Xcaret

Quintana Roo
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Xcaret, Quintana Roo, Mexico
The Magical World of Xcaret
Riviera Maya's popular archaeological park, Xcaret is where Mexican culture, history, and the ecological diversity for which the area is known are highlighted in one entertaining package. You’ll find a vast slate of eco-adventures such as snorkeling in cenotes, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding, scuba diving, bird watching and basic beach pleasures. Or if you prefer, transport yourself to the secret world of the ancient Maya, visiting jungle-studded archaeological sites, and a replica of a Maya village, which showcases daily life, including a demonstration of the legendary, 2,000-year-old Maya ball game called pok-ta-pok. When night falls, dancers in the Gran Tlachco amphitheater stage a magical tour of Mexico from mythical Maya ceremonies through the Spanish conquest to modern Mexico. Book seats in the dining area and indulge in a three-course meal while viewing the brilliant musical spectacle.
The Magical World of Xcaret

Mandala Cueros

Santiago
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Mandala Cueros, Santiago, ChileAfar-thumbnail
Mandala Cueros: Shop for Posh Leather Goods
In an indoor shopping center called Estación Italia, this colorful leather shop run by a charming gent named Tomás Jara sells Panama hats, belts, and rainbow-colored satchels. Photo courtesy of Mandala Cueros. This appeared in the May 2014 issue.
Mandala Cueros: Shop for Posh Leather Goods

Isolda

Santiago
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Isolda, Santiago, ChileAfar-thumbnail
Isolda: High-Style Local Fashion in Santiago
Inside the boutique, you’ll find well-cut dresses that hang just right, necklaces, gloves, hats, and Rcorrido shoes, made locally by hand with natural materials. Photo courtesy of Isolda. This appeared in the May 2014 issue.
Isolda: High-Style Local Fashion in Santiago

Wingtip

San Francisco
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Wingtip, San Francisco, California
Modern Members Only
A friend of mine asked me when I was visiting, if I wanted to check out Wingtip, a members only club in the heart of San Francisco's financial area. I agreed. What originally started out as a retail space and expanded into an exclusive membership only space, it isn't the old stuffy mens clubs of yore. It's like Soho house but less scene-y. It's a beautiful space that is constantly expanding and it's part bar and part social club. It's a great place to conduct meetings and meet interesting people. There was wifi, kindles and iPads to use, newspapers, magazines, loads of great wine, scotch, bourbon and more. We also had and incredible view of the TransAmerica building. When I was there their rooftop deck had not been built yet. I'm hoping I can go back to check it out. While the club is members only, they have an incredible retail space below. Photo above: A horn magnifying glass found in one of the reading rooms
Modern Members Only

Servi

Madrid
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Servi, Madrid, SpainAfar-thumbnail
Servi: Best for Spanish Delicacies
“Servi is at least 40 years old, and for me, it’s number one for preserved foods in Madrid. It stocks anchovies, tins of white asparagus, all the delicacies Spaniards love.” - Alberto Fernández Fernández de los Ríos 53, 34/(0) 91-544-1475. Photo by Ana Nance. This appeared in the May 2014 issue. Read more about Alberto Fernández's Madrid.
Servi: Best for Spanish Delicacies

Country Samurai Coffee Co

Kailua-Kona
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Country Samurai Coffee Co, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Distinctly Kona Coffee
Kona Coffee is known around the world as one of Hawaii's best known products. The relatively small coffee growing area on the Big Island of Hawaii produces only a fraction of the world's coffee beans. The limited production makes Hawaii Island's caffeinated product like liquid gold for Kona Coffee lovers. Among the hundreds of coffee farms on the Big Island, Country Samurai Coffee Company operates a lush and green farm on the Kona slopes that still grows their coffee trees in a natural and traditional method that enables the trees to grow tall—up to 18 feet. Harvesting requires ladders and can be time-consuming, but the trees are able to develop a larger root system, pull in more nutrients from the volcanic soil, and produce more coffee berries. To try these distinctly grown beans, visit the family owned Country Samurai Coffee shop in Kailua-Kona. The shop sells several other items including chocolate covered coffee beans and macadamia nuts and Hawaiian teas. Image courtesy of Country Samurai Coffee.
Distinctly Kona Coffee

Shanghai City

Shanghai
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Shanghai City, Shanghai, China
Shanghai - Shop till you Drop
Joining a 5D4N trip to Shanghai, includes visiting Wuxi, Hangzhou, Suzhou. Enjoyed sights of Shanghai , Bund and Pudong skylines, but the eye opener is the sales tactics of Chinese shops. Read more of my travel experience here.
Shanghai - Shop till you Drop

