8 Hotels That Offer One-Of-A-Kind Local Experiences
Whether you’re trying to live healthier, get your full eight hours every night, or pick up a new hobby, we’re rooting for you. If you’re looking for a new activity (ahem, Capricorns) or if you’re just looking for an excuse to travel, put these hotels and resorts in your planner ASAP. Between making delicious local food and drink and attempting outrageous outdoor activities at these dreamy domestic and international destinations, you’re certain to find your next go-to pastime — and relax a little while doing it.
1. Learn to golf at The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Longboat Key, FL. We’re into working out if it means we get to stay at this wellness retreat on Florida’s west coast. The 410-acre property boasts 45 holes of PGA-approved championship golf courses, 20 tennis courts, and one of the largest deep-water resort marinas in the state. Golf, however, is the main attraction. (Just ask Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.) It’s no question that there’s no better green to learn the game on, so now it’s just a matter of choosing between the Harbourside Gold Course, which overlooks Sarasota Bay, or the Islandside Golf Course, which borders the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo via The Resort at Longboat Key Club)
2. Learn to make pasta at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, Tuscany. Who can say no to carbs straight from Tuscany? The exclusive two-mile estate overlooking the mountainous Serchio Valley offers, by request, the “Chef for a Day” experience to world-traveling foodies. Get a feel for local fare as you craft fresh pasta in a variety of different shapes and mix up the sauces to top it. Enjoy your hard-earned meal with a once-in-a-lifetime view — the Tuscan hills — from a private veranda. (Photo via Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa)
3. Learn to scuba dive at Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia. No matter the season, this St. Lucian luxury resort, with its views of the famed Pitons and strikingly blue Soufriere Bay water, is a prime place to scuba dive. But the best time for undersea exploring is August 22-24. During these days, travelers can experience Coral Spawning, an annual occurrence during which coral release packets of eggs that color the sea a dazzling yellow and pink. Beginners (with a little on-site training at the resort’s dive center), welcome! (Photo via Anse Chastanet)
4. Learn to play an instrument at Art Ovation Hotel, Sarasota, FL. Tap into your artsy side at this coastal paradise. Guests are encouraged to create as soon as they check in — each room is stocked with leather-bound sketchbooks, art supplies, and a ukulele. Through partnerships with local musicians, instructors, and art organizations, the hotel is able to provide guests creative experiences such as group music lessons, painting and sketching classes, origami folding tutorials, and more. More of an observer? Tour the art installations that are exhibited through the property’s public spaces with the cultural curator, wine included. (Photo via Art Ovation Hotel)
5. Learn to make tortillas at Casa Palopo, Guatemala. Whether you’re a guac gal or a queso queen, you won’t want to miss this tortilla how-to. A native tortilla-maker from a neighboring Mayan town teaches guests how to make corn tortillas with the large comal — a flat griddle used since Aztec times — that’s been in her family for generations. The best part? During the lesson, the resort’s restaurant staff sets up a spread of guacamole, queso fresco, and refried beans for post-class indulgence. (Photo via Casa Palopo)
6. Learn to do stand-up paddleboard yoga at Aruba Marriott Resort, Aruba. Make no mistake — this isn’t your Monday evening yoga class. Take your meditation to the middle of the Caribbean sea during a SUP yoga lesson 40 feet from the white sand shore of Aruba. During the one-hour session, students have the opportunity to clear their mind, challenge their balance, and feel the rejuvenating effects of the salty sea like never before. (Photo via Aruba Marriott Resort)
7. Learn to sail at Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Key Largo, FL. Get nautical at the beachfront resort’s on-site water sports facility, Caribbean Watersports, which offers a number of sailing outings for guests. First-timers should opt for the hour-long hands-on lesson, during which participants learn the ropes of sailing a 13′ and 16′ Hobie Cat sailboat. For those who are a little more experienced (and a little less susceptible to seasickness), try the two-hour session and steer a 37′ sailing catamaran. Don’t worry; you’ll be able to nap afterward in the beachside hammock pods or poolside by the free-form pool. (Photo via Playa Largo Resort & Spa)
8. Learn to perfect the Piña Colada at Caribe Hilton, Puerto Rico. If you like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the sunshine, the iconic Hilton hotel nestled on this Caribbean island is the place for you. Having just finished up a multi-million dollar renovation, the hotel (AKA the actual birthplace of the creamy cocktail) is more ready than ever to share its famed recipe with you. Bartender Ramón Marrero first created the drink in the 1950s, and it was named the national drink of Puerto Rico in the 1970s. Travelers may ask any of the property’s local bartenders to teach them how to craft the original concoction so they can make the drink back home. We’ll cheers to that! (Photo via Caribe Hilton)
Which of these activities is first on your to-learn list? Let us know @BritandCo.
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