Holistic Hosting at Playa Viva
Editor’s note: Anjuli Mahendra manager of our Holistic Hositng program discusses the development of this unique role and how hosts the guests and community at Playa Viva.
As a teacher and therapist, I’ve had the vision for many years of developing a holistic retreat center focused on regenerative living. So as I read through the details of an online job posting sent to me by my dear friend, I immediately had the feeling it was the right fit for my partner and me.
heart-centered, thoughtful, flexible, strong, confident… hosts support both the guests and the staff to have the best experience possible.
Alok and I applied on the spot, becoming the first couple to take on the role of holistic hosting for Playa Viva. As a world traveler, I’ve experienced many versions of hotels, retreat centers, eco-communities, and ashrams, both before and after coming to Playa Viva, and I can say that the holistic hosting position at Playa Viva is quite unique.
We spend a significant time together with the guests, and we find we often develop meaningful relationships that will last long after your stay at Playa Viva. How does that happen? As hosts we actually live on-site, so we are there to support you with any questions that arise during your stay and offer personal guidance to help you get the most out of your stay. We offer daily morning yoga classes 6 days a week, along with specialized bodywork and massage sessions. Another key feature is the community dining experience ~ a beautiful spread of food is served family style and all the guests mix together for meals including the host(s). This environment is an opportunity to develop a very organic relationship with our guests, and to encourage and help you to connect with the activities, projects, and experiences that speak to you, both on-site as well as further out into the local town and surrounding areas.
We’ve witnessed the growth and evolution of Playa Viva over the last six years and with that our holistic hosting role has expanded and evolved as well. I’ve become the manager of Playa Viva’s holistic hosting team and assistant on retreat outreach. I’ve had the privilege of putting together a dedicated and high-caliber hosting team at Playa Viva from around the world. I start off by looking for well-versed, highly experienced teachers and therapists that have worked with a variety of populations.
As hosts we actually live on-site, so we are there to support you with any questions that arise during your stay
The next crucial step is tuning into their social skills and desire to be immersed in community-style living. Of course, it goes without saying that the hosts themselves should be value-aligned with Playa Viva’s social and environmental mission. Overall, I look for heart-centered, thoughtful, flexible, strong, confident, and well-spoken hosts that will support both the guests and the staff to have the best experience possible.
It’s been a pleasure to work on both the front and back-end of Playa Viva and I look forward to our continued collaboration. Alok and I are already itching to come back! 😉