For today’s savvy traveler, participating in hands-on educational experiences is the ultimate way to immerse into local culture and traditions. These illustrious properties feature the most celebrated chefs, artisans and historians to offer guests firsthand knowledge and skills sure to last a lifetime.

 The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Located on the serene banks of the Kamogawa river surrounded by tranquil gardens embodying the natural world of Japan, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto invites guests to create a retreat of their own with the latest addition to their collection of locally-inspired guest activities – Your Own Zen Garden. First developed during the 8th century mimicking the gardens of China’s Song Dynasty, Japanese Zen gardens combine the basic elements of moss, rocks, and white stones, representing the pure beauty of Japan and a place of quiet contemplation. Led by the master gardener at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, guests will discover the art of miniature Zen garden-making and allow their creativity to draw the lines of their own personal landscape.

Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown

Photo Courtesy of Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown

Recently opened Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown partnered with LA-based Cartwheel Art, bringing life to the hotel’s storytelling interior design showcasing the buzzing 1920’s era of downtown Los Angeles through immersive walking tours. The signature “Underground LA” tour shares the story of LA’s prohibition-era, providing a captivating way to see the city’s famed underground tunnels and speakeasies that are unbeknownst to most and learn about the city’s “underground” past ranging from famous prohibition-era murders to speakeasy haunts that Hollywood elite would frequent.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach

Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Waikiki Beach

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach, the luxury residential-style resort on the majestic Hawaiian Island of Oahu, offers guests the opportunity to take an enlightening journey of rejuvenation, discovery, and self-renewal via its new Waikiki Luxury Wellness Package. During this immersive, three-night wellness experience, guests experience a signature spa treatment each day inspired by Hawaiian traditions. Guests can further connect to the Island through a guided hike to Oahu’s Mānoa Valley, from which the spa derives fresh ingredients for its treatments. Guests also receive nightly turndown service featuring a distinct Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals flower essence each night as a keepsake, which are also made with fresh ingredients from Mānoa Valley.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Photo Courtesy of Scottsdale, Arizona

Cowboys may have been among Scottsdale’s first thrill seekers, and you can receive your unofficial cowboy degree during a visit to Arizona Cowboy College in Scottsdale. Choose between one-, three- and five-day courses where guests will learn horsemanship skills, equine safety, roping, penning, sorting and more. Guests can stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort at Troon.

 The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

The ‘Caviar Finding’ Culinary Journey package at The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong includes a two-night stay in a Club Bund View Deluxe room, a tour to the Thousand Island Lake in a limousine with a personal driver, curated lunch to-go, speed boat ride to the sturgeon pools, and a special two-course Chef’s Table dinner and cooking class by the lake.

 InterContinental Hong Kong

Photo Courtesy of InterContinental Hong Kong

Located on the Kowloon waterfront overlooking Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island, the internationally acclaimed InterContinental Hong Kong invites guests to learn how to create culinary masterpieces in one of its “Cooking with the Culinary Stars” classes. Home to world-class dining – including the two Michelin star Yan Toh Heen, and celebrity chef restaurants, NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong and Rech by Alain Ducasse – this exclusive series allows guests a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn the art of cooking from the chefs that helm these incredible restaurants. The lessons incorporate classic cooking techniques in international cuisine including French, Japanese, Cantonese, and American.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch

Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch

As part of the resort’s on-property Naturalist Program, guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch can learn from an expert Naturalist about the local Colorado plants, animals, history, and starry skies. With the Stargazing Snowshoe Tour, on crisp clear evenings as well as snowy nights, there is a world of nocturnal beauty waiting to reveal itself. After 60 minutes of exploration on snowshoes, guests will end the evening by relaxing in the Great Room with a warm signature cocktail.

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Situated in one of the most diverse destinations in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong offers guests an immersive culinary experience with the hotel’s Dim Sum making class, which allows guests to create and enjoy one of Hong Kong’s most popular delicacies. During the class, attendees will put their chef hats on and learn to make delectable dim sum treats such as spring rolls, egg tarts and steamed dumplings. A perfect pairing to the Dim Sum class, guests can also participate in a “Chinese Tea Appreciation” class hosted by a professional tea master, offering an exclusive guide to stories of tea rituals as well as sampling premium teas including Jasmine Blossom, White Peony Supreme, Phoenix Osmanthus and Teguanyin.

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Photo Courtesy of Park Hyatt Aviara Resort

Located on Southern California’s sun-drenched coast, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort‘s ‘Aviara Wellness Academy’ includes several initiatives where guests can seek to better themselves and/or learn a completely new skill. From learning to surf and cook with the resort’s Executive Chef through the popular Surfing with the Chef program to perfecting the tennis game with an internationally recognized coach Steve Halverson or undergoing the ultimate integrative wellness experience at the resort’s signature wellness facility, VeraVia, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort tapped the experts in their respective fields to ensure Aviara Wellness Academy is a productive and enriching experience for guests.