Deep in the Carmel Valley lies Tassajara, a Zen buddhist monastery (part of the San Francisco Zen Center) that opens for guests each year from May through Labor Day. Tassajara has always meant a lot to us. Rolling hills, a stone steam bath, natural hot springs and a river that is the heart of the Tassajara center. After spending summers at Tassajara we were inspired to bring that sense of peace and tranquility to the Bay Area, and we opened Watercourse Way in Palo Alto in 1980.
The name Watercourse Way comes from our love of that river in Tassajara, as well as our appreciation for Zen writer Alan Watts. Our hot tub rooms also earned their unique names based on our visits to Tassajara — One Pine for the beautiful trees; Two Stones for the large granite stones along the river bank; Three Trillium for the native wildflowers; Four Water Ouzels for the small birds that live near the river and eat underwater; Five Fish to honor the fish we would swim with in the river; Six Dragonflies for the dragonflies that would hover above the water; Eight Stars for the stars that shone so brightly away from the city lights; and Nine Bats for the bats we would see while walking along the river at dusk.
It was our goal to create a business here in Palo Alto that would reflect the sense of zen and serenity we found in Tassajara. We hope you enjoy your time at Watercourse Way — a respite for the body and spirit.
John-Zhao Roberts & Susan Nightingale