Why Surf Office?
How can we deliver the best experience at a lower price point than other event agencies?
Surf Office is a well-rounded solution/platform bringing together verified partners and matching them with our client’s needs to create the best retreats in both quality and value.
Here it is explained into more detail.
What’s the process like?
These 5 steps explain the entire retreat booking process.
What retreat solutions do you offer?
We’ve organized all kinds of retreats, from specialized team hackathons to customized all-encompassing company retreats.
Whether you’re looking to do some harcore work while getting to know a new city, going off the grid to relax and bond or are in need of organizing a leadership getaway, we’ve got you covered and can cater to your needs.
How many people can you host?
We’ve hosted hundreds of teams ranging from 5 to 250 people.
Why should we use Surf Office instead of Airbnb?
Airbnb works fine for smaller groups (up to 10 people). However, the main difference between Airbnb and Surf Office is that we create a personalised authentic experience where you have a professional workspace and assurance of reliable, backed up internet.
You also don’t need to be worries about the last minute cancelations.
Why should we use Surf Office instead of a hotel?
We do work with hotels for facilitation of large groups, due to simplicity (and the fact that in bigger groups people usually require more privacy of accommodation) and/or client requests.
What Surf Office brings to the table is a personalized retreat experience where you get your hotel accommodation in the same package as your offsite activities and a professional workspace.
All of this comes neatly organized, packed and invoiced in one.
With Surf Office you’re guaranteed to have the best pick of local offerings, off the beaten track activities proven to help teams connect and of course a great time for everyone who attends.
What does the housing look like?
Accommodation depends on your group, preferences and budget.
If you’re a smaller group and would like to stay in a house/apartments, we have ensuite and shared accommodation options available in each of our locations. We always try to accommodate your entire group under one roof whenever possible.
Bigger groups can also request non-hotel accommodation but will usually have to be distributed among a few addresses.
If you’re a bigger group (>30) who wants to stay at one location, hotels are a good option and our team can help you to book the best one based on your budget/preferences.
Is it possible to book only the workspace without accommodation?
We’ll be happy to help you organize activities with our trusted providers in any of these locations as well.
Will someone from Surf Office be staying with us?
In most of the cases (unless it’s a specific requirement on your end) we won’t interfere during the retreat. The retreat planner makes sure everything is in place ahead of your stay.
That being said, if you experience any problems throughout the duration of your retreat, you can always contact us or turn to one of our trusted on-site partners (accommodation and activities providers) who will be happy to help out.
What kind of activities can people do at a retreat organized by Surf Office?
We want to offer experiences that are authentic and high quality. We like to find activities that help get people out of their comfort zone and cultivate personal growth.
We always make sure these activities are natural and people are excited to try them. Surfing, for example, could be a scary one for some. That’s why before the activity, the entire team watches an instructional video, warms up and gets motivated together.
It’s important to mention that our team has also tried all of the activities we offer and have close relationships with people managing those activities, so you can rest assured anything on offer comes highly recommended by the Surf Office staff.
Making the inquiry
What happens after I make an inquiry?
The more detail you use to describe your ideal retreat, the better our proposal will be. A short call (usually about 5 minutes) really helps us understand your needs and expectations.
Once we agree on the proposal and the payment is made, the planning starts. We understand that organizing retreats is not your fulltime job and we’re constantly optimizing our processes to minimise your time involvement.
What is the best time of year to organise a retreat?
- The best time is when you have a feeling your team needs a retreat.
- The most popular periods are spring and autumn
- There is no month when we don’t organise retreats
- The most popular winter locations are Gran Canaria and Madeira
- The rest of our locations are popular all year round
Can you help me choose the optimal location for my retreat?
Yes, we’re happy to help you to choose the location that best suits your needs. Feel free to book a call with our retreat experts to find a solution that works best for you and your team.
Can you help us with flights?
Based on where your team is located, we can help you determine the most optimal Surf Office location for your next team meetup. Or, you can use our handy Location Finder tool to explore the recommended locations for your team yourself.
Although we don’t book flights for clients directly, we are partnered with a flight booking agency that is always happy to step in and support you through the process if need be.
What happens after I make the payment?
Once we receive your payment, you’ll receive an automated email confirmation. This is the start of our automated onboarding email funnel, which is designed to guide you through all the steps of the retreat planning process.
What should I do first?
The first step to planning your retreat is getting acquainted with your personalized dashboard.
It’s the place where you’ll find all relevant information on your retreat – addresses, WiFi codes, activity choices, sightseeing suggestions and more.
Throughout the process, your dashboard will be your go-to resource for all things retreat-related.
I’m anxious to get the ball rolling on our retreat planning, how do I get in touch?
The best way to start planning your retreat is to consult your dashboard. Here you’ll find activity suggestions and details related to your retreat.
