Destination Hotels Puts Healthy Spin on Business Retreats

NATIONAL REPORT—Business retreats are designed to promote team-building, increase efficiencies and stoke a passion for the company, but add a dose of wellness to the mix, and employees are empowered to improve themselves.

An investment in employee satisfaction has its benefits. According to a study by economists at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, feelings of happiness led to a 12% increase in productivity.

From Sedona, AZ, to Chapel Hill, NC, these four Destination Hotels properties put a healthy spin on business retreats.

Located on San Diego’s Mission Bay, Paradise Point Resort and Spa, A Destination Hotel, is focused on getting retreat attendees out of the conference center and into nature. There are numerous opportunities for group team-building exercises on the resort’s 44 acres. Among the activities are group yoga, paddle boarding and paddle board yoga.

“Paradise Point is merging meetings and wellness by launching a new team-building activity in partnership with Road Runner Sports. With our Wellness in the Workplace Package, group guests can visit Road Runner Sports for a custom 3D foot or arch image and measurement, running and walking analysis, custom insoles, and more to find the perfect running shoe. Or, Road Runner Sports can bring their custom fit analysis directly to Paradise Point with a minimum of four shoe options and custom shoe fitting,” said Lindsey Amador, director of sales & marketing, Paradise Point Resort and Spa. “After receiving the perfect pair, take team-building to Mission Bay with a group 5K run or walk. Enjoy a healthy breakfast, with options like a build‑your‑own acai bowl bar, smoothie bar and more.”

For Nancy Lindemer, director of sales & marketing at Rizzo Conference Center, A Destination Hotel in Chapel Hill, NC, the goal to take care of guests and make them feel at home. Down-home cooking with locally sourced ingredients, 30 acres of lush landscape and charming Southern hospitality help to create a memorable experience.

How does the team at Rizzo Conference Center inspire a healthier way of life? A back-to-basics approach through exercise is emphasized.

“We have all the options you need for your workout routine: a full gym, outdoor heated lap pool, bikes for local bike trails, basketball court for the group sports enthusiast or, simply wander through the historic gardens with views of the historic DuBose Home and Chapel Hill,” said Lindemer. “Inspiration cards are offered at the front desk for their local exercise and adventure options. We also do this with our employees because they are the ones taking care of our guests. We feed them three meals a day—same options as our guests—and we encourage them to live healthy lifestyles and pursue their passions so that they come to work energized and ready to take care of our guests.”

The team at Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa, A Destination Hotel in Kirland, WA, believes that work-life balance is important for everyone—and they strive to provide just that for business travelers.

To fortify attendees ahead of long meetings, Carillon Kitchen is the resort’s newest restaurant for healthier options. “Some of our favorite items are the fresh squeezed juices that vary daily, ranging from our spinach kale apple to a traditional carrot juice,” said Howard Jacobs, general manager, Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa.

To keep the energy of guests high, the focus is on fun. Groups are supplied with complimentary lawn games to help with idea generation and team bonding. “We offer fun active breakouts partnering with Waterfront Adventures to do team activities on kayaks, paddle boards or even taking out a ski boat to take wakeboarding classes. Still Spa is another great breakout session for our retreat attendees to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul,” said Jacobs.

In Sedona, AZ, a place known for spiritual transformation, the wellness philosophy at L’Auberge de Sedona, A Destination Hotel, is about connecting with oneself and one’s surroundings.

“All of the on-property wellness programming and spa treatments are based on finding inner balance and incorporate elements of the surrounding area into the treatments and experiences,” said Larry Colton, director of sales & marketing, L’Auberge de Sedona. “Everyone needs to hit the reset button every once in a while, and L’Auberge de Sedona offers countless opportunities for guests to do so.”

Among the stand-out wellness-minded offerings is forest bathing while surrounded by lush trees and the sounds of the flowing water. The property is nestled in a quiet area along Oak Creek.

“So often these business groups come from urban settings, so our creekside location itself is a welcome retreat. The forest bathing activity allows guests to focus on being present and fully appreciating the environment through a series of invitations proposed by the facilitator,” said Colton. “Forest bathing is a simple practice, appropriate for all fitness levels as it only involves being surrounded by nature and soaking in the environment. Most participants experience a reduction in stress levels, improved immune system and enhanced cognitive ability, making the business meetings more productive.”