HANDS-ON HOTELS UP THEIR GAME WITH CREATIVE WORKSHOPS

Forget just bed and breakfast: as travellers’ habits change to favour more experiential holidays, hotels are going the extra mile and adding a whole range of new experiences to their offerings.

A LUX* workshop

Leading the pack has got to be the seriously stylish LUX*, whose ‘expert-led’ workshops will ensure you come home from your trip with more than just a tan. Across their Mauritius and Maldives properties this April, the brilliant Juliet Kinsman will be running a series of The Art of Travel Writing workshops, encouraging budding writers to craft imaginative travel stories. In April and June Sally Conwell will be at LUX*’s Mauritius and Reunion properties for her relaxing Watercolour and Wine workshops, where (if you get the balance right…!) you’ll learn about paint application, brushwork and light and shade (plus your island life subject matter is pretty picture-perfect).

In December, Michelle Lackenby from the Paperazzi Design Studio will be teaching Japanese Bookbinding workshops at the LUX* South Ari Atoll, LUX* Belle Mare, LUX* Le Morne and LUX* Grand Gaube properties. Here you’ll get to learn the ancient techniques of binding your own books using handmade suminagashi marbled papers.

LUX* South Ari Atoll pool

Over in the UK, Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall have always been ahead of the curve with the workshops they put on (they even have their own pottery studio in the hotel). The regularly run one-day pottery classes and half-day glazing sessions cost £100 for both sessions and you’ll get to take home your masterpiece at the end of it. Their other creative workshops run the gamut from a Silversmith Jewellery Making workshop to their popular Breadmaking Course.

Bedruthan Steps’ pottery workshop

London is also getting in on the action with the aptly named The Distillery (it’s the UK’s first gin hotel). Located on Portobello Road, it’s set over four floors and although it only has three (beautifully kitted out) rooms, it puts on a private gin-blending workshop downstairs at the Ginstitute. The workshop starts with a full gin history lesson and ends with you creating your own bespoke blend of gin to take home. Don’t worry about your skills, though; there’ll be plenty of Portobello Gin cocktails to sip throughout.

Sounds like our kind of schooling.

London’s The Distillery
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Sara D'Souza
Sara d'Souza is a travel content strategist on the MSN specials team, contributing editor to the Travel Edit and travel writer for ELLE, ELLEuk.com, Red Online, Sunday Times Travel, MSN Travel and Upward Curve inflight magazine, Visit London, Jetsetter and Virgin.