“I came here to disconnect to reconnect.”
18th Aug 2022
That’s what one visitor from London, staying at Rhenass Retreat, told us when we visited. Found in the depths of Cronk-y-Voddy, and tucked away behind grand metal gates, it was easy to see why. Championing all things spiritual, Rhenass Retreat is a Christian Retreat, a place you can focus on your relationship with God, or simply just take time for yourself to relax, reflect and disconnect.
After coming off the main road in Cronk-y-Voddy and making our way down the almost single track lane towards Little London, we were taken aback by the views. Despite being mere minutes from the TT course, and a short drive from Douglas and Peel, the landscape was so breath-taking, and the peace so deafening, it was easy to think we’d driven into another world. We crossed over a tiny bridge, headed right and through the gates to the retreat, where we were met by the retreat doggies, and a sense of total calm.
Rhenass Retreat is run by owners Elaine and Mike. When we arrived Elaine welcomed us into the house, a huge farm-like building, where we went straight into the kitchen. A hive of activity with the dogs, Mike, and a visiting guest, this truly felt like the heart of the home. On the island was a homemade packed lunch, both for people and dogs, who were shortly on their way for a walk around Cronk ny Arrey Laa. Whilst this was being packed into rucksacks, we stopped to have a chat, so inviting was the reception received that we all easily slipped into conversation just two minutes into arriving.
The guest also agreed; she’d only been there for a couple of days but was already feeling the benefits of being surrounded by the Island’s natural beauty. “The peace and quiet here is quite spectacular, and just what I need”. She has a high-stakes job in London, and often looks for similar retreats to reset when she has time off. “I just felt drawn here” she said of the Isle of Man, and it’s easy to see why.
We left her and Mike with the dogs getting ready to hike, and Elaine showed us the rest of the house. We passed from the kitchen to the dining room, where Elaine explained everyone who visits the retreat comes together to eat each night. Everything is included in the cost, so dinner en masse is the norm at Rhenass.
Each stay is tailored to the individual and begins and ends at the airport or the sea terminal. No request is too big or too small, and Elaine and Mike truly give you the best experience possible. Be that from your favourite meal round the dining room table (dietary requirements are fully catered for), or a guided tour of the spectacular nature with the dogs. And this often begins each day in the conservatory, where the map for the day’s exploring was laid out, helping decide the route to take.
The conservatory itself looked out towards the bridge we crossed coming in, and over the expansive gardens. It’s definitely somewhere we could see ourselves relaxing. We continued through to a room for reflection, which had a cool air, and incense burning. It brought an instant state of calm and was possibly our favourite room of the house. We moved on to the living room, which was full of fresh flowers, and enough space for the entire house to relax together, before we headed upstairs to check out the bedrooms.
These (all but one) en-suite bedrooms had enormous, sumptuous beds with thick, crisp bedding, and plenty of storage for all clothes and gear required for a stay of reconnecting with nature. Looking out on to the fabulous grounds, the bedrooms were much like a sanctuary of simplicity, providing the perfect antidote for the bustle of day-to-day life.
Next, was a tour of the magnificent outdoors. We headed back out through the kitchen to a back patio, where there was a table, chairs and parasol, all in a sun-trap, perfect for dining al-fresco, or a BBQ. As we walked around this we were met with a bell tent in the corner of the grounds, tucked slightly out of the sun, which is their worship tent. In here a whole host of activities take place, from art, to transition in the workplace, to drumming. Ideal for both corporate retreats, as well as group activities of people singularly attending the retreat, there is something for everyone. There is even a wood burner for keeping warm during the colder months. We wandered out of the tent, and down deeper into the garden, past a couple of reclining sun beds, a lily pond, and a river, in which there is a plunge pool for jumping in, if you’re brave enough.
As we made our way back to the house, we decided to hop in the car and have a quick ride up to the fields before everyone headed on their hike. All bundled into the 4X4, dogs included, we drove out of the gates, then through a series of others before climbing up what felt like a vertical hill, where we got out of the car and had a wander round the vast space. Potentially the only place in the Island where you can’t see the sea, the full surround of the hills created a pocket of total hush and serenity. The dogs ran free and we revelled in the fresh air. We could’ve stayed for hours, but alas, the hike called and so it was time to clamber back in the car and return back.
Despite only being on site for an hour, we felt calmer than we did on arriving and can fully comprehend why people visit the retreat and the real value it provides for disconnecting to reconnect. Whether you’re an Athol Street-er or a hard-core Londoner, looking for a spiritual connection or a natural one, this is the place to reset. Be it alone, in a couple, or as part of a corporate retreat, Rhenass is one to add to your bucket list.
Are you a business who thinks a retreat might be the perfect away day for your staff? Whether that’s for team building or integrating new people or getting ready for a change, why not visit Rhenass. They have a large corporate offering, and you can use your corporate branded LoveIOM Gift Cards to pay too!