The Art of Living Retreat Center
There is a rhythm unique unto the universe, an unseen pulse of sustenance and oneness that can be sensed in all living things. When we are in sync with this rhythm, life’s greatest values are effortlessly expressed through us.
Over and over, our guests, teachers, and faculty have shared that such a sacred, pure, and powerful pulse intrinsically resonates throughout the pristine grounds and calming facilities of our center. Each year, thousands of people visit us for this very reason and leave happier, healthier, lighter, and renewed.
Our dedicated event team works hard to provide personalized support—customizing our services, venues, and accommodations to the needs of your group’s unique goals and journey.
- We serve 15,000 guests and 300 workshops, meetings, and conferences annually.
- 36 buildings, 37,000 square feet of meeting spaces
- Two hours’ drive from Charlotte
Connection, Empowerment, Tranquility
Set amidst 380+ breathtaking acres of pristine forest high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina, the Art of Living Retreat Center is a renowned sanctuary of peace that eases the mind and inspires the soul.
Our tranquil grounds and energizing facilities have accommodated countless transformational events that span multiple days and weeks for groups ranging in size from 15 to 2,000. Our warm and inviting on-campus housing accommodates up to 1,000 guests.
Each year, our beautiful center serves as a life-changing place of convergence for numerous programs, workshops, conferences, and retreats.
Who comes here?
Teachers, thought leaders, authors, professional associations, musicians, corporations, trainers, private groups, and families from all over the world trust us to hold a transformative space for their programs, trainings, and retreats.
Whether you are meeting in one of our halls, exploring our beautiful grounds, de-stressing in our spa, or observing the breathtaking landscape from our terrace, the natural harmony, tranquility, and connection found only at the Art of Living will make your event a unique and unforgettable one.
Venue Meeting Spaces
We have a variety of venue spaces that are appropriate for all sizes of groups. Our center’s unique and versatile spaces are equipped to accommodate all of your needs. Whether you’re teaching an intimate workshop of 15, holding a meeting for 100, leading a retreat for 500, or hosting a conference for 2000, your guests never have to leave our self-contained campus.
The Main Hall
INNER & OUTER HARMONY
Size: 17,500 square feet
- Seated Event 2,000
- Meditation Workshop 933
- Yoga Retreat 667
Ideal for large groups and events, the main hall features stunning natural light and a spacious grand room. A granite stone foyer leads to a natural wood interior and striking multi-tiered skylight that gives the venue a surprising coziness. The event space also has a performance stage with professional lighting and an advanced audio-visual system.
HILLTOP RETREAT SPACES
Size: 2,800 square feet
Capacity (per space):
- Seated Event 279
- Meditation Workshop 167
- Yoga Retreat 119
Each of these four special venues features spacious, open floor plans, plenty of natural light, and freely flowing air through the tall windows surrounding each hall. These hilltop event spaces are situated next to each other near the mountain top, making them ideal for groups requiring adjacent retreat spaces and/or break-out rooms. Three halls are carpeted, while one has hardwood flooring, which works well for yoga and performance groups.
IMMERSE IN NATURE
Size: 5,000 square feet
- Seated Event 315
- Meditation Workshop 167
- Yoga Retreat 135
Special features of this spacious hall include two small break-out rooms, atmospheric multi-tier lighting, and a spectacular wood-worked open ceiling. Located on a hillside, even farther from the hustle and bustle of modern life than the rest of the center, Shakti Hall is an ideal place for a quiet retreat or meeting. The only sounds to break the silence are the rustle of leaves in the wind and the quiet songs of the local mountain birds.
Serenity and relaxation await guests in our warm and inviting on-campus housing, which accommodates up to 1,100. Guests can choose a private or shared space and personalize their stay with a room type that meets their needs. All of our comfortable rooms are equipped with en-suite bathrooms. Options are below.
Dining at the Center
Drawing on influences from the local harvest in Boone to Bombay and even the Caribbean, our chefs aim to please the palate with vegetarian nourishment made from fresh, seasonal ingredients designed to energize and nourish all body types.
Meals are served buffet-style. We offer many meat-free and vegan options, however, some portions of our meals do contain dairy. Although we cater to any gluten, dairy, soy, and nut-related allergies and list allergens and ingredients on our menus, we recommend informing your event coordinator of any dietary restrictions you or your guests may have. Specialized vegetarian menus can be developed for groups of 70 or more for evening events.
We grow a variety of our very own fresh and delicious fruits, vegetables, and flowers on site. Our garden is as much a place for nourishment of the soul as it is a place of nourishment for the body. Many staff, volunteers, and journeyers regularly walk the paths.
