Western Canada is not only a popular holiday destination, but also one of the Germans Company popular conference and Teambuilding-Destination: An overview.
1. Team building events in the Rocky Mountains: Meeting and Sports in Banff National Park
- Rooms and meeting rooms
- Food and prices
- Also attractive for German companies?
- Sport activities
- 2. MICE location in Lake Louise, Canada: Meeting on the green Spiegel-Lake
- Alternatives to the hustle and bustle of the lake
- Deer Lodge in the style of the 20er
- Availability depends on season
- WLAN with restrictions
- Exclusivity and group rates
- No TV, only nature
- Easy Comfort at the Lake Louise Inn
- Once around the lake
- 3. With the Rocky Mountaineer through the Rocky Mointains: days and work on the rails
- 4. Vancouver - city between sea and mountains: MICE location with a grass roof
- 5. MICE and sports location in Whistler, British Columbia: Between the Olympics and Indians
- 6. MICE location in Victoria, Canada: garden city and whale watching
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1. Team building events in the Rocky Mountains: Meeting and Sports in Banff National Park
The Banff Park Lodge is the largest conference and event hotel in Downtown Banff - only Banff Springs outside is larger. German companies like Böhringer-Ingelheim have also been here.
Rooms and meeting rooms
The hotel has 211 rooms and 16 Meeting-Rooms. One-night rates range from $139 in the low season to $279 in the high season, which is June 1st through October 1st. Especially in the high season, larger rooms like a kind of dormitory are rented out to families, for example - for around 300 to 400 dollars per night. However, the equipment is a bit musty and does not correspond to the latest standards.
The company has two other hotels, with a total of 297 people. If larger groups are requested, there is the possibility of accommodating them in other hotels. Hotel sharing, as Frank Denouden, General Manager of Banff Park Lodge calls it. However, he is half an hour late for our appointment. What does that say about the service in the hotel?
Food and prices
Up to 450 people holds the largest main board room, which, however, is divided into three parts if necessary. In addition, there are 6 small rooms for up to 30 people. The prices are flexible and must be requested individually, but depend on the food.
"Without food, the big board room costs $4000 a day," says Denouden. "However, if the meal is paid for in full, then we don't charge anything for the rooms." The hotel offers Wi-Fi, but there is also a fixed Internet connection: "Some guests found Wi-Fi to be unsafe," he explains to me. Also, there is one in the lobby Internet-Kiosk: For 2 dollars you can surf the Internet for two hours.
The hotel also offers all other technical equipment that is necessary for meetings and seminars: screens and projectors for presentations, a simple lighting system and even translation equipment. Laptops can be made available on request. The Technology must of course be paid additionally.
For the catering is the hotel's restaurant, which serves international but of course also Canadian cuisine. About the quality of the food I can not make any statement. Good and fresh food you can also take a road further at the Coyote Deli: The menu is more oriented to the south of the US, but fresh and good.
Also attractive for German companies?
The general manager sees the advantage of his hotel in its independence: “We are not a franchising company or part of a larger chain, so we can do it on site decide and respond flexibly to requests.” For this reason, meetings for larger groups could also be held at short notice. However, from June to September during the high season, this is more difficult because of the bus tourists, says Denouden. “Especially in December it is quieter. We can accommodate smaller groups of up to 50 people.”
Even if German companies like Boeringer come to the Rocky Mountains, the main market for the meetings is Canada and above all the Alberta-based oil, gas, mining and agricultural companies as well as the University from Calgary. But Banff is also very popular for Americans. The hotel accommodates a good 250 to 300 groups a year: "Meetings and conventions make up a third of our business, we turn over a good 5 million dollars with them," reports General Manager Denouden.
One reason the groups come is the wide variety of outdoor activities that are on offer in Banff. This also includes heli-skiing, rafting, hiking or cross-country skiing. Directly behind the Parke Lodge you can rent a canoe or kayak at The Blue Canoe Docks and drive along the picturesque Bow River - past the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, the birthplace of Canada's first national park. Please don't fall into the water, the water is ice cold.
