 

Been to Refuge? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / PAYBACK
50
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing