Just the words “corporate retreat” conjure up images of bland hotel ballrooms covered in commercial-grade carpeting with uncomfortable chairs and bad coffee on tap. While the goal of a corporate retreat is to bring the team together with a sense of purpose for the common business goal, the actual task for the day often becomes trying to stay awake, alert and focused during never-ending meetings in the same stuffy space.
It doesn’t have to be like this. It’s possible to invigorate your team and sharpen your business focus just by refreshing your venue for your next corporate retreat. Achieve your company goals and reignite your team’s passion — here are three options for different types of retreats — Collective Retreats for glamping, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort for high-energy activity and Hermitage Farm for the elegant relaxation in a 19th-century farm estate with modern amenities.
10500 West Hwy. 42, PO Box 40, Goshen, KY 40026 • (502) 228-1426
Kentucky is known for its bluegrass and horses, and this is a rare opportunity to get to experience both up close and personal. Recently, one of Kentucky’s premier horse farms, Hermitage Farm, became open to the public for events and accommodations, giving visitors an authentic Kentucky experience on this working horse farm. The homestead dates back to 1835, built by its original settlers from Virginia. Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown, founders of 21c Museum Hotels, purchased the farm in 2010 and completely renovated it, creating a space that highlights its historical heritage but with modern amenities, elegant decor and, of course, fabulous art.
If you are looking to host a more personal corporate retreat, with everyone under the same roof, this location offers all the closeness of a home with the privacy of five separate bedrooms. This stunning home sleeps 14 and has a long list of luxury amenities. There is also a smokehouse adjacent to the home that has been renovated into a small cottage with a sitting room, bar, full bath and bedroom. The entire house is decorated in a modern light palette that acts as a blank canvas to display the owners’ renowned art collection, works that have been displayed in the owners’ personal home and at any number of their hotels.
Groups can gather around the impressive dining room table made of reclaimed wood that seats 20, with a view out to the horse pastures. Meals can be brought in, or you can hire a personal chef to cook in the gourmet kitchen. There are three large sitting rooms on the main floor, perfect for strategizing or planning sessions. Downstairs, there is a large den and billiards room, along with an enclosed sun porch, ideal for team-building or brainstorming. Between meetings, walk the grounds and get a glimpse of the beautiful, award-winning thoroughbreds and a behind-the-scenes look at the horse industry.
Located 20 minutes from Louisville, this location feels private and serene, but close enough to the big city to drive in for dinner or an outing. It is a peaceful respite in an otherwise busy world.
1001 Lafayette Drive, Farmington, PA 15437 • (866) 344-6957
Located on 2,000 acres in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has something for everyone, and it offers activities in all seasons. Founded by Joseph Hardy, now a young 95 years old, the hotel “Chateau Lafayette” was modeled after the Ritz-Carlton in Paris that he loved visiting. This property includes the large hotel Chateau Lafayette, a lodge with rooms and a conference center, a boutique hotel “Falling Rock,” which is adjacent to the Pete Dye-designed golf course, vacation homes and townhomes. There are five renowned restaurants here, a field club, a spa, a casino, golf course, ski slopes, an adventure center and a small zoo.
Meeting planners will appreciate this resort’s accommodations for corporate groups at their Executive Conference Center. This large space has 25 meeting rooms, three ballrooms, two boardrooms, a lecture hall that seats 175 along with space for exhibits. This is the perfect place for the group that is active. Nemacolin provides its guests with the opportunity for team building and meetings that are not typical “meetings.” Interspersed in the daily agenda could be yoga, zip-lining, a round of golf or a run down the ski slopes. Your employees will feel like they are on vacation the entire day.
110 16th St., Denver, CO 80203 • (970) 445-2033
Collective Retreats is the latest wave of glamping (glamour + camping) — they go where hotels do not, in some of the prettiest landscapes in the nation. Imagine a tent with a wood floor and electricity, all with luxurious accommodations inside, from the high thread count bedding, to a private shower and locally sourced furniture. Add in gourmet farm-to-table meals for dinner and picnics packed for lunch and homemade s’mores by the fire every night. Guests can immerse themselves in nature without having to rough it.
Collective Retreats currently has locations in Hill Country in Texas, Vail in Colorado, Sonoma in California, Hudson Valley in New York and Yellowstone in Montana. As the name states, these are truly retreats, with lots of space to unplug and restore yourself. While there is electricity, these luxury tents are out in the elements, so this is perfect for a group with adventurous souls who loves the outdoors.
As tents are limited, ranging in accommodations for anywhere from 20 to 40 total guests, reservations need to be made well in advance to ensure your group and event gets the best service collectively. Also, consider the weather for the location and the time of year you are booking.
Now, leave the stuffy old hotels in the dust and head to a refreshing new-school retreat that will knock your team’s socks off!
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