• Executive Hideaways

     
    FROM THE Winter 2014 ISSUE
     

    Texas hideaways put the 'treat' in corporate retreat.

(Photo Credit: Canyon of the Eagles)

There are many places across the great state of Texas to host a corporate or executive retreat, but few live up to the "treat" as much as these. From rustic luxury that breeds contemplation to productive surroundings great for the entire family, these getaways all have one thing in common: Guests will want to come back for more.

Deer Lake Lodge

(Photo Credit: Deer Lake Lodge, Shannon O'Hara)

Deer Lake Lodge is a new property that opened less than a year ago. It is located on 50 acres in the woods of Montgomery, 40 minutes north of Houston and has become a popular option for corporate retreats. "Deer Lake Lodge is willing to completely customize its entire facility to accommodate a company’s goals," says Tammy Pahel, general manager.

The property boasts a setting of industrial and traditional, the rustic chic and the cutting edge. By utilizing shipping containers to construct the main lodge and guest suites, Deer Lake Lodge has embraced the green construction movement.

Up to 11 executives could have their own private suite or cabin equipped with luxurious organic linens, soaking bath, flat-screen television, fireplace, telephone and wireless Internet. Spouses and significant others are welcome to come along and relax by the pool or indulge in Deer Lake Lodge’s spa treatments while executives attend their meetings. The cost to rent the 11-suite oasis is $6,000 a day and includes two housekeeping staffers. Each guest will receive an organic bottled DLL logoed shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, a bar of soap and a few more amenities. During the week there is no minimum stay. However, a Friday-through-Sunday event requires a three-day stay minimum. For this price, you will have the entire resort.

When the weather is ideal, retreat-goers can attend a barbecue by the pool and Deer Lake Lodge can bring in one of its preferred caterers to provide all the meals. For those interested in taking part in the wellness program, there is the option of doing a full three-day cleanse, complete with juices, vitamins, supplements and self-guided colonics. Deer Lake Lodge’s yoga studio is available as a meeting room, along with audiovisual equipment that can be provided at an extra fee.

Other activities not included in the rental, but available for a fee, include the full-service spa with services such as lymphatic massages, body wraps and aroma-awakening facials. Yoga, tai chi and other classes can be arranged. Guests can participate in activities such as learning how to prepare healthy juices and meals that are farm-to-table fresh.

Canyon of the Eagles

The only thing a guest needs is one quiet moment at Sunset Point, a shady outcropping overlooking Lake Buchanan, to understand why Canyon of the Eagles is indeed a getaway.

This Hill Country resort nestled within 940 acres of nature park has several meeting spaces, but few compare to the view of Sunset Point- except maybe the resort’s signature restaurant, or its spacious patio areas or its meeting rooms. Everywhere you turn, in fact, there’s a view that is nothing short of inspirational.

Canyon of the Eagles, about one hour northwest of Austin, has 62 guest rooms patterned after 1920s Hill Country homes, and built with native stone and rough-hewn board-and-batten siding. The effect is unobtrusive, allowing the buildings to blend in with the surrounding countryside. Porches outfitted with rocking chairs complete the vibe.

There are state-of-the-art meeting rooms, including the 1,152-square-foot Bluebonnet room, the 782-square-foot Eagle’s Nest or the 4,000-square-foot Live Oak room. Some of your most productive time, however, may not occur in a room at all. There are 14 miles of designated walking trails, a swimming pool surrounded by native rock and landscaping, fishing or canoeing excursions and more.

Canyon of the Eagles offers inclusive meeting packages, plus a variety of made-to-order team-building activities and entertainment, including wildlife demonstrations and movies under the stars. On-site catering services and dedicated event coordinators make meetings a no-fuss affair at Canyon of the Eagles.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines

(Photo Credit: Hyatt Regency Lost Pines)

Approximately 30 miles from Austin and 120 miles from Houston or Dallas, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is a favorite among those booking executive retreats.

This destination has more than 60,000 square feet of indoor space and 230,000 square feet of outdoor space, including an amphitheater carved into the side of a hill adjacent to the Colorado River.

Participants will want to bring their families and partake in the many resort activities, including horseback riding at Renegade Trailhead, the nearby Crooked River Water Park, and rafting or kayaking at McKinney Roughs Nature Park. All activities can be booked through the resort reservations desk.

The LBJ Pavilion is a popular place for a welcome dinner; it’s also an ideal space for receptions, with a very rustic feel. A great team-building activity is the Make Your Own BBQ Sauce contest, where attendees bottle their concoctions and take evidence of the fun activity home.

Located on the property is the well-manicured and Audubon-International-sanctioned Wolfdancer Golf Club. The 12th hole has breathtaking views of the entire property, and Spa Django, named after Texas music legend Django Reinhardt, features herb treatments (lavender, peppermint and rosemary) with ingredients grown on the property.

The resort has nine dining options, including Firewheel Cafe, Stories Fine Dining Establishment and Shellers Barrelhouse Bar. Rustic fire pits in several well-placed locations encourage guests to gather around to eat s’mores, and meals include ample farm-to-table selections.

Want to add a literary flavor to your next event–literally? Host a gathering at a library to add a scholarly tone to your fête. You could even go all-in with a literature-themed dress code. Here are some suggestions for a “novel” approach to event planning.

Houston
Houston Public Library