Some organizations still have their overseas event plans in a holding pattern. Fortunately, when compared with the price of overseas travel, spas can be a cost-effective way to reward teams.
Spas are far from frivolous: In addition to being excellent venues for reward and recognition, some spas have meeting or boardroom facilities. Groups can spend part of the day focused on business issues. At a time when many professionals are struggling to achieve career/work balance, for the rest of the day, groups can devote quality time to balance and stress management.
Here is a suggested format:
- Begin the day with a brisk walk or physical activities followed by relaxation exercises.
- Use the morning for a business meeting.
- After lunch, a guest speaker who can address balance provides the perfect segway to a couple of hours of spa treatments that promote rest and relaxation.
- Over afternoon tea groups can relax and share their discoveries.
- In the evening, a short cooking event focusing on healthy options and a speaker focusing on nutrition and the role that it plays in balance and wellness can round out the day.
- If the group stays overnight, the meeting can continue.
- Part of the day can be carved out to work with a facilitator and address the group's specific stress and time management challenges
Here are some spas in Canada that are perfect for promoting balance and harmony.
Located on the edge of Gatineau Park, Nordik Spa-Nature is North America's largest spa. Facilities include 7 outdoor baths, 8 saunas, an infinity pool, and the world's 2nd salt-water floating pool.
The spa has two Alpine cottages each with boardrooms for 14 - 16 and overnight accommodation for 12.
St Anne's Spa in Grafton, Ontario is accessible via train. In fact, the spa will pick you up and whisk you to the location. St Anne's Spa has 3 meeting rooms and 3 cottages that serve as informal meeting spaces. All-inclusive packages make it easy for groups to have the convenience of overnight accommodation. Groups are also welcome to use the facilities as a day spa.
Finally, while the Spa at the Old Mill is right on the subway line, minutes away from downtown Toronto, it feels like a country setting. This makes it an ideal day spa location. There are extensive meeting facilities and overnight accommodation. Afternoon tea is served daily at an affordable $24.95 per person. (Now that's hard to beat in Toronto).
Scandinave Spa has locations in Mont-Tremblant Old Montreal in Quebec, Blue Mountains, Ontario, and Whistler BC. They feature Swedish, Thai, and hot spa massages and thermal and Scandinavian water therapies. The locations in Mont-Tremblant and Blue Mountains are set in natural surroundings with waterfalls, streams and outdoor hot tubs.
Bota Bota Spa Old Port in Old Montreal is located right on the St. Lawrence River in a re-purposed ferryboat which was also used as a showboat for several decades. There is a water circuit and a variety of treatments facial and body treatments including black tea scrub and tribal journey incorporating fair trade ingredients. Special group packages are available.
While there are no meeting facilities, there are a number of boutique hotels with meeting rooms in walking distance of the spa.
With locations in Newmarket, Vaughan, Burlington, and Waterloo, Ontario, Sanctuary Day Spas are ideal for Canadian companies that don't want to venture far from the office. The group can meet on-site in the morning and end to the spa for lunch and treatments. There are special packages for corporate groups.
At the fraction of the costs of an overseas incentive trip or meeting (think hundreds not thousands of dollars per person), day or overnight spas are an affordable environment in which to promote balance.
Here are some other Canadian venues with spa and meeting facilities Corporate Event Venues: Lakeside Resorts in the Laurentians, Quebec Event Venues: Hotels with Terraces in the Laurentians and Corporate Event Venues: 5 Lakeside Resorts in Canada.
Photo Credits: Executive Oasis International