Corporate Retreat Destinations | Great Ideas to Get You Started on Finding the Right Location
Finding the right 'home' for your company's retreat is the most important (and arguably most difficult) thing to do in the planning process, when you factor in the location, style, number of rooms, and overall vibe of the host property that will serve as the setting for your team over the course a few days (or week) of work and leisure. A lot of questions need to be answered - Buyout or Shared? Urban or Remote? How key are On-Site Amenities? These are just a few of the issues you'll want to tackle as you hone in on what is the right fit for your group's retreat or offsite.
Fortunately, properties around the globe have taken note of the growing trend and rising popularity of corporate retreats, and it should be no surprise that many resorts are beginning to set up offerings and marketing to cater specifically to this market. With a little bit of searching and asking yourself a few questions of your own, it should be no sweat to find a location in almost any continent that will offer the right blend of perks on offer to serve as your host home. Here are a few of our favourites that we've worked with over the years - and a few notes on what types of groups suit each option best!
For the Truly "Remote" (& Super Chic) European Retreat: Huus Hotel, Gstaad, Switzerland
Probably one of the Top 3 most breathtaking retreats we've ever planned was hosted at this über alpine-chic, 136-room hotel nestled high in the Bernese Alps, just outside of Gstaad, Switzerland. A member of the exclusive Design Hotels™ collection (recognizing hotels with some serious style chops), Huus is the perfect fit for groups looking to get away from the hustle & bustle of a city or urban location. They say the journey is just as important as the destination and HUUS is no exception. A particularly good fit for companies with a heavy European representation with its easy access from both Geneva and Zurich airport, the venture to this haven is a highlight in and of itself. Take-in sweeping views of the Swiss countryside by panoramic train or bus, enjoy the gentle lulling
Regardless of the time of year, you'll find yourself surrounded by nature (in it's most impressive form), with picturesque Swiss chalets sprinkled around the hillsides around you as you gaze out from your terrace sipping your morning Nespresso in your room. Don’t worry about “roughing it” however, as Huus boasts really well designed & cozy rooms, an indoor pool, 2 restaurants, fantastic spa, a dedicated "games room", and one of the coolest underground cave bars we've ever laid eyes on. There are state-of-the-art meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 150, and multiple breakout rooms so the group can split off and hunker down in small team huddles with projectors, screens, and all your needs on hand (and in-house!).
The many on-site activities and amenities include:
- Mountain Biking
- XBox Game Stations
- Indoor Pool
- & More
- European-Centric Teams (GVA/ZRH Airports)
- Companies 80-150 people
- Nature Lovers & Active Groups
- Budgets of ~USD$500/day
- Groups travelling in Spring or October (avoiding the sky high rates in peak ski season)
For the Active/Outdoorsy North American Retreat: Gateway Canyons Resort, Colorado
Gateway Canyons is another one of our favourite places we've organized a remote retreat. Designed and built by the founder of the Discovery Channel, John Hendricks, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that every nook and cranny seems like it's dedicated to exploration, curiosity, and adventure.
Located just outside of Grand Junction, Colorado (accessed by way of Denver) - getting here is a bit of an adventure but more than worth the journey once your group arrives on site. With incredibly decorated (and huge!) rooms, surrounded by stunning red-rock scenery, and packed full of curiosities like fixed telescopes aimed at Venus, a vintage car museum, and an on-site 'Chief of Curiousity" named Zebulon Universe, this property is perfect for the high-tech engineer type teams.
A majority of the activities can all managed out of the Adventure Center, though there's quite a few other incredible experiences we've put together including an outdoor 80-person "Laser-Tag Capture the Flag" competition and a Burning Man-esque party in the desert.
Rooms: 72 (including multiple 2-bedroom villas)
- Rock Climbing
- Baja Offroad Racing
- 4x4 Jeep Safaris
- Outdoor Laser Tag
- White Water Rafting
- Mountain Hiking & Rappelling
- Helicopter Rides
- American-Centric Groups (DEN Airport)
- Competitive & Adrenaline Junkie Teams
- Groups of 50-90 people
- Companies traveling in Summer or Fall
For the Glamourous (yet Low Key) Italian Charm: Castello di Gargonza
Set in the heart of Tuscany an hour south of Florence, Castello di Gargonza serves as your very own 13th Century Italian Castello for your company's exclusive use for a retreat. Having planned 2 company offsites here in the past few years, this family-run Castello offers something truly special for those looking for an idyllic Italian ambiance. Cobblestone pathways, original stone facades, and one of the most charming "lemon gardens" all set the scene for one of the most memorable settings for your retreat (and just wait till you see the view from the pool!).