If you want to swim, you can visit the Upper Hot Springs in addition to the hotel pool with jacuzzi. They laid the foundation for Foundation of the city of Banff and today offer 40 degrees warm water with a great view. With temperatures of -25 to -30 degrees that prevail here in winter, it is certainly a delight.
The Brewster Company, a traditional family business, offers not only a shuttle service to and from Calgary airport, but also a variety of tours for groups, including the Discover Banff Tours, including the Banff Gondola ride, Lake Minnewanka or a tour to the Columbia Icefields.
Unfortunately, how good the tours are depends on the bus driver: It can get a bit stressful when the buses have to pick tourists in the hotels of the city - which can take two hours. But at least: By Canadian standards, it's great that there is a shuttle at all.
2. MICE location in Lake Louise, Canada: Meeting on the green Spiegel-Lake
Those planning a meeting in Lake Louise will first think of the large Fairmont Chateau right on the lake: 554 rooms are available in various price ranges, as well as a total of 3350 square meters of diverse dining meeting and event venues.
Alternatives to the hustle and bustle of the lake
Even if the Fairmont for sure is a nice hotel but resembles a small town. And above all, there is constant hectic activity right on the lake. Celebrities also like to stop here: when I was there, Canadian TV star Casey Anderson stopped by lecture about his life with a grizzly bear.
Since this hustle and bustle does not meet my idea of a nice, quiet and relaxed meeting, I would recommend two more locations: In the immediate walking distance is the Deer Lodge, a small but exclusive location with 71 rooms and Jacuzzi on the picturesque roof terrace.
Deer Lodge in the style of the 20er
The hotel was built in 1929 and the decor is in this Style maintained, the furniture is partly original. However, the guests also pay accordingly for the special, exclusive flair that surrounds the hotel:
The rooms cost between 175 and 375 Dollars in summer, when peak season is between 119 and 219 Dollars in winter, depending on the category. The hotel does not have any extra meeting rooms, but you can use various salons and the Dinning Room for meetings and seminars.
Availability depends on season
Therefore the availability is also strongly dependent on the season: in the summer stands only the small Lady Agnes Salon, named after the wife of the first Canadian president McDonald for approximately 15 people at the disposal. It costs about 250 dollars per day. One should therefore book one year in advance for the summer.
In the off-season in winter you can also rent the large dining room with space up to 80 people - it costs about 1000 dollars a day. Therefore, from October to May is the ideal time for a meeting here.
WLAN with restrictions
In technical terms, the hotel offers full audiovisual equipment. "We can get what we don't have," explains manager Gavin McCaffrey.
Free WiFi is of course also available, but McCaffrey does not recommend relying on its functionality: “We're in the mountains here and you don't know what happens to the WiFi signal in bad weather. So better that Risks minimize,” he says.
Exclusivity and group rates
Technology and food go extra: The food belongs also to the upscale category. Breakfast is available from 19 Dollar, lunch from 24 Dollar and the dinner proposes with 50-60 Dollar to book.
The restaurant is also popular with people from the surrounding area: There is, among other things, typical Canadian cuisine such as elk or game. The company also has its own buffalo ranch. However, all prices are not fixed, there are group rates that vary depending on the size of the group and the time of year.
No TV, only nature
Most of the companies come from Alberta, but also from Toronto or the USA. "Quiet, cosiness and nature, but at the same time the opportunity to be together - that's what our guests are looking for," summarizes Manager McCaffrey.
Therefore, there is no television and no air conditioning in the rooms: instead, there is a fireplace. Guests should breathe fresh air and be active outdoors. But that certainly also helps to save costs.
Easy Comfort at the Lake Louise Inn
If the Deer Lodge is too small, the Lake Louise Inn is recommended. It is located directly in the center, close to the shopping center and offers 247 double rooms for about 500 accommodation guests. There are simple rooms and a delux category, where the rooms are equipped with whirlpool. In addition, a loft can be provided for families and smaller groups.
The rooms are not all in the main building, but also in different houses spread over the grounds. This gives you the impression of being closer to nature. Another plus is the comparatively large hotel pool on the ground floor of the Hautphauses, which also includes a jacuzzi.
