We usually write about the yoga teachers and yoga students who organize and attend yoga retreats. Today, we’re going to bring you another perspective – from a yoga retreat center.
Xinalani Retreat Center, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is possibly the perfect place to get away from it all on a yoga retreat. Carolina, the coordinator at Xinalani, was gracious enough to chat with us about what makes the perfect yoga retreat, and how yoga teachers can help retreat centers to have the best possible experience.
Organizing a Retreat From the Point of View of a Yoga Retreat Center
What makes for the perfect retreat center location?
A yoga retreat center that’s away from everything, private and secluded. Xinalani is located on a private beach, only accessible by boat. The transfer by boat to the retreat center is amazing because we offer transportation from the pier and you’re able to see the Sierra Madre in the distance.
Dolphins follow the boat. Stingrays like to jump. If it’s whale season you can even spot some whales. The only thing you will find on the island is Xinalani and a little town that has 200 people living there, or less.
A yoga retreat center should be really private and surrounded by nature. At Xinalani, you get both the jungle and the beach, and every room has an ocean view. The yoga studios themselves are also important. We have two open air studios and one hot yoga studio. The food you eat on a yoga retreat can really make or break your experience.
At Xinalani, we serve a semi-vegetarian diet, consisting of fish, chicken, veggies and fruit. We don’t serve red meat because the concept of our yoga retreat center is taking care of health. We try to do that with the menu as well.
If you have an allergy or food restriction, the kitchen will take care of that. Our rates include breakfast, lunch and dinner, because when you’re so secluded your only option is to eat at the resort.
What makes a retreat center an eco-resort?
We use organic products for the kitchen. Our bedrooms have organic shampoo and conditioner. We recycle plastics and compost leftover food for the plants.
How can Yoga Retreat Leaders make their retreat as eco-friendly as the resort?
Everything at the resort is already eco-friendly, so you just have to maintain that and ask that your participants do as well. When the retreat goers arrive, we give out recyclable water bottles. We have water fill up stations, so they don’t have to use a new water bottle every time.
What’s the most important aspect in organizing retreats from the retreat centers point of view?
Communication. We like to sometimes take a look at the yoga retreat leader‘s guest list and see how they’re doing getting the word out. We can sometimes give tips on getting more people to sign up. We want our retreat leaders to notify us of any special accommodations we have to make for a retreat goer, such as a food allergy.
Then we can get in contact with that group member so they can tell us more about it. We also like to know which kind of yoga they will offer, to see which yoga studio we should book for them.
How do you find yoga teachers for the retreats that take place at Xinalani, or do they find you?
We do both. Yoga retreat leaders usually find us through our website. They search on the internet for ‘yoga retreat center’ and we pop up. We are constantly looking for new retreat leaders.
At the same time, when someone is dedicated full time to doing yoga retreats, they are looking for different locations. We are always trying to make sure our yoga retreat leaders are satisfied, because if they come once, it doesn’t guarantee they will come next year.
What does Xinalani do to ensure retreat leaders come back year after year?
We offer a personalized service and we try to make the retreat perfect. We consider their special needs and take their feedback into account. Our space is amazing, it has all the necessary things for a good retreat. Good healthy food, location, good service.
What are the kinds of things retreat leaders can do to make things as smooth as possible for the retreat center?
When someone organizes a retreat with us it’s because they know that we are a good fit for them. We also talk with them over the phone before they come to see if it’s a good place for them to bring a group.
Retreat leaders often come by themselves to see how it is before they get here, a few days before or a few months before. They see the facilities, studios, rooms, and try the food.
We appreciate retreat leaders who are organized with their group members, getting their initial deposit and payment on time. They complete the guest list and let us know food restrictions, flight info, and how many people will be in what size room.
Make sure that your group retreat goers know everything about the yoga retreat center. For instance, our hotel is built in a vertical configuration, and you must get there by boat.
Let guests know in case they have restrictions or an injury, etc. Communication and making sure that everything is clear before they get there is of vital importance to us.
Thank you, Carolina and Xinalani Retreat, for chatting with us about planning a yoga retreat from the retreat center’s point of view!
If you’re a yoga retreat organizer, did you learn anything new about how you can make the job of the yoga retreat center easier? WeTravel makes planning a yoga retreat easy, and the yoga retreat center will be happy that you have all the necessary information in one place.