Some hotels are starting to feel like college campuses. Many have instructors to teach guests how to play chess, make pottery, mix a drink, cook and do any number of other activities.
Among the offerings of classes from some hotels: At the Swissotel Chicago, guests soon will be able to sign up for free self-defense classes taught by the hotel's sous chef, a trained instructor. Chess classes will also be available. At the James hotels in New York and Chicago, each room is equipped with all the supplies needed to make cocktails, including recipes. Guests can arrange for a bartender to conduct a private mixology lesson.
The Omphoy Ocean Resort in Palm Beach, Fla., this summer will launch a "Surf Goddess" program that will include surfing lessons with overnight accommodations, while at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Florida, artist-in-residence Lynn Travis Stender's outdoor watercolor and acrylic painting classes are often booked solid.