A good leadership retreat—a couple of days away from routine—can reinvigorate and realign any team, whether it’s a board, an executive suite, or otherwise. But make sure you don’t lock people into a stuffy meeting room for hours in a dreary part of town. Instead, choose a retreat space the engages, excites, and offers plenty of opportunity for bonding.
Full disclosure: Texas CEO Magazine’s ownership operates a ranch and retreat venue, Texas CEO Ranch, near Bastrop, Texas. We’ve just wrapped up construction on our state-of-the-art executive meeting room. But when it comes to great retreat venues, we’re definitely not the only game in the state.
Here are some of our favorites:
Camp Lucy, minutes outside Austin, may be known for its spectacular weddings, but they’re also equipped to host a great corporate retreat. They boast 282 acres of land and 50,000 square feet of customizable event spaces with indoor-outdoor breakout spaces and all the equipment you might need.
Take advantage of their 5 event venues with flexible indoor-outdoor breakout spaces, an award-winning restaurant, 39 stylish guest rooms, and two cottages. Our onsite programming and delicious in-house culinary program make for a convenient, inspiring, and unique retreat!
High Hill Farm
Arp, Texas, roughly halfway between Dallas and Shreveport, is home to the appealing High Hill Farm. Surrounded by piney woods, the venue offers two primary meeting spaces—an executive boardroom and grand ballroom—plus a pool, firepit, spa, golf course, and walking trails. Well-appointed bungalows allow for overnight stays, and High Hill Farm’s onsite catering team can tailor the menu to your team’s tastes.
Hotel Emma at Pearl
If you’re looking for a luxurious, historical vibe for your retreat, look no further than Hotel Emma. This charming riverfront hotel—a true San Antonio landmark—was built in 1894 as Pearl’s Brewhouse. Its interiors, by renowned design studio Roman and Williams, incorporate old-world extravagance, South Texas grandeur, and a shirtsleeve industrial aesthetic borrowed from the brewery’s heyday. That includes the hotel’s meeting rooms, which are about as far from corporate boredom as you could imagine. You may be particularly interested in the Elephant Cellar, with its 19-foot ceiling, gigantic gray beer tanks and upraised pipe “trunks,” and three-dimensional elephant sign crafted by local metal craftsman Robert Diaz De Leon.
Inn on Lake Granbury
About 45 minutes from Fort Worth, the Inn on Lake Granbury offers a peaceful lakeside experience that’s less than a mile away from historic downtown Granbury. They are experienced with and fully equipped for meetings and retreats, with a full audiovisual setup, high-backed executive chairs, easels and whiteboards, and more. Take advantage of the Inn’s award-winning chef, who can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your group, and enjoy lake activities like kayaking and jet skis.
JL Bar Ranch, Resort & Spa
On the western edge of the Texas Hill Country, JL Bar Ranch’s 13,000 acres offer a serene getaway for thinking, relaxing, and connecting with your team. They certainly don’t skimp on the activities, either, making it a great choice for teams that like activities—from sporting clays to horseback riding to mountain biking to wine tastings to karaoke. An onsite airport allows you to get settled in and move on straight to more important things!
Lajitas Golf Resort
At Lajitas Golf Resort, you get a remarkable mix: stunning golf views, world-class business amenities, and a prime location on the Rio Grande—tucked right next to Big Bend National Park. Lajitas makes a point to offer a full slate of support services for your retreat: transportation coordination, audiovisual coordinating, highly customizable catering menus, a 245-hour business center, and more. Once the business is done, you can enjoy all kinds of excursions, or stick close by for Black Jack’s Crossing, Lajitas’ 18-hole championship golf course while practicing your perfect golf grips.
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
Situated in the rolling Hill Country just west of Austin, Omni Barton Creek Resort is a great choice for a refreshing team getaway in Central Texas. The resort completed a $150+ million renovation in 2019 and now features 493 guest rooms, additional meeting space, an all-new spa and seven dining options. With 76,192 square feet of meeting space and an air-conditioned indoor-outdoor pavilion that can retract to transform to an open-air venue, your team’s needs will be met. You can also enjoy one of four golf course and plenty of nearby excursions—whether to nearby wineries and breweries or into the heart of Austin.