Someone recently asked if anyone is using AirBnB for their retreats in our Facebook community group and the post got a lot of responses and one in particular surprised me. The poster wrote that she’s using an AirBnB for her retreat, but recommended to never tell the owner that it’s for a retreat (which many owners don’t like to work with)!
In my experience, this is probably the worst approach you can take as it is totally dishonest and very risky. If the owner of a private property does not clearly know what your purpose is, you are at risk of loosing the property at anytime, even on the day of your retreat or a couple of days prior to your arrival. Most properties on AirBnB clearly state that gatherings, groups and of course parties are not allowed. This is often because they only carry insurance for private users – not for group business events.
If this is you – it would be better to consider using a private villa for your retreat. But there are a few things you need to be aware of before you decide whether a vacation rental or a hotel, resort or retreat center are the best option for your group.
Holding your retreat in a private villa usually requires a higher deposit and therefore more risk in case you don’t fill your retreat. So I would not recommend this for your first retreat if your business is new and think there’s a chance that your retreat might not fill. And if you’re planning to eat most meals on site, you’ll have to arrange a caterer or if the group is small enough, have food brought in and have your own chef deal with it.
Nowadays, it’s quite easy to research reviews for hotels and resorts, however vacation rentals can be a little trickier and because of standards of different properties can be much more inconsistent. For example, some countries don’t require for property owners who rent on platforms like AirBnB to hold a license, this gives the owners a lot of freedom and little accountability.
One way to alleviate this challenge is by using a trusted vacation rental provider. We as a travel agency work with a few that we trust that only offer the best properties and stand behind their product should there be any problems. This is critical! Imagine if something went wrong during your retreat, like the water stopped working and you had an owner who decided to take their time in fixing the problem! Your retreat would be ruined.
By choosing a hotel or a resort, if you do your due diligence, at least you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, plus you’ll have a wider choice of added amenities because they’re catering to so many people. This convenience can make your retreat much easier to pull together.
On the other hand, small private properties can be perfect if you’re having a mastermind retreat where you already know how many people are attending and you don’t need to market it to fill it. It’s nice not to have anyone other people on the property interfering with your event.
These are just a few points to consider and once you’ve decided that a villa rental is the right choice for you keep in mind that we can help you find the perfect spot for your retreat.
Please feel free to contact me if you could use some help and we can discuss the different options available. To schedule a consultation call, simply book a time to chat using my calendar link.
Having traveled the world for over 20 years and lived in a wide variety of places (ranging from the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska, to cosmopolitan cities like Frankfurt, London and Vancouver, Canada, which I now call home), Ales understands how important it is to have firsthand experiences of the different destinations, accommodations, and attractions around the world in order to give the highest possible service and best advice to my clients. You can find him at Ales@journeysofthespirit.com