Does your meeting itinerary need a break from the city? Set the planning compass for Ontario’s resort country where play refreshes work and vice versa.
TSEvents e-news highlights the following great spots where Mother Nature brings together reward, inspiration, bonding and activities:
Zip lining (day and night!), mountain biking, trail trekking, and kayaking are just a few ways to explore Long Point Eco-Adventures located on Lake Erie, two hours south of Toronto. Opened in 2009, the experiential destination, nestled in lush Carolinian forest, offers hands-on nature bonding, from mushroom foraging excursions to stargazing evenings at its onsite observatory.
Truly different are the accommodations … on-site overnights for up to 48 people in luxury tents – we’re talking king-size beds, ensuites and private decks. Just as unique are the meeting spaces, which range from a reception-perfect observatory deck for 30, an outdoors amphitheatre for 130 to two tented halls, the largest fitting 120. Across the road, Burning Kiln Winery is the local for wining, dining, tours and tastings along with great space for hosting up to 75. Long Point Eco-Adventures can also handle day-tripping groups of up to 105.
Switch out computers for clubs in hitting the links at Cobble Beach where every hole offers water hazards of glorious Georgian Bay views. Located near Owen Sound, on-site landing options let you chauffeur high flyers via plane or helicopter — 45 minutes from Bay Street to the heart of the Bruce Peninsula! The four-year-old resort is picture perfect with its Nantucket-style boutique inn and spa, clubhouse, and lighthouse landmark set against the Bay’s backdrop.
Inn guestrooms vary from double to eight-person occupancy with three meeting rooms accommodating 20 to 30 people. A lovely dining room seats up to 140 and a marquee tent covers patio events of up to 160. While the top-ranked golf course is a main attraction, there’s also tennis, hiking and boating. Winter turns the 547-acre property into a wonderland for cross-country skiing, dog sledding and snowmobiling.
Relax To The Max
While there’s no shortage of space to get your meeting groove on – six rooms accommodating 20 to 600 people – it’s not unusual to see groups, inspired by Delawana Inn Conference Resort’s chillaxing setting, to brainstorm around a flip chart set up on a dock. The sprawling Honey Harbour, ON property, at the southernmost tip of the Muskoka region, offers a family friendly playground of land and water for work and recreation.
Put your group on its own private isle, canoeing or kayaking across the channel for a day of bonding on historied Royal Island (a rumoured pit stop of explorer Samuel Champlain). Or design a facilitated teambuilding program around the resort’s Adventure Course which includes climbing walls and rope challenges. Activities cover the gamut from volleyball and fishing to golf and spa-ing (two thumbs up to this one!). As a special treat, take in Georgian Bay’s scenic 30,000 Islands area by floatplane or pontoon boat.
Food For Thought
Since executive chef John Paul Adamo added president and general manager to his plate, Hockley Valley Resort has infused $5-million into making it a culinary destination, adding three new restaurants, a 4-acre kitchen garden, and a vineyard — 2015 will see its first vintage. Sealing the deal as a food-centric resort was its selection as the finale setting for this season’s Food Network’s Top Chef Canada.
The transformation has added a slew of new offerings to the planning table – cooking demonstrations, vineyard tours, and guided walkabouts of the organic garden and orchards that supply 80% of the resort’s menu ingredients. Layer in the 45-minute drive from Toronto, six versatile function rooms accommodating groups of 12 to 450, on-site spa, Scottish links-style golf course, and 15 alpine ski slopes for a well-rounded four-seasons planning dish.