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Mentalist Kevin Viner St. Lucia

On the Road: St. Lucia

On the Road: St. Lucia 1572 664 Kevin Viner

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to travel to the islands of St. Lucia and Mustique for a private performance. My wife and I decided to make a trip out of it, and I wanted to share some of our favorite parts of the experience (pictures below).

If you have the chance, we highly recommend Ladera Resort for your stay. The rooms are unique, each with only three walls. That means that you’re exposed to the elements slightly, but also that you wake to an incredible view of the pitons and beautiful ocean. Each room also had its own private heated plunge pool, overlooking the most scenic views you could hope for!

We were slightly concerned about bugs, but the higher elevation of the resort meant that it wasn’t a problem in the slightest. From the incredible food and service to the spas, we understand why this is one of the most popular resorts on the island. Our other close second was Sugar Beach by Viceroy, but that seemed to have a more pampered and stuffier feel that wasn’t really the vibe we were going for. We couldn’t have been happier with our choice.

While in St. Lucia, we highly recommend trying your hand at scuba. We had never done it before, and it is an experience that we won’t easily forget! Also, make sure that you try Boucan Restaurant (where every dish features some form of cocoa) and the fine local cuisines at Martha’s Tables!

And finally, if you have a chance and want to visit somewhere even more remote, check out the private island of Mustique. It’s a short plane trip from St. Lucia or Barbados, and there are only 2 hotels on the island. All other guests stay in private villas. This means that the island is much less inhabited than surrounding areas, and you can really enjoy some peace and quiet! We recommend Firefly for your lodging. And if you stop in the bar, be sure to tell Patrick that I say hi!

On the Road: Aruba

On the Road: Aruba 1572 680 Kevin Viner

Home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Aruba is one of the Dutch ABC Islands, along with Bonaire and Curacao. I was brought out to deliver a mind reading show to an international sales group, nearly half of whom spoke no English! As you can imagine, any form of entertainment becomes more difficult with a language barrier, especially something like mentalism that relies on audience communication! We pulled it off, and some of the custom routines I created have permanently found their way into the show.

Although only there for 2 nights, I was able to enjoy some great food and drinks. The Ritz-Carlton had the best fish tacos I’ve ever enjoyed, and that’s coming from San Diego, where we basically invented them! The fish had been caught that morning, and the mahi mahi portions were fantastic. Coupled with a habanero papaya hot sauce and guacamole, they were incredible.


This photo of The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Down the way about 1/4 mile on the beach is one of the world’s top rated beach bars, MooMba. One of my favorite joys in the Caribbean is enjoying an island cocktail with toes in the sand. Coupled with the great BBQ island cuisine and well made cocktails, this is a great place to start (or even end!) your evening in Aruba.

Even with the great food, great drinks, and great weather, the best thing about Aruba has to be the people. Aruba is home to residents from at least 40 different nationalities, and a huge portion of their GDP comes from the tourism industry. Necessity aside, I’ve never seen a hospitality industry that cares more about making sure their guests are happy. Everybody in Aruba smiles, and they seem genuinely happy to help.

Next time I visit, I plan on getting my SCUBA certification first. Aruba is also home to some of the best diving in the world, with sunken ships and even airplanes brimming with sea life and ready to be explored.

On The Road: Barcelona 7/28/17

On The Road: Barcelona 7/28/17 786 340 admin

This month, my travels took me to Barcelona, Spain. The timing was perfect, as I booked a show there the week before one of my best friends married the love of his life in the Algarve region of Portugal. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Barcelona, you’re missing out on one of my favorite cities. From the incredible architecture to the Catalan cuisine and vibrant nightlife, there is something for everybody.

A few recommendations for your stay. The W Barcelona is an incredible hotel situated directly on the beach in Barceloneta, close to the paella shops and a 30-minute scenic walk from Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter that houses some of Barcelona’s best restaurants, shops and architecture. If you have a chance, check out Tapeo, a tapas bar that serves great food from land and sea. Or try the Iberco Ham, a treat in this region.

 

The real crown jewel of Barcelona is architect Antoni Gaudi, responsible for Casa Battlo, Park Guell and many other architectural masterpieces. His piece-de-resistance is the Sagrada Familia, a towering Catholic monument unparalleled worldwide. No description can prepare you for the sheer power of Gaudi’s statement, a church that embodies the beauty of nature in stone and glass. Gaudi plays with light, material and space to create a transcendent masterpiece that will create a “religious experience” even for those without a religious bone in their bodies. Regardless of beliefs, this is a building that deserves all the praise it receives.

On The Road: Washington D.C., June 13, 2017

On The Road: Washington D.C., June 13, 2017 768 340 admin

From towering monuments celebrating our nation’s heritage to incredible museums and decadent cuisine, Washington, D.C., offers something for everybody in a compact 68-sq.-mi. city. With my travel schedule typically seeing me fly in and out with little time to spare, it was nice to arrive a couple days early after a show in New York. I’ve been to D.C. many times, but haven’t had a chance to explore it for nearly two decades.

 

Hotel Recommendation, The Westin City Center

Located on M Street, you’re within walking distance of the National Mall. I didn’t eat at the hotel, but the restaurants looked like they served good quality food, and 24-hour room service was available. The gym was better than many, and you’re very close to a CVS and coffee shops for a morning pick-me-up!

 

What To Explore

elephantBecause I’m often in a city only briefly, I’ve learned to maximize sightseeing in a tight time span. Fortunately, many of the best things to see in D.C. are within the approximately two square miles of the National Mall. From the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Building and White House, the nation’s history is vibrantly displayed for free public consumption.

One of the crown jewels of the city is the diverse Smithsonian Institute, also free for everybody. There was no way to explore all 19 museums, but I was able to enjoy the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Air & Space Museum and the Hirshhorn. Collectively, it was an experience as interesting as it is controversial, from Abraham Lincoln’s hat to the Wright Brothers plane, as well as the Fénykövi Elephant that was killed in the 1950s for display in the Natural History Museum’s famous rotunda.

 

Where To Dine

dinnerI had the pleasure of dining at Fiola, one of D.C.’s finest restaurants. And the meal, while expensive, did not disappoint. In fact, it was one of the best restaurants that I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. From poached halibut in a sea foam to a delicious squab, the meals were sourced from some of the best locations in the nation and brought to life by chef Fabio Trabocchi.

Another restaurant receiving my highest recommendation is Fish by Jose Andres, located in the MGM National Harbor. Like Fiola, Fish sources its ingredients from the best farms and fish markets in the country. The calamari was the best I’ve ever had, and their crab mac n’ cheese is to die for.

 

The Show

As one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, iboss has offices in Boston and San Diego. At the annual Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, I put together a customized program that combines mind reading, illusion and technology. We had a hospitality suite at the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center, where my job was to entertain with close-up mind reading during the three-hour program, as well as to include two completely different shows for the attendees that would draw in new prospects as well as entertain existing clientele. The show was a huge success. Thank you to iboss for the great opportunity to collaborate and create an immersive experience for your guests!