A new year begs for fresh approaches. While developing this year’s events calendar, cast an eye on ideas that inspire, regroup and reward mind, body and soul.
Here are a few sources for invigorating ideas, from venues to activities and gifts, guaranteed to energize a group and reinforce messaging on overall good health:
Blow Off Steam
Since ancient times, steam baths have been communal gathering spots for socializing. Check out the Hammam Spa and its 500 sq. ft. steam room as one way to jack up the heat at a special event, or sweat out the ideas in a unique brainstorming session. Styled after a Turkish bathhouse, the luxurious, co-ed spa (heat-friendly wraps provided) is available for private buy-out for up to 30 people or semi-private group bookings.
Set up in the communal Tea Room with overspill to the Boutique. Wi-fi and a-v equipment enable presentations. Cater to the day’s overall wellness theme by including scrubs and massage therapy, manicures, and pedicures. Smoothie and mimosa cocktail stations a must.
Meet and Pamper
Event planning is set to hit luxe speed with the imminent opening of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, where downtime in the Quartz Crystal Spa, an urban sanctuary floating 31 stories above the cityscape, can be part of the day’s business itinerary. Upscale in design, the hotel will house 12,000 sq. ft. of event space including two main function areas that can accommodate meetings and receptions of up to 300 people.
The two-level spa, with signature services based on the rejuvenating features of quartz, promises an urban oasis for up to 40 people (buy-out available). Spa specialists can also work their magic onsite at a meeting. Several spa lounge areas let groups convene and bond between treatments. A fitness and wellness centre, opening late spring, will include a salt-water lap pool and offer programming, from yoga to health workshops.
Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre’s circular grand hall certainly jumpstarts out-of-the-box ideas for incredibly productive gatherings. Located 90 minutes north of Toronto near Midland, ON, the all-season, multi-versatile 150-acre facility with its circular room is all about reflection and building community. Nature, from forest to meadows, is the biggest distraction.
“We can facilitate whatever groups require,” says owner Liz Frost. This can include instructor-led meditation, yoga, and tai chi. Cooking classes (organic, vegetarian, of course), hiking, and drumming circles are also among the teambuilding pursuits. Overnight accommodation for up to 40 includes 10 simple but comfy cabins (four per) with overspill in an onsite B&B.
Spa To You
Give pampering a mobile spin by bringing feel-good services onsite to your indoor or outdoor event. Spa Treatment knows how to heal, from in-office wellness perk ups to easing the sore feet and aching muscles that come from trekking trade show floors and golf courses.
Choose from express packages of 15-minute treatments or hour-long indulgences, including massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. Spa Treatment’s team can give the venue site a makeover, too, setting up stations customized with spa furnishings, draped private treatment rooms, colour accents and service offerings themed to event.
Get your “Ommmm” on. Tula Yoga offers three locations where groups can flex and meditate. Its downtown facility at Duncan and Richmond Streets is the largest, capable of hosting groups of up to 35 in one of two studios, set with radiant-heat oak flooring and gorgeous brick and beam style.
Tailor yoga (all kinds, including hot yoga) and pilates classes for every level of experience. Afterwards, replenish with tea and healthy food in the beautifully appointed lounge. Layer in spa treatments including massage, or a wellness chat about nutrition. The centre’s yoga gurus can also bring their expertise onsite to an office or event.
A net, ball and players equal team spirit at the Victory Volleyball Academy. The six-court indoor volleyball facility books play by the hour, and day, plus organizes weekly corporate team leagues. Courts feature regulation volleyball flooring and electronic scoreboards. Mesh net walls separate each court, making ball retrieval easy and a non-interruption of other games.
Call on Victory’s team of volleyball experts for pre-game instruction and tournament coaching. An onsite lounge, located just off the court action for optimal viewing and cheering, also serves as a hospitality area for refueling players with catered food and drinks.
Food is fuel, and the less processed it is, the healthier, the better. That’s the concept behind Rawlicious, where cuisine is strictly vegan and raw, meaning not cooked above a temperature of 118F in order to preserve the highest amount of vitamins and minerals. Growing in popularity for its health benefits, Rawlicious, with four locations, can cater good eats that are gluten-free and contain no processed sugar, for events of up to 75.
Using organic ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible, Pad Thai, spring rolls, and pizza are among the chain’s most popular items. Delicious sandwiches are served on handcrafted onion-based bread. Add a juice bar into the offering for well-rounded nourishment.
Gift of Health
When it comes to corporate gifting, think heart healthy and practical with a beautiful bottle of premium extra virgin olive oil. Toronto-based online retailer the Olive Oil Emporium offers an extensive range of olive oils with unique flavour profiles sourced from top producers around the world. Custom packaging and delivery available.
Or let guests discover the benefits of olive oil with an onsite tasting led by the emporium’s experts. Structured tastings take participants through olive oil basics including origins and the pressing process before sampling and discussing the flavours of up to six varieties.