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My work takes me to special places. I train, give workshops, coach, and follow courses or lectures in halls, forests, parks, film studios, gyms, hotels, company canteens, beach clubs, castles, country houses, churches, scouting houses, sports halls, on beaches, offices or roof terraces.
In this article, I give you an overview of the most special places where I had the opportunity to be in the past years to learn, give, and receive.
(They are in no particular order, and I receive no kickbacks for promoting these special places).
This old church has been transformed into a restaurant and cultural venue. It is in Schipluiden (near Delft). It hosts lectures, concerts, and seminars on culture and well-being. The church is a beautiful place for weddings and memorial services. Next to the church is a rectory where you can go for consultations or training. It is a special location where I regularly meet with clients, relations, family, and friends. It is a place to recharge.
I once gave a workshop here in the church of the former monastery near Soesterberg. The reverberation was a great experience. You can come here for seminars, lectures, and events. It is possible to stay overnight here.
This special meeting place is in Maasluis and is, of course, located in a polder. The Polderij rents out rooms for coaching and training sessions. The place is quiet. There are also larger rooms for presentations or to sing and eat together. The coffee there is delicious!
This estate is brand new and located in Zeeland. As a group, you can rent an entire Villa for your meeting. Outside, you can smell the sea, which is somewhat secluded, so you can work here undisturbed.
Jochem and Juliette van Hessen are brother and sister. Together, they have this beautiful place in the Hulkensteinse Bos in Zeewolde where you can go for inspiration sessions, workshops, teambuildings, company outings, and complete onboarding programs. Their mission is to keep employees vital. I’ve enjoyed coming here for years and giving workshops in the blue tent, the forest cabin, or the beach! In the summer you can camp here, but they also have cottages where you can stay overnight. The special thing about the people at Energy Up is that they treat you as if you were a colleague. The support is perfect, and the food is sublime. You taste and feel that they do their work with passion and love.
I have been coming to this place outside Europe for almost 30 years to recharge and recalibrate spiritually. Temple of ECK is located in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and is open to everyone, regardless of faith. It is a place to meet and attend workshops or lectures. There are beautiful hiking trails around the temple.
In the woods near Hilversum is Hoornboeg. Like the Nooren Estate, you can rent an entire cottage with your group. It is quiet, and you can eat in the nearby restaurant de Tuinderij. You can also take beautiful walks here, and at night, the trails are lit, so you can easily find your way back to the parking lot.
Drakenburg is located in the woods near Baarn. This is also a former monastery where you can rent rooms for training, education, and seminars. It is a special place where I have been coming for years to do seminars myself. In the summer you can sit outside.
In the woods of Heemstede is also the old monastery Marienheuvel. Chateauform operates this location and focuses on executive teams of large organizations. When you come here as a group, everything is organized perfectly and done to make you feel at home. The same goes for the trainers. It is internationally oriented, meaning the staff also come from Germany, France or Portugal. When I arrive early in the morning for a workshop, I often see guests running here. It’s nice to be here.
And the same goes for the last monastery. I like to come here too but it’s a bit further away in the Belgian Ardennes. Thorembais is located between Brussels and Namur. It is a beautiful location where you can spend the night, just like in the monastery of Marienheuvel. I often find several groups here, all using their part of the monastery or the huge barn. This location is also rented out for parties and celebrations on weekends, but there are mainly management meetings during the week.
Near Oisterwijk is the Outdooroffice. A smaller location for trainings and meetings. Remarkable is the good atmosphere and the nice staff.
This old school is located near Wiesbaden, Germany. I have been here twice now to do my own training. It is nice to be here and very convenient. The rooms (single and single rooms) are very clean, and the food is delicious. During breaks, plenty of coffee, tea, fruit, and small snacks always exist. It is located in the Hilly area, and you can run well.
Near Schiphol Airport lies this seemingly unattractive hotel/restaurant/conference center of the NH Hotel Group. Upon entering, on the other hand, even as a trainer, you are warmly welcomed as if you were a guest. The restaurant resembles a green greenhouse and, in no time, can be converted into a room with a stage and audio amplification. The staff goes out of their way to make everything perfect for their clients and trainers. They understand that hospitality is color while service is just black and white. This is what Wil Guidara describes in his book “Unreasonable Hospitality.” Service is when you get a hotel room for a fee. It is black and white. Hospitality is the staff asking me if I had a good trip when I report to the front desk. It’s the good coffee and the exit ticket I get (for free). That and the smile provide color.
And so this week, I was in the theater of a music school in Belgium for the last training of this year. It was an old building without fresh cappuccino, a dressing room, or assistance. It smelled like my old music school in Luxembourg city.
On the way home, I realized that it is not the location that is a determining factor in the success of an event. A nice location with good facilities helps, but the participants ensure the success of a training or workshop.
What special places have you ever worked at or attended a training? What made it a special place? Let me know in the comment box below. I, and other readers of this article, look forward to read from you!
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