Why should kids have all the fun of summer camp? Luxury travel companies such as Belmond, COMO and andBeyond, as well as individual properties in all corners of the world from Costa Rica to Provence, are keeping this nostalgic tradition alive with grown-up versions that cater to special interests.
Swap roasting marshmallows for cooking courses in Oxfordshire, arts and crafts for sculpting classes in Florence, and swimming in the pool for sailing in Bermuda. Oh, and juice boxes for wine in Napa Valley, of course. Adults can still have all the fun of summer camps (thankfully without the bunk beds). Here is a sampling of experiences across the globe:
Sailing Camp, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club,: Be one of the first to experience the property’s $100 million renovation this summer. As the host hotel for the 35th America’s Cup, adults can learn to sail and see where the highly-anticipated races will take place in June 2017.
Snuba Camp, Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia: All the fun and adventure of scuba diving without the time consuming certification process. Snuba combines the same swim fins, diving mask, regulator, and weights used in scuba diving, but instead sources air through a long hose connected to a surface-floating tank.
Golf Camp, Hotel Royal, Evian les Baines, France: Improve your short game while taking in views of the French Alps and Lake Geneva at Evian Resorts’ Golf Academy, fit for everyone from beginners to experienced players. The 18-hole course hosts the annual Evian Championship in September – in its fourth year as one of the L.P.G.A.’s majors.
Fishing Camp, La Reserve, Geneva, Switzerland: Watch the sunrise over Lake Geneva while joining La Reserve’s fisherman aboard his private boat to catch plenty of local perch and fera. Guests then learn to fillet their fish before returning to the property where the chef prepares sea-to-table lunch.
Capoeira Camp, UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa, Trancoso, Brazil: Learn the ancient art of capoeira, a traditional Bahian sport that blends martial arts, acrobatics, and dance, at the local school sponsored by this 11-casa property. Guests are invited to train privately in the hotel’s studio, or side by side with over 65 local children and young adults at the Casa da Cultura.
Sculpture Camp, Belmond Villa San Michele, Florence, Italy: The tiny, private studio inside the Romanelli Galleria opens its doors to hotel guests for clay modeling and marble carving classes. Rafaello Romanelli himself, great-great-grandson of the famed sculptor, leads the class in his personal workshop, where his family has practiced for five generations.
Art Camp, Domaine de Manville, Les Baux de Provence, France: This restored farming estate offers tours of the Van Gogh trail, allowing guests to see where the artist painted his most famous works including ‘Starry Night.’ Bonus: through September 11, Domaine de Manville is offering guests 2 tickets to the Van Gogh en Provence exhibition at the Fondation Van Gogh in Arles, featuring 31 original paintings.
Cooking Camp, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire, England: Celebrity chef Raymond Blanc offers a Four Day Residential Course through the property’s in-house cookery school. Participants take on a different culinary task each day, from breads and basting to sauces and soufflés.
Wine Camp, B Cellars Vineyards & Winery, Napa Valley: Truly just for the grown-ups, the winery teaches the secrets to wine blending. Learn how to combine different varietal wines into one supreme wine with B Cellars’ Wine Blending class.
Tea Camp, The Berkeley, London, England: Guests at the iconic Knightsbridge hotel can join the creative team in the Pastry Kitchen to create a Prêt-à-Portea, the original afternoon fashion tea. In honor of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations this month, the Royal Masterclass available through June 30 teaches the art of making treats such as a Coronation Crown biscuit. Afterward, participants sample their creations over champagne.
Eco Camp, COMO Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos: Nature lovers can group together a 2.5-mile kayak trip, 1-mile plantation run, and biking to create their own ‘mini-triathlon.’ The kayaking waterway, hand-cleared to not disturb the ecosystems, is home to leatherback sea turtles and nurse sharks. Follow with a Plantation Run through the working banana plantation and a bike ride around the island to continue spotting the ‘locals.’
Bird Watching Camp, andBeyond, Asia: From the proud peacock of India and the humble raven of Bhutan to the colorful jungle fowl of Sri Lanka, South Asia boasts a diverse range of bird species that makes this a birdwatching paradise. The many varied landscapes and spectacular wilderness areas are home to about 433 species in Sri Lanka, 680 in Bhutan, and 1,314 species in India.
Massage Camp, Nayara Springs, Costa Rica: Take the spa experience home after a private massage class with the property’s professionally trained therapists. Guests leave well educated in basic massage and relaxation techniques – a romantic experience couples can relive long after their stay.
Language Camp, Royal Mansour, Marrakech, Morocco: Never too old to learn a new language. Guests can tour the property’s gardens, inspired by the Alhambra gardens and including 100-year-old olive trees, to discover countless species of flowers and plants – learning the Arabic words for gardenia, jasmine, and rose along the way. The Arabic terms can then be put into practice during a flower arrangement class.
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