J'adore Business - Retreat Yourself

The company retreat is a time-honored tradition–and it’s an exercise that can either be a chore or an eagerly anticipated event with positive and lasting effects on your team and your business.

For executives and decision-makers, it makes a lot of sense to take a little extra time and energy to do it right, and to make sure that your retreat or company gathering falls into the latter category.

Planning and executing a great retreat can literally and figuratively pay dividends.

A retreat is obviously a great way to share information and communicate with your team, But it also can provide employees with an opportunity to set and achieve goals. it can be a safe place to share doubts or concerns and to overcome fears.

The social aspects of a retreat or company event can get your team working together in new ways and in new contexts, and can help forge strong and enduring connections. Retreats can generate fresh perspectives and ideas, and–who knows–maybe even unlock hidden talents. Or they can simply be a great way to boost morale and have some fun.

Whether you’re looking for team-building or brainstorming; something formal or something offbeat; and whether your priority is to inspire, to foster engagement and interaction and social bonding, or maybe just to get your team out of their comfort zone, Detroit is packed with places, spaces and experiences that provide a little something for everyone. Some are off the beaten path, and some are iconic and familiar Motor City landmarks, but all offer something unique and memorable. 

From artistic and cultural spaces, dining and entertainment venues, to spaces suited for unique activities and one-of-a-kind experiences, the following list of suggestions includes just some of the many places the City of Detroit has to offer when it comes to hosting company retreats/gatherings:

Brooklyn Outdoor Loft

Brooklyn Outdoor’s unique loft space looking out over Eastern Market, on the corner of Russell and Winder, is airy, open and eclectic. (it's also J'adore Detroit's Home base) With a kitchen area, multiple bathrooms, and large tables and comfortable sitting areas (complete with furniture on castors for easy reconfiguring), the space can accommodate small and medium sized groups. Murals painted by area artists add local color, and customizable wallpaper affords a unique opportunity to make the space your own.

Photo from  Debra Prinzing

Photo from Debra Prinzing



Jam Handy Building

The former profession home of Henry Jamison "Jam" Handy, an Olympic medalist and prolific filmmaker, the Jam Handy Building is a partially renovated former film studio that’s not only a cultural and architectural treasure, but a unique space to host your next company retreat.

Photo from  Inner State Gallery





Inner state Gallery

The Inner State Gallery on Gratiot Avenue is an artistic exhibition space located on the first floor of 1410 Gratiot Avenue on the edge of the historic Eastern Market District. A series of gallery spaces that regularly display photographic exhibitions and artistic installations, the Inner State Gallery is the ideal place to meet and to get inspired.




Photo from  Wedding Wire

Photo from Wedding Wire


The Eastern

The former home of Hook and Ladder House No. 5 and the Detroit Fire Department Repair Shop, The Eastern is a 5,000-square-foot multi-use industrial space with polished concrete floors, metal beam framing, and galvanized 18-foot steel ceilings. In addition to a grand indoor space and 2,500 square feet of outdoor space, the facility offers wifi access, a wireless speaker system, available valet parking, vintage seating, tables, and displays, a fully built-out bar made from reclaimed materials, and an outdoor patio complete with a catering kitchen shed.

Photo from  10 Best

Photo from 10 Best



Salt & Cedar

Salt & Cedar is a letterpress studio in the heart of Eastern Market. The 3,000 square foot space regularly hosts cultural, community and special events, and (an added optional bonus!) instructor-led workshops include traditional and experimental printing, 'zine making, book structures, and paper making.



Photo from Two James

Photo from Two James



Two James Distillery

The Two James Annex is an industrial warehouse meeting and performance space in Corktown. As part of the retreat, employees might enjoy a tour of the adjacent Two James Distillery–the first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition. Tours book fast and are limited to 20 participants, so plan ahead!


Photo from Satellite Press Transmission

Photo from Satellite Press Transmission



Signal Return

Signal-Return letterpress studio has helped to reintroduce the authentic craft of handset printmaking to Detroit. The space is first and foremost a working letterpress studio–a unique and distinctive backdrop that sets the stage for all programming, activities and special events.




While Detroit is packed with great places to stay, consider hotels and hospitality venues that specialize in hosting company gatherings and corporate events, and have the resources and service offerings that can help your company retreat go smoothly. Great options in the city include:

·       The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit

·       MGM Grand Detroit

·       Greektown Casino Hotel

·      The Antheneum Suite Hotel


If you need help planning your team-building event, workshops or customized retreat, it might be helpful to work with an organization that specializes in planning and organizing those unique activities and finding the right venue for your team.

Two of the best are:

American Outback Adventures and Events, which offers a wide selection of themed retreats and custom-designed events, and Detroit Team Building, which specializes in delivering dynamic and interactive team building events infused with local Detroit flavor.



So take your time. Do your research. And try something new and different for your next company gathering or special event. Because sometimes, to move forward, you have to retreat!


CANDICE SIMONS, J'adore Detroit