Peninsula Hong Kong guests can enjoy a private picnic on the beaches of Sai Kung, including transportation in the hotel's helicopter. // (c) 2013 Peninsula Hong Kong
Peninsula Hong Kong guests can enjoy a private picnic on the beaches of Sai Kung, including transportation in the hotel's helicopter. // (c) 2013 Peninsula Hong Kong

When it comes to experiencing local culture when traveling, there are few programs we like better than Peninsula Hotels’ Peninsula Academy, in which each of the brand’s nine hotels provide activities the embrace and celebrate the local community and culture.

Peninsula Hong Kong guests can enjoy a private picnic on the beaches of Sai Kung, including transportation in the hotel's helicopter. // (c) 2013 Peninsula Hong Kong
Peninsula Hong Kong guests can enjoy a private picnic on the beaches of Sai Kung, including transportation in the hotel’s helicopter. // (c) 2013 Peninsula Hong Kong

The Peninsula Academy was created to give guests an insider introduction to key aspects of culture, lifestyle, cuisine, arts and history through individualized classes, tours and activities.  Each hotel has developed their own programs, and bring their destinations to life by sourcing talented local partners.

Furthermore, each program was also developed to include bespoke Peninsula experiences and transportation, from private helicopter service and chauffeured Rolls-Royces to whimsical MINI Cooper S Clubman vehicles, so guests experience not only the local community, but also an authentic Peninsula experience.

Each property also features a WOW program, which offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience, from behind-the-scenes access to a New York Broadway show to a private helicopter ride to a secluded beach in Hong Kong.

WOW programs include:

Journeys of Peninsula: Luxury Peninsula Moments by Land and Sea
The Peninsula Hong Kong
Guests enjoy a series of awe-inspiring journeys in true Peninsula style, departing the city in the hotel’s helicopter for the stunning beaches of Sai Kung. Guests land and transfer to a luxury motor-cruising yacht, arriving at a secluded bay to enjoy a magical dining experience, before sailing back to the Star Ferry Pier, where a chauffeured Rolls-Royce awaits to whisk guests back to The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Additional Academy programs: • Hong Kong’s Traditions Well Served: A revival of disappearing arts and crafts • An Art Dialogue with Hong Kong: Insights into the contemporary art scene • The UNESCO Geopark Helicopter Tour: An unparalleled geological journey • A Gastronome’s Joy: The Dim-Sum-Making Journey • A Little Pastry Chef’s Adventure: Magical Children’s Cooking Classes

Timeless Shanghai: A Heritage City Tour
The Peninsula Shanghai
Transported back in time to experience the enduring legacy of Shanghai’s famed 1930s heyday, guests will receive a tailor-made traditional Chinese outfit and enjoy a private guided tour of Shanghai’s finest heritage buildings and districts in the comfort of The Peninsula Shanghai’s Rolls-Royce Phantom limousine. Among the highlights are a private visit to a museum of modern Chinese history and an opportunity to relax with a cup of Chinese tea in a traditional teahouse.

Additional Academy programs: • China’s Motor City: Shanghai Auto Museum Tour • Music, Colour and Facepaint: An Introduction to Chinese Opera • Art of the Century: An Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Art • The Sweetest Treat: Chocolate Making for Kids • Kites in the Skies: Chinese Kite-Making Class

Eriko Horiki: Washi-Paper Art Experience
The Peninsula Tokyo
Kyoto native Eriko Horiki uses handmade washi rice paper to create sculptural works and installations that elevate this traditional Japanese craft to new artistic heights. Her commissioned pieces feature in residential, commercial and public spaces around the world, including The Peninsula Tokyo Spa and Imasa restaurant at The Peninsula Hong Kong. Registered guests can meet with the artist in her atelier and learn more about washi-paper art in its traditional and contemporary forms.

Additional Academy programs: • A-list Pampering: Celebrity Beauty Retreat • Furin Making: Japanese Wind Chimes for Kids • Fold Your Way to Fun: Origami for Kids • A Taste to Savour: Sake Brewery Tour • The Art of the Kimono: Dressing Lesson

2,000 Years of Chinese Culture: An Aerial view of Beijing
The Peninsula Beijing
This captivating program provides guests with a unique and luxury cultural experience that spans the history of China’s rich art heritage. It begins with a helicopter flight to the Great Wall, where guests take off for an aerial view of the renowned Bird’s Nest. Following this, guests will indulge in a private Champagne brunch on the Great Wall overlooking the wild countryside. Guests also receive private access to a contemporary Chinese artist’s studio in the celebrated 798 Art Zone, where they enjoy The Peninsula’s Signature Afternoon Tea. To finish it off, guests return to the hotel in comfortable Rolls Royce Phantoms to receive a revitalizing SPA treatment and enjoy a 6-course Peking duck finale at the award-winning restaurant, Huang Ting.

