BY JANE AMMESON
The Grant Street Inn, with its atmosphere of serene luxury and first class amenities and service, offers all the components necessary for a successful corporate retreat–one designed to build a stronger team, improve problem-solving techniques and conflict resolution skills, increase effective communication, collaboration and productivity and, most importantly, just having fun.
Considered one of Bloomington’s signature boutique establishments and as well as an integral part of one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the Midwest, the Grant Street Inn transports visitors into its opulent and sumptuous Victorian past. The main building dates back to 1883 when it was a private dwelling known at the Ziegler House. The inn now is a collection of buildings, four of which were special preservation and restoration projects. These include the Annex and Buttercup Cottage, both restored not only because of the demand for additional guest rooms but also out of respect for the historic heritage of the neighborhood. The integrity of these architecture gems of the last century or before meant bringing back to their original beauty such magnificent and original detail work as the parquet hardwood floors, hardwood trim, hand-carved rosettes and stair rail, mosaic lobby fireplace and wrap around front porch. In a creative use of architectural detail, two pocket doors were readapted as floor-to-ceiling headboards in Rooms 23 and 26. A touch of whimsy is the photograph of actor Danny Glover, star of the film The Good Catholic, who stayed at the Inn in 2016 when filming nearby, hangs next to the fireplace.
The 5th building, the only newly-constructed building at the Grant Street Inn, is LEED certified, built using green construction–the first of its kind in Bloomington. The LEED Expansion offers 16 modernized luxury rooms each of which boasts an over-sized king bed, full-size sleeper sofa, refrigerator, coffeemaker, functioning work desk, and of course is decorated throughout with historical photos of Bloomington.
In keeping with their mission of all things green, the inn uses solar heated hot water panels and collecting rainwater for irrigation purposes and also features as high-efficiency heating and cooling units in all guest rooms, auto sensory LED lighting, a fitness center, bicycle storage lockers, and a Tesla charging station for electric powered vehicles. For meetings, there’s Code and Key Escape Rooms.
All five buildings cover three city blocks and are centrally located between historic downtown Bloomington and Indiana University—all of which are within walking distance. Scooters and Uber are also available.
Beyond the inn, Bloomington offering a plethora of international restaurants, culture, arts, entertainment, and outdoor activities. Nearby are Lake Lemon, Lake Monroe where there are a variety of boats to rent including a 34-foot double-decker with slide capable of accommodating 24, power boats, jet skis, fishing boats, kayaks, canoes and pontoons as well as watercraft accessories such as tubes, skis and wakeboards.
Also, nearby for team building are Hoosier National Forest and Brown County State Park, the largest state park in the county. Both offer a vast network of hiking trails and spectacular views of valleys and hollows. Slightly further away, McCormick Creek State Park, the state’s oldest park, offers guided horseback riding trail rides, kayaking through the limestone canyons and hiking on trails meandering past Wolf Cave, Twin Bridges, and the Falls on McCormick’s Creek. There are boat and kayak rentals on Griffy Lake, biking on Bloomington’s B-Line and walking paths throughout Indiana University’s 2000-acre campus—a showcase of beauty and culture including outdoor sculptures, fantastic architecture some dating back to the 1800s, museums and gardens. Southern Indiana is a spelunker’s dream because of its vast underground of caves. In Bedford, Bluesprings Caverns not only offers boat trips on the longest underground river in the world, but also underground crawls led by guides. What better way for a team to learn to work together and build trust. Or you can stay above ground with such activities as golf, disk golf courses or visiting the areas many wineries, breweries and distilleries.
Finish off a busy day with Etiquette Dinners offered by Mindset Etiquette, designed around the belief that etiquette gives a person the confidence needed to navigate any social situation and helps in becoming more organized.
For meetings that make memories, more engaged employees and a stronger, more cohesive culture, make the Grant Street Inn the destination for your company’s next corporate retreat. It’ll be the easiest and most worth-while decision you’ll make all year!
For reservations call 812.334.2353 or visit grantstinn.com.