Hosting Focused Retreats and Strategic Gatherings at Villa Koukouvayia

“A place should go beyond shelter. It should excite you, calm you, make you think.” — Architect Zaha Hadid
Combining intimate indoor facilities with outdoor spaces that overlook the Mediterranean Sea, Tyflos Valley, Crete’s southern mountains, and a green embrace of agricultural groves, the campus can platform inspired breakout discussions, multi-media presentations, artistic practice, and social activities that reinforce collaboration, experience and results. WiFi access points serve the entire campus at highest available speeds and bandwidths, allowing modern connectivity to join the estate’s traditional architecture and ambience. Most importantly, the campus accomplishes all this while lodging your group onsite amid informal luxury.
Areas for social activities, small group breakouts, and large-group work include:
Constructed Outdoor Spaces:
  • Over 90m2 of shaded verandas for presentations, yoga & health practice, entertaining, and communal dining.
  • Over 100m2 of open terraces & patios for yoga & health practices, entertaining, performances and social events.
  • A dedicated 77m2 platform for performances, presentations & yoga or health practices set among adjacent olive groves.
  • Two large-scale elevated terraces of 54m2 and 35m2 for performances, entertaining, presentations, health practice, and larger-scale communal dining.
  • Over 55m2 of smaller elevated balcony and roof garden areas for small-group discussions, including a 27m2 roof garden with bar facilities for entertaining.
Natural Outdoor Areas:
  • 90m2 & 325m2 areas with natural presentation slopes, suitable for performances, presentations, fitness and/or celebration activities. (Audience capacities 25 & 90 respectively.)
  • 85m2 & 49m2 areas with level lawns (one with elevated stage) also suitable for performances, presentations, fitness and/or celebration activities. (Audience capacities of 20 & 25. Respectively.)
And throughout your program, the villa has the equipment and opportunities to integrate activities that foster camaraderie and build strategic relationships:
  • Pool & Patio for relaxing among smaller groups, and exercise.
  • A 36m2 multi-purpose game room for personal exercise or social gathering.
  • Equipment for croquet, badminton and other lawn games; interior board games, bicycles, snorkeling, beach & picnic gear, kayaks and even a small racing dinghy for experienced sailors.
  • Additionally, Villa Koukouvayia’s gates open onto a network of safe walking-trails that traverse the olive groves and surrounding hills, and offer opportunities for individuals or small groups to retreat, reflect, and return to the program’s focus recharged.

Occupancy Capacities & Configurations

Program Occupancy Notes:  The villa has 20 permanent beds across 8 private bedrooms. Many of the beds are highly engineered cabinet beds easily deployed or stowed to configure the rooms in multiple ways.

  • Three bedrooms have non-changeable king or queen beds that are available for and generally used by couples or close friends attending a program together.
  • Most programs set a standard of double-occupancy but allow participants to hold a room privately for a supplemental charge. With two bedrooms that can sleep four, and a third bedroom that can sleep three, Villa Koukouvayia also has the capacity to provide discounts to participants rooming with more than a second person, thereby increasing retreat participation, and providing a variety of budget choices for guests.
  • While it is impossible to predict how participants might choose when joining, the table above shows the range of possibilities when lodging a group who are free to make such lodging choices.

Bedrooms & Baths

Eight formal bedrooms provide accommodation levels to match a variety of participant desires & budgets.  All rooms have air-conditioning and full climate control.  Three rooms have king or queen bedding.  Two rooms have multiple chambers.  Two rooms have single or multiple adult engineered & sized single beds.  An additional three rooms have integrated cabinet beds, allowing customized configuration, either as queen-beds hosting couples, single-beds hosting up to four individuals, or bed-free areas for meetings, project-work, or, if the program requires, private health consultation like massage or counselling. Total sleeping capacity with all rooms fully utilized is 20.  Additionally, one semi-private room boasts a large cabinet bed easily deployed to host a staff or chaperone couple, increasing accommodations to 22.  And finally, if staff or participants are allowed to join with children, three rooms can be fitted with extra bedding and host those guests without any loss of participant beds.

Seven bathrooms ensure even busy programs provide participants with comfort and care.  Five baths are dedicated to bedroom areas, with one bath en suite.  Three baths are sited to serve living areas, and three baths (one in each of the Villa’s three lodging residences) have integrated laundries so attendees can easily address clothing needs during longer programs, and so staff can provide bedding and towel services if desired.

Kitchens & Dining Areas

Across the facility are three fully equipped kitchens, one in each of the retreat center’s residential homes.  Two of the kitchens boast the preparation space, pantries, and equipment suitable for communal meal provision, catering, special dietary cuisines, and culinary lessons.  Three outdoor grills service the terrace & pool areas and allow for evening BBQs.  Additionally, all kitchens are open and home-styled, comfortably accessed during off-hours for private beverage & snack prep by individual participants.

Three interior and three exterior dining areas provide seating from 4 to 24 and allow siting meals outdoors in sun or shade, or indoors during Crete’s cooler months.  A fully accessible roof terrace with wet-bar and spectacular views can further extend social, cocktail, and light-dining options during special events or evening hours. 

Living Rooms & Salons

Three living rooms of 20m2, 18m2 & 15m2 comfortably seat 12, 8 & 6 persons respectively. Two have cabinet-hidden media centers, and one has a piano.  These salons can host intimate performances, presentations, discussions and collaborative planning, and during off-hours provide a warm place for ad hoc social interactions and informal participant gatherings, reinforcing the estate’s home-friendly ambience.

Practical Arts, Crafts & Vocational Instruction Studios

A central 39m2 work studio provides over 20m2 of workstation area for up to 20 practitioners, with 3-phase 100-amp service disbursed across workstations via 40+ electrical outlets.  Loading door & ramp to facilitate large-equipment delivery (including vehicles), and/or access to the olive groves & natural light.

Adjacent to the studio there is a fully tooled 27m2 workshop, organized for instructing groups and monitoring participant-executed practical arts & technical projects.

Both the workshop & studio access a fully stocked hardware & parts area and a service washroom for cleanup.

Other Areas, Spaces & Features

Three dedicated office areas are available, two within bedrooms and accessible for participant use.  A third fully private office with networked computer docking, printer, monitor and other peripherals can support facilitation prep and provide efficient communication links with corporate offices or other resources & support organizations during a program’s run.

The previously described 39m2 interior studio is also capable of hosting:

  • Media or oral presentations, and direct instructional sessions for up to 20.
  • Yoga and Fitness practice during inclement weather.
  • Off-task and off-hours social games, or personal exercise for individual-participants.

The retreat center’s recreational gear is extensive.  Bicycles, kayaks, lawn games, interior board games, hiking, snorkeling & beach gear, and a professional table-tennis space all allow either informal or planned off-hours play & extracurricular activities among participants.