SEDONA, AZ—Relaxation in the boardroom? At one time, it was not only unheard of, it was definitely frowned upon. But Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa is changing that. The resort, based here, has launched a new lineup of health-focused meeting sessions, emphasizing team-building activities, meditation and clean eating during the workday.
The program aims to break up the monotonous routine of day-to-day activities with a refreshed take on meetings and meal breaks. Accommodating groups ranging from 10-120 people, the program offers guided meditation breaks, chair massages and even mixology classes, giving life to long days. Along with the new meeting styles, Kimpton Amara introduces a dining program that embraces clean, plant-based eating with a variety of menu options for all types of diners.
Marty Bertone, area director of sales and marketing for Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix and Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa, saw a trend in the meetings and event world, where planners and attendees were looking for something fresh, innovative and healthy. “More groups are requesting unique meeting room configurations, incorporating the outdoors and focusing their food and beverage offerings on healthful, wholesome options. We took their requests as a call-to-action in devising these wellness-inspired offerings,” Bertone said. “These creative settings lift spirits, inspire camaraderie and elevate engagement. Our event spaces are more than just hotel conference rooms, they’re a place where creativity, collaboration and business can mingle.”
Along with meditation breaks and chair massages with spa experts, guests have the opportunity to incorporate custom yoga classes into their meetings as well as utilizing wellness meeting setups. These setups allow groups to creatively design meeting spaces as they like, adorned with everything from lounge furniture to yoga balls and mats to cocktail tables. Unconventional and more laid-back furniture and seating arrangements like these allow for more boardroom space and room for relaxation exercises that can foster creative thinking, according to Kimpton.
Kimpton Amara’s more than 5,500 sq. ft. of meeting space also helps provide adequate area for these activities, along with the recent upgrades to its meditation room, such as the added credenzas. “We bring little luxuries to every business event, which inspires a sense of belonging. Our long list of ‘standard’ perks is decidedly nonstandard, so this is just a continuation of what we’ve always done,” Bertone said.
After participating in all of these wellness-inspired activities, groups are bound to work up an appetite. With the new lunch buffets, groups can create a custom plant-based meal at Kimpton Amara’s SaltRock Southwest Kitchen where Executive Chef Logan Stephenson prepares Kombucha, Guajillo-infused bean dip, hummus and fresh-pressed juices. There are also gem water breaks, which provide groups with a variety of gem-infused waters for added tranquility and peace of mind.
“Unique event ideas spark from thoughtful collaboration with chefs and planners. Our chefs blend their talent with the clients’ specific tastes for a custom catering experience,” said Julie Sokol, associate director of sales at Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa. “Food is more than just fuel, it impacts productivity and concentration.”
Water isn’t the only beverage offering at Kimpton Amara. Groups can experience hands-on mixology classes led by SaltRock’s bar team. Groups learn how to mix, shake and stir their personally designed drinks using fresh and local ingredients sourced from the southwest and Verde Valley. Activities like this create an opportunity for guests to truly wake up, and not just from the cocktails. “Innovative cocktails can take a gathering to the next level. In fact, a little nip during the day can really spark creativity and participation, especially among your shyer attendees,” said Suzanne Halperin, VP of catering and banquet brand operations for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.
Sedona’s secluded setting is also conducive to sessions like these, offering a colorful and relaxing backdrop for a wellness-based lifestyle. “Sedona’s vibe lends itself to healthful, holistic lifestyles, incorporating wellness in all aspects. People from all over the world head to Sedona to reconnect spiritually; we wanted a way to incorporate the unique local features in an effort to elevate the meeting experience,” Sokol said.
These new programs align well with Kimpton’s already-intact brand standard of providing its guests with a healthy lifestyle away from home. Bertone noted some of the brand’s amenities, including yoga mats in every guestroom, complimentary bikes to borrow on the fly, in-room spa services and healthy options on all of its menus.
“Simply put, Kimpton makes life better on the road. That’s because we believe that human connections are what make life worth living,” Bertone said. “We come to work every day eager to lavish our guests and each other with heartfelt care, and we extend this care to how we promote and support health and wellness on the road.” HB