In the meantime, we’ll also be sending you automated and timely onboarding emails with relevant information throughout the entire planning process.
What is the most important information I need from my team?
Make sure that everyone’s passport expiry date is no closer than 3 months out from the time of your retreat.
If you’re planning on booking team building activities, you might want to consult with the group or read through our recommendations to pick the ones that suit your group best.
As well, if you’re planning on booking any group meals, make sure to collect any dietary preferences/requirements ASAP.
How do I get around to planning our group schedule?
Each group/retreat is different but we always recommend focusing on your retreat goal as a starting point in building your schedule.
If you’re looking to build connections, it’s good to leave plenty of time for informal bonding.
If you’re developing a new feature/organizing a hackathon, make sure to carve out plenty of uninterrupted work blocks.
Check out this blog post for more insights on our best practices when developing a schedule.
How long do I have to decide on team building activities?
We have a 2-week cutoff date for booking team building activities.
This means all your activities need to be chosen and locked in 2 weeks prior to your retreat start date. For any requests submitted after this date, we can’t guarantee availability (but we can try our best to make them happen).
Any logistics tips?
Again, we’ll direct you to check out your dashboard. You’ll find most of the location-specific logistics information there (public transport, ATM locations, credit card acceptance, weather forecasts, etc).
Share these with your team for ease of planning/packing. If you’ve booked airport transfers through us, make sure to collect everyone’s flight information on time, so we can make all necessary arrangements.
I’d like to have a call with my retreat planner to discuss our retreat details, is that possible?
Since we’re big on standardizing and optimizing our processes, we have two tiers of Retreat Planning – Standard and Premium.
Our Standard Retreat Planning service includes:
- A dedicated retreat planner working behind the scenes to help book extra add-ons (airport transfers, team building activities and restaurants)
- Simplified communication & invoicing between you and local vendors
- A dedicated online Dashboard with all the info for your retreat, easily accessible by all retreat participants
- Local suggestions & tips for sightseeing/food/drinks
- Automated onboarding emails to guide you through the retreat planning process
- Online support during your retreat in case of unexpected challenges
If however, you feel like you need additional support, you can always book our Premium Retreat Planning service which includes all of the above plus the following:
- A dedicated retreat planner available on-call
- Scouting and designing custom-experiences/team activities – if you want to venture beyond the standard offer, we can help design tailored experiences for you & your team
- Concierge service – handling stuff like delivering packages to the retreat location and helping out with any special workspace set-up for your workshops/events
- Booking additional services like flights, individual transfers, extra nights for participants (outside the duration of the retreat), etc.
- Assistance with designing/arranging customized swag for your team
What should we bring?
- Communal supplies such as laundry detergent, hair dryers, toilet paper, kitchen towels and cleaning products are ready for your use on-site
- Every room comes with a set of bedding and towels
- Since the purpose of your stay is business, be sure to bring your computer and the necessary electricity converters
- If you forget to take these with you, we can help you locate a local electronics store to get you started
What travel insurance do you recommend?
We don’t have any specific recommendations, as it’ll change from person to person. Consider what you need first, as this will help you narrow down your search (i.e valuable extensions cover and hazardous activities cover, or maybe just the basics).
Check out your credit card providers first as they often include insurance. Any activities you do through us during the retreat are covered by insurance.
What are the visa implications of traveling to Europe from outside of the EU?
If you are travelling outside of the EU, you may need a visa.
It’s usually a straightforward process, and we will provide you with all of the information that you’ll need.
How does it work with the food?
We don’t generally supply food, although we can provide breakfast and catered lunch in some specific locations.
We will, however, give you a list of all our favourite and most trusted restaurants within a good walking distance of your location.
All of our accommodations (except hotels) have a kitchen, and we’ve found that cooking together is actually one of the best team-building activities.
There are also supermarkets close by to all Surf Office locations.
What if I need to get in touch with someone in case of emergency?
If you have questions that are not answered through your dashboard/onboarding emails, you can always reach out to our team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your dashboard also includes a list of emergency contacts on the ground (accommodation, workspace, etc).
Payments and changes
What is the payment policy for the retreat?
The payment will be made after you’ve confirmed your retreat, and can be divided into two installments.
You must supply the whole payment before the retreat starts (including the additional invoice specific to the activities you choose).
Can the number of participants/days be changed (decreased/increased)?
We understand that it’s difficult to confirm how many employees you will have several months in advance. It is possible to make changes to the number of participants and the length of the stay, under certain conditions.
Please note that these changes will be charged according to the cancellation policy and adding more participants or days is subject to availability.
Can the retreat dates be changed?
If we have availability for new dates, the change can be made. However, the rate will apply to the new dates requested.
Is Surf Office able to adjust its invoicing process in the case of specific compliance rules (i.e. separate invoices for accommodation, food, activities, etc.)?