Vacation Hot Spots

Pure Jackson Hole, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Photo: Courtesy of Pure Jackson Hole

Vacation Hot Spots

01 of 16

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

WHY IT'S GREAT

This palatial hotel sits at the base of Whistler mountain, making this a beautiful spot for skiers to stay. Guests at this chateau have included Justin Timberlake, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Chevy Chase felt so at home that he entertained guests with his singing and piano playing for two days straight in the view-endowed Mallard Lounge. British songster Seal opted for a quieter time of day; he ducked into the empty lounge early one morning to play the piano.
WHAT TO DO In the summertime, it's all about hiking and in the winter, the skiing can't be beat. The hotel boasts a luxe spa and plenty of shops for the lodge bunnies to enjoy.
BRING IT BACK Native Indian art or locally-made jewelry.
BOOK ITfairmont.com/whistler

02 of 16

The Plaza

The Plaza Hotel
Courtesy of The Plaza Hotel

WHY IT'S GREAT

This famed New York City hotel underwent a three-year, $400 million renovation and is now open at its same location across from Central Park, on Fifth Avenue. With its butler service and French-inspired decor, it's no wonder it draws celebrities like Madonna, Rihanna, Denzel Washington and Owen Wilson.
WHAT TO DO Afternoon tea at the hotel's Palm Court is a must! (It's featured in Bride Wars!) And then hit the shops along Fifth Avenue and Columbus Circle or take a stroll in Central Park.
BRING IT BACK Pop into Henri Bendel for a signature token, like their snow globes that play iconic songs like "Moon River." Or stop in the hotel's boutique for an Eloise souvenir.
BOOK ITfairmont.com/thePlaza

03 of 16

W San Diego

W Hotel
Courtesy of The W Hotel

WHY IT'S GREAT

Nestled in downtown San Diego, a few blocks from the harbor as well as Little Italy, this modern hotel has hosted Katy Perry and Nicki Hilton. Visitors to the city of sails should hit Rice, the W's restaurant, renowned for its seafood. And then head upstairs to the hotel's sand-floored outdoor bar.
WHAT TO DO Wander around the Gaslamp district, which has loads of shops and restaurants; picnic in Balboa park (San Diego's version of Central Park) or watch the killer whales perform at Sea World.
BRING IT BACK San Diego is frequently named the healthiest city in the country with an abundance of outdoor activities. Get in the fitness mood with the retro athletic styles at the Adidas Originals store in the Gaslamp district.
BOOK ITstarwoodhotels.com

04 of 16

Soho Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto

Soho Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto

WHY IT'S GREAT

Get the V.I.P. treatment at this sophisticated urban hotel. Guests can stay in the same three-story penthouse suite (pictured) that Jay-Z stayed in, or have a training session with the trainer that Jennifer Lopez used, or have your bath hand-drawn, as Sarah Jessica Parker did.
WHAT TO DO Check out the famous film festival in September, catch a play at the theater, visit one of the newly-remodeled world-class museums and enjoy the plethora of multi-cultural cuisines.
BRING IT BACK Pick up some vintage goods at Kensington Market. After all, you're in the fifth oldest city on the continent, so there's plenty of history for sale.
BOOK ITmetropolitan.com/

05 of 16

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, California

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

BEST PLACE FOR A GIRLS' GETAWAY

WHY IT'S GREAT
This Spanish Colonial hideaway offers 308 rooms-many with fireplaces and private terraces with mountain views. (No wonder Kate Walsh celebrated her wedding here.)
WHAT TO DO
Activities range from hiking and horseback riding to the more esoteric (take a watercolor class or customize your own massage oil.)
BRING IT BACK
Honey lip balm from a local bee farm; pixie tangerines (some of the sweetest fruits in this valley).
BOOK IT
ojairesort.com

06 of 16

Haymarket Hotel, London, UK

Haymarket Hotel
Courtesy of Haymarket Hotel

BEST PLACE FOR HIP SIGHTSEEING

WHY IT'S GREAT
Haymarket manages to capture the cool, contemporary buzz of today's London to a tee. It's where Posh and Becks stay when they cross the pond and where Jude Law drops by for dinner. All 50 guest rooms are spacious and done in a bold color scheme.
WHAT TO DO
Shop at OG2 the new shop from of-the-moment designer Duro Olowu, whose vintage prints draw clients like Sienna Miller; visit Eco, a Green store opened by Colin Firth in Chiswick; or head to the Fashion and Textile Museum, spearheaded by designer Zandra Rhodes. For London's hottest new table, return to Haymarket's Brumus.
BRING IT BACK
Blue-suede weekend bag at Conran; new Lulu Guinness jewelry collection (we love the glamour-girl charm); colorful candles or twist tumblers from Nina Campbell.
BOOK IT
firmdale.com

