Our city guides for summer: San Juan & Calgary

Taste plays a crucial role in everything we do at Atelier Munro. It helps us to keep our eyes open and our minds sharp, which is just one example of the countless ways it guides and helps us. Taste is truly a wonderful sense, encompassing a great deal more than merely the taste buds on our tongues. We’re always reminded of this when traveling. The two cities we’re diving into this issue are sure to heighten all your senses. Both are perfect for a weekend trip this summer. We share with you the recommendations we received from our local Atelier Munro associates, a selection of the must-visits that could serve as a guide to these two cities that both have an unmistakable taste of their own: San Juan in Puerto Rico and Calgary in Canada.

San Juan

If we were to define strength as the ability to assimilate different influences, the character of Puerto Rico could very well be described as one of considerable strength. Throughout history, the island not only coped with a variety of influences, but managed to express the resulting blend with ever greater distinctiveness.

The beating heart of the island’s history and culture is the vibrant capital city of San Juan. The city is as colonial as it is cosmopolitan, and while it may be known for its blend of old-world charm, bustling nightlife and local flavor, it is, essentially, its polyrhythmic pace of life that sets it apart. Music infused with Caribbean, African, Spanish and Taíno influences wafts gently through its colorful streets and neighborhoods, faintly audible yet ever so present, like the soothing summer breeze. If avoiding winter blues is what you’re after, both the island and the city will prove to be the perfect escape. Even more, they’re bound to offer different perspectives and ideas to reflect upon.

For us, as we continue to explore our love of character, visiting San Juan ensures a unique and compelling experience of character and complexity. So, with the help of our own Atelier Munro locals we selected some fine examples of San Juan’s very own style. A list of hidden gems that besides the more famous highlights includes some of the best restaurants, galleries, museums, beaches and cafés to visit while in town. Most importantly, we’ve sought out the best day trips from the city too.

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The Canadian city of Calgary is a city to our taste. Plain and simple. Calgary naturally appeals to us. Explaining why, however, is a different story. Listing the facts and figures, and there are many, would certainly point to Calgary’s appealing qualities. The fact that with average temperatures between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius from June to August indicates that summer is likely to be the best time to visit the city. The fact that it lies at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River, in the transition area between the Rocky Mountain Foothills and the Canadian Prairies, might explain why the city is known to be a boon to anyone who loves the outdoors.

There is no denying that Calgary has a certain way about it, that it has a certain mentality which is reflected throughout the city, and vice versa. And here emerges its signature: delivering nothing less than an ideal experience to its visitors every time. As if the city were in anticipation, fully confident in its ability to cater to whatever taste it is that comes by.

Calgary got you covered, so to say. It really does. In fact, that’s all there is to it. No wonder we’re pleased to share a list of must-visits that our style advisors at our Calgary showroom have shared with us. It includes some of the best hotels, galleries, stores, cafes, museums, restaurants and hikes to make absolutely sure a visit to Calgary will be an experience entirely to your tastes.

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Illustrations by Helena de Koning