A Guest Post by Jane Yin
As we all became buried knee-deep in work, reports, meetings, deadlines and product releases, it’s essential for companies to bring their team back together with the ultimate annual off-site.
I’ve personally been on one off-site in my life, when I was invited, as a consultant, to the winter off-site for a sports company client. As we individually made our way up to the mountains of the windy Santa Cruz mountains to the 10-bedroom VBRO rental that we’d only just explored online. One by one, each car got lost, twisted down the wrong private dirt road and pulled over to the side with our cell phones held up in the sky arching up to get the sliver of internet still available for GPS, like we were tributing to the latest Emo band.
When we all finally clammer up the stairs to the rental, we were pleasantly surprised with some of the promised amenities of the site and also disturbingly surprised by the abundance of gaudy European modern penis sculptures riddled throughout the house. Maybe VBRO isn’t always just used for company off sites.
After the week o’ fun, it got me thinking about what would make the ultimate off-site location. Here is my exploration of it for San Francisco.
The choices to do an off-site in the heart San Francisco is clearly plentiful, but that can also make it hard to narrow down the perfect experience for your team. Here are some tailored experiences to explore, as you make your decision:
Some Off-sites are all about getting the whole gang together, unwinding and bonding, especially after hitting a major corporate milestone.
The central hub starts off with the Omni Hotel which in the heart of the SF Financial district. This gorgeous 5-star hotel knows how to pamper its guests, maintaining the utmost professionalism throughout the whole experience. Your employees will be grateful for their lush mattresses to plunge into at night, along with the clean, amenity-filled rooms. Who doesn’t love an amazing hotel. Turn down service! If you need to ask, you have NO idea!
The Omni has many options within its property for team-building activities, boasting seven flexible meeting rooms. Their team is extremely accommodating, so working with them to tailor the core of the off-site will be a lot of fun.
One Kearny is a great option for a rental space for bonding activities, if you want to spend a pretty penny. The architecture is gorgeous — rustic architecture and versatile layout, which includes a beautiful outdoor rooftop terrace.
Some less expensive options for meetings and activities are Spur and EEFG. EEFG is incredibly accommodating and has all the technological frills you may need for any presentation, and you know you’re supporting positive energy practices, if you do rent from them.
Dinner Time: A great dinner option is at the Omni’s Bob’s Steak and Chophouse. An underrated place only because it exists within a saturated food market, Bob’s is the kind of place that makes you feel at home as soon you step into the woodsy haven of true steak and meat connoisseurs. Famed for their gargantuan sizes, guests can indulge in a family style meal which will give you plenty of leftovers for the next three days. The team there is very accommodating to work with your needs and can tailor the menu to fit your group. There are of course many different private room of all sizes within the hotel itself that can accommodate banquet dining, if you’re group is larger than 20 or 25.
Wayfare Tavern down the street is also a great option. Their are several private dining options there as well, which is probably ideal, as the dining rooms can get crowded and noisy, so it would be harder to have an intimate discussions.
Other Fun Food Runner-ups: La Mar is a delicious and spacious restaurant by the Ferry Building, which has incredible views. B Restaurant is a hidden gem that offers California cuisine and panoramic views, as it sits atop the grassy area next to the Metreon.
Post Break-away: For those daring ones, there are a great list of post-actvity watering holes for late-night bonding, including the Art Deco-style Stookey’s Club Moderne. The menu features all time favorite signature cocktails, along with fun themes like Cuban Sundays. Burritt Room + Tavern, Redford and the new Pagan Idol are all great options with killer cocktails and great atmospheres.