About us

M&J1Life, what’s that all about then? Well, modern pressures, work and family all add to the stress.  Sometimes, we need to recognise the importance of taking a break – to recharge the batteries! So, we would like to invite you to join us in a restful, relaxing setting in La Hoya, near the city of Elche in sunny SE Spain. We welcome people to El Palmeral whoever you are, single/with a partner, academic/practical, man/woman,  introvert/extrovert, spiritual/secular - the only pre-qualifier is that our retreat programmes are for the over-25's. El Palmeral  is the perfect 'get away from it all' venue, the first reason we chose it is because WE LIKE IT.  We've been in Spain since 2011, and we recognise that although many Brits may come out here to re-create UK life in the sun, we don't see it like that.  We wanted to give ourselves the time to learn the Spanish language, understand the local culture, and know enough about the area to make your time here the best it can possibly be. We've often taken 'retreats', and been amazed how helpful it can be to see issues in our lives 'from a distance', with a bit of help in processing the 'tricky stuff'.  So our mission is to provide the environment for you to do the same, with accommodation that is aiming more towards a boutique hotel than a youth hostel! We are developing individual retreats with themes,  however guests are also welcome to come for rest and relaxation without participating in ‘programmes. Regular dates offered will be just time to 'be' - open to all who enjoy a getaway with good weather, restful gardens, local Spanish cuisine and vineyards, a pool and a bar! 'El Palmeral' is literally 'The Palm Grove', so we see Palm Grove Community as our developing connected network of guests and friends, local and international who find a place 'in the family' here, either as a one-off, or as regular visitors.  We do focus on a ‘rhythm’ of quiet morning and evening prayer and reflection, drawing on simple ancient practice.  That's part of who we are and you are welcome to join us if you would like to share in the experience of that, but that is entirely up to you. The key thing here is to be yourself, with others who will respect you and try to do the same, even though sometimes it doesn't seem that straightforward. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting– over and over announcing your place in the family of things. (Mary Oliver) We would be delighted to welcome you to our little oasis in the sun! Mike & Julie Jowett