Four quirky ways to stay creative at home this summer

Lockdown restrictions around the world may gradually be easing, but with international travel still largely off-limits it looks like many of us will be embracing staycations at home this summer. Still, that’s not stopped our team members from continuing to curate an array of activities to help keep you entertained through these unusual times. Here, we’ve asked four of our properties to provide a series of weird, wonderful and useful pursuits to bring a slice of resort-style entertainment to wherever you’re unwinding in the coming months.

Create your own Thai-style herbal compress ball 

Legend has it that this concoction of dry herbs, often including ginger, turmeric, kaffir lime, camphor, tamarind and lemongrass, and essential oils wrapped in muslin, was first introduced to Thailand centuries ago by Indian monks. Nowadays, the compressed balls, which are steamed before use, are applied to soothe sore and overworked muscles while giving the body’s energy reserves a huge boost. The highly effective technique — now increasingly popular around the world — is also known to aid upper respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, asthma, and the common cold. This crafty activity is usually offered as port of Len, a playful wellbeing-orientated programme available at Santiburi Koh Samui, but as it might still be some time before you're able to make it to Thailand for a truly authentic experience, the good news is that compress balls are super simple to make at home. Just source the ingredients and follow this tutorial presented by the brilliant Juthamas  Chaimachue, Senior Spa Therapist.

Cook up a tom yum kung in style 

Few dishes capture Thailand's culinary prowess quite like a classic tom yum kung. The fragrant, fiery and sour soup is probably only second to Pad Thai in the global popularity stakes and although it is a relatively simple dish to create, it can often be difficult to locate a fulfilling version of this dinner table staple. Loaded with local ingredients including galangal (a near-cousin of ginger), lemongrass, fish sauce, bird's eye chillis and prawns, tom yum kung is ideal for both clearing away the proverbial cobwebs and providing a nourishing meal -- whether it's a standalone lunch or part of a dinnertime banquet. It is a particular favourite of guests at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. But don't worry if you're unable to make it to one of Thailand's best-loved islands soon, here's Nattaweeranuch Benjaprapaporn, Sous Chef, with a quick guide to crafting this legendary dish from the comfort your own kitchen. 

Strike a pose with these top yoga tips 

Whether limitations on outdoor pursuits have led you to yoga in recent months or you’re already an old hand at the downward dog, there’s never been a better time to top up on essential tips for refining your physical, mental and spiritual health. At S Hotels & Resort’s signature SAii Lagoon Maldives, guests can usually get into the groove with a series of yoga classes, ranging from free sunrise sessions for beginners and intermediates to expert longer-term courses led by our in-house yogi and wellness instructor Josmin John. But with the current circumstances leaving Josmin to rise and shine alone of late, he's decided to share some of his favourite moves to ensure we all stay in shape and keep calm during these challenging times. Here's a short selection of essential moves to see you through whilst staying safe at home. 

Making plans with plants 

Many of us have inevitably been seeking out ever more creative ways to stave off the boredom in recent months. From honing our culinary skills to finally picking up that once unloved instrument, staying in has probably never been so productive. And with summer already upon us, countless people are now turning their attention to the great outdoors and donning those long-dormant gardening gloves. For those, however, who don't have a personal oasis on their doorstep, restless green fingers can still be put to work indoors with the simple aid of a mason jar, seedlings and a few key ingredients. To teach you how to go about crafting your very own sustainable micro garden, the team from Hard Rock Hotel Maldives has shot a quick and easy tutorial that gets to the bottom of glass jar horticulture.

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