Our Standards

A Sunnylands Retreat is known by its distinctive features, many of which have been drawn from the traditions of gracious hospitality, respect for diverse opinions, and attention to detail that were hallmarks of Ambassador and Mrs. Annenberg.


Annenberg retreats are known for their civility of discourse, respect for diverse opinions, and adherence to the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.  


Annenberg retreats will focus on a small number of signature areas identified in the Declaration of Trust and including the Pacific Rim, Education, Institutions of Democracy, and Health. Annenberg retreats will be held in order to achieve a meaningful outcome or make a distinctive contribution to a real world problem. Retreats at Sunnylands will take advantage of the estate's location, history, and other special qualities to attract the kinds of leaders identified in the Declaration of Trust. 


The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands works with groups and individuals identified by the Declaration of Trust who have a reputation for excellence, are known to welcome and encourage diverse ideas and opposing perspectives, and are nonpartisan or bipartisan. These partners will have a proven record of achieving consensus and producing results on important topics.  


A signature feature of retreats, as distinguished from other meetings and conferences, is the opportunity to spend time for reflection, nurture meaningful relationships, and develop ideas in a lovely setting and to spend some time in recreational and other leisurely activities.  


Annenberg retreats are small. In view of our current capacity, and the unique qualities and advantages of an intimate, collegial setting, retreats generally will have no more than 18 to 22 participants. In exceptional circumstances The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands may also serve as a venue for larger groups during which participants stay in hotels and hold receptions and meetings at Sunnylands 


Except in cases as noted above, participants stay on the historic estate, which offers a high level of privacy and security.  


Guests at Annenberg retreats will enjoy the gracious hospitality, recreational opportunities, and personal touches that were the hallmarks of a stay at Sunnylands when Ambassador and Mrs. Annenberg lived there.