Going on a vacation is all about taking in new experiences and soaking up the culture of the unknown spot as much as you can. The best way to do that is to participate in some of the dedicated workshops or lessons where you can learn different skills unique to the place you’re visiting. While it sounds counterproductive, given that you’re supposed to rest and relax on a vacation, trust us when we say these lessons are nothing but fun.
1 / 6 Maximise your vacation by fine-honing a skill or indulging yourself in a pastime at these hotels.Read more
2 / 6 For The Yogi – Somatheeram Ayurveda Village, Kerala, IndiaRead more
Many hotels and resorts offer yoga classes or even yoga retreats, but to really get into the subject, a true aficionado might want to head to where it all started: India. Check into Somatheeram, which offers a few disciplines of yoga, and meditation, for both new yoga converts and even instructors seeking to update their skills. To call this place located in Kerala, the heart of ayurvedic medicine in the country, is not an overstatement. Besides guests and staff, you will find a whole army of skilled doctors, practitioners, chefs, therapists, lecturers and yoga and meditation instructors dedicated to help you improve your yoga poses or health. Guests usually check in for one to two weeks to emerge renewed and rejuvenated. From $2,275 for a seven-night package.
Where: Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram 695501, Kerala, India
For more info: Visit www.somatheeram.in or call +91-471-226-8101.
Photo: Somatheeram Ayurveda Village
3 / 6 For The Surfer: Six Senses Laamu, MaldivesRead more
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the remote southern Laamu Atoll — one of Maldives’ top surf destinations and a 35-minute plane ride from Malé. Suffice to say, this is where you would want to check into if you are a surfer or fancy becoming one. Luxury surf operator Tropic Surf handles the surfing activities and instruction at the resort.
Whether you are a noob surfer who has yet to ride your first break, or an experienced surfer, there are surf breaks around the resort, or a short boat ride away, for every level. The best part is it’s so remote, you might not even see another surfer for miles. After a hard day of riding the waves, there are four restaurants that serve honest, healthy food derived from sustainable sources to dine at, and Six Senses’ most famous product – their destination spa, to relax in. From $1,180.
Where: Olhuveli Island, Laamu Atoll 15090, Maldives
For more info: Visit www.sixsenses.com/resorts/laamu/destination or call +960-680-0800.
Photo: Six Senses Laamu
4 / 6 For The Equestrian: Coworth Park, Ascot, United KingdomRead more
Owned by the Sultan of Brunei, an avid horseman, this property under the Dorchester Collection is in the affluent, leafy town of Ascot in Berkshire county, just 15 minutes away from Ascot Racecourse (home to the Royal Ascot). Spanning 240 acres, it boasts of a gorgeously restored 18th-century Georgian house, an equestrian centre, well-trained horses (and good instructors), two polo fields and plenty of picturesque parkland for trail rides. It also has an eco-luxury spa and a Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant amongst four F&B outlets.
Soft furnishings made from mohair, cashmere, and bed linen with equestrian embroidery and equestrian-themed artwork lend a sense of place to the property, scoring brownie points with horse lovers. Polo is run by Guards Academy, a favourite with the Royal Family. Prestigious tournaments that are played at Coworth include the Cartier’s Queen Cup. Do not be surprised if you run into family members of the Bruneian royal family such as His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Mateen. From $733.
Where: Blacknest Road, Sunningdale, Ascot SL5 7SE
For more info: Visit www.dorchestercollection.com/en/ascot/coworth-park or call +44-1344-876-600
Photo: Coworth Park
5 / 6 For The Tea Drinker: Cameron Highlands ResortRead more
During colonial times, the Cameron Highlands at 1,500 metres above sea level, was a popular retreat with the British in Malaya who were escaping from humidity. This chapter in history can still be seen in the architecture of local hotels and even the afternoon tea that they served. The most luxurious of these hotels is the Cameron Highlands Resort, complete with French doors, plantation shutters, high timber-beamed ceilings and a destination Spa Village. The tea drinking culture remains today as the highlands are also home to tea plantations. The hotel offers tea experiences like a visit to Boh Gardens where guests learn how the Manipuri and Rajghur jats varieties of the Camilla Sinensis tea leaf are grown, processed and packed as the robust and honey-coloured BOH tea popular in Asia. From $213.
Where: By The Golf Course, 39000 Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
For more info: Visit www.cameronhighlandsresort.com or call +60-5491-1100.
Photo: Cameron Highlands Resort
6 / 6 For The Chef: Domaine de Manville, Provence, FranceRead more
It’s not as if you’d need another reason to visit Provence, where there are glorious food and wines, friendly locals and scenery straight out of a Cezanne painting. But Small Luxury Hotels member Domaine de Manville located in the Alpilles Natural Regional Park immortalised in paintings by Van Gogh, offers an extra excuse for the aspiring Masterchef. Executive Chef Matthieu Dupuis-Baumal teaches how to cook mushrooms, truffles, foie gras or bake cakes every other weekend in group classes. Dupuis-Baumal is also available for private ad hoc cooking classes which you could start with a visit to the local markets to pick local produce. The décor of the hotel is equally sumptuous. While it has retained the Provencal country charm, the hotel incarnate of this former cereal farm epitomises understated luxury with free standing copper baths and statement-making chandeliers. From $400.
Where: 13520 Les Baux-de-Provence, France
For more info: Visit www.domainedemanville.fr/en or call +33-490-544-020.
Photo: Domaine de Manville
HEALTH | 20 June 2019
LIFESTYLE | 20 June 2019
LIFESTYLE | 19 June 2019