To delve a little deeper into the world of running your own retreat at Cabilla, we asked Lucy our lovely General Manager a few key questions. From including all of those little personalised details to deciding on a balanced flow and structure for your experience, Lucy gives us an overview of how to plan the perfect retreat.

‘Think about how you would like your guests to feel, thinking of every sense and what feeling they will take home with them is so important.’

Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your role at Cabilla.

Hi! I’m Lucy and my role at Cabilla is the General Manager. Which covers a lot of the day to day running of the site, looking after our team and the client journey from enquiry to seeing their retreats come to life.

What would you say is the best way to start planning a retreat and who will need to be involved in those initial conversations?

We always start with gaining a brief, a conversation with all those facilitating the retreat to tease out the ideas and intentions and getting them down onto paper. Thinking about what you would like the guests to come away having gained from their retreat and how could we facilitate this happening – from the practices, activities and food to creating the right pace in the schedule.

How do I decide on a structure for my retreat? What would you say is the best format and balance to keep everyone happy?

Balance is the key word here – the temptation is to chunk out the schedule, giving guests lots to fill their time. But I have seen the best schedules are those that allow for integration time, moments of stillness and reflection. Cabilla lends itself perfectly for this, those that want to keep active find themselves on walks to dip into the bathing pools, whilst others opt for pampering massages or curling up with a book by the fire. Allowing guests time to choose what they need in the time they have set aside for retreating.

How much involvement will the Cabilla team have pre, during and post retreat in terms of planning and facilitating?

Our team can support as much or as little as the facilitator would appreciate. A Retreat Producer is available to guide you through the planning process from schedule building to recommendations on local suppliers or top tips on getting the best out of our site. Our team of Cabilla Hosts support you and your guests during your retreat. We are there to think of the little things so you don’t have to, freeing you to be as present as your guests.

Can you recommend local practitioners and third party offerings? Can I bring my own preferred suppliers to Cabilla?

We partner with a whole host of specialists and local suppliers that we can recommend to support your retreat. Equally, we welcome you to bring your own support network.

How do I sell my retreat? What is the best way to get noticed?

Starting with who you know, having a clear message of your retreat and an easy way to join! We have some supporting materials on our site you can utilize to give your guests a glimpse of what they can look forward to with a stay at Cabilla.

What should I prepare in advance of the retreat logistically and practically? Is there anything extra I can do to make my guests feel special?

Welcome bags are always an extra special touch – any sort of personalisation and appreciation of each guest really gives a sense of belonging.

Practically, we have some helpful lists you can pass on to your guests to make sure they are fully equipt for their stay.

What is the client process from enquiry to retreat?

Following enquiry, we will have a chat over the phone or perhaps a visit to Cabilla, to look at how your retreat could work. Once dates are agreed, we draw up the paperwork for a 25% deposit to secure your stay. We would then introduce you to your Retreat Producer to start putting shape around your vision and bring together any elements with support available right through to your arrival day!

What would you say are the three most important things to remember when running a retreat? 

  1. How you would like your guests to feel – thinking of every sense and what feeling they will take home with them.
  2. Know your schedule and communicate it to all the people involved. It’s important the chef, the practitioners and the venue are all in the loop, it helps all the elements flow together. A final schedule run through on arrival day helps a lot!
  3. Plan in managing your own energy, looking after your guests’ retreat journey can be so rewarding but also depleting, giving so much support as a facilitator. What are the moments you can take to fill yourself, lean on our Cabilla hosts to look after the logistics so you can focus on the well-being of the group, and perhaps even stay a little longer to wander the rainforest after the guests have left to decompress. Our goal is for the facilitator to leave feeling like they have also been retreating.

If you are interested in running a retreat at Cabilla Cornwall, please get in touch with our team on [email protected], we would love to hear from you.