For the last 15 years, Chiang Mai Lanna Business Services, aka CLBS, has taken great joy in celebrating its “birthday”, with its many employees, at some of the ritziest venues in this fine city. Five-star venues such as Le Meridien and the Shangri-La hotels have hosted huge parties with fine-dining, free flow cocktails, the best of local entertainment and grand prize giveaways. At the beginning of 2020, plans were already underway for the fifteenth CLBS birthday bash. 2020 however, had other plans…
COVID did what COVID does and all plans were cancelled, much to the dismay of many employees who had already experienced one of these parties. Months passed being either holed up at work or locked up at home. Holidays were cancelled and plans were ruined. Businesses were closing left and right, and it was impossible to enjoy even the simple things, like going out for dinner or for a walk in a national park. They were dark times that left a lot of people feeling sad and emotionally worn out. There was, however, a light at the end of the tunnel.
As new COVID cases in Chiang Mai slowly reduced to zero, measures were reduced, and people were allowed to get back towards some semblance of normality. It was at this point that CLBS decided that the normal celebration of drinking and dancing the night away, although fun, might not be what was needed by their employees at this time, and it was here that the “CLBS Rise & Shine – Wellness Gateway” was born.
All employees were invited to Veranda High Resort for a one day, one-night stay in their five-star facilities. More than 120 employees joined the wellness retreat, designed to allow them to recharge and balance their energies in a stunningly beautiful and natural location.
During the day, wellness workshops were hosted by employees who wished to share their knowledge and skills. Employees could pick and choose which workshops they wanted to attend. The workshops included cooking demonstrations teaching easy healthy recipes such as Zoodles (noodles made from zucchini), aromatherapy candle making, reiki energy balancing techniques, energy ball making with raw and natural ingredients, an organic facial scrub making course, yoga, fitness classes, meditation with our resident ex-monk and even a morning alms ceremony the following day.
In the afternoon, retreaters were left to recharge and soak up some sun and some positive energy by one of the three pools; or to take an adventurous hike up to Wat Phra That Si Mueang Pong with some local guides. Once all the activities and lounging were done for the day, it was time to head back to the luxurious rooms, to dress for the evening’s dinner ceremony. The dress code for the evening was all white, representing the wellness, light and purity that was the theme for the event.
Sunkissed, smiling faces, dining on local cuisine, and fancy imported treats, amongst some of Chiang Mai’s lushest mountainous forest, seemed a long way from the worries and confusion of “the new normal”. After dinner, prizes were given out including a number of vouchers for Veranda High Resort’s award-winning spa, and then it was time for some soulful acoustic music from yet another of their talented employees.
After a restful night’s sleep in Veranda’s extremely comfortable beds, the early birds of the company were up for morning alms and a yoga session, before they joined the lay-in lovers for a healthy breakfast. It was then, once again, time to enjoy the sun and the swimming pools until check-out.
CLBS would like to thank Veranda and all its staff for the wonderful stay, its event team for all their hard work arranging the wellness retreat, and finally their employees for volunteering to host workshops and for representing our company during their stay, in a way that made us all proud.