Cooking, Creating, Exploring and Painting in the World’s Most Compelling Destinations
Luxury Learning Escapes: When it’s safe to venture overseas, travellers will want to make it count – immersing themselves in the local culture, helping the local economy, exploring in a meaningful way or learning something new. These luxury hotels don’t just boast sandy beaches and sea views, but a variety of unique experiences that offer travellers a new-found skill or knowledge – from diving for pearls in Bahrain and painting and tasting fine wines in the Maldives.
Learn to be a…Pearl Diver
Once the heart of the global pearl industry, Bahrain’s cultural heritage is back in the spotlight as the country puts itself back on the map as the alternative, luxury bucket list destination in the Middle East. Brimming with history and culture, the sunny archipelago of 33 islands welcomes travellers seeking to learn everything about pearls and fine metals.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain – set within 20 acres of lush gardens and golden sandy beaches on the Gulf of Arabia – has designed a special pearl diving excursion for guests willing to take part in the centuries-old activity; after boarding the resort’s luxurious Pearl1, venture out to sea, don a snorkel and dive toward the seabed in search of the Kingdom’s iridescent gem. Take your loot back to the surface and open the oyster’s decadent shell – explorers lucky enough to find a pearl can take it home as a keepsake or head to the souks and have it made into a delicate ring wrapped with Bahraini gold.
For more information or to book please visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/middle-east/bahrain
Learn to be a…Nikkei Cuisine Chef
A new addition to the Zafiro Hotels portfolio, the new all-suite Zafiro Palace Andratx will bring a breath of fresh air to the Mallorcan coastline. Its stylish contemporary design stands out from the crowd, and its mouth-watering gourmet offering will surprise bon vivants from around the world. Jan René Brack – the Head Chef of the new resort – will introduce guests to Nikkei Cuisine, the culinary style that results from mixing Japanese traditions and recipes with Peruvian ingredients – typically fish, quinoa and aji amarillo peppers.
Grown up in South American from European parents, Brack will be the perfect maestro for those willing to learn Peruvian classic dishes like Lomo Saltado – a tasteful Sirloin stir-fry – Ceviche – a delicious and simple dish of raw fish marinated in lime juice – and Tiraditos – a raw fish dish similar to Japanese sashimi, but dressed in a spicy sauce. Families or small groups can reserve a cooking lesson with the Head Chef in the stunning setting of La Veranda terrace, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. After the class, guests will also be shown the secrets of a Pisco Sour, the perfect cocktail to accompany the Nikkei delicacies they have been preparing.
For more information or to book please visit www.zafirohotels.com
Learn to be a…Painter, Drawer and Sculptor
An island inspired by art, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi offers guests the chance to get creative in paradise, either in the on-site art studio, or in the privacy of their own luxury villa in one-to-one lessons guided by a resident artist. Art-enthusiasts of all ages are given the tools, materials and skills needed to pain, sculpt or draw their own marine-inspired masterpieces, inspired by the abundance of natural beauty of the island surroundings.
Travellers can try their hand at coconut, canvas or wood painting, before learning how to make their own clay or wood sculptures. Bespoke crafting activities mean guests can create something special to take home; from designing a dream catcher and weaving authentic Maldivian rugs, to making jewellery from seashells. Fairmont Maldives is designed with sustainability in mind, educating guests on the importance of marine conservation through underwater art tours of the Coralarium, a tidal art gallery and coral regeneration project, educational workshops and art with natural materials.
For more information or to book please visit Fairmont.com/maldives
Learn to be an…Art and Culture Aficionado
With Marrakech being Africa’s first Capital of Culture for 2020, this beautiful destination is a mere three-hour flight from London and offers the chance to come home with more than just a tan. A magical world full of culture and beauty – the luxury Es Saadi Marrakech Resort provides the perfect setting to do just that. A window into this beautiful culture, Es Saadi is home to a vast collection of local artwork, a library and offers a large range of educational classes and tours of the property and the city so that visitors can learn about something, whether the culture, the fashion or the language.
An oasis of tranquillity in the heart of Marrakech’s Golden Triangle, the resort looks out onto the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, near the bustling souks and Jemaa El Fnaa square. The resort’s majestic palace offers 92 suites and 10 private luxury villas dotted around the gardens, as well as 8 Ksars (two-storey Berber-style cottages well suited to families) surrounding the pool.
For more information please visit essaadi.com
Learn to be a…Wine Connoisseur
A luxury resort in a class of its own, Velaa Private Island offers a large range of classes and experiences for gastronomy and wine lovers. Hosting events with some of the industry’s finest wine makers and world class chefs, guests are able to savour a number of unforgettable epicurean experiences, especially at the island’s signature restaurant Aragu.
Possessing one of the Maldives’ largest wine cellars, Velaa is nestled within the constellation of islands that form the Noonu Atoll in the Maldives and takes exclusivity to the next level with facilities and service that go beyond traditional resorts. Meaning “Turtle Island” in the local language, Velaa is named after generations of sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch.
For more information please visit velaaprivateisland.com
Learn to be an…Explorer
Offering a gateway to Rhodes, Lindos Hotels, the luxury, family-owned hotel group is offering travellers a world of enriching experiences in their brand-new adults-only hotel and two other sister properties, rooted in learning, culture and adventure.
Set to open this year, Lindos Grand Resort & Spa is a new adults-only paradise nestled within the tranquil cove of Vlycha Bay. Famed as a spectacular fishing and diving destination, guests can learn to dive in private lessons with PADI certified instructors, where fascinating marine life including octopus, sting rays, sea horses, turtles and monk seals can be discovered. Back on land, guests can visit a local vineyard for private wine tasting tours to learn the unique production methods of local wine making, with Rhodes being the first wine producing region in Greece.
The concierge at sister hotel Lindos Village Resort & Spa, with quaint architecture reminiscent of traditional Rhodes, can arrange for adventure-enthusiasts to learn to horse ride through picturesque clifftop routes or organise guided hiking tours to areas rich in natural beauty, such as Butterfly Valley – a beautiful, 600-acre nature reserve. Culture-vultures can also take advantage of educational tours of Lindos Town Acropolis, the museums and through the UNESCO recognised medieval town of Rhodes, learning the history of one of the best preserved towns in Europe.
As well as this, the eco and family-friendly Gennadi Grand Resort offers immersive cooking classes with local resident chefs, who can teach the art of recipes such as Dolmades (Mediterranean stuffed vine leaves) and Galaktoboureko (a traditional and tasty Greek custard pie), for a taste of authentic Rhodes.
For more information please visit lindoshotels.com