Amenities & Activities
When you book your event at the Art of Living Retreat Center, your group is invited to participate in our many soul-feeding activities.
Sri Sri Yoga is a holistic and energizing practice, integrating mind, body, and spirit.
Suitable for everyone from beginner to advanced practitioners
Rejuvenate from within! Meditation offers deep rest for mind and body.
Participate in guided meditation, accompanied by time a Q&A period.
11:00 am–12:00 pm daily
The Center is situated on 380 acres of forested mountain.
Two trails meander through the woods here, and several nearby trails offer experienced hikers miles of in-depth exploration. Dawn–Sunset
There's no better way to close the day than a fire circle under the stars!
Come and sing or chat by the warmth of the open fire.
Saturday 8:15–9:30 pm
Community singing with an emphasis on both ancient chant and modern melodies.
Kirtan happens nightly; all guests, staff and volunteers are invited.
7:30–8:15 pm daily
Workout and de-stress in our fitness and steam rooms.
The Fitness Room has free weights and weight machines, stationary bikes, and treadmills.
Our Steam Room is temporarily closed to comply with NC COVID-19 guidelines.
Steam Room: Temporarily Closed
Fitness Room: Open 24/7
Optional Services and Activities
These add-on amenities take the guest experience to the next level for you and your participants.
Explore your creativity. Get hands-on experience in throwing on the wheel, hand-building, and decorating handmade pots.
Clay Hand-building 1 hour; $30
Throwing Wheel 2 hours; $45
- 1 Hour
- $25 Sundays only
Express your creativity through art therapy as you connect your emotions to the art of watercolor painting.
Ayurveda Cooking Class
Learn how to best nourish your specific body type and thrive in every season.
- 1 Hour
- $35* Thursday & Saturday only
*No charge for Wellness Escape or R&R participants.
During your visit, we invite you to immerse in the quiet peace of the Blue Ridge Mountains and connect with yourself.
4:00 pm Check-in begins; Rooms are ready by 4:00 pm, but if you arrive early we’ll gladly hold your luggage at Reception.
6:00–7:00 pm Dinner
7:00–7:20 pm Mandatory Guest Orientation Session
Apart from the activities in your program schedule, we offer the following optional complimentary activities. (Please join only if your program schedule permits.)
9:45–10:45 am Yoga | Sattva Studio | Thu–Sun
11:00 am–12:00 pm Mind & Meditation | Sattva Studio | Thu–Sun
1:30–2:15 pm Guided Hike | Assemble at Shankara Reception | Sat
2:30–3:45 pm Ayurveda Cooking Class* | Tulsi Kitchen | Thu: Sweet Treats • Sat: Chef’s Seasonal Recipe
4:15–5:15 pm Yoga | Sattva Studio | Wed–Sat
5:30–6:00 pm Guided Meditation | Sattva Studio | Wed–Sat
7:30–8:15 pm Meditative Chants/Kirtan | Sattva Studio | Wed–Sat
Saturday Kirtan is outdoor by the bonfire; weather permitting.
Mealtimes Purna Dining Hall
7:30–9:30 am Breakfast
12:00–1:30 pm Lunch (included on your departure day)
6:00–7:30 pm Dinner
Hours: 9:00 am–6:30 pm daily
We invite you to also make reservations at our award-winning Shankara Ayurveda Wellness prior to arrival in order to ensure availability. Please call 828-264-8382 for details.
Shankara Ayurveda Wellness
The Art of Living Retreat Center is a premier destination for holistic wellness. Shankara Ayurveda Wellness has been rated one of the best by many nationwide publications, including USA Today, The Washington Post, InStyle, Organic Spa, SpaFinder, and more.
While visiting our center, event hosts and attendees can choose from the widest selection of Ayurvedic treatments in the US for whole-body nourishment and renewal.
Whether you’re an Ayurveda aficionado or brand new to the practice, and your soul is calling for detoxification, relaxation, rejuvenation or all of the above, the support and care you will receive at Shankara Ayurveda Wellness is unparalleled.
Browse the treatments below to learn more about Ayurveda’s proven power to bring you and your group into an open, blissful, and restored state. (Prices and availability vary.)
Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation with Ayurvedic Health Counselor
- 60 minutes
Craft an Ayurvedic daily routine based on your health and wellness goals.
Pulse Assessment With Ayurvedic Vaidya
- 30 minutes
Gain expert insights into your health and personal constitution from the perspective of the ancient science of Ayurveda.