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

07 of 16

Villa Mangiacane, Tuscany, Italy

Villa Mangiacane
Courtesy of Villa Mangiacane

BEST PLACE FOR A SHOPPING SPREE

WHY IT'S GREAT
You'll feel as if you stumbled onto a Bernardo Bertolucci set at this retreat, with its sculpture garden and gnarled olive grove. The 26 guest rooms are located in two villas, but romantics should stay in the 16th-century main villa, whose loggia is decorated with historic frescoes. You can request to have dinner in a new spot each night (try the dreamy vineyard).
WHAT TO DO
Florence is a short drive away-spend the day shopping at the city's hottest fashion emporium, Luisa via Roma, and Loretta Caponi for exquisite lingerie, then head to the roof of Hotel Continentale, where the Ferragamos go for sunset cocktails.
BRING IT BACK
In Florence, find hand-finished leather gloves from the family-run Madova shop; soaps from the historic Santa Maria Novella pharmacy; a bottle of Mangiacane wine (the property produces Merlot and Chianti).
BOOK IT
steinhotels.com/mangiacane

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

08 of 16

Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico

Rosewood Mayakoba
Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

BEST PLACE FOR LAZY BEACH TIME

WHY IT'S GREAT
Located on the super-hot Riviera Maya, which has drawn the likes of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Rosewood Mayakoba has 128 suites, which are actually freestanding villas with luminous bathrooms and private plunge pools. It's also eco-minded: Building materials are indigenous, and guests can navigate the property's network of freshwater canals via electric boats.
WHAT TO DO
Visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum; have dinner in the beach town of Playa del Carmen (try the hip Glass Bar/ Di Vino); snorkel in underwater caves (cenotes); or book a treatment at the Rosewood's spa, which occupies its own little island.
BRING IT BACK
A string hammock from Tulum for lounging; beauty products, like scented candles and linen spray, made with local ingredients, such as tropical wood and coconut, from chic eco-retreat (Coqui Coqui).
BOOK IT
rosewoodmayakoba.com

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

09 of 16

Winvian, Morris, Connecticut

Winvian
Courtesy of Winvian

BEST PLACE FOR A COZY WEEKEND

WHY IT'S GREAT
When it comes to throwing the ultimate weekend get-together, this new 113-acre resort is the place. The heart of the property is a restored colonial farmhouse, filled with antiques, but guests stay in 18 lavish cottages-each boasting a unique design scheme and at least one open fireplace. One pick: Stable, a duplex with a sunken bathtub.
WHAT TO DO
Plenty of outdoor activities, like hiking and antiquing, but you may want to stick close to Winvian's spa (facials with top U.K. aesthetician Eve Lom's products) and fabulous restaurant (the chef trained under Alain Ducasse).
BRING IT BACK
Furniture from the historic town of Woodbury (once home to American antiques dealer Wayne Pratt); a first edition from a nearby antiquarian book dealer, like Nutmeg Books in Torrington; maple syrup tapped at a local farm.
BOOK IT
winvian.com

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

10 of 16

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Courtesy of The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

BEST PLACE FOR AN ADRENALINE RUSH

WHY IT'S GREAT
This luxe lodge is situated on a 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm in Hawke's Bay, one of the country's premier wine regions. It offers 24 suites, spread among several cottages (all have private decks with sweeping views).
WHAT TO DO
There's no end to the activities, whether you love the beach (surfing) or the countryside (hiking). Ask the lodge to arrange sporting expeditions with an expert guide, a helicopter excursion, or a trip to local wineries. And don't miss the stunning seaside golf course, designed to make the most of the natural topography.
BRING IT BACK
Sheepskin slippers (locally made from merino wool); a bottle of sauvignon blanc (Hawke's Bay is known for it).
BOOK IT
capekidnappers.com

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

11 of 16

Fasano, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fasano
Courtesy of Fasano

BEST PLACE FOR SURFING AND SAMBA

WHY IT'S GREAT
Rio tops current hot lists, and there's no better place to soak up the vibe than at the new Fasano. Located in a prime spot overlooking Ipanema beach, the hotel has 82 rooms, ten suites and three mini apartments-all designed by Philippe Starck-and boasts a 1950s bossa-nova ambience.
WHAT TO DO
Sip Rio's best caipirinhas, the national cocktail, at Club Chocolate; spend a day at Posto 10 (the city's chicest beach); or for authentic samba music, head to Carioca a Gema (but never before 11 P.M.).
BRING IT BACK
A teeny Isabel Capeto bikini and matching sarong; a CD by Gilberto Gil; loose Thai pants from the outdoor Ipanema hippie market.
BOOK IT
fasano.com.br

