Large or small, all successful corporate getaways require an inspiring change of scenery and a seamless event, plus a range of unexpected activities that blur the lines between work and play and, ideally, spark innovative ideas among the participants. Get those basics right and a group getaway can become an agent for change in the workplace.
The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, Byron Bay, NSW
A sea change is as good as a holiday at this 91-suite rainforest resort on the edge of Australia’s capital of beach culture. At this freshly made-over retreat, now with much-awarded chef Matthew Kemp in charge of the kitchen, achieving work-life balance is easy. Flexible function spaces and appealing meeting places – including a spa deck and lotus garden – make business a breeze. Extracurricular offerings range from wellbeing to wow, with hot air balloon rides available to help delegates let off steam.
Elements of Byron, Byron Bay, NSW | 2017 Winner
Elements of Byron has almost doubled in size since it was named Best Large-Scale Corporate Retreat in last year’s awards. The 99 new two-bedroom villas and an adults-only pool with swim-up bar strengthen the case for a team retreat. Choose from 11 function spaces, including the beach-facing Heart of the Bay lawn for dinner under a marquee set to the soundtrack of the Pacific Ocean. Once the hard work’s done, reward the troops with spa treatments, horseriding and beachfront yoga.
Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula, Vic
This bold newcomer (pictured at top) is a venue to ignite the most jaded corporate mind, encompassing arguably Australia’s coolest country hotel, an avant- garde art collection, destination dining at Rare Hare and Doot Doot Doot, the working vineyard of Willow Creek and typically bucolic peninsula views. The 46-room hotel has five function spaces with up-to-the-minute audiovisual specs, including integrated Spotify and MP3 players for full mood control. Rest assured, food and wine is always at the forefront.
Lindenderry at Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula, Vic
A conference venue with its own cellar door? Say no more. Recently made over from drab to fab by Melbourne design studio Hecker Guthrie, this property woos corporate audiences with 40 elegant guestrooms, formal gardens in an Australian bush setting, a range of meeting and function options and such civilised pastimes as pinot with pétanque and cellar-door tastings with woodfired pizzas. Exclusive-use bookings of the 14-hectare country estate are encouraged.
The Darling, Gold Coast, Qld
Just debuted, this glossy 17-storey hotel has only 57 designer suites but all the services of the Gold Coast’s casino resort The Star to hand. There are a further 600-odd newly refurbished rooms at The Star Grand hotel and countless event and entertainment options. When business needs to think big, there’s direct access to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for gatherings of 10 to 6000. Downtime is covered, with The Star universe to explore, endless beaches and Pacific Fair shopping centre down the road.
SEE ALSO: The Best Business Hotels in Australia