Additional Academy programs: • The Tastes and Sounds of Beijing: The Art of Dumpling Making • A Walk through Beijing’s Past: Rickshaw through a Hutong neighbourhood • Brushstrokes of the Past: The Art of Chinese Calligraphy • More than Fortune Cookies: A Junior Patissier coupon for nexium over the counter programme • Fly High in the Beijing Sky: The Mastery of Kite Making

Behind the Curtain:  Broadway Up Close Experience
The Peninsula New York
Broadway from an insider’s perspective as guests learn first-hand what goes into a production – both on stage and off – of some of the most famous theatre productions in the world.   This program enables guests of The Peninsula New York to tour the Theatre District, take in a Broadway show and meet a key member of the production when the curtains close.

Additional Academy programs: • Kids in the Kitchen: Creating Edible Delights • The Stylish Bride: Shopping for the Ultimate Gown • Taste of Central Park: Foraging Tour and Picnic • MoMA: A Pre- or Post-Opening Tour • FDNY Tour: Fun at the Fire House • Harlem Gospel Brunch: Historic Tour and Church Service • Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour: Private Tour and Pizzeria Lunch

Princess for a Day: How to be a Perfect Princess
The Peninsula Chicago
This once-in-a-lifetime-experience is fit for a young lady who aspires to be the most regal Princess in the Kingdom. She will learn what it takes to be a true Princess– how to greet her royal subjects, drink tea properly, curtsy and more.  The experience includes a princess dress, tiara and shoes and a horse-drawn pumpkin carriage ride to a shopping spree at a nearby store. A Prince presents a glass slipper for a fairy tale ending to the day.

Additional Academy programs: • Broadway in Chicago: Exceptional Seats to Preferred Performances • Little Bakers: Pastry Class for Aspiring Chefs • Historic Chicago Neighbourhoods: Guided Cultural Tour • Exotic Car Adventure: From Roadway to Racetrack • Chicago Firehouse Excursion: For Young Firefighters-in-Training • Art Institute of Chicago: Private Tour of Revered Art Collection • Private Architectural Boat Cruise: River Tour of Chicago’s Skyscrapers

Escape to Xanadu: Malibu Surf, Sand and Sun
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
A day at “Xanadu”, the fabulous Malibu oceanfront estate that was once owned by actress Olivia Newton-John, star of the movie of the same name. A Peninsula car will whisk guests up the Pacific Coast Highway to this fabulous Malibu property, where they will enjoy an afternoon of beach fun, including kayaking, swimming and private surfing and paddleboard lessons with Rod Samper, instructor to the stars.

Additional Academy programs: • Behind the Scenes at a Major Studio:  A Private Tour of Warner Bros. • From Movie Palaces to Disney Hall:  Historic Buildings of Los Angeles • Seven-Wheel Family Adventure:  A Beverly Hills Scavenger Hunt by Coach • Fly Away to Malibu Wine Country:  A Helicopter Tour, Wine Tasting and Lunch  • Red Carpet Glamour:  A Hollywood-style Photo Shoot • Hollywood Piano Legend:  A Private Lesson and Lunch • Kids, Cookies and Cupcakes: Young Pastry Chefs Academy

Fine Wine meets Adventure: Elephant Ride in Hua Hin Hills
The Peninsula Bangkok
Vineyard Discover one of the hidden gems of Thailand, the only vineyard in the world where fine wine meets adventure. Formerly a corral where Asian elephants were domesticated, the vineyard is now home to the majestic land mammals.  Guests will be transported to Hua Hin via private helicopter where their experience will include a private tour atop an elephant through the majestic vineyards and a private wine tasting and meal prepared by Peninsula chefs.

Additional Academy programs: • Thai Painting Class: A fun and easy art class • Herbal Discovery: Discover the Secrets of Thai Herbs • The Joy of Thai Cooking: An Introduction to Thai cuisine • Footprint from The Past: An exploration of Bangkok’s old quarters • Thai Martial Art: Muay Thai kickboxing and holistic body massage • Junior Chef: A fun way to discover children’s cooking talents

“Spirit of Corregidor”: World War II Tour by Helicopter and Land
The Peninsula Manila
Guests depart from the hotel via private helicopter for an aerial tour of the city before crossing the water  to the rocky island fortress of Corregidor for a two-hour private tour of the island that stands as a memorial for the valor, courage and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders against the invading Japanese forces in World War II.

Additional Academy programs: • Defining  Luxury: Jewellery by Wynn Wynn Ong • Manila Design: Experience Philippine Art, Design and Fashion • Art in the Hills: 27 Years of Philippine Contemporary Art • A Taal Tale: Tour of the Grand Old Houses of Taal Town • If These Walls Could Speak: Tour of the Old Walled City of Intramuros • Lutong Pinoy: Sweet Cooking the Filipino Way for Kids • Pasalubong: A Filipino Craft Class for Young People

The Peninsula Academy