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6 Extraordinary Experiences at The Ritz-Carlton

Article by Kat Johnson

Whether it’s a bustling weekend in the city or a relaxing oceanside getaway, truly great travel experiences allow you to go beyond the beaten path and forge a true connection to the local culture and traditions. Creatively incorporating cultural, culinary and natural elements of their surrounding environments, these experiences at The Ritz-Carlton offer guests a genuinely deeper travel experience.

1. Discover Local Legends in Malaysia

The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi was designed to fully immerse guests in the tranquil Malaysian island’s incredible ecosystem and rich local culture. The experience begins the moment you arrive, where you can inscribe a stone with a wish and drop it into the fountain inspired by Tasik Dayang Buntin, the island’s legendary granter of dreams. After a day exploring the beautiful beaches or ancient jungle, the magic continues at sunset, when the resort’s nightly “Dance of Thanks to the Sea” performance is accompanied by traditional gamelan music and spellbinding oceanfront views.

A woman drapes her lace shawl so that it catches the sunlight.

2. Find Moments of Wonder in Chile

Santiago provides an ideal starting point for experiencing all the adventure South America has to offer. The city sits at the foot of the Andes Mountains, which offers an impressive backdrop. A short drive away and you’re transported to magnificent skiing, world-class vineyards that sommeliers around the world admire, and plenty of opportunities to engage with the natural beauty of Chile. The concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago can assist you in arranging a tour and guided activities.

A group of hikers ascends a mountain.

3. Ride Through the Arabian Desert

For a quintessential Arabian experience, a traditional camel ride through the desert tops many visitors’ bucket lists.
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert in the United Arab Emirates offers guests the opportunity to set off into the sunset at the resort’s very own Equestrian Center, which offers horseback riding and lessons in addition to a daily sunset camel caravan through the soft, sifting sands of the sprawling Al Wadi Nature Reserve. The leisurely ride culminates at dusk, where you’ll enjoy refreshments as the sun disappears below the dunes.

Two camels are silhouetted against an evening sky.

4. Experience Cuisine Worth Traveling For

Awarded three stars in the Michelin guide since 2009, Aqua has made Wolfsburg, Germany a culinary destination. Helmed by Chef de Cuisine Sven Elverfeld, the emphasis is on simplicity. The menu features modern European cuisine, sourced locally from northern Germany whenever possible, and the restaurant's interior draws inspiration from the theme of nature; it opens up into a private garden, with a tranquil, Zen-like atmosphere.

A chef meticulously plates a dish.

5. Taste a Gastronome’s Tokyo

Few places inspire culinary devotion like Tokyo, where travelers relish eating their way through the city’s stellar sushi, lively izakayas and artful omakase. But natives know there’s epicurean magic afoot on the 45th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, where the Japanese-inflected French cuisine of Azure 45 recently earned the restaurant a Michelin star. Chalk it up to Chef Shinatro Miyakazi, who’s confidently composed, gorgeous dishes draw a regular crowd of discerning Tokyo residents. After a day of exploring the city, you can truly eat like a local — right in the hotel.

A plate of French cuisine presented as art

6. Feel the Spirit of Aloha

When you finally make time for a beach vacation, chances are you’re ready to embrace the island mindset as soon as possible. In Hawaii, this attitude is a deeper experience than you might think; the “spirit of Aloha” encompasses joyful energy, presence of mind and harmony with nature. Clifford Nae’ole, cultural advisor at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, guides visitors through the islands’ traditions through genuine cultural experiences such as a cleansing and awakening sunrise ceremony. This healing ritual incorporates the purifying power of the ocean and traditional Hawaiian chanting to wash away negativity as another beautiful Hawaiian day is dawning. “Once the sun has blinked its eye,” Nae’ole says, “you are free to begin life anew.”

Rocky beaches covered in lush green plants meet the ocean.

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