Abhyanga: Detoxifying Warm Oil Massage
- 60 minutes
Abhyanga is one of the most popular and recommended therapies in Ayurveda. This Ayurvedic therapy incorporates warm, aromatic oils, rhythmically massaged into your body, which loosen toxins, relax the nervous system, and provide rest, nourishment, and rejuvenation.
Shirodhara: Relaxation Therapy
- 60 minutes
Because of the profound effects it has upon the consciousness, it has often been called “Bliss Therapy.” Shirodhara is a continuous pouring of warm oil in a slow steady stream on the forehead that helps to pacify the subtle aspects of the doshas: nourishing the nervous system, promoting relaxation and tranquility, and improving mental clarity and comprehension.
Royal Treatment: Signature Service
- 60 minutes
The Royal Treatment combines both the detoxifying warm oil massage and the shirodhara relaxation therapy for an ideal experience of rejuvenation. Coupling these two treatments together, the warm oil massage awakens and prepares your body for the restful tranquility that follows with Shirodhara.
Shankara Signature Ayurveda Facial
- 30 / 60 minutes
Through the fusion of Western Science and the ageless wisdom of traditional Ayurveda, Shankara products blend pure formulations to dynamically repair and regenerate the skin. This customized facial treatment nourishes your skin and brings harmony to the doshas, supporting and encouraging your innate beauty.
Udvartana: Herbal Exfoliation Treatment
- 60 minutes
Udvartana is a deeply penetrating lymphatic massage with herbal scrub. This invigorating full body treatment increases circulation, revitalizes the skin, supports overall detoxification and promotes weight loss.
Marma: Replenishing Energy Treatment
- 60 minutes
One of the most restorative treatments for the body and mind, Marma stimulates specific energy points that rejuvenate the vital organs of the body, settle the nervous system, and pacify the Doshas. You may be fully clothed during this treatment, which focuses on energy centers, rather than muscle or tissue.af
Frequently Asked Questions
Revel in the beautiful drive along the scenic winding road carved through the resplendent Blue Ridge Mountains. Welcome! Your journey has begun.
Directions for Printing
2 hours from Charlotte, NC
3 hours from Raleigh-Durham, NC
5 hours away from Atlanta, GA
6 hours from Nashville, TN
6.5 hours from Washington, DC
These airports are within driving distance from the Art of Living Retreat Center:
- Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) in Charlotte, NC (100 miles).
- Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI) in Johnson City, TN (80 miles)
- Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, NC (110 miles)
Shuttles: The Hickory Hop shuttle goes from Charlotte airport to Boone five times daily. The cost is $90 per person. Please mention you are going to the Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone. Reservations are required, so please book ahead by contacting them directly. (828) 327-2340. Please confirm shuttle times coordinate with your travel plans.
Car Rental: Enterprise, Avis, Alamo, Hertz, National and Budget all offer car rentals at Charlotte airport. Please contact the rental company directly for pricing.
Uber: Uber has arrived in Boone. It is often possible to take an Uber from Charlotte airport all the way to the center’s reception. This is a very cost-effective option when traveling with friends or family.
Public Bus: The Mountaineer Express goes from Boone to Charlotte at 9:25am and from Charlotte to Boone at 6pm daily. Please check their schedule for current timings. To reach the Charlotte bus stop, you can take the Cat5 airport express. Once you arrive in Boone, you can take an Uber to the center.
We are a short 15-minute drive to ASU’s campus as well as downtown Boone. Most ski slopes are about 40 minutes away from our property.
We can easily accommodate high-volume parking events and coach buses.
Other Important Details
We provide yoga mats, blocks, straps, back jacks, and blankets at no additional charge.
We have a variety of A/V equipment on site to accommodate any typical presentation. More specialized equipment is available through rental houses in Charlotte.
No, our facility does not house pets. However, we can recommend some nearby kennels to keep your furry friend close.
To encourage a healthy environment, we ask that guests not consume alcohol or meat in our public spaces. However, guests may enjoy these items in their rooms. That being said, our property is always smoke-free.
Yes, we ask that guests with food allergies simply inform us so we can communicate those needs to our chef. Typically, we label potential allergens such as gluten, dairy, and nuts.
No, due to the cool climate of the Blue Ridge mountains we have found that A/C is not needed. All rooms are equipped with ceiling and box fans, just in case.
Yes, we are a family friendly property. We offer rooms that can comfortably accommodate families, as well as family fun activities on-site such as hiking trails, pottery classes (additional cost), and even a children’s playground. Children must be supervised by an adult or guardian at all times.
Discover deep rest and rejuvenation in a pristine natural setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Set amidst 380 acres of pristine forest high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a tranquil sanctuary.