The hotel offers numerous meeting rooms, the largest of which is the Wilson Room, offering space for 150 to 200 people. The downside is that the meeting rooms are located in the basement and are a bit old-fashioned. As the German-born Revenue Manager Svenja Sievers tells me, they are soon to be rennoviert.
Amenities include free Wi-Fi, screens, beamer, conference telephone and - with lead time - microphones. In the summer you should ask 4-5 months in advance, in the low season from February to May and October to November also 2-3 months lead time.
The prices vary depending on the season, utilization and group size: In principle, several packages can be booked, which can be viewed on the hotel's website.
The food should, based on the quality of the breakfast, rather average: The usual scrambled eggs with bacon, waffles and toast. However, there are also fruits.
Of course, Lake Louise offers all sorts of winter and summer sports that are also suitable for team building activities: ski and dog sledding, canoeing, rock climbing and much more.
The Lake Louise gondola with a view is recommended. It's not as great as in Banff, but it's very nice. If you like it quiet, you can hike further up the mountain or into the valley. The gondola advertises the best view of grizzly bears in the Canadian Rockies, but I couldn't confirm that. Positive: There is a shuttle service that connects the individual hotels and the shopping center with the gondola.
Once around the lake
Another option is to hike around the famous, picturesque Lake Louise, which looks like a green one Spiegel lies between the mountains: It is advisable to climb up to Lake Agnes Tea House, from where you have a great view of the whole lake halfway. Unfortunately it is very crowded, especially in summer, and you are almost overrun by tourists when hiking near the lake. The greater the distance to the lake, the quieter the hike should be.
3. With the Rocky Mountaineer through the Rocky Mointains: days and work on the rails
There is nothing special about working on the train. That a train has a meeting car, however, already. More specifically, the train winds its way through the Canadian Rocky Mountains on a historic route. In the long run, however, the train is a bit uncomfortable.
On 5 routes through British Columbia and Alberta
The Canadian railway company Rocky Mountaineer was founded in Vancouver in 1990 to offer rail travel through the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It has received several awards for this and is one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world World. The trains now operate on five routes:
First Passage to the West between Vancouver and Banff or Calgary, Journey through the Clouds from Vancouver to Jasper, Rainforest to Gold Rush from Whistler to Jasper, Whistler Sea to Sky Climb from Vancouver to Whistler and since 2013 there is also a route from Vancouver to Seattle.
On the trail of the railway pioneers
The first Canadian Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald and the Canadian Pacific Railway Railway, built the line between 1881 and 1885 to link the Canadian West to the rest of the country.
Developing the Canadian Rockies was a major challenge for engineers at the time: Steep passes and narrow gorges had to be overcome. Just before the North American watershed, for example, the steep track on Big Hill caused many trains to derail. It wasn't until 1907 that engineers in Switzerland found it Solution. Modeled on the Biaschina Gorge, they blasted two spiral tunnels in Mount Ogden and Cathedral Mountain. The trains today run on two large loops through the mountains - if the train is very long you can see the rear part of the train going into the tunnel at the very front below you.
Highlights of the circuit
The route between Banff and Vancouver offers further highlights: In the shallow gravel bed of Shuswap Lake you can watch salmon every late summer, the Fraser and Thompson River swim up to spawn here. And at Hell's Gate, the water shoots with great force through the bottleneck along the railway at the narrowest part of the canyon.
However, I particularly liked the area around the not very inspiring town of Kamloops, where guests spend the night on the two-day trip: The arid area is so dry that it is called a desert. In fact, the landscape is quite different from the dense forests of the Rocky Mountains.
The Rocky Mountaineer has 75 locomotives and wagons. These include GE F40PH locomotives, the Canadian National Railway EMD GP40-2L, 32 Canada-Car and Foundry Red-Leaf Wagons, and 16 Colorado Railcar double-deck wagons with panoramic glass roofs, which are, however, exclusively of the first class, the GoldLeaf are reserved.
These glass roofs, which allow a comprehensive view, are also what make the train so famous. I personally liked other equipment features better: the small “outdoor terraces” between the wagons, which offer direct access to nature at the leisurely pace of the train.
