For a lot of employees, corporate retreats are dreaded events. And for good reason: At a bad corporate retreat, you might end up singing Kumbaya in the woods with your boss or falling backwards into the arms of a coworker to “build trust.”But it doesn’t have to be that way.
At Oyster.com, we’ve covered some resorts that provide truly awesome settings for company getaways. The daily schedule may still be in your boss’s hands, but at least the resorts will make the probability of being able to squeeze in some fun much higher.
If you're in the mood to party like it's 2008, look no further than the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Orange County. This is the high-end hotel where AIG reportedly spent over $400,000 on an executive retreat -- less than a week after the government's $85 billion bailout of the company. (The bill included over $23,000 in spa treatments; we guess the executives had a lot of de-stressing to do after their company nearly went down the toilet.)
But hey, the times are a changin' and 2012 has seen the return of luxury corporate retreats. So go on, celebrate the fact that your company is no longer facing imminent disaster (we hope). With a gorgeous 18-hole, ocean-view golf course, eight tennis courts, a renowned spa, an excellent business centre with videoconferencing technology, and a high-tech boardroom, it's the ideal setting for a decadent company getaway.
You may not be able to avoid team building exercises altogether, but if you're going to do them, you might as well do them right. Hope Lake Lodge in the Finger Lakes region of New York is located across the road from Greek Peak adventure centre, which features a team challenge ropes course specifically geared towards team building. We don't know about you, but we think zip-lining and bungee jumping sound like more fun than falling backwards into someone's arms.
Plus, Hope Lake Lodge has two on-site meeting rooms and operates the nearby Acropolis Conference centre, which can fit nearly 1,000 people -- so holding meetings will be extremely convenient after the outdoor fun is done.
Does your office have weight loss competitions and a kitchen full of Kashi? Or perhaps your company is actually in the health industry (which means your office probably has a kitchen full of Kashi, too). Well if that's the case, the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach is a natural choice for your corporate event. (Though we think just about any stressed-out employee can appreciate the resort's world-renowned spa.)
Corporate retreat packages include the choice of a team building and fitness session or a private wellness workshop, as well as a healthy gourmet breakfast, lunch, and refreshments for the group. This posh, serene spot is best suited for small company events of 30 or fewer.
Sedona's gorgeous red rocks and forest-meets-desert scenery have made it a hub for spiritualists and artists, but it's also a restful place where employees can get their creative juices flowing. L'Auberge de Sedona makes the most of this setting, with the picturesque Oak Creek running underneath shady trees and Sedona's soaring red rocks suspended in the background.
The 87 guest rooms and woodsy cottages are spread across 11 acres, allowing guests plenty of privacy, and most come with fireplaces and private decks. The resort has 3,500 square feet of meeting space and can host groups of up to 175 people; it can also organise team building trips such as hikes through the red rocks, fly fishing, trips to the Grand Canyon, and more.