Recent Travel Highlights

Xian

Beijing
Drink
Xian, Beijing, China
Intimate drinks near Beijing's Art Distric
Located on the first floor of EAST hotel in the Lido neighborhood, Xian is a popular watering hole with a nonetheless intimate setting. Private nooks, an expansive patio and a game room provide an atmosphere more like a luxurious private home than a bar. Xian frequently hosts low-key live music and is known for its respectable collection of 130 whiskies and in-house cocktail creations. Drink prices average around RMB 80, which, while by no means cheap, is quite reasonable compared to the city's other hotel bars. In warm weather, the patio, which includes recessed booths and fire pits, is the bar's strongest draw. EAST Beijing, 22 Jiuxianqiao Lu 酒仙桥22号北京东隅酒店一层 Phone: 8414-9810
Intimate drinks near Beijing's Art Distric
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Rodelalm

Sankt Anton am Arlberg
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Rodelalm, Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria
Sled Home From Dinner
Who says sledding is just for kids? In Europe, rodeling (their term for sledding) is almost more fun when you're an adult. No matter how good the powder, a highlight of my annual European ski trip is always our dinner rodel adventures. One of the best we've experienced is in St. Anton at Rodel-Alm. A snowcat or gondola ride takes diners up to the Rodel-Alm restaurant where you'll dine on hearty dishes of spaetzle and the signature schweinshaxe (a Flinstone-sized pork knuckle). Meals end with shots of Williams and Heisse Witwe to give diners liquid courage for their journey home. Old-school toboggans are handed out, along with headlamps (if you're lucky) and you toboggan under the starry night sky down a windy, icy trail. The journey ends at the Rodel-Hütte, where a crowd awaits to cheer you on and tempts daredevils to gain speed and launch off of snowy jumps. The reward: another shot.
Sled Home From Dinner
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MooserWirt

Sankt Anton am Arlberg
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MooserWirt, Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria
The World's Best Après Ski Bar
Americans will never truly understand the beauty and joys of après ski until they've skied (and partied) in Europe...particularly at MooserWirt in St. Anton. As you make your final runs of the day down the slopes of St. Anton you come upon the big red tent and hear the Euro pop tunes blaring from this special place. Rumored to sell more beer per square foot than any other bar in Austria, MooserWirt is the epitome of a great apres ski scene. There is the two-floor, indoor bar that erupts into a DJ-fueled dance party; the enclosed outdoor tent where rows of Williams shots are poured off of skis; and the enormous outdoor terrace that overflows with skiers of all ages dancing on tables and singing along to cheesy German music. The real test comes when the bar shuts its doors around 8pm and the tipsy crowd pours out onto the slopes to ski back down to the base of the mountain. Liquid courage at its finest.
The World's Best Après Ski Bar
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Hospiz Alm Restaurant GmbH

Sankt Anton am Arlberg
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Hospiz Alm Restaurant GmbH, Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria
Slide Down to a Wine Cellar
Hospiz Alm, a slopeside restaurant in the charming village of St. Christoph, has fulfilled many wine geeks fantasies. I had to pinch myself the first time I arrived and a waiter in a wooden bow tie escorted me to a slide (yes, a slide) which dropped me to an enormous pad-locked wine cellar. Behind that door lies one of the most spectacular wine collections I've ever laid eyes upon. The great thing about drinking wine in Austria, is that we don't get many of these fantastic Austrian wines in the States. But the real wow factor at Hospiz Alm is that the cellar lays claim to one of the world's largest collections of large-format Bordeaux. If you're lucky, sommelier Adi Werner will give you a cellar tour, or even better, open a bottle and provide a tasting.
Slide Down to a Wine Cellar
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Skihütte Schneggarei

