Have you ever thought of leaving the city? Even if the escape lasts only for a short while. Somewhere with a more serene ambience, where you could enjoy silent mornings, blissful sunsets and have the backdrop of hills, forests, lakes or countryside. For a change, allowing nature to dictate your lifestyle, instead of following the go-go-go lifestyle which is so popular today.
Today’s story is about the founders of DOYOU PLACE, two ‘escapees’, Juste and Kestas. Several years ago, they turned their lives upside down, left Vilnius and moved out of town to start anew. Embracing life in a cabin has changed their lifestyles for the better and gave birth to the business idea.
VP: What’s the story behind DOYOU Place?
Juste: The last push and the main reason why this place was born was this intense desire to change both what we do and where we live. Nearly four years ago, we bought this site of land, packed up our lives in Vilnius, and moved here to Semėliškės.
Our team taking care of the cabins and our guests is made of Kestas and me, as well as our irreplaceable assistants: a dog named Minė and a cat Ryžas. Also, a flock of sheep, which settled down in our backyard a little later.
The first year of living in the forest was unusual, to say the least. We made the move when the weather conditions weren’t pleasant. It was in the depths of winter, and the temperature dropped to – 25 °C. Besides, the house, which we started to build from a shipping container, was completely unfurnished.
While the beginning was pretty extreme, we didn’t regret escaping the city for a single moment. In fact, it was quite the opposite—the longer we lived here, the more we fell in love with the place and its surroundings: the forest, the lake and the hills.
After having lived in the forest for one year, we realised that we want to create a place which we couldn’t find in Lithuania at the time. This meant building modern, stylish and quality houses for short-term solitary stays.
The name DOYOU is a heritage of our previous activity—photography. We ran a business that was called DOYOU PHOTOGRAPHY. When brainstorming for a name for our new venture, the same DOYOU kept on crossing our minds.
We want to actualise interesting, novel, and aesthetically-pleasing ideas based on our understanding, without chasing any rules or standards. All these elements combined reflect how we operate.
VP: How has leaving the city changed your life?
Juste: Living in the forest, without the noise of the city and large crowds of people, allowed us to listen better and fall in love with nature even more.
This process naturally contributed to our concept—everyone who comes here must follow not only the so-called yard rules like focusing on cultivating serenity and privacy but also respect nature.
After all, nature is the main character here. Our goal is to preserve this green spot, while allowing people to enjoy its beauty and slow-paced rhythm, with as little intervention as possible.
VP: What can a first-time visitor expect from staying at your cabin?
Juste: For starters, the initial emphasis goes to the modern and minimalist architecture of the cabins. When combined, A-frame shaped houses and unconventional saunas bring a unique experience.
Both the accommodation and saunas are creations of our dreams. They are fruits of our imagination and were made here on site. The same goes for everything here—we create things from what we believe is best and looks good. Plus, Kestas and I implement and bring all the ideas to life ourselves.
Everything is built on one principle: more nature, fewer people. This means that in such a large area, surrounded by a forest and lake, only a few people are staying at any time. Loud parties and any kind of tumult won’t be found here. Otherwise, the noise would tune down the delicate sounds of nature.
In a nutshell
Must-do: Try to truly unwind without engaging in any distractions—relax and breath in nature, walk in the forest while listening to birds chirping, watch sunsets, take an early morning dip in the lake—all of these activities are so grounding and calming.
Average price: 100 euro per night
Booking: The only way to book a room is via our website. The price varies depending on the season, day of the week and duration of your stay.
VP: Where can we find you in the digital sphere?
Juste: Either Facebook or website are the two the best place to connect with us.
VP: Thank you, Juste, for sharing your story with us!