If you are going to trust your holiday to me, you may like to know a little about me.
My name is Felicity, I am the owner of The Tower House, a beautiful villa in Kos.
I studied Travel and Tourism at Durham and have spent 30 years in various aspects of the travel industry.
My love affair with Kos started when I was appointed Resort Manager at a hotel in Kos for a UK Tour Operator. For three consecutive summer seasons, I managed a hotel in Kefalos on the south west coast of the island. Being an all-inclusive resort with sailing, windsurfing, kids clubs, restaurant and bar, it was a busy time. Guests returned regularly and I had great teams of staff to work with. As Manager, I got to know the local suppliers and began to understand and love the Greek language and culture.
My husband, Roger, and I found our own piece of paradise just outside Kefalos – 3.5 acres of land, with fabulous panoramic views over Kamari Bay. We had a vision to provide a place of peace and rest for busy people and from that, The Tower House was designed and became a reality. We spent about 20 months building the property – which is an epic saga in itself! – and after a lot of literal blood, sweat and tears, we took our first guests.
We now live in Sidmouth in Devon, where I am a churchwarden at All Saints Church. I enjoy playing the piano and am trying to learn to sew clothes (but spend most of my time unpicking!) We are blessed to still have a home with a sea view.
Here’s how it all started:
We are often asked by our Guests how and why The Tower House came into being. It is quite an exciting and encouraging story, so we tell it here. We hope you will be encouraged to know that the Lord had YOU in mind when he asked us to build it!!
Unknown to us, God had The Tower House in mind a long time ago. The Vision for it wasn’t revealed to us until October 1999 when I (Fliss) went with my Church on a Weekend Conference on Spiritual Gifts. A questionnaire was completed which resulted in us finding out what gifts the Lord had given us. I had Servanthood, Sympathy and Management. I recognised that I had these gifts and thanked God for blessing me with them, and earnestly prayed that He would show me how he wanted me to use them.
I am not given to having Words of Knowledge or dreams, but the next day the Lord clearly said to me “I want you to build me a Retreat Centre, somewhere where My people can come and be loved, where they will have nothing to worry about or be distracted by and can just “be” with Me.” The vision was quite clear – how many rooms there were to be, the fact that it was not for children, and that money was not to be a problem; God said that His love transcends the need for money so if people needed a break to be with Him, then there will be a fund to supply that need.
I felt like Gideon, saying “What? Me? You really want ME to do this? How? Where will it be? How will I fund it?” God just said “Wait”. I shared with my Pastor’s wife that the Lord had given me a vision, and it was one I knew I had to obey, but I had no idea how it was going to progress from there.
I had managed a Christian Hotel in Kos, Greece for 3 summers. In my 3rd season I met Roger, who was sent out to be my Assistant Manager. At the end of that season I went back to working full time for another company in the UK and Roger became the Hotel Manager in Kos. We kept in touch via e-mail, but were not close enough for me to have shared my vision with him.
However, at the end of October, Roger e-mailed me and said he was feeling led by the Lord to look at buying land in Kefalos. I asked him what for, and he said “to build a Retreat Centre”. This immediately rang bells with me, of course, but I didn’t share further about what the Lord had said to me.
When Roger returned to the UK in November, I suggested that we meet up to discuss the visions for a retreat that the Lord had given us individually. We agreed to write down independently what we believed the Lord had told us, and when we compared what we had written the list was exactly the same – how many rooms, no children, it should be a charity etc.
Roger had also been given a verse from Habakkuk 2, “I will stand in the ramparts of the Tower, and wait for my God, to hear what He has to say to me”. This said exactly what we felt the Lord was asking us to do – to provide somewhere where people can go specifically to have time alone with the Lord. I was completely blown away and we agreed that we should ask someone to pray with us about it.
As Roger and I are from different areas of the UK we didn’t know the same people, so we agreed to take a week to ask the Lord whom he wanted us to ask to pray with us. We both came up with the same name – Steve, someone we had met in Kos 18 months earlier when he had been worship leader for a week at the Hotel we worked in. We asked Steve and his wife to meet us as we had something we would like to discuss with them. A meeting was arranged, and we explained what we believed the Lord had told us.
Steve said that they had been praying that morning about what we would be saying to them, and that God had already told them about the retreat centre, so nothing we had said was a surprise! He said that the Lord is saying “just keep pushing the doors”. From then on, the doors weren’t just opening – they were flinging wide open!
