jeep ride, jw marriott masai mara lodge

Go on a game drive at JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge. (Photo: Marriott Intermational)


13 Truly Wild Outdoor Experiences at Hotels Around the World

For many travelers, the perfect vacation recipe involves a mixture of rest, rejuvenation and outdoor adventures. Daredevils will be drawn to activities that get their adrenaline pumping — but even non-daredevils can get in on the action. The key is choosing a hotel that offers opportunities for you to stretch physically and mentally while learning new skills (or perfecting old ones) in spectacular natural settings. 

With activities ranging from falconry and aqua yoga to diving shipwrecks and desert stargazing, here are wild outdoor experiences at hotels around the globe to amp up your next vacation. 

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip. 

Go on Safari in Masai Mara, Kenya 

Scan for lions, giraffes, elephants and rhinos among Kenya’s swaying grasslands with a game drive at JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge. Its showstopper: the Great Migration of millions of pasture-seeking zebras and wildebeests bolting across land and crocodile-infested rivers between July and October. But visitors can’t go wrong any time of year in one of Africa’s best safari destinations

Snorkel and Scuba Dive in the Maldives 

sea turtle by a coral reef, maldives
Get a glimpse of underwater wildlife near W Maldives. (Photo: Marriott International)

W Maldives offers intimate ocean experiences. Guests can plunge into azure waters from the decks of their overwater bungalows. And a bright, bustling “in-house” reef — one of the country’s best — surrounds the resort and rewards snorkelers and scuba buffs alike. 

Turn to the Down Under dive shop for rentals, PADI scuba-diving courses and packages like descents to the Fesdu, a sunken fishing trawler, or the Halaveli wreck, where turtles coast near the 130-foot-long cargo ship. Other standouts include overnights to “Hammerhead Heaven” and a site often frequented by whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. 

Try Falconry in Dubai, UAE 

trainer with falcons at sunrise, al maha resort.
Learn about falconry at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai. (Photo: Marriott International)

Prefer a more hands-on animal experience? Falconry stretches back more than 4,000 years and enjoys UNESCO protection as a cultural heritage of humanity in the United Arab Emirates. Send a falcon soaring above russet-colored sand dunes at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai

Or connect with the traditions of the nomadic Bedouins, some of the oldest inhabitants of the Arabian desert, through an archery session. 

Paddle Your Way to Adventure in Maui, Hawaii 

guests kayaking at the westin maui resort
Ride on an outrigger canoe at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka‘anapali. (Photo: Marriott International)

Connect with the ocean and ancient voyaging traditions at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka‘anapali. Sign up to paddle an outrigger canoe with a waterman or waterwoman, a person highly skilled in all things aquatic who approaches the sea with deep reverence, knowledge and courage. 

Settlers once sailed outriggers 2,400 miles from modern-day French Polynesia to the Hawaiian archipelago. The Maui resort’s Waterman Program honors that heritage, inviting guests on adventures that also give back to the local community, led by experts like canoe racers, boat captains and champion stand-up paddleboarders. 

Visit Vineyards and Olive Groves in Costa Navarino, Greece 

overhead photo of cuisine from the westin costa navarino
Taste local ingredients at The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino. (Photo: Marriott International)

For a mellow outing, turn to the sun-soaked vineyards and olive groves along Greece’s Ionian coastline. The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino invites guests to enjoy a variety of local experiences, which may include stomping grapes, savoring local wines, harvesting and tasting olive oil and farm-to-table dining. 

Hit the Slopes in Beaupre, Quebec 

view of the delta hotels mont sainte anne ski slopes
Spend the day skiing at Delta Hotels by Marriott, Mont Sainte-Anne, Resort & Convention Center. (Photo: Marriott International)

Canada’s Côte-de-Beaupré invites visitors to ski-in and ski-out at Delta Hotels by Marriott, Mont Sainte-Anne, Resort & Convention Center. Carve down three slopes on the 2,625-foot peak or explore cross-country trails that rank among North America’s largest. 

This getaway — 24 miles northeast of Quebec City — also has snowmobiling and dog-sledding from late-November to mid-April. 

Help Sea Turtles Hatch in Punta de Mita, Mexico 

aerial of st regis punta cana
Help protect sea turtles at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. (Photo: Marriott International)

Be the hero baby sea turtles need at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Mexico. From December to March, guides help guests protect hatchlings as they emerge from their eggs buried on the beach and scramble to the safety of the surf line. 

Level Up Your Golf Game in Enniskerry, Ireland 

aerial view of the golf course at powerscourt hotel
Perfect your golf swing at Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection. (Photo: Marriott International)

An hour drive outside Dublin, Ireland, the colonnades of Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection preside over a 1,000-acre estate featuring two 18-hole championship golf courses. Perfect your game with a PGA specialist coach, or hit the East Course parklands or the wide, tree-fringed West Course fairways designed to challenge skilled golfers while remaining fun for occasional players. 

Play Pickleball in Phoenix, Arizona 

pickle ball game, jw marriott phoenix desert ridge
Challenge your travel buddies to a competitive game of pickleball at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. (Photo: Marriott International)

If pickleball is more your jam, don’t miss out on a stay at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, home to 17 outdoor, lighted pickleball courts. These dedicated spaces feature permanent lines and nets for the booming sport — not to mention a full-service pro shop. Book court time or take a class or one-on-one lessons from a certified instructor at this Phoenix, Arizona, resort. 

Go Horseback Riding on the Beach in Punta Islita, Costa Rica 

horseback riding on the beach, punta islita
Horseback ride on the beach at Punta Islita, Autograph Collection. (Photo: Marrriott International)

Gallop into the sunset at Costa Rica’s Punta Islita, Autograph Collection. Relish each moment while horseback riding at this hotel, meandering along the beach and winding through tropical forests and over sinuous hills. 

Enjoy Desert Stargazing in Scottsdale, Arizona 

view of the resort against the night sky, adero scottsdale resort
Marvel at the stars at ADERO Scottsdale Resort, Autograph Collection. (Photo: Marriott International)

Downshift with a celestial spectacle at the ADERO Scottsdale Resort, Autograph Collection, located in a Dark Sky Zone that’s incredible for stargazing. High-definition telescopes dot the property, but guests can request them for complimentary private viewings, too. Get oriented with exclusive access to the Star Walk 2 app or guided sky tours (tour availability is seasonal). 

Enjoy Beachfront Yoga in Langkawi, Malaysia 

aerial of the westin langkawi resort and spa
Focus on the present with a beachfront yoga session at The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. (Photo: Marriott International)

Stretch your muscles during complimentary beachfront yoga at The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa in Langkawi, Malaysia. Feel the tension melt away as you breathe in the fresh air and listen to the soothing sounds of the water. 

The property also offers Fly Yoga sessions (also called aerial yoga), where participants dangle from silk hammocks strung from the ceiling, and Aqua Yoga in a pool overlooking the Andaman Sea. 

Luxuriate in a Nordic Spa in Kananaskis Village, Alberta 

view of nordic spa, kananaskis mountain lodge
Enjoy the hydrotherapy circuit at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection’s Nordic Spa. (Photo Marriott International)

Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection sits among the Rockies’ geological drama. This Alberta property turns up the après heat with a hydrotherapy circuit at its Nordic Spa. This 50,000-square-foot facility combines outdoor pools and cold plunges with saunas, essential-oil-infused steam cabins, hammocks and fire cauldrons.