Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions for Everyone

  • Are you a luxury resort and retreat center?
    We offer a beautiful, rustic retreat experience run by a residential community of volunteers dedicated to service and spiritual/personal development. We are not a luxury facility.
  • Can I come eat at Mount Madonna Center?
    Three daily meals are included in the costs for all retreats and programs. For day visits, we require 48 hour advance notice for meal reservations. Please visit our Meal Request page at to make a reservation. No outside food is allowed at the Center.
  • Does your cafe serve food? The cafe serves a wide variety of creative hot and cold beverages in addition to light snacks such as chips, power bars and chocolate. The cafe also serves hot samosas On Saturday and Sunday only. See Cafe Hours.
  • Are yoga classes available?
    We offer a wide variety of complimentary daily yoga classes including: pranayama, meditation, philosophy, asana and more! See Daily Yoga Classes.
  • How do I get to the Center?
    See our Transportation and Directions page for more info.
  • We do not provide shuttles or car service of any kind. Please do contact other participants in your program to arrange carpool!
  • What is the closest Airport?
    San Jose (SJC) is the closest airport which is about a one-hour drive from the center (43 miles), given light traffic. San Francisco (SFO) and Oakland (OAK) are both about 1.5 hours away (74 miles).
  • What is your property like and does it include hiking trails?
    The property is 355 acres, with our main campus area artfully developed. There are many hiking trails varying from quite easy to more challenging, and it is easy to get away from the developed area to beautiful redwood groves, meadows, wonderful views, and quiet. Trails are open to registered overnight guests only.

Questions for Overnight Guests

  • Can I come today?
    We require 48 hours advance notice for overnight stays, therefore, you would need to register by 4pm two days before you plan to arrive. Visit our Programs & Retreats page to register for a day visit or overnight stay.
  • Is there wifi and cell-phone reception?
    There is wifi in most guest rooms (not cabins), meeting spaces, and in our community building and cafe. Cell phone reception can be spotty, though texting works well. Verizon works best, AT&T is decent, and Sprint and T-Mobile are limited.
  • Are your facilities handicapped accessible?
    Yes, all major facilities are handicapped accessible, and nearly all outlying ones as well. Please be sure to let us know if you will need a handicapped accessible room, so we can place you accordingly. We have rooms with and without bath, and accessible public restrooms.
  • Do you accommodate children?
    Yes, children are most welcome. There is no charge for children before their 2nd birthday. Children age 2-12 are 1/2 price (meals and lodging only).
  • Can we bring pets?
  • Are service animals allowed? Mount Madonna Center permits service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered.
  • Are there any rules or guidelines that I need to be aware of?
    Quiet hours are 9 pm to breakfast. We do not allow alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs, or pets. We do not allow smoking, except in the designated area. Please do not bring food of any kind to the Center. Please do not wear or use scented products or essential oils as many people are allergic and/or sensitive.
  • Can we bring or cook our own food?
    We do not allow any outside food at the center. Our chefs prepare three delicious vegetarian meals daily, and tea and fruit are available 24 hours per day. Please view additional information regarding meals here.
  • Can you accommodate special dietary needs?
    We provide lacto-vegetarian meals (no eggs), with non-dairy and non-gluten alternatives at each meal. We strive to meet other special dietary needs to the best of our ability. Please contact the Programs Office at (408) 846-4090 to discuss dietary needs for your group or your personal retreat.
  • What is the meal schedule?
    We serve three meals a day Sunday through Friday, with breakfast from 8:15 to 9:15, lunch from 12:30 to 1:30, and dinner from 5 to 6 (except on Fridays, dinner is from 5:30 to 6:30). On Saturdays, we serve brunch from 10 to 11, and dinner 5 to 6, plus a snack in between.
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    For Personal Retreat or Program reservation cancellations received at least two weeks before your reservation date, you will receive a full refund to your credit card. For cancellations received from two weeks to 48 hours prior to the reservation date, you will be charged a processing fee of $50 and the remainder of your payment will be held as a credit for you to reserve a future Personal Retreat or Program within one year. Credits are not transferable to another person. If you cancel within 48 hours of your reservation date, if you do not show up, or if you leave early you will not receive a refund.
  • How much do I pay upon registration and upon arrival?
    Personal Retreat reservations must be paid in full before your arrival. For Program reservations, typically a $100 deposit is requested online with the remainder of the balance due upon arrival.
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Cabin Interior
  • What housing options are available for personal retreats?
    You can choose a single or double room (with or without private bath). You may also choose a single or double cabin, or have the option to camp in your own tent or vehicle or in a center tent. Please note, if you choose a double room or cabin, and you are coming alone, you may have a roommate assigned to share your room with you. Please see information regarding lodging and accommodations here.
  • Can I be guaranteed a private room with bath?
    We only have about 10 rooms with bath on the property, and those are typically the first rooms reserved. If you register early enough for a program or personal retreat, you may get a room with private bath.
  • What are the shared bathrooms like?
    Shared bathrooms are just down the hall from the hotel type rooms, and are very private. In each bathroom, there are several separate toilet rooms, and shower rooms with sinks.
  • What is the difference between a cabin and a room?
    Cabins are located in a lovely oak grove and have electricity and heat, but no indoor plumbing. A separate bathhouse with flush toilets and private shower rooms is nearby. The cabins are a 10-minute walk from most meeting spaces and community buildings. If this sounds too rustic for you, please consider asking for a room. Rooms are in hotel style buildings (no phones or TVs in rooms, however). Some rooms include a private bathroom with shower. Others have access to shared bathrooms and showers just down the hall.
  • What do you do about snorers?
    If you are a snorer, please request a single room or cabin (subject to availability). If you are worried about someone in your room who might snore, we suggest wearing earplugs provided. No changes can be made in the middle of the night.
  • Do you provide laundry facilities?
    We do not provide on-site laundry facilities, due to scarce water resources. There is a commercial laundry service with pick-up on Thursdays with delivery of clean clothes on Saturdays.
  • Can I volunteer to reduce my cost?
    It is possible, if you let us know upon registering, and we have enough advance notice for scheduling to happen.
  • Whom do I contact if I need more information?
    408-846-4090 or email
What should I bring?
  • Flashlight
  • Alarm clock
  • Travel mug for tea or coffee
  • Your own yoga mat and/or meditation cushion (though we provide these for guests and in all yoga classes)
  • Bathing suit for pond
  • Journal
  • A good book
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sun hat
  • Camera
  • Layered clothing (the weather varies quite a bit here on the mountain!)
  • Hairdryer (please be mindful of quiet times and neighbors if bringing)
What should I leave behind?
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body gel (all unscented) are provided.
  • We do not allow food of any kind. For a small day use fee, there is a picnic area available at Mount Madonna County Park.
  • Please refrain from wearing fragrances and scented products so that all may enjoy their stay.
  • Please do not bring pets of any kind, including pets in your vehicle.
  • Alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Candles, incense, or any fire hazards/flames. Smoking is in designated areas only.