The Isle of Lewis is a fantastic place to retreat from “modern life” whether for a nature retreat, contemplative personal retreat, or group retreat. Ness, being the northernmost part of the island, is even more idyllic. It is quiet and peaceful here, (the windiest spot in Britain!) with picturesque beaches, wildlife, and wide open spaces to expand your vision, creativity, and imagination.
We are happy to host holistic, meditative, silent, and other contemplative retreats, as well as residential group workshops. We respect all beliefs and cultures, and strive for a cheery and tranquil atmosphere in our home. As such, we are not suitable for loud or rowdy gatherings or parties.
For group retreats of up to 15 people, please email us directly to inquire about dates and availability. We have a 2 night minimum and we do not accept pets, motorhomes, campervans, or smoking anywhere on the property. The bedrooms are NOT all en suite (some share a hall bathroom), so please review the room configurations listed below.
For solo retreats, we offer meal options that are slightly different from our standard policies, so please email us directly to discuss your options.
All retreats at The Decca are tailored to the group and group purpose. Please review the following information and email us directly to enquire about hosting your event here. Because retreats are a completely tailored package, prices can only be given after we talk with you about your group’s requirements. We will be happy to help make your vision a reality.
Ariana has been attending holistic, mind-body-spirit, and contemplative retreats for over 20 years, around the world. Her experiences in Bali, Mexico, the UK, and many locations in the USA have given her strong opinions on what makes a retreat space special, most importantly that the space should be sacred (meaning: purposeful and cared for with love), comfortable, and supportive of the overall retreat goals.
While this is not a luxury retreat centre where everyone has a private en suite bedroom, sharing space in community can be a lovely experience at The Decca. The intimate surroundings foster connection while the peaceful natural settings enhance introspection. Rather than keeping participants separate, groups at The Decca can feel more like family. (If that makes us a bit “hippie granola” — to use an American term — we’re okay with that. We did previously live in Asheville, NC….)
Our indoor meeting space is a large L-shaped room in the centre building. It is located just inside the main front door of The Decca, which gets lovely morning sun in the summers.
There is a large comfortable lounge space with sofas (a 3-seater plus a 2-seater), 2 big armchairs, and additional wooden chairs, as needed. For more comfort, arm chairs can be brought in from the cottage lounge and bedrooms, as needed. These are ideal for participants sitting in an oval or U-shaped configuration. The two exterior doors to the main Decca building are connected to the large L-shaped meeting space, but the meeting space can be closed off from our personal living space so you won’t be disturbed by us using those doors.
The other extension of the L-shaped space is the music room with an antique upright piano. Since they are open, these spaces can be adjusted (within reason) based on the retreat purpose and design.
For completely private meeting spaces, the lounges in both cottages are excellent for smaller break-out groups, since they are not connected to the front door of the main building.
Each cottage also has its own designated outdoor space to the front of the property. For retreats with an outdoor component, The Decca’s large back garden is a lovely place for participants to sit on the grass and connect with the land. It is peaceful and quiet for outdoor group work — though the surf at Eoropie beach can be surprisingly loud on rough sea days! The back garden is our personal outdoor space, but can be used for retreat purposes when arranged in advance.
If the retreat is one that requires additional floor space (e.g. for group yoga classes), Sporsnis (click link for more info), is 0.2 miles away from us and an easy (flat) walk. Besides its fitness centre and large gymnasium, it has a sauna and two 10-pin bowling lanes that can be reserved in advance for group fun. On the other side of us (0.2 miles in the opposite direction from Sporsnis), is the Ness Football Club which serves drinks in the evenings.
Meals options depend primarily on your group budget. All meals are prepared using fresh, local, and organic ingredients (when possible) and are served family style. This means we offer one meal for everyone as opposed to offering multiple choices like you would have in a restaurant.
We have a dedicatedgluten-free kitchen, and we can usually accommodate other dietary restrictions and food allergies with advance notice.
Breakfast can either be: (1) self-service with groceries provided in each of the cottage kitchens, or (2) a prepared hot breakfast to be served at a specified time.
Lunch can either be: (1) self-service with groceries provided in each of the cottage kitchens, (2) a prepared hot lunch to be served at a specified time, or (3) packed lunches in eco-friendly containers for days the group is going farther afield.
Evening meals may be two or three courses (main + dessert or appetiser + main + dessert) and are prepared and served at an arranged time. If you’d like to take your group group for a night out at one of our local restaurants, we can also help coordinate that. We do not serve alcohol at The Decca, but participants are welcome to bring their own alcohol and consume that in the cottages, or visit the Ness Social Club (which serves alcohol) 0.2 miles away.
Sleeping / Bedrooms
We recommend you rent both cottages to ensure your group is the only group staying during your time here.
Both cottages have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (1 en-suite + 1 shared hall bathroom), a lounge/ diner, and a full kitchen. Fianais cottage sleeps 8 people (4 single beds, 1 king bed, plus 1 double bed) and Muirneag cottage sleeps 7 people (3 single beds, 1 Euroking bed, and 1 double bed).
For more detailed information on the cottages, please visit this page.
Muirneag Room Configuration
(3 bedrooms/ 2 baths, sleeps 7 as is; 8 with rollaway bed in Br#2)
Bedroom #1: Double bed with en suite shower room (sleeps 2)
Bathroom #2: Rainfall shower over bathtub, shared by both upstairs bedrooms (#2/3)
Upstairs (1st Floor)
(Both bedrooms & 2/3 share bathroom #2 on ground floor)
Bedroom #2: Euroking bed and desk (single rollaway bed available, sleeps 2 or 3 with rollaway mattress)
Bedroom #3: Triple room (sleeps 3, three single beds)
Fianais Room Configuration
(3 bedrooms/ 2 baths, sleeps 8)
Bedroom #1: King bed (sleeps 2, shares hall bathroom#1)
Bathroom #1: Shower room shared by bedrooms (#1/3)
Upstairs (1st Floor)
Bedroom #2: King bed + Single bed with en suite shower room (sleeps 3)
Bedroom #3: Triple room (sleeps 3, three single beds; shares hall bathroom #1 on main floor)
Please note: bed size names are not uniform from country to country. Bed sizes above refer to UK sizes.
Both Fianais and Muirneag have 3 steps to their front entrance. Two bedrooms require climbing a split flight of stairs to reach them.
There is a ramp to the front door in the main Decca Station (the middle section between the cottages). There is one disabled shower room in the main Decca building that could potentially be used if a group was renting both cottages plus the retreat space. This shower requires a small step over the base of the shower stall to enter. Please contact us to discuss this option.
Images of the Meeting Space at The Decca