Measures and agreements during COVID-19

Updated: June 24th 2020

Dear customers and guests of Venwoude,

From July 1st we are opening our doors for retreats. We are very excited to welcome you all again!!

This time of Corona requires adjustments of us all, of the teacher/trainer, of the participants and of us as the retreat center. It challenges and invites us from all perspectives to think and create differently. It asks for an investment in time, attention and a possible shift in mindset. The unique and big advantage of Venwoude is her spacious building layout and the vastness of the outdoor space the estate offers. Where needed or desired, we can enrich the outdoor space with outdoor possibilities.

Venwoude Retreat Center wants to contribute to the development of consciousness and for us (physical) contact is an important value. It deeply touches our hearts that we have to organize accordingly to the 1.5 metres distance rules. We, however, also know that a sense of security is the most important condition for spiritual and personal development. We believe that even with the Corona measures, we can facilitate beautiful and valuable retreats and trainings, by working towards new forms and interpretations in connection with our customers.

Below we will inform you about our taken measures and what this special time requires of our collaboration. We ask you to read this information with the realization that feeling safe is an individual experience. Our approach as a center is that we want everyone to feel safe. Please keep this in mind while experiencing the measures and adjustments we have made.

Our wish is to carry the required changes together and to look for possibilities with each other. We would be happy to discuss this with you. Our intention is to contact all of our customers by phone as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out yourself if you have any questions, wishes or considerations.

We are all set for this adventure and we hope to welcome you (back) soon on our estate!

Warmhearted wishes,

Team Venwoude


Our main principles

  • In order to offer safety within the 1.5 metres society we have made adjustments and have established protocols for our Retreat Center. We do this based on the guidelines of the government and the RIVM (National Institute for Health and Environment).
  • We see safety as a shared responsibility, which we want to discuss with each other (before, during and after the retreat).
  • Our aim is to offer optimal safety to our guests and employees as a way to unburden them.
  • We take the 1.5 metres rule into consideration and pay extra attention to hygiene.
  • All guests on our estate should follow the guidelines that are conducted to protect that same group of guests. When necessary we will remind people of this. At the same time we invite the guests to do the same.
  • We request guests and employees to stay at home in case of any complaints at all times (fever, couching, colds or shortness of breath, also when housemates experience this).
  • Much of the work done at Venwoude comes with the great risk of contamination. Therefore we ask all customers to follow the protocols in order to ensure the safety of the participants.

What does this ask of our collaboration

  • To be able to offer the measures and safety we will, more than usually, ask for coordination and punctuality for the arrival, break and meal timing.
  • Possible adjustments to the design and execution of the Retreat Program such as longer periods of time for certain parts of the program (the length of breaks for instance).
  • In some situations, a behavioral adjustment within the halls is needed to make the capacity or work form possible.
  • Shared responsibility to keep to what has been agreed on during the retreats.
  • Shared responsibility to remind each other of the 1.5 metres rules.

What does Corona mean for the retreats

  • Retreats with touching and intimacy can only be held with (temporary) couples.
  • Bodywork that possibly causes sweating and intense breathing can only be facilitated outside for the time being. If you want to offer this kind of work please inform us, so we can find a solution together. 

Communication in general

  • Before the retreat we will go through the program thoroughly together, so we can decide what is and isn’t possible in the new form.
  • Specific agreements with instructions to the trainer/teacher to guarantee the safety of the group.
  • Sharing the 1.5 metres protocol via mail to trainers/teachers and participants, including the conditions for being allowed to visit the center.
  • Notifications of our guidelines on the important spots of our center such as group spaces, sanitary, reception, dining hall and bedrooms.
  • At places with a risk of queuing (buffet, exits) we will clearly indicate the 1.5m guidelines with frames on the ground with the aim to support and remind everyone of the appropriate distance.
  • The welcome speech of our hostess will focus extra on the situation and the measures of precaution.

General adjustments for the 1.5 metres distance

  • In order to regulate the logistics on the estate and within the buildings, we have stated clear signposts and walking routes.
  • We will still organize the reception, the coffee/tea and other consumptions from within the Pyramid. We ask our guests to relax outside, in the garden or forest, or in the group spaces. We will set up tents on the lawn between the Pyramid and Villa so that it’s possible to relax in a dry and wind-free environment.
  • In order to guarantee the flow and safety upon arrival, we ask people to arrive 30 minutes at the latest before the start of the retreat. When one large group or multiple groups are arriving at the same time, the reception will be held on different locations and/or different time slots.
  • The possibilities of the group space capacity changes due to the 1.5 metres distance. We have made a distinction between a layout where the walking routes are safe at all times (the optimal safety capacity) and a layout where participants have to follow behavioural guidelines in order to guarantee safety (the maximum capacity). We can look at both layouts together to see which one fits best to your retreat. We have elaborated on the capacity  possibilities for all group spaces in a pdf including designs and photos. You will find them on our website.
  • The kitchen/dining hall: the dining hall is designed for 30 people to eat at the same time with sufficient space between the guests. For bigger groups there is a possibility to arrange extra space on our terrace and when needed with tents. When there are multiple groups, we will offer meals in shifts. In order to guarantee optimal hygiene, a staff member will serve the food from the buffet.

General hygiene measures

  • Frequent cleaning of surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, tabs etc.
  • Extra sanitary cleaning shifts.
  • Personalizing the drinking gear; people are requested to bring their own cups.
  • Personalizing the material within the group spaces; during the retreat everyone will use the same materials of the location (matrasses, yoga pillows and yoga mats) or they will bring this from home.
  • The availability of disinfectant agents/gloves on multiple shared areas.
  • Sleeping in the halls is not safe and therefore not possible any longer.