Prevue July/August 2013 - (Page 72)
Austin’s adult summer camp is the future of experiential meetings
[ON LOCATION] GIANNA WYATT
he biggest takeaways at a meeting are those special
moments when the bond finally clicks between
attendees. Experiential activities are always
successful to break the ice. The 70-room
Travaasa Austin specializes in these type of programs in
Texas Hill Country and sparkling Lake Travis, about one hour
The camp-like property sits on the 210-acre Balcones
Canyonlands nature preserve, surrounded by sky-high oak
trees and a 3-acre working farm. There’s a true sense of
zen the moment you step onto the worn earth paths to your
cabin. The calming vibes really set in when you see all of your
colleagues dressed in yoga gear.
The resort offers more than 15 classes of yoga, pilates
and breathing. Groups can choose their day from the large
list of activities located in the welcome center, categorized by
adventure, culinary, culture, fitness or wellness.
“The possibilities are endless at Travaasa,” says Jorah
Anderson, senior sales manager. “We specialize in helping
groups bond and relax, but also have a lot of fun.”
I tried a boot camp class early in the morning. The air was
cool and crisp as the sun rose over the Texan landscape. After
an hour crunching through the nature trails with the group, we
really felt as if we were away from civilization, just connecting
with the natural elements of the forest.
I headed to The Spa comprised of 11 treatment rooms, hot
tub, sauna and an infinity pool overlooking the lake and hillside.
My treatment was called “The Rose”—a signature treatment
inspired by the popular live music scene in the area. Lyrics and
melodies of Janis Joplin slowly whispered while the masseuse
used hemp oil and tie-dye sheets during my treatment. It really
got me in my groove for my day of activity.
Build adventure programs at the state-of-the-art
challenge course, climbing wall, zip line and equestrian
center. One of the most popular outdoor classes is the
Equine Encounter. You’re paired with a horse in a corral
where you’re required to brush and pet the horse, before
making it follow you. It’s designed to be a lesson in nonverbal communication, associated with self-awareness and
awareness with others.
Our culture-themed classes included lessons for square
dancing, harmonica, astronomy and Texas Hold ’em. It was
fun to learn poker for the first time and it’s a great bonding
exercise, especially with organic chips and local beer.
Experiential culinary events are a big deal at Travaasa.
We toured the new farm onsite, which supplies 80 types
of crops, perennial fruits, nuts, edible flowers and herbs to
Jean’s Kitchen restaurant. F&B options for groups include
seeding/greenhouse classes, farm tours and a wide array of
seasonal cooking classes.
The luxury cabin-themed rooms are spectacular. They
celebrate the natural surroundings with eastern-facing decks
to enjoy the sunrise. The large windows and natural light
are an especially big selling point. For business events, the
9,000 sf of meeting space includes a 6,700-sf conference
center and the Solidago Gardens. The 2,400-sf, indoor/
outdoor courtyard is perfect for dinners and cocktails.
“The garden is one of the most magical spots on
property,” says Anderson. “The mason walls are hand-laid
with hidden treasures throughout. There’s a true sense
of unity buried at the floor of this space, and that feeling
carries on for groups who gather here.”
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7/3/13 2:34 PM
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue July/August 2013
Planner's Pick: New Zealand
Fresh Meets: Autograph Collection
Bureau Buzz: Monterey County
Good Business: South Africa
sea Shores: Small Ship cruising
The Local Kitchen
Special Section: Caribbean
On Location: Hilton/LXR, Puerto Rico
On Location: The Broadmoor
The South, Florida & Las Vegas
On Location: Starwood Resorts, San Diego
On Location: Travaasa Austin
On Location: Moon Palace Cancun
On Location: IRF Cancun
Check Out: Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana
Prevue July/August 2013