Prices and food
The two-day trip between Vancouver and Lake Louise, including hotel accommodation and really excellent five-star food and great service costs about $ 1.600 Canadian Dollars in the luxury category.
Food is served in the GoldLeaf Class dining car, located on the lower floor. Especially with large groups or when the train is full, here fast an uncomfortable crowd when the whole group goes to the dining car to eat together.
Groups and Meetings
The Rocky Mountaineer can take groups of approximately 600 people. The entire train can be chartered at special prices for this purpose.
In addition, a fully-equipped lounge car with conference tables, LCD screens and an open bar can be booked for presentations or meetings. In an informal seating arrangement, 30-35 fit people into the wagon, with a classic boardroom arrangement with tables 20-25.
The lounge cart can only be booked by guests of the GoldLeaf - and only in addition to the normal GoldLeaf price. The price for the lunge wagon is one time 15.000 Canadian Dollars.
So nice, picturesque and especially the train journey is also: One thing that would disturb me during group travel is the narrowness of the train, which one can not miss on the long train ride of 10-12 hours every day.
Another one Problem, which is particularly detrimental to concentration at meetings, is the constant swaying of the train. If such little things don't bother you, we warmly recommend the train route because of the really great landscape.
4. Vancouver - city between sea and mountains: MICE location with a grass roof
Vancouver is considered one of the most beautiful but also the most expensive cities in the world, supposedly even more expensive than New York City. That also makes itself felt in the prices for the venues. The third-largest city in Canada, however, offers a conference center with a grass roof.
Convention Center with grass roof
The Vancouver Trade and Convention Center on Canada Place is located on Vancouver's beautiful waterfront, adjacent to the cruise ship terminal, and features 43,340 m² fully equipped 72 meeting rooms of varying sizes. It was the only one twice to receive the AIPC Award for Best Congress Center in the World. The east building served 2010 as the press center for the Olympic Games.
The 2009 inaugurated West Building has six acres of leafy roof - the largest of its kind throughout Canada and also excellent. Cultivated with indigenous grasses and shrubs, birds and insects are to be given a natural habitat. Both the roof and heat pumps with seawater are used to cool the building in summer and to provide heating support in winter.
MICE at the boutique hotel
Only a few blocks away is the Loden-Hotel another exciting meeting location. The boutique hotel features 77 luxuriously appointed rooms. Prices start at about 230 Canadian Dollars per night, but are variable by season and occupancy.
For meetings and incentive events, various venues are available: the boardroom for up to 12 people, the small salon for up to 18 persons, the large salon for up to 40 people and a particularly luxurious 150 m² penthouse with an 130 m² large terrace and space for up to 125 visitors.
Technology integrated into the design
The technology was integrated into the design: The sound system is hidden behind the paneling and the screen also functions as a Spiegel. Depending on the time of year, you have to inquire two to four months in advance for a booking. It is particularly difficult in the summer months from April to October.
The Loden has free high-speed WiFi in all rooms as well as a Business-Center with computer access with laser printer, secretarial and translation service. The hotel's service is as good as its facilities: there is a special meeting plan service, express check-out and also a car service.
Service and gastronomy
The Engagement of the Employees As is so often the case, this is reflected in the details: At breakfast time, you can get tea and coffee in the lobby without paying extra for breakfast. It's almost unbearable that the hotel doesn't have a pool with a sauna, just a 24-hour gym.
The drawback is that the breakfast in the French bistro restaurant Tableau in addition to the anyway not low price must be paid. It is served à la carte and averages about 15 Canadian Dollars. Also the dinner is highly recommended - it is different in the gourmet Paradis Vancouver, whose kitchen tends to value healthy food, not to be expected.
For those who want to eat outside, the restaurant Wildbeest located in the hip scene-Virtel Gastown is recommended: 2013 has won two awards and attaches particular importance to sustainable, ecological and regional products of all kinds, but especially meat dishes. In a building from the 19. You can watch the chefs prepare the menu in a traditional, yet creative, modern way.
