When planning a corporate retreat, small businesses have unique needs. They often don’t have the budget or staffing that larger corporations do, so they need to find retreats that value them. While plenty of fantastic resorts and getaways can accommodate large groups, we’ve compiled a list of the best corporate retreats for small businesses that offer those four critical elements for your business.
Benefits Of A Corporate Retreat
There are many benefits that a small business can experience by booking a corporate retreat. It can be an opportunity for team members to get to know each other outside of work, build trust, and improve communication.
According to Forbes, four critical elements for a successful company retreat are learning, sharing, bonding, and unifying. It can also be a chance for employees to learn new skills, recharge their batteries, and return to work feeling refreshed and motivated. A corporate retreat can help strengthen the company’s culture and bring employees together around shared goals.
Research by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, in collaboration with British multinational telecoms firm BT, has found that workers are 13% more productive when happy. Getting along with our co-workers has a calming influence on the workplace. The sense of self-esteem and belonging from connecting to others can’t be overstated.
Come For The Retreat
Located just one hour from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport, The Lodge at Stout’s Island is a world away from the ordinary.
“Being from Wisconsin myself and having enjoyed retreats at Stout’s Island Lodge, I can recommend it for small to medium businesses looking for a pro-activity environment that’s not just centered around meetings. It’s set on an island, so there are a vast amount of adventure activities on offer, including rodeo games, scavenger hunts, croquet, swimming rugby, Elco cruises, and guided fishing,” comments Evan McCarthy, CEO of SportingSmiles LLC.
Unplug At This Hawaiian Escape
On the tranquil and untouched eastern coast of Molokai, Hawaii, is Pu’u O Hoku Ranch, a family-owned biodynamic and organic ranch and farm with a rustic retreat center. “Pu’u O Hoku” means “Hill of Stars,” It is located within 14,000 acres of protected land bathed in natural beauty. The island’s natural beauty is matched only by its historical significance to Native Hawaiians.
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Team building excursions to the historical Kalaupapa Peninsula or hiking through the Halawa Valley to Moa’ula Falls offers outdoor adventures away from the office. Hiking, swimming, stargazing, surfing, and witnessing a working ranch are all options. Pu’u O Hoku is one of the few islands where you can experience Hawaii as it once was.
A Swarovski Crystal Resort
Nestled in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and just one hour from the city of Kamloops, Sparkling Hill Resort offers panoramic views of Okanagan Lake and the Monashee Mountains. This award-winning resort provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable corporate retreat.
Mr. Gernot Langes-Swarovski, the patriarch of the Swarovski Crystal family, wanted to bring the European health and wellness experience to the rest of the world. He loved the natural beauty of the Okanagan where Sparkling Hill Resort now stands.
Local real estate agent Andrew from Kamloops Living organized a retreat to Sparkling Hill for his real estate team. “The corporate retreats offer fun and energizing team-building opportunities. The hiking, yoga, and golfing options are just a few of the perks at this resort.
Drive California Backroads At This VW Bus Retreat
Picture a group of employees meeting in Newport Beach, where each is paired with their own vintage VW bus to drive. Then, after an orientation of their classic dub, they hit the road in a convoy of buses to Joshua Tree National Park for three nights of glamping under the stars.
No significant highways for you. Instead, you’ll drive the California backroads, soaking up the sand and sun with your co-workers. Destinations include the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park, the famed California Highway 1, and more.
Dylan from White Wolf Tours comments, “in the post-COVID era, we are noticing that employees value these travel memories and experiences vastly more than a fleece or mug with the company’s name on it.”
“Do you remember when we took that vintage VW into the desert and…” continues Dylan. “Those are the team building (and family) memories we are looking to create while simultaneously satiating the work-from-home escape bug we see so many employees desperately seeking.”
Come Together Dude Ranch Style
Located less than a 1 ½ hour drive from Tucson in Sasabe, Arizona, Rancho de la Osa is an ideal team-building retreat to explore trails frequented by US Presidents and movie stars. The authentic, western-style ranch environment allows team members to connect relaxed and comfortable.
“Guest ranches provide a unique and often new environment for team-building events and corporate retreats. Rancho de la Osa has a maximum of about 35 guests, so a ranch buyout is possible for the whole company or group to have the ranch to themselves. We customize our rates to meet the group’s needs, and they can be inclusive of lodging, meals, activities, and our group meeting space,” says Brook Grobosky, Director of Marketing and Customer Service, for the True Ranch Collection.
“The ranch activities—which can be done as a group or split off into smaller groups—and its unique location can be a new experience for groups that stimulates connection and innovative thinking. With everything, including meals, on the property, there is little need for extra coordination for a group event,” continues Grobosky.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Once a meeting site for revolutionary rebels and a vacation destination to four American presidents, The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa in Manchester, VT., offers team-building activities that center on its 914 acres of Green Mountain trails.
This mountain retreat encourages team members to get out of their comfort zone with adrenaline-pumping experiences that expand horizons and teach new skills. From fly fishing, hiking, and falconry, to off-road driving lessons with Land Rover Experience Driving School, the outdoor activities are (almost) limitless at The Equinox.
There’s also skiing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, and much more for those searching for a winter retreat. The property is located less than four hours by car from Boston and New York City.
Trade PowerPoint Presentations For Memorable Experiences
Situated across 3,500 acres in Richmond, Rhode Island, The Preserve Sporting Club and Residences combines New England charm and modern luxury. Run-of-the-mill team-building retreats are taken to the next level with thrilling programming and memorable experiences.
Teams can plan specialty executive and small group experiences like a signature scotch and cigar tasting in Safari tents, a round of sporting clays on 25-stations, or a private meal in one of three Instagram-famous hobbit houses. Likewise, companies can trade in the typical day of PowerPoint presentations for an afternoon spent hiking many trails, horseback riding, or fly-fishing with the team.
Sail The San Francisco Bay
A 3-day, 2-night adventure cruise aboard BluReverie Catamaran in San Francisco is an excellent choice as a team-building retreat. Guests will experience a luxurious 48-foot catamaran and all-inclusive dinner and drinks.
The catamaran will sail in the San Francisco Bay, offering 360-degree views of the San Francisco skyline, relaxation on the beach at Angel Island, and spending a peaceful night in private cabins at anchor.
An excellent way to build a team spirit within the group is to show them an insider tour of the boat’s inner workings and have them participate in a few hands-on tasks.
Author the Author
Casandra is the founder of Karpiak Caravan Adventure Family Travel and a mother to two adventurous young boys. Casandra is a family-focused adventure travel advocate.