Gargonza also has a variety of facilities and amenities that make it a great fit for hosting company offsites. Dedicated meeting rooms, complimentary breakfast spreads, a stunning pool, and tons of private "nooks" for people to do breakouts in or find some quiet time to call home, there's a ton of pros this castello has to offer. In terms of teambuilding and excursions, we've arranged elaborate Bank-Heist themed Amazing Race challenge using self-driven Fiat 500's ("The Italian Job") as well as day-trips into Florence for Dragon-Boat Racing under the Ponte Vecchio at one of Europe's oldest rowing clubs. On-Site however, you'll find;
- Italian Cooking Class
- Bocce Ball
- Outdoor Pool overlooking Chianti Valley
- Groups traveling in Spring or September/October
Once the fun is had and the evening is winding down, enjoy a glass of house-made Chianti or an Aperol Spritz, underneath the castle spire.
For the Golf Retreat: The American Club at Kohlers
Located in Kohler's Wisconsin - groups looking for a relaxing golf retreat can scratch their itch at one of the undisputable golf destinations in the USA, and host of the 2020 Ryder Cup, While Whistling Straits remains the star of the show, the sister courses at Blackwolf Run (The River & The Meadow Valley courses) and the lesser known Irish Course are nothing to pass up on either. The picturesque courses embrace the curves of the shores of Lake Michigan while also offering challenging natural obstacles like rolling sand dunes, meandering streams criss-crossing the course, and a deceivingly tranquil fairway.
After a long day packing in a round (or two) at your favourite course, unwind with a massage at the 5-star Spa (one of only 64 in the world), or ease in to one of the overstuffed leather club chairs with a snifter of brandy and good company. You're bound to have worked up an appetite with all that walking, and there's plenty of great options on offer, from the AAA-Four Diamond The Immigrant Room fine dining restaurant to the laid back Horse & Plow traditional pub.
There's more to Kohler's than just golf though, including;
- Mountain Biking
- Sporting Clays & Trap Shooting
- Kayaks & Canoes
- River & Inland Fishing
- Horse Riding
- Ice Skating, Snowshoes, Curling, & Ice Fishing (Winter Only)
- Golf Trips
- American-Centric Teams
- Smaller Groups, 20-60 (in foursomes, ideally)
- Companies that want to get together Spring to Fall
For the Business-Friendly All-Inclusive: Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen
We’ve come to realize that retreat planners typically have one of two reactions when they hear the term “all-inclusive”
- Rejoice! – Your life just got 10 times easier with fewer things to coordinate, no variable estimates on food & beverage budgets, and meetings in flip-flops
- RUN! - Fears of "All-Play, No Work", HR-Sirens going off in the background, and a professional standards boondoggle
Well, it’s time to forget everything you know about all-inclusive resorts – the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen is here to shake things up.
One look at this stunning property on the white-sand shores of the coveted Mamitas' Beach, just south of Cancun near Playa del Carmen, leaves no question as to why the it’s one of our favourites for groups looking for a little sun & sand while still maintaining a business and meeting priority. Unlike many of the surrounding all-inclusives, this 314 guestroom property is sleek and sophisticated – serving as an ideal home base for business-oriented groups and maintaining a palpable air of sophistication.
Say goodbye to sub-par food, hordes of twenty-somethings crowding the pool, and noisy nights from the on-site club, the Grand Hyatt lives up to its 5-star rating. Here, you can enjoy numerous stylish dining options, 3 happening bars and lounges, and a world-class full-service spa with a private cenote to relax by. A sprawling infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea rounds-out the experience, making for an instagram-perfect escape (and excellent central hang-out for the entire team!). Rooms are bright and spacious, outfitted with floor to ceiling windows, 300-thread count linens, and a private balcony. Take it from us - you will be completely immersed in luxury and serenity throughout your stay.
On-site activities and amenities include:
- 15,000-square-feet of state-of-the-art Meeting Space
- Multiple dining outlets
- Infinity pool
- Full-service Spa
- Teams that want to work hard, but play hard after
- Groups that want to fix a budget and avoid surprise F&B tabs
- Companies that like to meet in the Winter or Spring