Guided meditations between meetings can bring attendees the same amount of energy that a cat nap would without having to send attendees back to their hotel room or bringing out cots, blankets and pillows to the ballroom floor. This is just one of the several activities that the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa recently launched as part of its new teambuilding guide made up of three categories: Body, Mind, Wellness; Cooking; and Tastings.
“[Teambuilding activities] such as the guided meditation, which is mainly about awareness and releasing anything in the mind, really help attendees gain a new ability to think and creates extra space in the mind to absorb more information,” says the property’s Spa Director Brisa Huezo. “Once completed, you see the attendees and they’re stretching and smiling, and they can go back to the next part of their session.”
Huezo says that the meeting planner feedback to the teambuilding options has been phenomenal, and that the Body, Mind, Wellness activities such as yoga and chair massages are some of the most popular activities groups request.
“No. 1 is the chair massage combined with the hand reflexology,” says Huezo. “We can incorporate it not only during 15-minute breaks, but also when the session is over at cocktail receptions. You would think that attendees would be self-conscious [about getting a massage] in their cocktail attire, but no.”
Yoga is also something that the resort continuously books for groups, especially as it becomes more and more popular in San Diego, says Huezo. All of the yoga classes at the resort are conducted outside, usually on the lawn, which can hold groups of up to 50 people.
“Yoga is very popular right now,” says Huezo. “The yogis already know about it and can’t live without it, and the attendees new to it want to see what the whole thing is about.”
While not exactly a wellness activity, the salsa-making challenge is another group favorite, especially when they decide to incorporate margaritas, Huezo says. Each team is challenged with making the best-tasting salsa from scratch, which then must be marketed to the rest of the group. Not only are the attendees’ cooking skills put to the test, but they also have to create a commercial spot, promotional aprons that showcase their “brand” and a vegetable car to be raced in the Salsa Derby.
Estancia’s new teambuilding guide also offers groups the opportunities to play bocce ball, hike along the Pacific Coast, participate in a mixology boot camp and do whiskey or tequila tastings.