Discover more with Orient-Express creative learning holidays
28th July 2011 – In today’s society, when time is a luxury, not only is it important to return home from a holiday relaxed and rejuvenated but adding a newly refined skill to your repertoire is a massive achievement. Orient-Express has introduced a range of learning experiences, from complimentary language lessons to tennis holidays and boat building, all designed to help guests discover the local destination and return home with a new talent under their belt.
Perfect Your Backhand
La Residencia, Mallorca
Whether guests are looking to hone their backhand or master a killer serve, La Residencia is the ideal backdrop for a tennis holiday. As well as offering private coaching lessons for those who want to brush up on their game, La Residencia also provides a more modern coaching facility in the form of video analysis lessons. Students are filmed playing with their present technique, shown how to improve their game, and then filmed again to view their newly learnt skills. Video analysis lessons last 60 minutes and cost 60 Euros (approximately £52).
La Residencia is home to two tennis courts, both of which have been resurfaced with Greenset cushion, and its very own pro-shop. Shayne Tabb, the hotel's fully accredited resident tennis coach, has experience teaching club level junior and senior players, as well as high performance junior academy level. Shayne has also been an on-tour coach at professional ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) level.
Nightly rates at La Residencia start from 415 Euros (approx £365) based on two sharing a Classic Double Room including breakfast. To book visit www.hotel-laresidencia.com or call the Orient-Express reservations team on 0845 077 2222
Complimentary Language Lessons
Various Hotels, Worldwide
There can be no better place to learn a language than in the country in which it is spoken. With this in mind, many Orient-Express hotels are now offering complimentary language lessons, ensuring total immersion in the local culture. At Reid’s Palace, Madeira, Portuguese language classes are held every Wednesday afternoon and are available to all levels. While at each of Orient-Express’ six Italian hotels (Florence, Venice, Sicily, Portofino and Ravello), twice weekly Italian classes are available, giving guests an insight into this deeply romantic dialect.
At Maroma on the Riviera Maya, Mexico guests are offered the opportunity to improve their Spanish with the help of hotel staff. Donning a special pulsera (bracelet) signalling to the resort team that they wish to communicate in Spanish-only, the local language is brought to life. To help guests along, Spanish-English dictionaries are placed in every room along with a “cheat-sheet” of helpful phrases. Best of all, Maroma’s 2:1 staff to guest ratio ensures guests plenty of people with whom to practice.
Boat Building Apprenticeship
Inn At Perry Cabin, Maryland, USA
A charming manor house, set on the gentle waters of Maryland’s Eastern shore, Inn At Perry Cabin is the perfect rural retreat. Here nautical adventures abound, from sailing lessons, crabbing cruises and fishing trips, all sea-faring holidaymakers will be kept entertained.
For the truly adventurous a boat building apprenticeship at the nearby Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a must. Renowned for its exhibits, workshops and artefacts that trace the tradition of boat building, commercial fishing and navigation, the Museum is the ideal place to learn this historic art. A hands-on experience, guests are taught to build a traditional wooden boat using age old techniques and under the guidance of an expert Museum shipwright. Lessons are held in the Museum’s Boat Yard, where guests are also taught the inside secrets of the preservation and maintenance of the museum’s fleet of boats. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Apprentice for a Day programme starts from 45US$ (approx £27).
Nightly rates at Inn at Perry Cabin start from 280 US$ (approx £173) based on two sharing a Signature Room including breakfast. To book visit www.perrycabin.com or call the Orient-Express reservations team on 0845 077 2222
Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali
Located in the vibrant town of Ubud, famed as a major centre of arts and culture in Bali, Ubud Hanging Gardens has created a series of Balinese Masterclasses enabling guests to become fully absorbed in their local environment. From cooking lessons using local seasonal ingredients with the hotel’s head chef and painting classes with Dana, a traditional Balinese artist who began drawing using a stick and earth from a paddy field to tuition in Tibetan wellness, Yoga and Chakra Meditation, there is something that every guest can choose from. Ubud Hanging Gardens Balinese Masterclasses start from 54 US$ (approx £33).
Nightly rates at Ubud Hanging Gardens start from 380 US$ (approx £235) based on two sharing a Riverside Deluxe Pool Villa including breakfast and afternoon tea. To book visit www.ubudhanginggardens.com or call the Orient-Express reservations team on 0845 077 2222
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Orient-Express, (NYSE: OEH, www.orient-express.com) the name behind an elite collection of travel experiences, first came into being in 1883 as one of the world’s most exciting and indulgent train journeys. Today that evocative name also embraces hotels, cruises and other luxury rail adventures in 24 countries, across five continents. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it first purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly afterwards, recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today, the company owns or part-owns and manages 50 businesses, 41 of which are highly acclaimed hotels, each unique in style, from the Mount Nelson in Cape Town and Rio’s Copacabana Palace, to the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg and Maroma Resort & Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. There are six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations and ‘21’, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants.