Small teams have special needs for business meetings, strategy sessions, and executive retreats. For example, the opportunity for maximum bonding is important. Also, there may be a need to keep a lid on the budget while still ensuring optimal comfort.
Meeting planners and corporate event planners may find that boutique hotels, lodges and inns are the perfect fit for small groups.
Small properties provide many advantages including:
- an opportunity for exclusive use
- dedicated personal attention
- small boardrooms or large living rooms for business meetings
Often, they are located in the heart of a city or destination. They provide settings for interacting with the local population and exploring other cultures. Many are heritage venues that provide insight into the history of a destination. This can be important if a company is launching services or products abroad.
This blog entry is the launch of a Wednesday series about properties that specialize in accommodation for small groups. Next week we will continue with a focus on Asia and the Middle East. To begin, here are just a few hidden gems for small teams in Canada.
The Muskokas, Ontario
- Muskoka Soul a.k.a Muskoka Boardroom
The website describes Muskoka Soul as "Just two hours from Bay Street—but a million miles away from the office." It's an intimate lakeside retreat with just 5 guest rooms. Corporations and non-profit organizations have used it for executive retreats, board meetings and brainstorming sessions.
When it's time for a break, culinary events can be arranged on site and, nearby, groups can enjoy sunset cruises, horse riding, and golf.
- Anne ma sœur Anne
Seamlessly integrated into the terraced and row houses for which Montreal is famous, Anne ma sœur Anne is steps away from the fashionable boutiques and gourmet restaurants of Rue St. Denis. With just 17 studios (4 of them have private terraces) and a location steps away from the Mont Royal & Sherbrooke Metro stations, it's the perfect choice for a small team that wants to explore Montreal.
Montreal has a number of boutique hotels. Quite a few of them are located in Old Montreal, an area with a special flair. Here is one with of the many with a history.
- Hostellerie Pierre du Calvet
Hostellerie Pierre du Calvet, located in a heritage building that was constructed in 1725, has 10 rooms that are meticulously decorated and furnished to reflect the property's history. Some of them have fireplaces.
The library with its large fireplace is a cozy setting for meetings. Les Filles du Roi, a restaurant with a historical significance that I'll leave you to discover, is located in the same building.
The greenhouse and terrace are ideal for relaxation. The art workshop in the attic provides an opportunity for unique team activities.
Whistler, British Columbia
This private European-style boutique hotel has 36 suites which include 1 bedroom loft suites, deluxe rooms and the 1,100-square-foot Presidential Executive Suite. The Presidential Executive Suite can also be used as a boardroom for meetings with up to 6 participants. Larger groups can book meeting facilities at the Telus Whistler Conference Centre that is walking distance from Executive - Inn at Whistler Village
I have previously blogged about Elora Inn and other heritage inns in Ontario that were casualties of the economic downturn. It is important for event planners to support boutique hotels and heritage inns if we want to ensure that they will be around for years to come. The next time you have a small group, explore the feasibility of using a small property to enhance the attendee experience.
Photo Credits: Muskoka Soul