Studies show that when people have access to the beauty of nature, they are less stressed and have increased focus. With that in mind, it’s only logical for planners arranging Midwest meetings to seek out some of the region’s idyllic lakeside resorts. From spa treatments to activities such as sailing, kayaking, golfing and hiking, attendees can clear their minds and get physically reinvigorated through relaxation and wellness-oriented pursuits. 

The Lodge of the Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, Mo.

The Lodge of the Four Seasons, located on the shoreline of Lake Ozark, offers several activities to help guests release stress and rejuvenate their spirit. 

The property is renowned as the only full-service golf resort in the state, and features an 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. The second course, the Ridge, is designed to showcase the surrounding beauty and geographical features, and also offers a driving range. 

If playing a few holes under a blue sky doesn’t do the trick, groups can seek serenity at the Japanese-themed Spa Shiki, featuring the ancient arts of relaxation combined with the latest spa technology. Infrared Himalayan salt stone saunas ease toxins from the body, and other menu services treat tired muscles, from deep tissue massage to aromatherapy and reflexology. 

Outdoor activities are popular with groups, according to Frederik Houben, director of sales and marketing at the property.

“The resort offers bicycle rentals, hiking trails, sand volleyball, disk golf, trap shooting and water activities,” he said. “Even for those who seek brain stimulation, we have a life-size chess board on site.”

He added that the lodge can also assist in setting up guided fishing tours and lake cruises.

“When it’s time to decompress or simply take a break at lunch time, or any time, we offer activities that allow attendees to shut off temporarily and return mentally fresh.”

The calming, soothing effects of nature are even incorporated into meeting room design.

“Several of our meeting rooms feature natural daylight as well as stunning views of the lake,” he said.

The Abbey Resort, Lake Geneva, Wis. 

The Abbey Resort beckons with activities for any time of day and any season of the year. Set on 90 acres, the property offers plenty of room for outdoor pursuits or team events, along with 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. 

The Avani Spa works with groups to incorporate wellness breaks into conference agendas, including chair massages and hand scrubs between breakout sessions. Planners can also utilize the spa for a reception, when attendees can try a number of mini-treatments sampled from the spa menu. To help release stress, staff at the Abbey Resort and Avani Spa can arrange private exercise classes in the on-site fitness studio or a stand-up paddleboard class in one of the property’s indoor pools.