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Choose the right Executive Retreat Venue

To make sure your executive retreat is as effective as it can be, you need to find the ideal venue. You might search for “executive retreat hotel” to see what is available. But are you inadvertently eliminating more specialised venues?  Perhaps what you need is not a hotel at all?  Although all hotels will claim to provide for corporate meetings their core business is hospitality and the quality of your meeting is likely to be no more than an assumption on their part. You may be well advised, therefore, to look at specialist venues; conference centres or venues that have evolved to exactly meet the need of executive teams to get away to do some deep thinking.

Self-catering accommodation

A fringe possibility is to use holiday accommodation. With luck you will find a self-catering house that is large enough to accommodate your group. You may need to adapt the main spaces to be suitable for the purposeful interaction you have in mind. You might choose to self-cater as a contribution to relationship building or else you can bring in outside caterers.  It can work, although you are likely to severely constrain the amount of time available for any focused corporate process!

Retreat Centre

There are also specialist venues for retreats.  These tend to be geared to religious or spiritual groups but may well adapt to your purpose. It is likely that there will be a less than business-like ambience and the catering may also reflect alternative values.  It is as well to check out the details and determine whether it is you or the provider who will adjust expectations.

Conference Centre

If the logistical problems of using holiday accommodation are too daunting (you do have a process to get through) and a retreat centre is too “alternative”, then perhaps a conference centre will be more suitable. Economics of size may determine that you share such a facility with other groups but it should at least have properly equipped meeting rooms, catering staff to provide meals and refreshments and a bar to relax in.

Specialist Venue for Corporate Retreats

Further than that, there are a very few dedicated specialist venues for corporate retreats that will give your group exclusive use of well-equipped space for creative interaction and will provide professional hospitality that will be supportive of your interactive process. When you are expecting very particular learning outcomes from deeply interactive processes, then it will be really worthwhile to find such a place. It should be tantamount to having a place of your own – space for co-creation in which relationships and ideas blossom, where people surprise themselves by the quality of their interactions. These are some of the features to look out for (score each of them 1 to 5 and aim for a total score of a minimum of 45):

  1. Exclusive use
  2. Well-equipped meeting spaces
  3. Adaptable common spaces for interaction and relaxation
  4. Enough single en-suite bedrooms
  5. Outdoor space for activities, reflection and interaction
  6. Access to nature in the wild
  7. Good wholesome food
  8. Warm and adaptable hospitality
  9. Admin support, especially to liaise with the workplace
  10. Specialist experience and expertise with your kind of event


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