As guests look for more substantial and meaningful experiences on their travels, many of Forbes Travel Guide’s Star-Rated properties are bringing their A-game with excursions and activities that offer unique ways to learn about culture or conservation. Here are a few favorites that might inspire a unique holiday vacation.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands
This legendary Caribbean resort is a timeless retreat on Virgin Gorda, just beyond a colorful barrier reef in the British Virgin Islands. In a destination that’s surrounded by pristine beaches, natural beauty and a passion for environmental conservation, Rosewood Little Dix Bay offers three unforgettable programs: Snorkel Safari, where you embark on a self-guided snorkeling tour (the journey comes complete with underwater placards and a waterproof map) to discover the coral reef and marine life; Turtle Encounter, where you can learn about endangered green turtles and hawksbills and then join trained professionals to help preserve populations through field research; and Care for the Coral Reef, an opportunity where you assist marine biology students in monitoring the reef’s changes by measuring, counting, cleaning and photographing the formations.
Waldorf Astoria Park City
Waldorf Astoria offers exciting, one-of-a-kind exclusive experiences that are inspired by the history and heritage of each destination, so it only makes sense that this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star retreat in Park City would incorporate skiing into its stays. Hit the slopes with Nate Roberts, an Olympic skier and 10-time World Cup winner in freestyle moguls who conducts private one- or two-day tours of Park City. Or explore Park City in style with the Wasatch Extreme experience. The excursion starts with a luxury airport pick-up, a fashion consultation with a sky stylist at Cole Sport, a visit to local favorite High West Distillery & Saloon followed by dinner. The next day, hop on a private heli-ski tour of the slopes before receiving a massage at Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Spa. As if all of that weren’t thrilling enough, the property also has the two-day Waldorf Wrangler Ultimate Experience, which includes a boot and hat fitting, a wild-game starlight dinner, horsemanship and cow working lessons, a rodeo show and much more.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bali and The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
Located on the southern coast of Bali, the pristine beaches along the coast of The Ritz-Carlton, Bali are a perfect location for nesting sea turtles. In a commitment to preserve and protect the island’s ecosystem, the hotel has launched a conservation program as part of The Ritz-Carlton’s Community Footprints initiative. Partnering with the Bali Sea Turtle Society, the hotel invites you to be an ambassador of the environment by learning about conservation and helping to safeguard and release baby turtles into the Indian Ocean.
Should your travels steer you toward Beaver Creek, Colorado, you’re still in for an unusual vacation. With the help of Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch’s Discover With You promotion, you can explore the local culinary scene (daily breakfast at onsite Buffalos), the property ($100 daily hotel credit) and the heavens (90-minute stargazing outing with a naturalist). Celebrate your newfound appreciation for the hotel with one of the world’s most expensive cigars, His Majesty’s Reserve Gurkha. Made in the Dominican Republic, the $2,000 cigar is made with aged tobacco leaves and rolled before a full shot of 40-year-old Louis XIII Remy Martin Cognac is infused into it. With only 300 boxes made in 1999, the resort boasts the last of the cigar’s original blend at Bachelors Lounge, a speakeasy with an excellent cigar collection, hookahs and vaportinis, the property’s unique take on the cocktails that allows you to drink alcohol vapor through a straw.