The year 2021 set an all-time record for tourist arrivals into Puerto Rico, surpassing 2019’s record year, so it was no surprise restaurants in San Juan seemed busier than normal when I visited last November.
This was great for Vianda’s chef Francis Guzman who, along with his wife Amelia Dill, endured hurricanes Maria and Irma as they were just setting up their modern restaurant in the Santurce neighborhood in 2017. Following a James Beard semifinalist nomination for Best New Restaurant, and Eater naming Vianda Puerto Rico’s “most exciting new restaurant” in fall 2018, COVID-19 hit the island in early 2020.
Fortunately, Puerto Rico became one of the Caribbean’s safest destinations during the pandemic; the island had one of the Caribbean’s highest vaccination rates and soon became swamped with leisure and business visitors, causing Vianda’s online reservation system to really start buzzing.
“Vianda serves a small, constantly evolving, farm-to-table menu anchored by local ingredients and products,” said Guzman, explaining the venue’s popularity. “This enables us to create fresh, delicious food focusing on the best that Puerto Rico has to offer, its agriculture and its warm hospitality.”
Though the Santurce neighborhood experienced some revitalization thanks to its vibrant artistic community and growing restaurant and coffee shop scene, hurricane damage and abandoned buildings still appear alongside the new facades of up-and-coming businesses. Santurce, once a vibrant “downtown” district, had seen significant disinvestment since the 1960s, but these days, the area is becoming known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene. The Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferréa and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico are close to Vianda, along with several art galleries, bookstores and a growing number of great little restaurants.
Guzman, born in San Juan, and Dill, a native of Philadelphia, took their 22 years of high-end San Francisco and New York restaurant experience and moved it to San Juan. Their affordable restaurant serves some of the best Puerto Rican seasonal dishes on the island. Some of the tasty menu items include the roasted beet salad with horseradish vinaigrette; chicken and cheese empanada; large and beautiful gambas; pork belly with coconut broth; and fresh halibut with mash potatoes and turmeric. With its large front windows overlooking the street, tiled flooring, soft lighting, local artwork on the walls and friendly staff, Vianda will not disappoint.
While the 372-passenger Viking Polaris expedition ship, launched in September 2022, falls midway in size between Viking Cruises’ intimate river cruise ships and large-scale ocean ships, it is operated with the same attention to detail and personalized service.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts partners with Cisneros Real Estate to construct a new Four Seasons property in the Dominican Republic. The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Dominican Republic at Tropicalia is slated to open in 2026.
In mid-September, Banyan Tree Group and Ennismore sealed the deal with Dubai Holding to bring a new Banyan Tree property to Bluewaters, Dubai. This multi-staged project will welcome new brands to Dubai, beginning with the opening of Banyan Tree Dubai this November.
The Islands of Tahiti are among the most beautiful and sought-after vacation destinations in the world. The endless images of overwater bungalows with Bora Bora’s majestic peak towering over waters of every shade of blue have an intrinsic pull. But with 118 islands and atolls to explore, there is so much more to this spectacular region of the Pacific.
In a dramatic plot twist that seems to have emerged from one of Shakespeare’s own plays, Vicenza, Italy, recently informally accused fair Verona, Italy, of stealing the claim to the famed Romeo and Juliet. For centuries, visitors have made the trip to Verona’s Juliet House to see the famous balcony.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Medellín, Colombia, with us.
Are you looking to enhance your business trip with a little leisure? Look no further than Portugal, a country renowned for its captivating blend of history, culture and natural beauty. And with TAP Air Portugal, you can effortlessly transform your business trip into an unforgettable bleisure adventure. Discover why Portugal and TAP Air Portugal are the perfect combination for an enriching and rejuvenating experience.
There is something magical about sipping a glass of local wine while watching the sun slip into the Aegean Sea as the afterglow tinges traditional, white-washed Cycladic houses with glorious shades of rose, purple and gold. Ancient Greeks believed Helios, the Sun God, caused sunsets by driving his fiery chariot into the sea. Standing at water’s edge in Mykonos, watching the sky slowly turn from purple to inky black, you almost believe it.