Chasing the Deal: Learning by Doing at Latin American Hotels



Supported by

Chasing the Deal

Hotels are drawing on the rich cultures of their host countries to design lessons that connect guests with local food, culture and natural beauty.

Ingredients for a three-course cooking class at Hacienda San Jose in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.CreditHacienda San Jose


Dec. 2, 2017

Throughout Latin America, hotels are drawing on the rich cultures of their host countries to design lessons that connect guests with local food, culture and natural beauty.

At the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro, dance lovers and those with two left feet alike can learn to samba from masters of the Brazilian dance. Teachers from a local samba school lead classes on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, with a professional samba show afterward. Through Dec. 28, a four-night package for the cost of three nights is available using promo code S29 (rates start at $268 per night).

More of a food lover? Hacienda San Jose, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Tixkokob, Mexico, is inviting guests into its kitchen for a hands-on lesson in how to make Cochinita Pibil, a Yucatán staple of slow-roasted pork marinated in citrus. The class, which culminates in a three-course meal, also includes tips on making handmade tortillas and lime chicken soup ($65 per person). Through Dec. 17, the hotel is also offering a Celebrate Yucatán package, which includes daily breakfast for two, the cochinita pibil cooking class for two and 25 percent discount on spa services (from $420 per night, to book email

Travelers to Mexico interested in learning to scuba dive for a reasonable price should consider the Westin Cozumel, where a three-night dive package ($795 for three nights, compared to regular rate $314 per night; to book email includes a King Sea View Room plus one dive lesson per person and one scuba diving excursion with two tanks per person. Diving demonstrations are offered daily in the hotel pool and guests can earn their first class diving certification.

In Cusco, Peru, stalls at the Mercado San Pedro are full of colorful local produce. The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, formerly a 16th-century convent, offers a cooking lesson that begins with a market tour, where the chef Heivel Bedoya sources fruit, vegetables and local cheeses. A stroll through the market will include samples from vendors before heading back to the kitchen for a five-course cooking lesson and eat-as-you-go feast. With promo code 93B, guests can book the Get More for Your Getaway package that includes a $50 nightly hotel credit (rates for a Luxury Suite start at $239 per night, compared to the regular rate of $424 per night).


Michael T. Flynn, right, on Feb. 10, three days before he was fired as national security adviser.
Doug Mills/The New York Times
Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton and Alec Baldwin as President Trump in a parody of “A Christmas Carol.”

“Saturday Night Live” returned after a one-week absence and addressed a very busy news week.

A huge government apartment complex in Tokiwadaira, Japan, has become known for lonely deaths.

In postwar Japan, a single-minded focus on rapid economic growth helped erode family ties. Now, a generation of elderly Japanese is dying alone.

Brian Ross, a reporter for ABC News, has been suspended for four weeks without pay, the network announced on Saturday.
Lou Rocco/ABC

In a statement, the network said the reporting “had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process” and apologized for the “serious error.”

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, used the filibuster to stymie initiatives by President Barack Obama.
Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

We used to blame both parties for our poisonous political environment. Not anymore.

Matt Lauer with Hillary Clinton at the NBC News “Commander-in-Chief Forum” in September 2016.
Doug Mills/The New York Times

Jill Filipovic

Many of the journalists who stand accused of sexual harassment covered the 2016 presidential campaign.