Our purpose here at RetreatPlace is to promote life-changing vacations. To do that we feel like it’s our duty to support teachers that lead retreats to the best of our ability. So with that in mind we are actively building a system that allows teachers to shop for, and compare retreat venues to take their groups to. Doing this successfully will allow them to find the perfect match, and thus save them time and advance their business.
Are you a teacher that could use some time savings and business ‘advancement’?
So we sent out a survey to teachers that have listed a retreat with us, asking about their experiences and preferences with retreat venues. We were overwhelmed with the response, and received tons of feedback. It seems that venues can be a touchy subject! There were lots of opinions.
So here we summarize the responses to one of our survey questions: What are the top questions you ask a retreat venue you’re interested in leading a retreat at?
In a separate post we’ll provide some guidance on how exactly to go about finding your perfect retreat venue. Hopefully these articles will help teachers in the future as a comprehensive reference for how to go about seeking a venue, and what to ask them.
Top 5 questions teachers ask venues
You might notice that ‘Location’ isn’t on the list below. Remember, this is when a teacher is already talking to a venue, so the location is already known.
#1 Meeting Space? (for ex: yoga room)
This after all is where you’ll ‘do’ the meat of your retreat right? This is especially important for yoga retreats where the yoga space’s ambiance sets the mood and tone of the session. This would also be important for any retreat where you gather in one spot. Variations on this questions included:
- Can you provide more pictures of the space?
- Is there more than one space (for meeting or yoga practice)?
- Are there both outdoor and indoor spaces available?
- Approximately how many people can the space hold?
- (if it’s tropical) is there some kind of protection from mosquitoes such as netting?
- What’s the space’s capacity?
Food is a very close second, and for a good reason. Retreat attendees tend to have certain expectations as far as food goes. Teachers had a lot of questions that centered that subject. Here are the main variations of questions regarding the ‘menu’ at the retreat.
- Is there an option to bring a chef onsite?
- Is there a restaurant?
- Can you send me your restaurant’s typical menu?
- Can you accommodate special dietary restrictions (for example, gluten-free or lactose intolerance)?
- Can you provide vegetarian and/or vegan options?
- Is there a bar on site?
#3 Accommodations & Capacity?
After food, sleep is one of the most important essentials to humans. And the right atmosphere for that sleep is crucial to a good night. Here are some of the variations on questions teachers had about accommodations:
- How many people can your venue accommodate for a retreat, including a teacher?
- How many people can the meeting (or yoga) space accommodate?
- How many types of rooms do you have (for example: doubles, singles, suites, dorms)?
- And how many of each type of room?
- Can you send pictures of each room type?
- Is there private (in-suite) bathrooms or shared bathrooms?
This was the fourth most asked question from our teachers, but I suspect it tops everyone’s minds when it comes down to it. We won’t prioritize five-star accommodations if it blows the budget, right? Here are some variations on questions concerning pricing:
- What is the price per person for accommodation?
- Do you charge by the person or by the room?
- What are your best group rates or special packages for group retreats?
- Do you provide complementary room and board for teachers?
- Is food included, if not what is the price per person for full board (3 meals/day)?
- What are prices of any extras such as equipment (bike, kayak) rental, spa or sauna use?
#5 Privacy and General Atmosphere?
These questions were generally about the atmosphere of both the venue and of the meeting (or yoga) space. After all, you wouldn’t want to lead a silent retreat in a loud urban setting. Here are some of the question variations:
- What kind of privacy is there in the meeting (or yoga) space?
- What kind of exclusivity is there for my group?
- Are we the only ones at the venue or are there other individual travelers or groups present?
- Is there noise from roads, bars, generators, or restaurants nearby?
- Is there space where guests can ‘get away’ such as on-site or near-by hiking trails or a beach?
Bonus additional questions from teachers
Here are the remaining questions, in rough order of importance, that teachers told us they ask retreat venues.
Let us know if we missed any questions! Comment below!