Inspirational destinations for intimate conferences.
While the trend over the last few years for formal and corporate group gatherings has leaned in favor of avenues for health and wellness retreats, indoor and outdoor team building activities, and ‘un-conferencing’—with a focus on personalization of experiences, what the next few months will bring as meeting venues are slowly reopening and organizations are planning larger events again will be a space to watch. No doubt safety and security will be the top priority, with the added levels of precautions implemented as necessary. Smaller groups might just be the order of the day as the event calendar for the rest of the year kicks into gear.
Offering over 13,000 square feet of wine country, California meeting space, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, located in Sonoma Valley, features a comprehensive array of meeting facilities, professional meeting planners, and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, boardrooms, hospitality suites, and more. Amenities unique to the venue include a geothermal spa featuring over 40,000 square feet of wellness space, access to golf at the private Sonoma Golf Club, daily docent-led hikes and fitness classes, bike riding, hiking and wine tasting/touring. Fair weather pretty much all year round makes it a suitable consideration for any occasion.
Located 30 miles from the George Washington Bridge in the Village of Sloatsburg, New York, Valley Rock Inn and Mountain Club is surrounded by 70,000 acres of forever-wild parkland of Harriman State Park and Sterling Forest. It’s comprised of a dozen historic house and barn buildings that form a wall around an interior garden—creating a protected oasis. This is a fitness-focused find that offers year-round wellness programs that incorporate healthy eating and exercise in the great outdoors. Activities available include hikes, bike rides and kayaking and a 7,000-square-foot fitness center with yoga, spin and weights. The venue has hosted several corporate retreats over the last two years and is scheduling events now for the third and fourth quarters of 2020 and into 2021.
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa located 150 miles west of Chicago within The Galena Territory, a 6,800-acre recreational, residential and resort community six miles southeast of the historic town of Galena, Illinois, has an incredible selection of outdoor activities including miles of skiing, biking, hiking and horseback-riding trails, as well as tennis, hot air balloon rides, boating and fishing on the picturesque 225-acre Lake Galena. The resort’s grounds include 63 holes on four award-winning golf courses. Meanwhile, conveniently located just 12 miles west of O’Hare International Airport and 25 miles from downtown Chicago, Eaglewood Resort & Spa is nestled on 106 lush acres in Itasca, Illinois. The recreation options here include a six-lane retro Kegler’s Bowling Alley and a myriad of outdoor activities.
Tucked into the woodlands above Lake Placid, New York, is Whiteface Lodge. Evoking the Gilded Age splendor of the historic Adirondack Great Camps, the jaw-dropping lakefront location is an extraordinary design of stone and timber, which was milled onsite, and the epitome of handcrafted Adirondack-style and luxury. Among the many group activities available here are a 54-seat, surround-sound movie theater, access to Canoe Club at Lake Placid including water sports, and a full-service ice cream parlor for socializing and group entertainment options. For team exercises, look no further than the full-size, two-lane, 10-pin bowling alley, game room with a full complement of classic games including billiards, shuffleboard, air hockey, and foosball, and snowshoe and cross-country ski trails for your winter months.
If you are seeking international alternatives, situated on a quiet street in the epicenter of Rome is Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese in Italy, a former 19th century Roman palazzo that lies within walking distance of some of the city’s famed cultural landmarks and parks, including the Trevi Fountain, Villa Medici and Spanish Steps. Evoking the feel of a Roman home, the hotel has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere that gives a sense of being truly immersed in the essence of this picturesque Italian city. Enhancing the group experience, Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese launched a Blind Wine Tasting Experience in 2019. For groups of 10 to 20, the two-hour tasting inspires with a selection of French and Italian wines chosen by the master sommelier who hosts the experience.
Many more destinations and venues around the world are welcoming business again, with ample health, security and safety advisories in place to ensure your experience organizing an event with them is well-received. Whether un-conferencing or otherwise, here’s to your event’s success!
Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club
Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa:
Valley Rock Inn and Mountain Club:
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa:
Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese: