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  • Six ideas for the perfect executive planning retreat

    February 04, 2023

    Hit the ground running in 2023. Plan your executive retreats now and lock in dates with these six fabulous venue ideas. Ideal for board members, executive, leadership and sales teams to map out the year ahead and reconnect in the relaxing surrounds of regional Victoria.

    Hotel: Intercontinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula

    Dive into planning and strategy at this iconic seaside hotel – the Intercontinental Sorrento, where a fresh ocean breeze will invigorate delegates, while the property’s nostalgic glamour and premium facilities offer the opportunity to unwind and clear the mind.

    Conferencing facilities

    Located in the limestone Heritage Wing, the Intercontinental Sorrento’s Art Deco-inspired event spaces offer breathtaking views of the foreshore and stylish furnishings bathed in natural light.

    The Gallery: A sophisticated and versatile space, The Gallery is the perfect venue for an elegant meeting or intimate event. Large windows flood the room with natural light and provide ocean views. This space is ideal for a meeting of the minds, with precisely tailored furnishings and packages available to suit your needs.

    Room size: 105 sqm

    Halcyon Hall:  Gather together beneath the ambient light of ornate chandeliers and be inspired by the extravagant Art Deco interior. Their largest event space, the Hall is lined with lofty windows and French doors, revealing ocean views and opening onto Sunset Terrace.

    Room size: 224 sqm

    Grand Ballroom: For larger groups, their spectacular Art Deco style Grand Ballroom effortlessly weaves historic glamour with modern style.

    Dining and entertaining spaces

    The Sunset Terrace: This refined yet carefree space can be booked in conjunction with Halycon Hall and offers room to mingle and entertain, with breathtaking ocean views.

    Room Size: 135 sqm

    Audreys by Scott Pickett: Intercontinental Sorrento offer delegates an unparalleled culinary experience at Audrey’s by Scott Pickett.

    Fresh seafood and sophisticated surrounds await at this bold expression of refined coastal dining. An iconic space reminiscent of 1920s glamour, Audrey’s is situated in their historic limestone Heritage building and features both an elegant dining room, and private dining space with sweeping views of Sorrento Village and the foreshore.

    Opportunities to unwind

    When the planning sessions are done for the day, staff can bask in the sun at the Mediterranean pool deck and sip a refreshing beverage or two. Indulge in their premium rooms and enjoy the complimentary in-room bar, featuring a seasonal line up of locally distilled spirits, wine or boutique brews. Or escape into a world of serene luxury and personal wellness, with a soothing massage at Aurora Spa & Bathhouse or a workout in their fully equipped Fitness Centre.

    The destination

    A 90 minute drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is best known for its award-winning restaurants, picturesque wineries, stunning beaches, quaint townships and alluring landscapes. The vibrant seaside village of Sorrento stretches from Port Phillip to the open ocean, a relaxing getaway amongst a backdrop of world-class food, wine, and culture.

    Exterior view of Intercontinental Sorrento Hotel lit up at night.

    Hotel: Sebel Yarrawonga

    Consider a Murray River retreat at a lakeside golf and lifestyle resort. Sebel Yarrawonga’s luxury 4.5-star boutique hotel boasts an eco luxe design, spa and wellness centre, infinity pool and restaurants, along with lush green lawns and superbly landscaped grounds to walk and talk.

    Conferencing facilities

    The Sebel Yarrawonga offers a unique and adaptable range of function spaces with uninterrupted views overlooking Lake Mulwala. The venue is ideal for product launches and corporate meetings through to small or mid-size conferences and events.

    Boardroom: Contemporary boardroom with floor to ceiling glass doors opening onto a terrace with stunning Lake Mulwala views. The Boardroom accommodates up to 10 guests, the perfect venue for your next small business meeting or private and very exclusive inside-outside dining experience.

    Halburd Room: Capturing sweeping views across the lake the Halburd Room offers adaptable space opening onto a covered terrace, including fully integrated audio, video and fixed projection equipment and Wi-Fi access. Halburd room can be opened up to the adjoining Coghill Room.

    Room size: 99sqm – 198sqm

    Coghill Room: Capturing sweeping views across the lake the Coghill room offers an adaptable space opening onto a covered terrace, including fully integrated audio, video and fixed projection equipment and Wi-Fi access.

    Room size: 99sqm

    Dining and entertaining spaces

    Elizabeth’s: Currently hosting exclusive degustation menus, Elizabeth’s is a fine dining restaurant that blends understated elegance with a refined menu, celebrating the region’s bountiful gourmet produce.

    Stock & Barrel: A contemporary casual dining option accompanied by craft beer and regional wines which can be enjoyed sitting by the fireplace or on the terrace overlooking the lake.

    Sunset Poolside Bar: The perfect spot for an outdoor reception with signature cocktails, chilled tunes and breathtaking views of Lake Mulwala.

    Opportunities to unwind

    Enjoy some team bonding in the fresh air on Sebel Yarrawonga’s Black Bull 18-hole Championship golf course. Or clear the mind in their infinity-edge pool. Delegates can also make use of the spa and wellness centre to unwind and relax.

    The destination

    The Sebel Yarrawonga is located an hour’s drive from Albury Airport or a three hour drive from Melbourne in the picturesque Murray River region. Your driving route from Melbourne will take you through the stunning Silo Art Trail, while your drive from Albury takes you through the gourmet Rutherglen food and wine region.

    Sebel Yarrawonga executive meeting room with views to the lake.

    Hotel: Hotel Bellinzona

    Head to Australia’s spa country for an executive retreat in the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region. Hotel Bellinzona is a landmark boutique hotel from the turn of the 20th century with 43 beautifully appointed rooms and three acres of beautiful gardens. They also offer a further 20 king bed rooms across the street at The Amalfi.

    Conferencing facilities

    Choose from a variety of premium corporate and event spaces. Their function rooms feature flexible furniture arrangements, hi-speed wifi, audio-visual equipment, remarkable decor and stunning views of the forest and their manicured gardens.

    The Atticus: A smaller event venue with an emphasis on privacy. Featuring second storey views of the hotel surrounds, a charming open fireplace and a substantial board table.

    Suitable for 10 – 20 guests

    The Renaissance: Rich in elegance, the palatial Renaissance Room is illuminated by natural light and has sweeping balcony views of the forest. The gorgeous design of this room stimulates creativity.

    Suitable for up to 180 guests

    The Medici: Floor to ceiling windows flood the room with natural sunlight, while the wraparound balcony boasts views of the garden and central fountain.

    Suitable for 10 - 120 guests

    The Piazza: Spacious and flooded with sunlight, the Piazza is a multipurpose event space with direct access to the hotel gardens and alfresco area.

    Suitable for up to 120 guests

    Dining and entertaining spaces

    The Virgin Café: Offers a magnificent breakfast, lunch and dinner menu seven days a week.

    The Oxford Private Dining Room: Fine dining cuisine curated with modern sensibilities. Extensive wine list adorned with the region's best.

    The Augustus Private Dining Room: Opulent, extravagant, utterly delicious on all fronts.

    Opportunities to unwind

    Post-meeting gather together in The Lobby Bar, replete with plush wingback chairs, baroque lamp lighting and a cigar lounge vibe. Delegates can also take advantage of their heated indoor swimming pool, spa and sauna. Or take a short stroll to the renowned Hepburn Springs Bathhouse and bathe in its healing mineral rich waters directly from the source.

    The destination

    Located just 60 minutes’ drive from Melbourne Airport, Hotel Bellinzona is nestled between the historic spa townships of Hepburn Springs and Daylesford. The region is renowned for its fine food & wine, revitalising mineral springs, art galleries and natural attractions. And with the majestic Wombat State Forest as a backdrop, delegates can also enjoy peaceful walking trails and winding bike paths, soaking in the region’s abundant natural beauty.

    Hotel Bellinzona exterior view

    Hotel: Mitchelton

    One of Australia’s favourite wineries, Mitchelton, on the banks of the picturesque Goulburn River, provides a unique and idyllic location for a corporate retreat or team building getaway.

    Mitchelton hotel, designed by internationally renowned architectural and interior design practice of Hecker Guthrie, offers 58 luxurious and spacious rooms which boast a private balcony overlooking the river or vineyard.

    You can also choose from a variety of unique indoor and outdoor spaces offering backdrops to suit every taste and season, perfect for an intimate leadership meeting.

    Conferencing facilities

    Mitchelton’s unique spaces include the iconic Ashton Tower, the largest operating wine cellar in Australia and the Gallery of Aboriginal Art. Event spaces can be tailored to your requirements, with various rooms to choose from in the Mitchelton Cellar, the Montage Room and the Print Room.

    Print Room: Mitchelton’s most intimate space, the Print Room features built-in AV and a large boardroom-style table, perfect for corporate events.

    Suitable for up to 18 guests

    The Montage Room: Large-scale events find their place in The Montage Room. Take in the grandeur of the venue as you enter Mitchelton’s largest events space.

    Suitable for 200 - 350 guests
    Ashton Tower: Take in 360-degree views of Mitchelton’s estate from the iconic Ashton Tower. Perfect for unforgettable corporate event.

    Suitable for 60 - 100 guests
    Mitchelton Cellar: The largest in Australia, Mitchelton Cellar offers its own unique ambiance that will make your event exceptional.

    The Gallery: Housing the largest private collection of Indigenous Art from around the country, Mitchelton’s underground gallery is the only one of its kind in Victoria. You can even organise a private tour with the Curator with prior arrangement.

    Suitable for up to 150 guests

    Dining and entertaining spaces

    The Muse: Inspired by fresh local produce found throughout the Nagambie Lakes district, The Muse serves modern farmhouse cuisine overlooking the banks of the Goulburn River. Offering a dining experience that is rustic yet refined, the menu has been designed by Executive Chef Daniel Hawkins with a food philosophy that favours local, sustainable and ethical farming methods.

    The Provedore: Serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week, cafe favourites include stone-baked pizza, pasta and salad.

    Cellar Door: Discover the flavours of Mitchelton with an unforgettable wine tasting experience. Choose your own wine experience with a standard tasting or let your senses be guided with a luxury, museum or cheese/praline pairing flight.

    Opportunities to unwind

    When work is over for the day, delegates can enjoy the pool, day spa treatments, a meet and greet with the winemaker, or a river cruise on the Goulburn Explorer.  

    The destination

    Mitchelton is located on the banks of the Goulburn Valley in Nagambie around 90 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.

    Arial view of Mitchelton Winery in Nagambie

    Hotel: Curlewis Golf Club

    When it comes to facilities, functions and epicurean experience, the new Curlewis Golf Club & Resort is a game above the rest. Commanding in both scope and ambience, no detail or expense has been spared in bringing The Bellarine’s newest and most dynamic destination to life. Not to mention being nestled on the grounds of one of Australia’s top 50 Public Access Golf Courses.

    Conferencing facilities

    Embrace spectacular views spanning fairways, greens and bay within Curlewis’s event spaces. All which include sophisticated furnishings, cutting edge AV facilities and an array of epicurean options to suit all budgets.

    Claribeaux Restaurant: A sophisticated and versatile space with natural light spanning the entirety of the room, Claribeaux is a conference space that offers comfort, accessibility and bound to be enjoyed by all. Large windows flood the room with natural light and provide views of the fairway. Room features fully integrated audio, video and fixed projection equipment and Wi-Fi access. Clairbeaux can accommodate up to 200 in a boardroom layout and cater for up to 350 cocktail style.

    Suitable for up to 200 guests

    Ivor’s Spike Bar: Ivor’s Spike Bar is the place for corporate gatherings. Soak up the relaxed, contemporary vibe. This versatile function space offers sweeping views of the Golf Course and includes state-of-the-art audio-visual technology. With the ability to accommodate 65 in a theatre style conference and up to 100 for cocktail event The Ivory bar has everything you need and more. 

    Suitable for up to 65 guests

    Dining and entertaining spaces

    Ivor’s Spike Bar Terrace: Want to take your event outdoors? Head out to the terrace, soak in the fresh sea breeze from the nearby coastline. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be served here daily and there is an abundance of room to mingle and entertain out in the open air.

    Suitable for up to 65 guests

    Opportunities to unwind

    When the planning sessions are done for the day it’s time to tee off in style. This golf course isn’t rated in the Top 50 in Australia for no reason, so be sure to make the most of it! Picturesque and sometimes challenging, with bunkers and firm, fast greens, it is the wind that often determines the level of playing difficulty.

    The course measures 6,150 metres and is a exciting par-71/73. A task for players of all standards and a true test of golfing ability. Looking for Golf that is lower key? Stop by the state-of-the-art 18-bay driving range at The Range Curlewis. This facility is the only one of its kind in regional Victoria and combines a fully licensed bar, restaurant/café, function room, outdoor viewing to the range and two-tiered mini golf course.

    The destination

    Only an hour's drive from Melbourne, discover a place where you can explore the best parts of Australia, from the rugged country to the salty coastline. Geelong and The Bellarine is a city of natural delights, unexpected experiences and incredible food and wine. From the stunning waterfront and urban precinct to the craft breweries, award-winning wineries and world famous golf courses. This is a city enriched with an old industrial landscape which has been reclaimed and reshaped into incredible restaurant, drinking and event venues.

    Looking to Curlewis Golf Course from the green

    Hotel: RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort

    RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort is a relaxing country retreat with picturesque views of the Yarra Valley with an 18-hole golf course and spa.

    Conferencing facilities

    Mt Riddell Room: Perfect for a board meeting, containing a boardroom table for six, couches, a secretarial area and a private bathroom.

    Suitable for 6 guests

    Syndicate Rooms: If you require am intimate environment there are six Syndicate Rooms, each with a 65 - 75” LED television, sound bar and plenty of natural light. Perfect for board meetings, workshops or executive training sessions.

    Room size: ranging from 24 – 34sqm

    Barak Room and Watts Room: Healesville Country Club & Resort offers a range of small to medium meeting rooms located on level one with panoramic mountain views and car access (perfect for product launches).

    Room size: Barak 73sqm | Watts 95sqm

    Ballroom, James, Day and Coleman Rooms: This incredibly flexible space offers stunning views of Mt Riddell. The ballroom is 3.7 metres high and completely without pillars, so the options and possibilities are virtually limitless. You can even drive vehicles from ground level into the ballroom for display.

    Room size: From 98sqm to 400sqm

    Grand Conservatory: The perfect place to hold a cocktail party or networking event overlooking stunning Mt Riddell in the Yarra Valley.

    Room size: 210sqm

    Dining and entertaining spaces

    Banyalla: Boasting stunning views of Mt Riddell, enjoy a creative dining experience with a strong emphasis on fresh local and Victorian produce.

    Riddell’s Green: Their indoor/outdoor casual dining alfresco bar is the ideal location to cater for post-golf drinks or a casual meal.

    Opportunities to unwind

    A fantastic 18-hole golf course offers teams the opportunity to bond as they play a round in a beautiful setting. Another option is their four-hole short course that can be booked as a private space for your group’s personal use. If golf doesn’t appeal, guests can go mountain biking, play barefoot lawn bowls, Bocce, croquet or billiards.

    The resort also offers tennis, a 25m indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room, spa and fitness centre.

    The destination

    Just over one hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley region is well known for wineries, galleries, wildlife, walking trails, adventure activities and local produce supplies.