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itgroove Staff Retreat 2017 at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

March 4, 2017

This year, itgroove celebrated the holidays a bit differently than usual, by extending the festivities through January, including a retreat to the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa to beat the post-holiday blues.

The hotel is one of our clients, and Louis (who is their lead tech, and often on-site) has mentioned how beautiful the atmosphere is at the Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa. After staying there for our staff retreat, I wholeheartedly agree.

The Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

The Sidney Pier is located on the waterfront of Sidney, BC, Canada, and within walking distance to the cute, quaint shops and restaurants that Sidney has to offer. Even though the Pier is only about half an hour from Victoria, it felt like we were in a completely different place.

itgroove Staff Retreat at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

Photo from The Sidney Pier

The front desk staff were especially warm and helpful when we checked in. The lobby was lively, with many folks sitting on the chairs and couches hanging out, and a din coming from the Georgia Cafe. I also noticed that the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa has pet friendly rooms, which is great for travelers with canine companions. Overall, I’d say the hotel is laid back with a touch of class, and definitely not stuffy – which totally captures the spirit of Vancouver Island.

The suite we stayed in at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa was comfortable and cozy. It had huge windows with a French balcony, a small table to sit for coffee or breakfast, a couch for visitors, and a plush king-size bed.

itgroove Staff Retreat at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

Our suite at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa.

Let The Games Begin

When we entered our room, we found two truffles from Rogers’ Chocolates, a small kit of Lego with a car on the box, and a note. The note mentioned a few things: to meet in the Sallas Room at 5, to bring the unopened Lego box with us, that the secret word was “Rutabaga”, and that something was hidden in the room. We scoured the room to find this item, and even flipped up the mattress together. Of course, we didn’t find anything.

When we met with the rest of itgroove in the Sallas Room downstairs, it was revealed that there was no “secret item” and that Sean‘s wife Wendy was the mastermind behind the trick. We all thought it was hilarious.

The Lego kit did, however, serve a purpose. Each of us, teamed up with our spouses, were timed for how quickly we could assemble our Lego kit. As a prize, the winners received – what else? – a box of Lego.

itgroove Staff Retreat at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

Our dinner menu was from Haro’s Restaurant and Bar. There was a nice mix of fresh, healthy and vegetarian options, and more “classic” meals like steak, pasta, and burgers. The food was delicious! We also liked that the hotel put our logo on the place cards – it was a thoughtful touch.

itgroove Staff Retreat at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

Place settings in the Sallas Room.

After dinner, we walked over to Miracle Lanes for a few rounds of glow bowling. We had some seriously awesome, old fashioned fun, with an air of friendly competition and 80’s tunes blasting through the bowling alley. Note to self: next time, bring a highlighter to draw on peoples arms and faces (it shows up under black light).

itgroove Staff Retreat at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

Glow bowling at Miracle Lanes.

When bowling was over, we headed back to the Sallas Room in the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa to play a Xbox One game called Fibbage on the projector screen. It was my first time playing Fibbage, but considering how my belly hurt from laughter, it won’t be the last. Oh yeah, and there were some awesome prizes at stake too. I won a personal blender (think Magic Bullet but a water bottle) that I use all the time.

itgroove Staff Retreat at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

The itgroove team plays Fibbage.

Thanks for the Retreat!

The whole team had an amazing time at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa this year. It was a great way to have some fun in a typically slow month. Plus, it’s always fun to see coworkers outside of regular office hours and with a bit of “truth serum” in their systems. I’d definitely recommend the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa for Vancouver Island visitors and staycationers alike.

Last, but not least, a huge thanks to Sean for treating us to our getaway and for just being generally awesome.

itgroove Staff Retreat at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa

The view from our room at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa.

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Karin Skapski

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