Hotels target creative travelers with do-it-yourself activities

Historically, travelers who shell out for pricey hotels have done so in order to forget their lives of responsibility and be waited on hand and foot. But these days, many travelers are paying a pretty penny for hotels that allow them to do some work. The upscale DIY trend is here and growing. These are some hotels who are using DIY activities to appeal to creative guests:

1. Hyatt (various locations):

Hyatt has designed residential meeting spaces in order to make business retreats feel less sterile and more, well, retreat-y. Many of Hyatt’s larger hotels offer these spaces, which include open-plan boardrooms and large kitchens where groups can store snacks and even cook late-night snacks together. The Campus is a university dorm-inspired space (see above) where meeting attendees can brainstorm around the foosball table…likely with the help of some herbal refreshment. The idea is to take the “boring” out of standard meeting space and add a bit of creativity. Hotels with these residential setups include the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Grand Hyatt Melbourne, and Hyatt Regency Chongming, China.

2. Four Seasons (various locations): Several Four Seasons hotels are launching an Entertain U program of classes that coach people on how to succeed in service professions or organize group events. The Orlando Resort property, for example, features a barista boot camp which instructs participants in how to prepare artisinal coffee and espresso. And at Four Seasons-Bahrain Bay, wannabe-hosts are trained by Wolfgang Puck’s culinary team. Want to take control of your own nutrition and dietary health? The Farm to Fork series of cooking classes at the Four Seasons Westlake Village in California offers regular cooking classes and demonstrations by licensed experts.

You hook it, we cook it program at Los Suenos Marriott Costa Rica is popular with those who love fresh seafood. Photo credit, Marriott

3. Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort (San Jose, Costa Rica):

This resort offers a “you hook it, we cook it” program where guests can catch their own fish to give to hotel chefs, who will prepare them to the guests’ preference in the restaurant. In fact, Los Suenos Marina is known internationally as the “fishing capital of Costa Rica” since more trophy fish are caught here each year than anywhere else in Central America. There’s nothing better than bragging to your dining partners about your own dinner!

4. AYANA Resort and Spa (Bali, Indonesia):

Guests at this resort can visit the onsite perfumerie, where the staff will help them mix fragrant notes from almost 100 different origins in order to craft their own personalized scent. The only one of its kind in Indonesia, guests follow traditional French processes to create perfumes that fit their own personality. There are 45 different essences, fragrances, and raw materials that form the base notes of the final product. The staff then helps guests bottle it, including a label with any name that a guest chooses, and place it in a gift box. Believe it or not, one of the scents is civet, the cat-like creature whose droppings are used to make Kopi Luwak, one of the world’s most expensive and gourmet coffees.

5. Regent Singapore

At the Manhattan Bar of the Regent Singapore, guests can fill and bottle their own barrel-aged Negroni. While pricey, the experience is popular among cocktail aficionados. The experience takes a full three hours, but includes a tour inside the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse (where barrels of bourbon are stored while being aged) and a peek at the collection of unusual ingredients from around the world like schisandra berries and dandelion root. Of course, there’s a tasting flight of aged Negronis to better prepare participants for their own bottling session.

Learn to blend your own wine at the Grand Bohemian, Autograph Collection in Charleston, S.C. Photo credit, Marriott

6. Grand Bohemian Hotel (Charleston, South Carolina):

This hotel, a soon-to-open member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, will allow guests to blend their own wine under the tutelage of master sommeliers who guide them through flavor palates as they customize their own bottles of wine to take home. Guests can sip and savor different flavors as they create the perfect bottle that meets their own personal preferences. They can then purchase them to enjoy at home or to give as gifts to friends and family.

Green wall at 1Hotel South Beach. Guests can build their own organic terrariums here. Photo credit, Ramsey Qubein

7. 1Hotel South Beach (Miami Beach, FL):

Earth-friendly 1Hotel South Beach in Miami Beach allows guests to build their own terrariums in a lobby-located workshop behind its eye-catching living wall. Guests and locals can be inspired by the public area’s living walls and artistic terrarium and floral displays. Across from reception, a garden shop offers tutorials on how people can customize their own using the plants and flowers that most appeal to them. Staffers can help to package them for travel or ship them home for guests.

Photo credit, Nortonius

8. Penha Longa Resort (Sintra, Portugal)

This Ritz-Carlton family hotel gives artsy guests the chance to paint their own traditional Portuguese tiles, which are seen in architecture and murals throughout the country. The tile painting sessions school participants in a variety of techniques giving guests the chance to put their creativity to the test. Tile masterpieces are packaged up for guests to take home.

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