Going to school at an island resort may seem like a disconnect, but not at these places. We're talking about cultural- immersion experiences that not only enhance your understanding (and at times photo album) of a destination, but also leave you with a unique skill set at the end of your trip. You don't have to be the teacher's pet to appreciate these island classes. Take the Hotel Hana-Maui, where guests are invited each week to learn the ancient practices of ukulele playing, lei making and hula dancing from local teachers called kumu. The plantation resort sits at the remote eastern end of Maui's fabled Road to Hana, where turn-of-the-century-style cottages with minimal distractions (no phones, no radios, no televisions) provide the backdrop for your studies. The mist of Haleakla National Park's jungle landscape floats in the air as you learn the connection between storytelling and hula dancing, why ukulele music is so important to the history of Hana and how leis are used in Hawaiian celebrations. When class is dismissed, continue your education with a guided Holoholo Tour through Hana, a beach-side yoga class or research at the Paniolo Bar where local musicians communicate Hana lore through song. You'll never think of school the same way again. hotelhanamaui.com
More Lessons to Learn
Dine, then divine the secrets of master chefs -- like how to rasp a coconut or make your own sambal -- at the Anantara Maldives. The resort features culinary classes so you can take home Maldivian and Thai fusion recipes. maldives.anantara.com
Express your artistic side in vibrant, floral patterns at Tanjong Jara Resort's batik painting class, which offers guests the chance to learn the ancient Malaysian art of fabric dyeing. tanjongjararesort.com
- Hotel Hana Maui: Rates start at $495.
- Anantara Maldives: Rates start at $520.
- Tanjong Jara Resort: Rates start at $350.