Lech
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Skihütte Schneggarei, Lech, Austria
An Austrian Drinking Game
I've heard of drinking games that involve cards, dice, and quarters. But a hammer and nails? Now that didn't seem safe. Yet here I was in the back corner of Lech's buzzy apres ski bar, Schneggarei, learning a game the locals call Nails or Hammerschlagen. A group gathers around a waist-high log and everyone takes a nail. The goal is to use one hand and hammer your nail all the way into the log using the small, thin edge of the hammer. The loser buys the group a round of drinks. Let's just say, I still need some practice!
An Austrian Drinking Game
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One & Only Ocean Club

Nassau
Stay
One & Only Ocean Club, Nassau, The Bahamas
One & Only Ocean Club
When old money comes to Nassau’s Paradise Island, the One & Only Ocean Club is where it prefers to stay. That’s the way things have been since 1962, when the serenely posh resort opened along a dazzling stretch of sand known as Cabbage Beach. The 105-room resort has been modernized, of course, with Wi-Fi, spa-sized marble bathrooms, and a restaurant run by star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. But it’s the feeling of a privileged, unhurried yesterday that continues to draw in an appreciative upper-crust crowd. Guests appreciate perfect touches such as the enormous wooden shutters that are never peeling, the expansive lawn that appears to be not so much mowed as manicured, the gardens clearly inspired by Versailles, with an authentic 12th-century Augustinian cloister. These details, plus knowing that the personal butler and afternoon champagne and strawberries are included in the price, keep guests returning year after year.
One & Only Ocean Club
1 experience

First Hotel Grims Grenka

Oslo
Stay
First Hotel Grims Grenka, Oslo, Norway
First Hotel Grims Grenka
Sleek and sexy, from the subtle lighting in the lobby to the seven-story central atrium featuring works by contemporary Russian artist Ekaterina (aka Ekaterina Ganchukova), the First Hotel Grims Grenka has an artistic, chic feel that sits nicely with the Old World vibe of the surrounding neighborhood. Accommodations are modern and minimalist in design, with pronounced edges and bold colors. Themed after each of the four seasons, the guestrooms in all categories are furnished with large platform beds and flat-panel LCD screens, while the larger deluxe rooms have broad-cushioned couches and more than enough space to entertain for those here on business. Nice touches abound in bathrooms, including the partially mirrored walls over the sinks and waterfall showers (double-overhead in some rooms). All rooms feature single-button mood control lighting, where pushing buttons marked work, play, and sleep will automatically shift the room’s mood.Outward-facing rooms offer lighted catwalks with views of the surrounding city, while inner-facing rooms have windows overlooking the glass-ceilinged atrium and lobby bar.
First Hotel Grims Grenka
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Kamalame Cay

North Andros
Stay
Kamalame Cay, North Andros, The Bahamas
Kamalame Cay
At the northwest end of Andros Island, less than 15 minutes by air from Nassau, Kamalame Cay is almost worth visiting just because cell phones don’t work. But this 96-acre private island has other attractions, too: a scattering of 34 rustic-chic rooms and suites, all within steps of a white-sand beach, a central Great House where guests (at least those who haven’t opted for secluded, candlelit, private dining somewhere along the three miles of beach) come together to sip wine before dinner and tell tales after. A wide range of in-the-sea and on-the-beach activities keep everyone from the kids to the newlyweds happy. There’s a freshwater swimming pool, an over-water spa, nearby fishing that people come from all over the world for, occasional entertainment by local “rake & scrape” bands, and even sporadic celebrity sightings. And for those who live in fear of being unplugged, relax. The reception area has Wi-Fi. Sometimes.
Kamalame Cay
1 experience

Radisson Blu Scandinavia

Oslo
Stay
Radisson Blu Scandinavia, Oslo, Norway
Radisson Blu Scandinavia
Located in the center of Oslo, the Radisson Blu Scandinavia is one of several Radisson Blu hotels in this capital city. Like most in the brand, the Scandinavia offers a clean, uniform, and predictable level of service and accommodation. Public areas in the 22-story Scandinavia have an open, almost shopping-mall feel; indeed, a large shopping arcade sits just below the hotel. Rooms are done up in a definite Scandinavian flair, with amenities ranging from free high-speed Internet to large LCD screens. Of the three Oslo Radissons, the Blu Scandinavia is best suited to both business and leisure travelers due to its close proximity to Oslo’s tourist attractions and its business district. The central location puts visitors within walking distance of the Royal Palace, the National Theater, and the National Gallery, as well as smaller points of interest like the Ibsen museum. The hotel also has event facilities capable of accommodating more than 1,000 attendees.
Radisson Blu Scandinavia
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Grand Hotel Oslo

Oslo
Stay
Grand Hotel Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Grand Hotel Oslo
Classical European grandeur, luxurious rooms, and a chance to feel the living pulse of history awaits those entering the Grand Hotel Oslo, easily among the finest examples of traditional Grand Hotels. From the royal ambience of the stately lobby (bedecked with chandeliers and a grand piano) to the absolutely plush rooms, the Grand Hotel Oslo pulls out all the stops in making guests feel like visiting dignitaries. This should come as no surprise, since the Grand Hotel has played host to countless actual visiting dignitaries. Its Nobel Suite is where Nobel prize winners give interviews, and it’s from this suite’s balcony that more famous recipients (including such notable guests as the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela) traditionally greet crowds.   Yet the Grand manages to be luxurious without being overly ostentatious, in part due to small touches of artistic whimsy found within the hotel. Rooms are immaculate (as one would expect), and all feature top-of-the-line furnishings, fixtures, and unique objets d’art. Of special note is the Ladies Floor, a section with art-adorned hallways and 13 unique rooms, each designed with a distinctly feminine touch (including yoga mats, spa and beauty products, and special menus) and around the central theme of notable women from contemporary Norway such as Sami musician Mari Boine and golfer Suzann Pettersen.
Grand Hotel Oslo
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Hotel Continental

Oslo
Stay
Hotel Continental, Oslo, Norway
Hotel Continental
With a history dating back to 1900 and a deep connection to the National Theater (which sits just across the street), the Hotel Continental is a venerable figure in Oslo’s arts scene. The family-owned hotel has long prided itself on being a hangout for local artists, a tradition manifest in its impressive art collection, displayed both in public areas and in the rooms themselves. The guestrooms at the Continental juxtapose modern and classical touches—like top-of-the-line flat-screen monitors viewed from classical European divans. There are unique touches in all the rooms, generally centered around the objets d’art chosen for each individual room. Many rooms come with balconies, some of which have absolutely spectacular views. As befits a hotel with a deep connection to the local arts scene, the Continental offers a number of all-inclusive packages that bundle accommodations, meals, and tickets to shows around Oslo.
Hotel Continental
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The White Ring, Lech-Zürs

Lech
Do
The White Ring, Lech-Zürs, Lech, Austria
Ski the White Ring
The Lech Zürs am Arlberg region of Austria is often referred to as the "cradle of Alpine skiing." The best way to explore the famed mountain terrain is to ski the legendary White Ring. This 14-mile circuit connects the mountain villages of Lech, Zurs, Zug, and Oberlech on a clockwise route established more than 50 years ago and is connected by a series of chairs and lifts. Be sure to start early so you can make last chair and complete the entire circuit.
Ski the White Ring
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The Thief

Oslo
Stay
The Thief, Oslo, Norway
The Thief
If Old Oslo is Edvard Munch, then New Oslo—as represented by this two-year-old hotel in Tjuvholmen, Oslo’s newest neighborhood—is Andy Warhol. Like the island on which it’s built, the Thief rises out of the blue waters of Oslo Harbor, a beacon of the city’s commitment to art and culture in the 21st century, as surely as venerable hotels like the Grand and Continental (a kilometer and change to the north) are anchors to that of the last century. Bedecked with sculptures, paintings, and more esoteric modern art installments (such as the grandfather clock in the lobby that weaves a golden yarn scarf at the rate of one stitch every hour), the Thief could almost be considered a museum.   But outstanding art collection aside, the Thief is a hotel, and an exceptionally cool one at that. Rooms are all designed with comfort, style, and entertainment in mind. King-size beds with extra pillows and down duvets are standard in all rooms, as are top-of-the-line espresso machines, Geneva sound systems, Wi-Fi, and 42-inch HD TVs with movies on demand at no additional charge. Bathrooms are equipped with waterfall showerheads and massive designer bathrobes that almost make towels superfluous.   Because of the Thief’s unique location, each room is blessed with an amazing view of the surrounding fjord, making the hotel (especially its rooftop bar) a popular spot for photographers.
The Thief
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Tremblant Activity Centre

Mont-Tremblant
Do
Tremblant Activity Centre, Mont-Tremblant, Canada
Canoeing Mont Tremblant
The activity center at Mont Tremblant offers canoeing and kayak trips on the Rogue River. Equipment and basic instruction is provided by staff. Rogue River is calm and, in most parts, shallow, making it suitable for beginners and children.
Canoeing Mont Tremblant
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Sun Valley

Sun Valley
StayDo
Sun Valley, Sun Valley, Idaho
History and Skiing in Sun Valley
The road trip from Southern California to Sun Valley actually started in the remote mountain town of Ely Nevada, about four hours north of Las Vegas. Even though we had been through Sin City and on the highway for nine hours, the historical ghosts of Sun Valley were visiting us in this Old West outpost. The iconic Hotel Nevada has hosted celebrities since the 1930s and 40s, when they were en route to Sun Valley upon the resort's illustrious opening during that era; indeed, we stayed in the Gary Cooper suite. Along with Cooper: Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Lucille Ball and Errol Flynn all joined Sun Valley's most famous resident Ernest Hemingway during Hollywood's golden age for skiing, hunting, fishing and general revelry. In 1939, Papa finished his book For Whom the Bell Tolls in a suite in the Sun Valley Lodge after beginning it in Cuba and Key West. In present times people of all stripes still live, and flock seasonally, to this beautiful area in the Wood River Valley. We met everyone from crusty local hunters in beat up Chevys heading a short drive out of town to hunt wayward wolves to legendary mountaineer Ed Viesturs and Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner. Even the slopes of the excellent Bald Mountain give enthusiastic nods to history, naming ski runs after Olympic medalists Christin Cooper, Picabo Street and Kaitlyn Farrington. Sun Valley is often bathed in glorious sunlight as it has for eternity, enticing those in the know. Shoot, even the Dalai Lama visited in 2005
History and Skiing in Sun Valley
1 experience

Big Bend Brewing Co.

Alpine
DrinkDo
Big Bend Brewing Co., Alpine, Texas
Big Bend Brewery Tour
When you find yourself overwhelmed by the weirdness of Marfa, TX, hitch a ride to the next town over (Alpine) and hit the Big Bend Brewery for a tour - where folks are serious about beer and the science of fermentation...yet unpretentious. If you are an extra lucky off-season visitor they might just send you home with a case of under-filled cans. Brewery Tours & Tastings Wednesdays – Fridays at 3pm Saturdays at 2pm and 3pm $10 per person
Big Bend Brewery Tour
1 experience

Brady Arts District

Tulsa
ShopDo
Brady Arts District, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Brady Arts District First Friday Art Crawl
The first Friday of every month art galleries stay open late and offer free admission from 6-9pm. Check out the Woody Guthrie Museum free of charge, watch a glassblowing demonstration at Tulsa Glassblowing, and catch rotating exhibitions at AHHA, Philbrook Downtown and Living Arts (to name only a few). Start with happy hour at Hey Mambo or finish with a late dinner at The Tavern on Brady. If the galleries are too crowded catch some fresh air and music at Guthrie Green.
Brady Arts District First Friday Art Crawl
1 experience