The following week, both Roger and I were going out to Kos to attend a friends’ wedding. Roger said he would take me to the land he believed the Lord was showing him and we would pray on it every day. We did this, and felt such a peace on the land. At the end of the week, we felt we should progress further by negotiating to buy it. So Roger went back to Kos a month later to meet with the owner, and a sale was agreed.
A topologist came to mark out the exact boundary of the land (nothing is straight forward in Greece, nothing is neatly box-shaped!) He discovered that a central piece of the land, where the House was to be built, didn’t belong to the vendor at all. There was no point in buying a polo-shaped piece of land if the central hole where the house should be was missing! Roger only had 2 days left in Kos so prayed that the Lord would show him who he needed to contact and that the owner of this other piece of land would be willing to sell.
Walking along the beach the next day, a stranger approached Roger and asked if he wanted to buy his land – the very land we needed! Within the 2 days both pieces of land were agreed upon.
Roger met up with an architect and together they designed The Tower House. We felt it important that a Tower was incorporated into the building, to reflect the verse from Habakkuk. We also wanted the place to look like a cluster of Greek buildings, rather than the customary Greek “Sugar Cube” so a couple of Church roofs (in the lounge and the kitchen) and a Bell Tower were also included.
Roger spent most of that year in Kos getting ownership of the land and making preparations for the building work to start. We were tested all along the way, and at several points we seriously wondered if we had misheard God and were doing the wrong thing. One example…we needed a licence from the Forestry Commission to go ahead with the building (they come and checked that the land doesn’t have any protected vegetation). Although verbally we had been given the all-clear, building couldn’t start without the paper licence.
Months went by, waiting for this licence. Roger began to doubt that we were on the right track, and put a fleece out – today was Sunday, and if the licence didn’t arrive tomorrow then it would be assumed that we had made a mistake and The Tower House wouldn’t happen. A few hours after Roger had prayed about this, the architect arrived in person at the hotel (extremely unusual for him to come in person, let alone on a Sunday) and said that the paper licence had arrived on Wednesday and he had it in his office! An answered prayer before it was prayed!
I spent that year back in the UK, planning and making purchases for the interior. I shared the vision with two friends, who were more excited about it than I had expected them to be. When I asked why, they explained that they had been given a prophecy 6 years previously, that they would be involved in a Christian Retreat Centre based abroad, but that they would be running it from the UK. Just that week Roger and I had been discussing how the Retreat could be administered from the UK if we were both to be in Kos.
This couple had gifts of administration and counselling among others, they know Kos well as they have holidayed here numerous times, and they know Roger and I well because of their visits. Who could be better to answer any questions about the island or those involved in it? I told Roger about our conversation, and we all prayed it over. It seemed that the Lord was confirming the prophecy. And guess who was the first person to make a booking to stay at The Tower House? The guy who had given the prophecy!
The build took just over 18 months. It was extremely hard work, not just physically but in project managing. The Greeks have their way of building, which is not to the standard we are used to. Convincing the builders that putting in damp courses and the plumber that large sewer pipes for flushable loos were sensible things to do, was quite a challenge!
We learned skills like tiling, roofing, plumbing, glazing, dry stone walling and water management out of the sheer need to do them.
There have been many trials and tests, and times of wanting to give up and walk away from it all, the stress of it becoming almost unbearable at times. But the Lord has been faithful, and has given us the energy to do the work necessary and all the glory and credit for this place goes to Him.
On a personal level, God had plans for us too! The Lord brought Roger and I together firstly by working together at the Hotel and establishing a good working relationship. Through giving us both the vision for The Tower House this progressed into friendship and best-friendship, and ultimately through to love, and have now been married almost 18 years!
Since 2020, however, for various reasons, The Tower House is run on a self-catering holiday basis for groups of all kinds. Multi-generational families, church and yoga groups, birthday and anniversary holidays – everyone is welcome. In 2018 I had a swimming pool installed and landscaped the gardens. This has added a huge attraction for our guests. People still comment on the special atmosphere in the House, which we know is that of the Holy Spirit and of the many prayers that have been said here.
We hope you will enjoy your time here and whether you are a person of faith in God or not, we trust that you will be really blessed during your stay.
To start planning your stay, check out our availability here.