Sprawling out beside the pool with a cocktail in hand is undoubtedly a fine way to spend a vacation. But one of the joys of traveling to a new destination is immersing yourself in experiences that really define the locale. These five hotels understand that, so they’re offering one-of-a-kind activities you won’t find at home, plus all the luxurious amenities you expect.
Lose yourself in an unforgettable Balinese adventure
For a true getaway, escape to the Indonesian archipelago for a stay at the COMO Shambhala Estate. The luxury resort and wellness retreat in Bali, located just a few miles from the artists’ town of Ubud, offers more than just flawless beaches and lush gardens.
Choose from a wealth of adventures arranged by the hotel and led by experienced, English-speaking guides. White-water raft down the Ayung River, cycle through rice fields or try a Balinese cleansing ritual at the Tirta Empul water temple.
Return to COMO for a three-course Indonesian cooking class before retreating to the terrace of your suite or slipping into the plunge pool of your private villa.
Get a taste of Florida’s sweet life
Fruit lovers, rejoice. Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa has partnered with Truly Tropical Farm to design an immersive culinary adventure dedicated to mangoes.
The Mango Farm Tour begins with stone-fruit-filled croissants at the resort’s Temple Orange Mediterranean Bistro and continues with an array of exclusive experiences, such as tastings of the more than 70 specialty varieties, hand picking in the scenic orchard and taking a private guided tour with owner Chris Wenzel.
Complete the tour with an oceanfront, mango-focused picnic (including mango margaritas) prepared by chef Manlee Siu and served in one of the resort’s newly redesigned cabanas overlooking the Atlantic.
One journey to two Japanese capitals
Experience a tale of two dynamic destinations with bespoke adventures first in modern Tokyo, then in historic Kyoto, with an exclusive new journey designed by The Ritz-Carlton. The trip begins in Tokyo, where you can choose from activities like a behind-the-scenes sumo wrestling event, a guided tour of the world famous Tsukiji Fish Market, a Japanese whisky tasting, a bonsai class and more.
After two lavish nights at Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, you’ll take a Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. (Of course, you’ll have transfers to and from the train platform.) Once in Japan’s ancient capital, partake in a rickshaw tour of the temples and bamboo forests of Arashiyama, have a kimono fitting, take a sushi master class, fold origami, learn samurai kembu moves or opt for one of the many other cultural offerings.
Afterward, relax in luxury at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto with a bamboo ritual spa treatment, afternoon tea and an epic kaiseki dinner.
See New York Harbor from a luxury sailboat
The Mark, a posh Four-Star hotel located on New York’s Upper East Side, recently launched The Mark Sailboat, a 70-foot Herreshoff-designed vessel. Through September, you will be able to charter the boat to set sail from Tribeca’s North Cove Marina for a three-hour journey southward into the iconic New York Harbor.
Enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty, all accompanied by a specially curated menu of small bites from the hotel’s resident chef, the acclaimed Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Nosh on lobster daikon rolls, tuna tartare crostini and watermelon and goat cheese skewers all while taking in the city’s gorgeous sunset.
See Barcelona like never before
Barcelona’s Majestic Hotel & Spa, a Forbes Travel Guide Recommended property, recently launched a new collection of insider itineraries highlighting the undiscovered corners of the Catalonia capital city.
Gourmands will want to indulge in The Chocolate Trail, which will introduce you to the city where the sumptuous sweet was born. You’ll enjoy visits to both traditional and modern chocolatiers while historian Mercedes Castelló leads an informative stroll through El Gotico and El Raval.
In the Speed and Adrenaline tour, select a Lamborghini, Ferrari or Porsche to pick you up at the hotel and chauffeur you through the city to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where you can get behind the wheel and briefly try out life as a Formula One race car driver.
Designed for culture vultures, The Remarkable Residences tour provides visits to beautiful and historic modernist houses filled with art, culminating with a private dinner in the dining room of one of the spectacular dwellings.