Mainline Art Gallery + Bar

Tulsa
DrinkShopDo
Mainline Art Gallery + Bar, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Mainline Art Gallery & Cocktail Lounge
A laid back lounge that's serious about art. Mainline generally showcases two Oklahoma artists simultaneously: a contemporary artist in the north gallery and a historical artist along the south wall. At the center, a bar and lounge where patrons can appreciate (and purchase!) local art. If the setting inspires you, pick up one of the many notebooks and grab a pencil to create your own sketch.
Mainline Art Gallery & Cocktail Lounge
1 experience

La Flauta - Balmes

Barcelona
EatDrink
La Flauta - Balmes, Barcelona, Spain
Flaunting Their Flautas & Much, Much More
Let me just say that La Flauta lives up to the hype, which can be a difficult thing to find when you visit a famed restaurant in a famed city. We visited a few weeks ago on a Saturday after many months of wanting to gnosh at this popular local restaurant. We ordered a variety of tapas: bacalao, solomillo, pimientos del piquillo, a roquefort and bacon flauta, grilled artichokes, calcots (!!) and patatas bravas. The food was amazing and the service was prompt. We felt like we were having a true, old-time Barcelona dining experience. The restaurant's dining room is huge, but you'll need to get there around 8 or 8:30 to get a seat. By 9 p.m., there's a line from the dining room all the way to the door. There are two things I didn't like about the restaurant: 1. Some of our tapas were hot while others were room temperature, and, 2. The bacon and roquefort flauta was really salty. Otherwise, our dinner was amazing! For dessert we had sherry and their creme brulee tart....it was a delicious experience, to say the least.
Flaunting Their Flautas & Much, Much More
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Paon Bali Cooking Class

Bali driver and tour guide
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Paon Bali Cooking Class, Bali driver and tour guide, Indonesia
Learning to Cook, the Balinese Way
Anytime I visit a new place, I find my way to an open-air market in the morning. Ubud, Bali was no exception. I had only one day there (a decision I immensely regret), so I booked a cooking class that started out with a morning tour of the market with Wayan, my teacher's husband. I learned about Balinese men's and women's knives, and about their "blenders," which are actually huge mortar and pestles. But most importantly we got to taste the mangosteen: a fruit that looks like garlic on the inside, but is juicy and sweet, and like a mix of different fruit that I can't quite put my finger on. After I devoted an appropriate amount of time to revering the mangosteen, I let Wayan take us to the rice paddies, where how much rice the Balinese eat and how they grow it. He then took us to his house, where he and his wife, Puspa, taught us about Balinese homes and family life before we started cooking in a huge open space overlooking Ubud's natural grandeur. We made eight dishes, including chicken grilled on bamboo sticks; tune, tomato, and basil steamed in banana leaves; and the famous gado-gado. I ate until I started hoping for a nap and then I had a delicious banana dessert. Now, this comes from a woman who has never liked bananas, even when she was a baby. It felt like Balinese Thanksgiving.
Learning to Cook, the Balinese Way
1 experience

Maenam

Vancouver
EatDrink
Maenam, Vancouver, Canada
Maenam: Vancouver's Best Thai Food
After traveling through Thailand a few times over the past few years, my standard for Thai food has reached all time highs. I haven't had too many Thai meals outside of Thailand that have come close except at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas, Jitlada in Los Angeles, and now Maenam in Vancouver. The flavor profiles of the authentic dishes created by Chef Angus An are bold and robust yet simple, just like the dishes I ate back east. Chef An takes his culinary education and training under some of the best chefs in the world in places like New York, London, and Montreal and serves it up for the hungry folks of Vancouver. If you're looking for authentic and flavorful Thai food in Vancouver, look no further than Maenam.
Maenam: Vancouver's Best Thai Food
1 experience, added to 2 Lists