The 1231 meter high Grouse Mountain is something like the Vancouver's houseberg: outside of the peak hours you only need 20 minutes to the valley station of the Skyride shuttle, which leads from North Vancouver to the mountain and is in another 10 minutes on the mountain. There is even a city bus line On the southern side of the mountain there is a ski and snowboard area, which includes four chairlifts and 26 ski slopes, which are also possible at night by night.
Personally, it was a bit too busy up there for me, but of course the view over Vancouver is beautiful, and you can also admire Grizley bears in an enclosure. These are recommended vantage points Eye of the wind, a wind turbine below the top of the tower and can be reached with a lift, as well as the Altitudes Bistro, where you can enjoy the view through the glass pane in peace and quiet. The food is rather middle class - but of course no star menu is recommended. You pay for the view with the price.
Just minutes from the Skyride base station is the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a free-swinging rope bridge that spans the Capilano River at a height of 70 meters and is 136 meters long. Other attractions of system , which attracts 800.000 visitors a year, is a treetop walkway, but only halfway up to accommodate older visitors, and a glass-bottomed walkway over the gorge.
City park with rainforest
But when you are in the middle of nature, although the big city is just next door, is the Stanleypark, the third largest city in North America. It extends directly into the northern tip of Vancouver with an area of 404,9 hectare into the fjord Burrard Inlet. The largest part of the park consists of original rainforest with about half a million trees. Through the park is an 200 km long network of walks. From the park you have a great view of the mountain panorama and the Lions Gate Bridge.
Highly recommended to explore Vancouver from the water and take a look at the skyline is a ride with the small Aquabussen, small motor boats with rainbow logo, which call at False Creek all day over different stops.
5. MICE and sports location in Whistler, British Columbia: Between the Olympics and Indians
Whistler in Vancouver, Canada, is the venue of the Olympic Winter Games 2010. The Four Seasons Resort as MICE-Location is recommended, but unfortunately correspondingly expensive.
Sports program and good service
Whistlers divide the spirits. The one say it is a pure tourism place, a little like Disneyland. I liked it, however, because it is an excellent starting point for combined events with sports programs of all kinds.
The Four Seasons Resort is undoubtedly one of the better hotels: it offers not only a beautiful complex with 273 rooms, including 92 Suites and 3 Townhouses, but is also characterized by an excellent service. I have rarely experienced a hotel in which the staff were so concerned about the welfare of the guest. This has its price: From 229 Canadian dollars cost one night.
Meeting rooms on 1429 square meters
Meeting and conference rooms for up to 1429 extend over a total of 350 square meters People. The large ballroom offers 353 square meters of space for 180 to 250 guests, depending on the seating. There are also four smaller meeting rooms of 64 square meters each, which can accommodate 25-60 people depending on the seating.
All meeting rooms are equipped with projectors, screens, lighting technology and sound system. In addition, on request, everything is organized with appropriate cooperation partners. Also Wi-Fi is of course available, but it is not freely available, but must be booked accordingly.
Meetings in the indian longhouse
There is a support hotline for telecommunications. In addition, the hotel offers computers as well as secretarial, translator and interpreter services.
Right next to the resort is the Lil'wat Cultural Center of the local Squamish Indian tribe, in which 2884 square meters are available for meetings and events for up to 800 people. The event rooms that hotel guests can rent include an Indian longhouse.
Gastronomy and prices
The high-quality restaurant Sidecut with 90 seats inside and 70 seats outside provides for the gastronomy. Incidentally, the food and beverage manager Jan Brueggemann comes from Bonn. As a special feature, the restaurant offers outdoor catering in a heated tent or a barbecue. If you want to eat outside the hotel, you can do that in the elements, which you can really recommend.
For groups, you should book two years to six months in advance, depending on the season. It depends on what is wanted, explains press officer Jessalyn Peachie. The prices for all meeting rooms are determined by supply and demand and vary accordingly. With a minimum occupancy of 30 percent, a company can also book the entire hotel in the buy-out process and, as a special feature, brand the hotel and use it as advertising space.
Sports and relaxation
For sports and relaxation, there is a gym, a spa with 14 treatment rooms and an 23 meter pool. The latter is outside, but is like the two whirlpools fully heated, so that it can be used in the winter.