Mongkok

Hong Kong
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Mongkok, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Mongkok Shopping
If you want the excitement and chaos of street shopping, Mongkok is your destination. The area is a glimpse of what most shopping regions once looked like in the Hong Kong of old. Although many parts of the city have given way to modern storefronts and contemporary experiences, Mongkok has managed to stay traditional, offering up wares from carts, with vendors happy to haggle on prices. The famous Ladies Street is a full kilometer of tables offering cosmetics, dresses, jade jewelry, colorful children’s toys, and inexpensive accessories. Temple Street caters to men, and everyone can acquire their necessary electronics in the Mong Kok Computer Center—a three-story building with dozens of brands. For more traditional handicrafts, stroll down Yuen Po Street, where gorgeous, carved wooden birdcages line the sidewalks, and then visit the adjoining garden during the day. The food stalls in Mongkok are famous for stir-fried noodle dishes, dim sum, and enticing Chinese snacks, as well.
Mongkok Shopping

Bare Jazz

Oslo
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Bare Jazz, Oslo, Norway
A Break from Everything at Bare Jazz Café
The secluded entrance from busy Grensen Street leads you into an almost Parisian courtyard where jazz cafe Bare Jazz is located. Friendly atmosphere that welcomes all kinds of people, with a record shop on the ground floor and a coffee shop on the first floor. The best carrot cake in town, delicious coffee, and some of the best tunes around. Gigs are held frequently, showcasing local talent, but bigger stars on the Norwegian jazz sky also play there. Have a listen and enjoy a glass of red.
A Break from Everything at Bare Jazz Café

Xel-Há Park

Quintana Roo
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Xel-Há Park, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Xel Há Blends the Past with Modern-Day Fun
Xel-Há is one of the most popular attractions. The name identifies both the archaeological site and the ecotourism marine park, and it attracts hundreds of visitors from around the world, throughout the year. Ceremonial centers and religious sites extending alongside the sea are classified by groups: The Temple of the Birds showcases frescoes representing local fowl; Temple of the Jaguar highlights the descending figure of a jaguar and the Dock Group is thought to relate to the zone’s maritime activity. The remains of the principal archaeological site are located in the jungle across the highway from the park. Known as the “greatest natural aquarium in the world,” by savvy travelers and locals alike, Xel-Há’s chain of inlets, lagoons, cenotes and underground rivers provide a refreshing playground from which to cavort with the friendly denizens of the deep. You can swim, snorkel, go tubing or play with the dolphins. Other options include a visit to a sea turtle camp or delving into caves, cenotes and archaeological sites. Park services include restaurants, shops, changing rooms and snorkel rentals.
Xel Há Blends the Past with Modern-Day Fun

Droog Amsterdam

Amsterdam
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Droog Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
It All Adds Up at Droog
What do you get when you combine a design gallery/store with a café, beauty salon, fashion boutique and rental apartment? Add it all up and it equates to Droog, a multifunctional space that melds a 160- square meter exhibition space with an airy dining room, a tearoom overlooking an outdoor garden and a single bedroom for overnight guests. “The concept of a hotel has been reversed," says Renny Ramakers, co-founder and director of Droog. "Whereas a hotel is...mostly about sleeping, here we have enlarged and emphasized all the aspects that many hotels also offer and made them central to the experience—and it even has a room to sleep in.” Housed in a 17th century building in central Amsterdam, Droog showcases product design in exhibitions and lectures, and invites people to plug in as they choose. In the gallery, view the latest in international furniture design, art and fashion. Shop at the Droog Store, then refuel at RoomService by Droog, open for late breakfast, lunch, high tea and early dinner, or just drinks and snacks. Head to Cosmania to up your beauty game, shop for hip fashion at Kabinet and stock up on wellness products at Weltevree. On top floor, Hôtel Droog offers overnight guests a brightly-lit bedroom, bathroom with separate bath and shower, living area and kitchen. Perched in the aery enclave, enjoy a splendid view of Amsterdam rooftops and the city below.
It All Adds Up at Droog

Canton Rd

Hong Kong
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Canton Rd, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Shopper's Row
Canton Road goes on for miles and links up major Kowloon districts. But the stretch in Tsim Sha Tsui, which begins at the intersection at Salisbury Road, is the modern-day Rodeo Drive. This stretch of the road is lined with numerous luxury boutiques, including names such as Dior, Ferragamo, Hermes, and many more. You'll often see a line outside the Chanel shop, too. If you're in town during the summer, take refuge in air-conditioned shopping malls like Harbourcity, Ocean Terminal and the Gateway, which offer more shopping options, banking services, terraces with beautiful harbour views, and some of the city's most popular restaurants.
Shopper's Row

