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School is in Session: Never Too Late to Learn Something New

The Greenbrier Resort West Virginia Entrance

The Greenbriar Resort

Want to learn interior design, sculpting or paper folding? Instead of going back to school, go on vacation instead.

Today hotels are catering to luxury travelers’ desires for immersive, learning experiences by offering a host of interesting classes around the globe. Here are five of our favorites.

The Beach Club at Charleston Resort & Marina in Charleston, South Carolina - Pool

The Beach Club at Charleston Resort & Marina

Southern hospitality is legendary, and now you can learn to be the perfect Southern hostess while staying at The Beach Club at Charleston Resort & Marina in Charleston, South Carolina. The Leading Hotel of the World partners with Suzanne Pollak, Dean of the Academy of Domestic Pursuits, to teach the art of throwing the perfect party.

The Beach Club at Charleston Resort & Marina in Charleston, South Carolina - Southern Hostess

The Beach Club at Charleston Resort & Marina

For more than 30 years, Pollak has been wining and dining the who’s who of Charleston and has authored three books on the perfect party. During the class. you’ll be schooled in how to invite VIPs, how to welcome guests, how to get conversations flowing and perfect party etiquette. She’ll even teach you how to get the guests to leave! The class is available for groups of two to 100.

The Beach Club at Charleston Resort & Marina in Charleston, South Carolina - Victorian waiting room

The Greenbriar Resort

From 1925 to 1960, Dorothy Draper was one of the very, most-influential tastemakers in the country. At a time when women didn’t own businesses, she not only started Draper Design and Company, but also turned interior design into an actual profession with the launch of it. Her iconic style is celebrated annually at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Draper was responsible for renovating the historic resort after World War II. The property was used as a surgical and rehab center during the war, and it was through Draper’s direction that it was restored to a level of luxury that meets the demands of today’s discerning traveler. Her signature Modern Baroque style with color and oversized patterns can be seen throughout the hotel.

The Beach Club at Charleston Resort & Marina in Charleston, South Carolina - Lobby

The Greenbriar Resort

The Dorothy Draper School of Design Weekend is slated for March 1 to 2, 2019. Carleton Varney, president of Draper Design and Company, and a direct mentee of Draper leads the class. During the weekend guests will learn about Draper, her style and create interior design in their own world.

Rancho La Puerta. Baja Mexico - Exterior

Rancho La Puerta

Unleash your inner Rodin at Rancho La Puerta. The destination spa in Baja, Mexico offers a sculpture class where participants work with a local artist, Jose Ignacio Castaneda to create a bust. I am the first to admit that my art skill usually produces pieces only my mom could love, but I love doing it, so I signed up for the class with zero expectations. When the instructor informed us at the start that we could bronze our finished piece, I laughed hard. Imagine my surprise when at the end of the class, I had created a recognizable figure that was the best piece of art I had ever produced.

Rancho La Puerta. Baja Mexico - Sculpture Class

Rancho La Puerta

From simply rolling different shaped balls and having Castaneda show how to indent a bit here and mold a bit there, a woman’s face emerged from the clay. I had never had someone make creating art so simple and easy to do. Oh, and yes, I did end up bronzing it. Today it’s one of the best souvenirs of any trip.

Rome Cavalieri Hotel Entrance

Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

Who doesn’t love a sexy pair of shoes? For centuries Italian shoemakers have created some of the highest quality shoes in the world and now guests who book a two-night stay in a Vista or Corner suite at the Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Resort have the opportunity to attend a workshop at Le Mastro, an artisanal shoe atelier that has been making shoes for nearly 70 years.

Workshop at Le Mastro - Shoe class

Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

Working with the shoe artists, you’ll create your own pair of sandals. The class starts with a tour of the workshop where you learn about the process of creating shoes. With some basic knowledge in place you then select the strap pattern and leather for your sandals and then get to work actually making the shoes.

Palace Hotel Tokyo Exterior with Tatsumi Watchtower

Palace Hotel, Tokyo

The decorative arts have always played a strong role in Japanese culture and guests of the Palace Hotel in Tokyo can learn the intricate art of origami in a weekly class.

Palace Hotel in Tokyo can learn the intricate art of origami in a weekly class.

Palace Hotel, Tokyo

Participants receive both origami and chiyogami paper—bright colors, patterns and Japanese imagery—which they are taught how to fold into everything from jumping frogs and cranes to ninja stars and samurai hats. Young, or young-at-heart guests, can create a paper Hello Kitty that comes with a changeable wardrobe in the take-home kit.

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