Hawksworth Restaurant

Vancouver
EatDrink
Hawksworth Restaurant, Vancouver, Canada
Hawksworth: The Best Fine Dining Experience In Vancouver
Award winning Hawksworth Restaurant located in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia brings Vancouver fine dining to world class levels. Chef David Hawksworth shares his culinary vision taking his training from his stints at Michelin starred restaurants in Europe and combining it with quality locally sourced ingredients to bring you the best of West Coast cuisine. I recently had my dining experience at Hawksworth but I know that it definitely won't be my last. From my pre-dinner cocktial to every dish and perfectly paired wine. It was hands down my favorite upscale meal in Vancouver to date.
Hawksworth: The Best Fine Dining Experience In Vancouver
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Eataly

Milano
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Eataly, Milano, Italy
Four Floors of Beautiful Eats
I'm not sure even Paris has anything on this place. At the north end of the fabulous, cobblestoned Brera neighborhood, you will find this open-plan, bright, beautiful marketplace. It contains four floors of delectable foodstuffs, each devoted to a different food segment. It's a mini trip through Italy without ever leaving Milan. Fresh produce, books, wine, fish, cheese, charcuterie, chocolate, and, of course, pasta... All so beautifully displayed you will want to have your camera. Each floor sports a restaurant of the same theme. Grab a quick sandwich or gelato, or sit amongst the business folks for lunch. I could have spent all morning in here!
Four Floors of Beautiful Eats
1 experience

Monumental Cemetery

Milano
Do
Monumental Cemetery, Milano, Italy
Better than a Museum
Don't think it morbid. This cemetery is one of the most extraordinary places in Milan. Put it on your list as a must-see if you are interested in sculpture, history and some truly breathtaking architecture. Only a mile from the city center it is an easy walk. And don't forget your camera. Strolling through this place will make you feel intimate with the city, and it's outside, so no stuffy museum tour. And did I mention it's free?
Better than a Museum
1 experience

Maine Avenue Fish Market

Washington
EatShop
Maine Avenue Fish Market, Washington, District of Columbia
Gone Fishing in Southwest DC
Known as "the Wharf," this local landmark since 1805 is the oldest continuously operating fish market in the US. Seafood lovers flock here to the floating barges to purchase and/or feast on fresh fish like shad, perch, bass, and whiting as well as Chesapeake oysters or Maryland blue crab cakes.
Gone Fishing in Southwest DC
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Lillehammer

Lillehammer
EatDrinkShopStayDo
Lillehammer, Lillehammer, Norway
A Charming Nordic Town
The few episodes of the Netflix show Lilyhammer didn't prepare me for my visit to the actual town of Lillehammer itself. With it's bricked pedestrian mall filled with boutiques and other high end shops, the town seemed more like a Nordic Boulder, Colorado than towards which a mafia wise guy acclimated to a New York state of mind would gravitate. But that's television for you. Though my time in town was brief, I could see the charm of the town that hosted the 1994 winter olympics. Strolling the hilly residential area above the main drag on a dark midwinter evening, I came across dozens of locals commuting with ski-poles and mountain bikes tricked out with studded ice tires, seemingly unperturbed by the layer of ice on the town's every horizontal surface. On the main drag I visited pastry shops and sipped steaming coffee next to a small creek. I dallied too long to make it to either the Norwegian Olympic Museum or the Lillehammer Art Museum, but there'll always be another trip.
A Charming Nordic Town
1 experience

Cirque du Soleil Theater

Xelhá
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Cirque du Soleil Theater, Xelhá, Mexico
JOYÀ Adds Entertainment to Cancun/Riviera Maya Scene
Cirque du Soleil's only resident troupe outside of Las Vegas and Orlando opened in 2014, kicking off yet another stellar attraction for visitors to Cancun and the Riviera Maya. The colorful 70-minute performance - which has been dubbed JOYÀ - offers an immersive theatrical and culinary experience for the whole family. The name JOYÀ, rooted in the Spanish “joya” meaning jewel or pearl, alludes to a person or event of great value. Through this mesmerizing performance, an alchemist’s granddaughter discovers joy and wisdom by sharing an extraordinary experience in an unlikely place.
JOYÀ Adds Entertainment to Cancun/Riviera Maya Scene
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