Via Montenapoleone, 18

Milan
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Via Montenapoleone, 18, Milan, Italy
A Gentleman's Best
The best tailors in Italy are from Napoli, and the best ateliers are in Milan, in particular in the beautiful fashion Quadrilateral where every shop is more gorgeous than the next. Rubinacci is definitely a cut above the rest for its impeccable style, perfectionist tailors and prime location. The suits are iconic, hence the reason why Fiat heir Lapo Elkann, Bryan Ferry and Ferrari's Montezemolo wear them. Grandson Luca has a breezy ready-to-wear line as well. (Fashionistas will note that The Sartorialist loves to snap shots of Rubinacci the Younger.) Photo by Rubinacci
A Gentleman's Best

Cova Pasticceria & Confetteria

Hong Kong
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Cova Pasticceria & Confetteria, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Delectable Italian Treats
This chain of Milanese cafes and pastry shops has graced Hong Kong's best malls since the '90s. With locations both on the main Island and in Kowloon, Cova has a reputation for being one of the classiest spots for cakes and other Italian treats. Gelato, tartufo cakes, Feuilletines and seasonal recipes like the Almond tart with Figs–the choices are endless here. Come Christmastime, there's also the traditional Panettone to add to your celebrations. Most of Cova's pasticcerie have a neighbouring cafe, like this location inside Harbour City. Settle in and reminisce about your Hong kong adventures over an afternoon tea of pastries and other sweet treats.
Delectable Italian Treats

Kazerij on the Twijnstraat

Utrecht
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Kazerij on the Twijnstraat, Utrecht, The Netherlands
It's Gouda Enough to Eat: The Best Cheese in Utrecht
De Twijnstraat is my favorite street in Utrecht, full of small boutiques and Dutch specialty shops. A visit to Holland is not complete without Dutch cheese, and the best cheese of Utrecht is found at the Kazerij. If you thought all there was to Dutch cheese is Gouda, you are mistaken. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you choose (and sample!) from their wide variety of Dutch and international cheeses, along with gourmet spreads and wines.
It's Gouda Enough to Eat: The Best Cheese in Utrecht

Atelier Cologne

paris75
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Atelier Cologne, paris75, France
The Best Scents of Paris
Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel may have founded L'Atelier Cologne in New York, where the duo met, but their successful fragrance company is 100% French. Their mutual passion for eau de cologne translates beautifully into a sweet edit of floral and fruity fragrances. Snatch a bottle of their bestseller, L'Orange Sanguine, in one of two Paris locations.
The Best Scents of Paris

Statue of Liberty National Monument

New York
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Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, New York
Jersey girl!
Located in New York harbor, but on the Jersey side is one of the USA's most popular and well known monuments - Lady Liberty!
Jersey girl!

Glasgow Style Mile

Glasgow
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Glasgow Style Mile, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Shop Therapy on Glasgow’s Style Mile
If shopping’s your bag, make a bee-line for Glasgow’s “Style Mile,” where the concentration of shops here (some 200) makes it the UK’s largest retail center outside London. The choices include everything from massive department-store emporiums like Debenham’s and House of Fraser (which has been in Glasgow for over 160 years), to boutique kiltmaker’s shops to swanky bath-and-beauty outlets like Space NK. If you’re homesick for American brands, you’ll find plenty of those here, too—including Gap, Nike, and Urban Outfitters. For more information about the places and people who make Glasgow special, visit peoplemakeglasgow.us
Shop Therapy on Glasgow’s Style Mile

Manhattan

New York
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Manhattan, New York, New York
The greatest city in the world
Your life will not be complete until you visit the greatest city in the world - NYC. There is so much to do there that you'll have to go back over and over again, unless you're lucky enough to live there or just across the river.
The greatest city in the world

Familienkelterei Possmann

Frankfurt
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Familienkelterei Possmann, Frankfurt, Germany
A lesson in apples
The friendly folks at family-owned Possmann Kelterei in Rodisheim are happy to show visitors around the world of apple wine. I took the tour, sampled the wine, and enjoyed a meal in the on-site restaurant, housed in a former stable. If you're new to apple wine, this is a good place to learn about Frankfurt's traditional drink and its go-withs. The family-owned winery has been going since 1881, and is one of the largest and most established in the region. The variety of juices and wines it produces are all blends. A cuvée process ensures predictable flavor and clarity, from classically sour (Kellermeister) to unfiltered (Frau Rauscher) to clear and slightly sweet (classic). Apple wine is generally ordered for a group in a 1.3-liter ceramic pitcher called a Bembel, and consumed in a specially ribbed glass. Ask for ''gespritzed' (with carbonated mineral water) or 'suss' (with lemonade), to suit personal tastes. Consumed more like a beer or cider than wine, apple wine is a popular local accompaniment to pork dishes. Perhaps the lower calorie count can help offset that Schnitzel or Rippchen?
A lesson in apples

