Thank you for your response to the earlier posts in the series for the best hotels for team building programs in South India, North India and Goa. We continue our journey to the West of the country in search of the best locations for conducting leadership retreats and team building programs. As earlier, we have kept the same criteria in mind while selecting our top 10, which include quality of banquets and accommodation, connectivity from major cities across the country amongst others. Below are our list of top ten hotels in West India for conducting team building programs and leadership workshops (in no particular order)
1. Hilton, Shillim Estate near Lonavala
The Hilton, Shillim Estate near Lonavala is a new and exclusive property in the West of the country and is easily accessible from both Mumbai and Pune through road. Spread over 300 acres of forested area, this is an ideal venue for leadership retreats for senior management teams – with excellent banquet facilities(albeit small, making it suitable for teams of up-to 30 people).
The villa style accommodation is luxurious and the service exemplary to make this one of the hot favorites in the West (it is on the expensive side however, so best to consider it if you are planning a residential conference for senior leadership teams). The resort is ramping up its own interesting activity offerings which would include a cooking schools, music, dance and pottery classes. The vast expanse of the property makes for a very interesting Geocaching Challenge trail around the resort.
2. Corinthians, Pune
For large teams based out of Pune, who are looking for a luxury resort experience but do not want to drive as far as Lonavla or Lavassa, the Corinthians Resort is an excellent option.
Spread out over 25 acres of well-maintained landscape, the resort offers one of the biggest banquet facilities in the Pune region, and yet sticks to a resort experience unlike a conventional business hotel. The indoor and outdoor activities section of the resort offers multiple options for guests to soak in different experiences ranging from an outdoor skating rink to floodlit cricket facilities. The Pune Airport(around 15 km away) offers good connectivity, especially if you have participants flying in from different locations across the country.
3. Radisson Blu, Alibaugh
Located near the picturesque Alibaugh Beach, The Radisson Alibaugh is one of the hot favourites for teams looking to have a beach experience slightly away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai city.
The fastest way to travel to the resort is to take a ferry from the Gateway of India in Mumbai to Mandwa and then a short drive on to the resort.One of the X factors of this resort has been the exceptional service offered (the staff have a nice “Yes, we can” badge on their uniforms and they really live up-to that credo). Banqueting facilities are good and the property has good lawns suitable for conducting outdoor team building activities.Our team’s favourite team building activities at the property include mobile adventure programs on the big lawns and the Outdoor Cooking Challenge (which can be conducted on the nearby beach as well).
4. The Renaissance by J.W. Marriott, Mumbai
Located on the banks of the beautiful Powai Lake, The Renaissance by JW Marriott is an excellent option for teams based out of Mumbai.
Since the property is located inside the city, this makes it a favourite for programs involving participants flying in from different parts of the country as well. With 500+ rooms and over 200,000 sq ft of banquet space, this is definitely one of the best options for large groups who want to do a program within the city limits. The huge lawns in the property are an added plus for conducting outdoor team building programs.
Udaipur is now an important dot on the map for teams looking to conduct team building programs and outbound training in the western part of the country. The city of lakes is equally well connected from Mumbai and Delhi by air and road adding to its attractiveness as a conferencing destination. The rich traditions and welcoming culture of the city make every visit to this wonderful city a memorable experience. Two of our favourite properties in Udaipur are as below.
5. The Oberoi Udai Vilas, Udaipur
Rated consistently amongst the best hotels in world by reputed travel rating organizations, the Oberoi Udaivilas is amongst our favorite venues across the entire country.
More details on the hotel are also available at our previous post on 5 best luxury hotels in India for team building.
You could visit the hotel website for checking out the banquet facilities. One of our favorite team building activities in Udaipur is the Grassroots Challenge, where participants gain understanding of the traditional crafts that flourish in the city through a fun team experience by capturing the lives of the craftsmen on celluloid(the experiences include blue pottery making and bamboo weaving to miniature painting)
6. The Leela, Udaipur
Situated on the banks of the Lake Pichola, the journey itself to The Leela, Udaipur is guaranteed to take your breath away! Getting down from the car at the private boat jetty on the other side of the lake, the 5 minutes luxurious boat ride across the Lake PIchola to reach the hotel is an experience in itself.
Armed with the excellent service that the Leela brand is known for, the property is a name to be reckoned with in Udaipur. The hotel offers multiple options for banquets and is ideal for medium sized groups, especially ones who require multiple breakaway rooms for planning sessions. Conducting an Incredible Race across Udaipur is a great way to explore the city – and gives you a flavor of the richness of tradition and history, be it a visit to the Vintage Car Museum or watching a puppet show at the city’s culture centre..
7. Lemon Tree, Aurangabad
Aurangabad is located at a 240 km drive from Pune (360km from Mumbai) and offers an interesting option for teams who are exploring alternates to the traditional Lonavala/Lavasa trips. The city is also well connected by air from Delhi and Mumbai. The Lemontree, Aurangabad is the best option for teams planning an offsite in the Aurangabad area. The fairly big banquet spaces are ideal for teams up-to 100 in size. The world renowned Ellora caves are also a short drive away, as is the wine capital of India, Nashik. The Grapestomping Challenge is a unique and exciting team building experience that we have started offering in Nasik.
8. Madhuban Resort, Vadodara
Gujarat is also gaining prominence as a MICE destination with improved road and rail connectivity from major hubs like Mumbai. Both Ahmedabad and Vadodara are well connected by excellent highways running across the state to other parts of the country as well. Madhuban Resort and Spa is located around 45 and 60 minutes by drive from Vadodara and Ahmedabad respectively and is an excellent option for groups looking to conduct a team building program in the region.
The luxury resort (in Anand) is nestled in 22 acres of green landscape, making it an ideal destination to conduct both outdoor and indoor team building activities. The banquet facilities at the resort can support groups of up-to 100 people quite comfortably. The meandering swimming pool could also be used to host a rating challenge team building activity.
9. Aamby Valley Resort, Lonavala
A city in itself, Aamby Valley Resort, Lonavala offers a surreal experience for groups travelling from Mumbai and Pune. The facilities in the resort and the mini city are excellent, ranging from fully equipped water sports facilities on the lake to a mini air field for corporate jets!
Banquet facilities are excellent too, supporting group sizes of up-to 150 people quite comfortably. The resort is ramping up the in house adventure activity options which include ATV rides, water sports, rappelling etc.
10. Della Adventure Resort, Lonavala
Positioned as the largest adventure park in India, Della Adventure is a welcome addition to the list of corporate venues near Lonavala. What differentiates this property from similarly positioned adventure parks, is the quality of luxury accommodation also available at the resort.
The new banquet facilities are excellent and can support even large groups of up-to 200 people easily. The X factor of this resort is the variety of adventure activity options (over 100 of them), ranging from rappelling and paintball to a separate section for RC(radio controlled)planes and helicopters, which can be included as part of the team experience.
Which are your favourite properties in the West for conducting team off-sites? Do join the conversation..