For many people, travelling for business is now an essential part of the job, with the wave of bleisure travel (a trip that combines leisure with business) continuing to gain momentum in just a few short years with little sign of slowing down.
Great Hotels of the World (GHOTW), the international hotel representation company, has focused on this bleisure market need when developing its portfolio of hotels. According to an exclusive survey carried out by GHOTW, 50% of respondents travel on business 5 or more times a year, with 70% of these taking trips with flights of 4 hours or more. It is clear that travel has become the norm across industries, and companies need support for their ever-mobile workforce.
As bleisure has grown, so has the preference for authentic cultural experiences, rather than impersonal stays in large hotels with little or no independent personality. Similarly, lavish corporate retreats, designed to reward and impress the C-Suite (CEO, COO, CFO CIO and others) are now more focused on creating a collective and meaningful experience that drives human interaction and connections, strengthens core company values and increases overall engagement beyond the boardroom.
The hotels in GHOTW’s portfolio, a mix of small boutique design hotels and larger resorts, are all handpicked to cater to this growing demographic of seasoned travellers who expect more from their hotel experience. The GHOTW curation team always ensure their properties can promise not only amazing meeting facilities, but exciting local excursions, delicious food, indulgent spas, or exciting golf courses – to tick that leisure box every time.
GHOTW uncovers these spectacular off-the-beaten-track alternatives for corporate retreats that embody corporate values and are more aligned with employee expectations:
El Nido Resorts Lagen Island: If employers are looking to whisk their team off to a secluded location and sustainability is a pillar for the organisation, El Nido Resorts Lagen Island in Palawan, Philippines is the ideal location. With 51 rooms, including Water Cottages, Beachfront Cottages and Forest-facing room and suites, there are plenty of areas suited for working in groups or individually. The two meeting rooms hold between 15 and 70 people and the location is hard to beat, set on a private island overlooking the lagoon.
Castello di Gargonza: For a stimulating experience that brings endless inspiration and connection through varied group activities, Castello di Gargonza is a medieval hilltop hamlet in Tuscany, Italy with 47 luxurious rooms, atop a wooded hill steeped in history and charm. Start the day working in the property’s former olive press or stables, now the perfect meeting venue with six meeting rooms in total, before relaxing by the swimming pool surrounded by rolling Tuscan hills. Alternatively, take a stroll and explore the cobbled streets, church and gardens before dinner.
Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Hotel & Resort: A secluded resort, tucked away from the busy tourist hotspots, the 104-bedroom hotel is set in 22 acres of Portuguese countryside – the ultimate location for a healthy outdoor retreat. As well as the beautiful Morrish architecture offering a myriad of quiet interior courtyards and water fountains, the resort features an onsite farm-to-table organic vegetable garden and orchard, well-manicured landscapes, spa, fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, running tracks and bicycles for rent. Here, activity, balance and self-care will be front of mind for the team. With versatile areas, easily adapted for all types of meetings, gatherings and events, business and leisure will blend seamlessly, providing lasting memories and benefits.