From cooking to painting to developing a palate for fine wine, the extra time spent at home this past year has encouraged many of us to take up a new hobby. Dubbed "edventure," this new trend of booking trips based on new interests is taking travel by storm as travelers eagerly take their skills for a test drive.
If you’re into: Diving
Go to: St. Lucia
Spread across 600 lush acres with sprawling views of the majestic twin Pitons and Caribbean Sea, Anse Chastanet is a 49-room beachfront retreat that boasts the island’s largest PADI dive operation. Get certified during your stay or if you’re advanced, take advantage of the resort’s Coral Kaleidoscope package that includes 7 nights of accommodations, daily meals, and 12 beach or boat dives where you’ll explore the island’s famed coral reefs and life under-the-sea. www.ansechastanet.com (pictured)
If you’re into: Photography
Go to: The Galapagos
Intimate and exclusive for just 20 guests, the identical luxury expedition yachts, Origin & Theory by Ecoventura are named after Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Origin of Species. They are managed like floating boutique hotels and are the only Galapagos vessels to have joined the ranks of the esteemed Relais & Chateaux collection. During back to back sailings in October and November 2021, naturalist and National Geographic certified photo instructor Antonio Adrian will host Ecoventura’s themed photography departure aboard luxury expedition yacht, Theory, teaching guests the basics of photography and how to best capture their seven-night trip. A naturalist and photographer, Antonio will help guests better understand their cameras as well as the technicalities of composition and framing to help take that perfect shot, whilst enlightening them about the flora and fauna that surround them in the Galapagos. www.ecoventura.com
If you’re into: Wine
Go to: Lucca, Italy
The charming city of Lucca remains one of Tuscany’s best kept secrets, where the new Grand Universe Lucca, is bringing the region’s best wines front and center. Fit for Tuscan royalty, the former palazzo turned luxury hotel features three immersive Tuscan Wine tasting experiences - the Montalcino, Montecarlo, and Super Tuscan and Chianiti Classico -- each deeply exploring the grapes of these regions, their distinctive flavor profiles and best pairings. Located at the base of the property, the ancient Eterno Wine Cellar is the perfect setting for these experiences, featuring remnants of an ancient wall and an extensive collection of Tuscan wines. The motto of your trip: Cin-cin! Once you discover your favorite Tucan red, enjoy a change of scenery at the awe-inspiring Sommitá rooftop bar which overlooks the fascinating walled city. Book the “Tuscan Wine & Olive Oil Experience” package for Fall 2021 travel at www.granduniverselucca.com.
If you’re into: Design
Go to: Guatemala
With room to accommodate just 12 reservations per night, guests of the intimate and exclusive Villa Bokéh can choose from rooms and suites boasting private balconies, enclosed gardens with fire pits, and volcano vistas, all spaciously distributed throughout the first and second stories of the estate. A private art collection provides the finishing touch to each room with exquisite, oversized black and white portrait photography, remarkable sculptures, and elegant paintings -- all sourced locally to support and shine a light on the country’s artisans who are the heart and foundation of Guatemala’s beautifully bewitching Mayan culture. What’s more, a soon-to-launch initiative will give guests 10% of their nightly rate in vouchers to shop from local artisans -- so they can bring some of the inspiration back home. www.villabokeh.com
If you’re into: Sailing
Go to: St. Maarten
With wind and water conditions conducive to some of the region's best sailing opportunities, the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten offers experiences for both amateur and professional sailors alike, such as the legendary Heineken Regatta, which is set to make its comeback March 3-6, 2022. Additionally, the island’s ideal northeast trade winds invite travelers to stretch their sea legs and adopt sailing as a new hobby. This sailing season, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club is offering a variety of lessons led by skilled instructors for kids and adults at all experience levels. Visit www.smyc.com/sailing-school to learn more about all classes offered. www.vacationstmaarten.com.
If you’re into: Music
Go to: Memphis
Located in the heart of the ‘Home of the Blues’ sits the new-build Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis the very first and only hotel to acquire the famous Beale Street address. The hotel brings Memphis’ charm to life with a modern and music-inspired design that gives subtle nods to the city’s vibrant spirit and rich music culture, including wall art that resembles an old speaker, treble clef inspired light fixtures, hallway carpet designed to mimic sound-waves, peeps of music-note wallpaper in the rooms and at the property’s rooftop bar, Beck & Call, guests will spot wallpaper made to look like the acoustic foam of a recording studio. Visitors will even be able to enjoy live music from the pool deck and Beck & Call, where local artists bring the Memphis sound to life. Putting guests right at the center of the city's entertainment district, the hotel acts as a launchpad, pushing travelers out to enjoy their time ‘Walking in Memphis, where they’ll discover Elvis’ hometown and of course listen to the blues and rock n’ roll that have given Memphis its iconic sound.
If you’re into: Cooking
Go to: Bonaire
Home to a burgeoning culinary scene, the Dutch Caribbean Island of Bonaire houses an impressive mix of high-end eateries, waterfront fare and gourmet food trucks just waiting for foodies to explore. From a locally-inspired oceanfront restaurant,Brass Boer, whose owner is a renowned chef with a Michelin star to an intimate live cooking fine dining experience at CHEFS, Bonaire is the ultimate culinary vacation. Those seeking an authentic taste of the island can head to Posada Para Mira to nosh on local dishes such as goat stew and iguana soup.
If you're into: Stargazing
Go to: Hotel Rangá, Iceland
If you’re brushing up on your constellations or have just had more time to stare in awe at that great, (and possibly clearer) starry night sky, you’ll be more than well-suited for a trip to the countryside of South Iceland to further sharpen those astronomy skills. Aspiring stargazers will enjoy a visit to Hotel Rangá, where guests can follow an exciting day of exploring the vast and natural beauty of the land of fire & ice with a stellar evening at the property’s advanced stargazing observatory. This custom-built observatory features a roll-off roof, two high quality telescopes, and is staffed by an on-site astronomy expert to lead guests through the night sky.
If you’re into: Surfing
Go to: Thompson Zihuatenajo
Hit the waves on Mexico's Pacific Coast at the hip Thompson Zihuatanejo, a lifestyle boutique hotel located along La Playa Ropa. Both longboard and shortboard surfing is excellent off the beaches of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, a charming fishing village. The water is tropically warm all year, so you don’t need a wetsuit. Fuel up post surf sesh at with a Surf Champion’s Breakfast or relax with a spa treatment at this beachfront hideaway.
If you're into: Snorkeling
Go to: Bimini, Bahamas
The closest Bahamian island to the U.S. sitting just 50 miles off the coast of South Florida, all ocean lovers will find their paradise in Bimini, Bahamas. Home to the expansive Resorts World Bimini complex with a private marina, ocean access is easy, and the island’s surrounding waters are filled with exploration opportunities. Hop on your private vessel or embark on a guided tour with Bimini Blue Adventures, which is located in the RW Bimini complex, and head out to sea, where three dive/snorkeling spots are all a short boat ride away! Stop first at Triangle Rocks to swim with reef sharks in their natural habitat, then to the S.S. Sapona shipwreck (a former rum runner ship that ran aground during a hurricane in 1926) to spot vibrant and diverse coral reefs and marine life (maybe even a turtle!) among the ruins. End the adventure at Honeymoon Harbor to say hello to friendly nurse sharks and feed the local stingrays their favorite snacks -- shrimp and squid. Head back to the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini for an action-packed night at the casino, then rest and fuel up for another day of Bimini bliss. www.rwbimini.com