Bitter & Zart Chocolaterie

Frankfurt
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Bitter & Zart Chocolaterie, Frankfurt, Germany
Chocolate decadence, to go or eat in
Bitter & Zart, near the Frankfurt cathedral, is worth a meander off the Römerplatz, either to shop for chocolate treasures or to linger over a cake and coffee. In the shop, milk, white, and dark chocolates are individually wrapped for the season (when I was there it was foil-wrapped Easter eggs, rabbits and ducklings). Any time of year, choose from delectable truffles and other beautifully crafted chocolate bites from a behind-the-counter selection. At the checkout counter, give in to impulse and add a few marshmallow crocodiles or ribbon candies to your stash. Next door, the tea salon's atmosphere is soothing, ideal after a chilly morning of shopping or sight-seeing in Frankfurt's Old Town. Sit at a tiny table under art deco lights, and enjoy a slice of freshly baked cake--fruit tarts, a slice of creamy lemon cake, or tiny Frankfurter Kränzen (butter cream cakes)--with a cup of tea or coffee from celebrated roasting house A. Joerges. There are savory selections, as well, and juices or champagne to suit the occasion and your mood. The shop is open Monday-Saturday, the tea room, every day of the week.
Chocolate decadence, to go or eat in

Ashton Lane

Glasgow
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Ashton Lane, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Making Merry on Glasgow’s Ashton Lane
This charming cobblestoned back street, lined with restaurants and bars, is the place for lively nightlife in Glasgow’s West End. When darkness falls, festive strings of lights twinkle overhead, and the sounds of live music and laughter drift from pubs and cafes—some of which have been here for decades. The legendary Ubiquitous Chip has served up the finest Scottish produce in a magical courtyard dining room for over 40 years. There’s also the historic Grosvenor Cinema, which has screened films on the lane since 1921—and just underwent a multi-million-pound renovation. When was the last time you visited a movie theater with quirky double sofas for seats, and ordered a beer or glass of wine? For more information about the places and people who make Glasgow special, visit peoplemakeglasgow.us
Making Merry on Glasgow’s Ashton Lane

Ali Golden

Oakland
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Ali Golden: Oakland Born and Raised Fashion
Custom bag and clothing designer Ali Golden is renowned for her expert tailoring and utilitarian yet feminine collections. She favors designs that play with both draping and a structured silhouette simultaneously. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Photo by Dani Vernon.
Ali Golden: Oakland Born and Raised Fashion

Coimbra

Coimbra
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Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Best full vista of Coimbra
Coimbra seems to be one of my favorite cities in Portugal and in Europe thanks to its academic character. The University of Coimbra is built on a hill, overlooking the city and the students' fraternities, called 'Republicas' which are all situated around and down the hill of the university. Walking around the university streets, passing from one colorful republica house to another and watching the students, wearing the typical black robe, made me feel as I was walking on the set of Harry Potter. When I've heard that JK Rowling was married to a Portuguese man before and used to live in Porto and visit Coimbra very often, all the pieces of the puzzle came together. The city is also known for its Fado music. 'Coimbra Fado' was adopted by the university students performed with the traditional Guitarra de Coimbra (a kind of Portuguese guitar originating in Coimbra). The old city of Coimbra is not that big and it can be done on foot. To have the best vista of the city, better cross the Cecil Belmond Bridge to see the city in its glory
Best full vista of Coimbra

Namibia

Omaheke
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Namibia, Omaheke, Namibia
Namibia Breathes Beauty
Rugged, wild, pristine, soulful, vast are a few words to describe the “home” we all came from – Namibia. Here you will find deep rooted tribal cultures, desert-adapted wildlife, vast conservation areas, soulful landscapes, and the world’s tallest sand dunes in the oldest desert on earth. Namibia breathes beauty. More at: http://www.GlobalAdventuress.com and http://globaladventuress.com/namibia-breathes-beauty/
Namibia Breathes Beauty

Naran Plaza

Ulaanbaatar
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Naran Plaza, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
One stop shopping in Ulaanbaatar
There's an entire floor of Mongolian cashmere--at prices much cheaper than abroad. Fur, if that's your thing, is also a great deal. And then there's a whole souvenir floor next to the food court with all the yak slippers and mini yurts you could ever dream of.
One stop shopping in Ulaanbaatar

Ivorypress

Madrid
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Ivorypress, Madrid, SpainAfar-thumbnail
Ivory Press: Madrid's Artsy Publishing House
“Elena Ochoa, the wife of Norman Foster, founded this publishing house for art, photography, and design books. It’s also a gallery for photography and architecture exhibitions.” - Alberto Fernández Comandante Zorita 46-48, 34/(0) 91-449-0961. Photo by Ana Nance. This appeared in the May 2014 issue. Read more about Alberto Fernández's Madrid.
Ivory Press: Madrid's Artsy Publishing House
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