There is a shuttle service that takes guests to the town. The resort also organizes numerous activities, including bear watching tours, cooking classes, fishing or tennis. A special feature is the golfing offer, which is not only possible on the nearby golf course, but also on a glacier.
Mountain rides and ziplining
Whistler is, of course, mainly a ski resort: the hotel provides its own ski concierge in the winter, which organizes the ski day for the guests. There are ski lessons and as a special offer heli-skiing, in which a helicopter takes the guests on 1800 meters. Also dog sledging, ice climbing or snwomobiling are offered in Whistler.
In summer, down hill biking is very popular: the ski lifts mouten to bike lifts, then brave racing fully equipped down the mountain. A highlight is the tour with the Peak2Peak Gondola, where you can ride in a gondola, which is partially equipped with glass bottom, the 4,4 KM long distance from Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Peak over the steep and deeply cut valley of Fitzsimmons Creek. The cable car currently has the largest span of all cable cars and the highest altitude above ground.
My personal highlight, however, was the zip lining of The Adventure Group, whose Ziplining Park is one of the world's longest zipline trails. Hanging on a rope, you can ride up to 80 KM / h over the impressive valleys for one kilometer. A real ultimate adrenaline kick.
6. MICE location in Victoria, Canada: garden city and whale watching
Victoria is like a small British colony near the American border with lots of activity opportunities - the most exciting of which is certainly whale watching. Practically close to the harbor and almost opposite the small conference center is the MICE-Location the somewhat old-fashioned Victoria Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel.
Garden town and Scottish fishing village
Victoria is also called Gartenstadt and indeed the villa district is characterized by generous parks, while the pub scenery at the harbor is more like a Scottish fishing village.
But the absolute highlight is Butchart Gardens, an 22 acre private flower garden, located on the Saanich Peninsula in the south of Vancouver Island about 21 kilometers north of Victoria and 20 kilometers south of the Swartz Bay ferry port. The whole just two and a half hours from the nearest us-American metropolis, Seattle. Such contrasts make Canada exciting for me.
Archipelago and Floating Houses
In fact, our guide jokes that one from Victoria is faster in Seattle or Hawaiian than in Vancouver - and he would prefer to fly to Hawai. Victoria is located on Vancouver Island, where you can take an 90minute ferry ride. However, this is fantastic and goes through a picturesque, archipelago landscape. This waterway, geologists have found out, has been around since 12.000 years.
The port of Victoria offers some interesting architectural features: floating houses at Fisherman's Wharf, the picturesque Gorge-Tillicum Bridge and the no less picturesque Gorge Waterway - there is a lot to discover here and the best way to do this is to use the Victoria Harbor Ferry.
Finn and killer whales in whale watching
The Whalwatching with the Prince of Whales Whale Watching off the coast of British Columbia and the US state of Maine is worth highlighting. In our 30 knot fast Zodiac (precaution cold!) We see finnish and sword whales as well as in the case of Rockrace Sea Lions from partially close up.
While the whales don't show up here in the same numbers as roughly Quebec's St. Lawrence River, the Zodiac ride is clear adventurous and immediate.
Routed MICE Location: The Marriott
The Marriott is now within walking distance of the port. There is not much wrong with the name Marriott: there are 16 rooms and 228 suites on 8 floors. Prices start from 118 Canadian Dollars per person.
In addition, 460 meeting rooms are available on 10 square meters. The largest of them is the Pacific Ballroom with 270 square meters for a maximum of 280 people. All rooms are equipped with an AV and sound system, projectors, screens and flipcharts are available or can be provided on request. For an accurate Planning A comprehensive planning tool is available on the Marriott website for the meeting including equipment and seating as well as scheduling and budget.
The Marriott's offer is complemented by a pool and fitness room. The procedures in the hotel are routined - if one from the queues at the entry into the breakfast room absent. In fact, an employee tells me that it is her first day of work, which explains the organizational chaos.
The breakfast could be compared to American standards for good: There are next to eggs, bacon and waffles also some fresh fruit. The big spark of enthusiasm, however, does not want to skip.
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