Oceanfront Retreat Center

For Groups and Individuals
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Prayerfully Reflect • Creatively Inspire
Serenely Restore • Intentionally Rejuvenate

It Can Be Hard To Find An Accommodating Space

Intentionally immerse yourself in a serene space

Let’s face it, it can be hard to find an ideal retreat location to retreat. Even vacations can become more work than they are worth. The space we surround ourselves in has a huge impact on our ability to find rest and renewal and to create and inspire.

Villa Maria del Mar is a house of hospitality for individuals and groups seeking a beautiful and serene space for prayer, planning, and healing.

Villa Maria Del Mar Features


Overnight Group Retreats


Individual Retreat and Renewal


Meeting Spaces for Day Groups


On-Site Livestreaming


Complete Food Service


Dietary Accomodations

Groups We Serve

villa maria del mar

An Enriching Experience for Individuals and Groups


Non-Profit Organizations


Religious Congregations


Diocesan Groups


Religious Education Groups


Healing Groups


Worship Communities


Individuals Seeking Retreat

Dominican Hospital holds its new staff retreats at Villa Mar del Mar. Surrounded by the great beauty of the ocean we get a break from the hustle and bustle of all our activities. The Sisters are welcoming, warm and provide a hospitable environment. The buildings are clean and well maintained and meals are healthy and delicious. This serene setting provides our staff with the opportunity to relax and focus. We highly recommend Villa Mar del Mar for its restorative setting and the hospitality of the Sisters.


Rita Eileen Dean, OP
Vice President, Dignity Health, Dominican Hospital

I have been facilitating 2-weekend retreats a year at Villa Maria del Mar since 2009.

Our retreats focus on the transformation of spirit, emotions, mind, and body. Transformation can only occur when people feel safe.  Our attendees experience safety and the welcoming embrace of unconditional love and acceptance from the Sisters, staff, guests, spiritual beings, and the land.

We are grateful for all the transformative experiences, and praying this will continue.


Michael Choy
Retreat Coordinator for both Companions on the Journey and Integral Transformative Practice,
Palo Alto, CA

The FUMC Palo Alto women’s retreat has been coming to VMDM for 22 years. The women look at this event as one of the highlights of their year.  This in large part has been made possible by the graciousness of the Sisters and their welcoming spirit.  Their opening always includes, “We’ll be praying for you all weekend”.  What comforting words for the women returning “home”.

The rooms are always immaculate and well provisioned.  The hospitable kitchen staff provides delicious and well-thought-out meals.  The dining room and the lounge area overlooking the water are special.  The outside grounds are well kept and peaceful, just the place where you want to sit and be still.

Ruth Letts

Faculty and staff members at Holy Names University have enjoyed the scenic surroundings and comfortable facilities at Villa Maria del Mar for many years as we gather to deepen our knowledge of the history of the Sisters of the Holy Names and the University, to learn more about one another, and to commit ourselves to our work for the year. The ambiance is conducive to reflection, personal sharing, and fun! As one participant put it:

“So much fun! If anyone had ever told me one of the best Saturday nights I’d have, ever, in Santa Cruz would have been with a group from a Catholic university and nuns…I wouldn’t have believed it. Until it was.” (HNU participant)

Dr. Carol Sellman, snjm
Vice President
Holy Names University

I love everything about beautiful Villa Maria del Mar! We can see and hear the ocean from all the common rooms, and most bedrooms! The wonderful Sisters have created a lovely, safe, warm environment where we are fed spiritually, as we enjoy delicious meals, inspiring and entertaining meetings, and plenty of good fun with old and new friends! So many treasured memories! This is my very favorite retreat house.

Peggy Z 

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