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

12 of 16

Le Sereno, St. Barth, French West Indies

Le Sereno, St. Barth, French West Indies
Courtesy of Le Sereno

BEST PLACE FOR A SEXY GETAWAY

WHY IT'S GREAT
The beachside hotel was reimagined by its new South American owners who brought in iconic designer Christian Liaigre (think New York's Mercer Hotel), to leave his sleek touch on the 37 suites and villas.
WHAT TO DO
Sample the twenty-two beaches of course. When at Flamands beach, eat lunch at La Case de l'Isle and if you opt for the more laid-back Shell Beach, dine at Yannick Noah's Do Brazil, housed in a funky bungalow. For dinner, a must is Maya's, where Paul McCartney and Harvey Weinstein are regulars.
BRING IT BACK
Sea jewelry from Bijoux de la Mer, linen shirts from Blue Coast, leather driving shoes in bright colors from Laurent Effel, bohemian beach cover-ups from Poupette and organic beauty products, such as the cult fragrances Colombier and Lorient, from Belou's P.
BOOK IT
lesereno.com

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

13 of 16

Solage, Calistoga, California

Solage, Calistoga, California
Courtesy of Solage

BEST PLACE FOR WINING AND DINING

WHY IT'S GREAT
The visionaries behind Napa Valley's legendary Auberge du Soleil have added a hipper, more family-friendly retreat to their wine-country portfolio. The creekside Solage offers sleek studio and one-bedroom suites and complimentary bicycles. Skincare expert Kate Somerville, whose clients include Jessica Alba, consulted on the newly added Spa Solage, where her signature facial is offered.
WHAT TO DO
Tour the wine country with a knowledgeable guide who can get you into private tasting rooms; try spa treatments which incorporate the local mud; browse the charming shops of St. Helena's Main Street and if you can't get a reservation at French Laundry (Thomas Keller's haute cuisine temple) try his newest restaurant, Ad Hoc in Yountville, instead.
BRING IT BACK
Embroidered napkins from Jan de Luz; handmade chocolates from Woodhouse Chocolate; a rare vintage discovered at the Bounty Hunter wine store in St. Helena.
BOOK IT
solagecalistoga.com

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

14 of 16

J.K. Place, Capri, Italy

J.K. Place, Capri, Italy
Courtesy of J.K. Place

BEST PLACE FOR MINGLING WITH
THE JET SET

WHY IT'S GREAT
Capri is as seductive as ever (last summer it drew the likes of Mariah Carey and Eddie Murphy) and the newest hotel, J.K. Place opened to rave reviews last spring. The 22 spacious rooms boast antique and retro furnishings, and an overall air of exclusivity prevails-felt mostly when you're lounging by the garden-framed pool absorbing the breathtaking views of the Marina Grande and Bay of Naples.
WHAT TO DO
Charter a boat to explore the Amalfi coast; take a day trip to the colorful village of Anacapri; eat under the lemon trees in the garden at Da Paolino and indulge in the best gelato at Buonocore.
BRING IT BACK
Gem-encrusted rings and bracelets from Capri's cult jeweler Chantecler; leather sandals handmade by Vicenzo Faiella; hand-painted ceramics from Ravello and a bottle of the island's limoncello.
BOOK IT
jkcapri.com

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

15 of 16

Mandarin Oriental, Prague

Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

BEST PLACE FOR A CULTURAL FIX

WHY IT'S GREAT
This new 99-room property, formerly a 14th-century monastery near Prague Castle, is a romantic hideaway. Guest rooms are individually designed and boast contemporary furnishings and textiles. It's located within a ten-minute walk of all the major sites, and the spa is housed in a former Renaissance chapel.
WHAT TO DO
Visit the Prague Castle and the Old Town with a guide; get tickets to a performance at the Prague State Opera; don't miss the restored Kampa Museum, which displays a superb collection of Czech modern art; have coffee at the venerable Kavarna Obecni Dum; and for dinner, make a reservation at the riverside Kampa Park.
BRING IT BACK
An historical engraving from Antikvariat Parizka; handmade botanical soaps and lotions from the family-run Botanicus; feminine fashion or large-bead jewelry from native Prague designer Klara Nademlynska; traditional Czech wooden puppets from the weekend market.
BOOK IT
mandarinoriental.com/prague

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

16 of 16

Pure Jackson Hole, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Pure Jackson Hole, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Courtesy of Pure Jackson Hole

BEST PLACE FOR GETTING COZY

WHY IT'S GREAT
You can live like a local-they offer custom vacations in individual houses-while being pampered with full hotel services, including personal chefs and in-house masseuses. Expect timber-peg houses, Western furnishings and unbeatable views of the Grand Tetons.
WHAT TO DO
Downhill ski at one of the country's steepest mountain resorts; go cross-country skiing or dog-sledding in Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks; check out the works of Frederick Remington at the National Museum of Wildlife Art; dine at the Snake River Grill, where Harrison Ford is a regular.
BRING IT BACK
An antler chandelier from one of the shops in the town square; organic beauty products from Pure Skin Care on Cache Drive and ostrich cowboy boots from Stone's Mercantile.
BOOK IT
purejacksonhole.com

-Melissa Biggs Bradley of indagare.com

additional reporting by Elisabeth Durkin

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