By Adam Erace
February 4, 2015

Sleep
More than four years in the making, the Shangri-La at the Shard debuted in April on levels 34 through 52 of Renzo Piano’s 1000-foot glass tower. There are heated floors in the bathroom, butlers in the suites, and pick-your-honey Old Fashioneds in the bar on the top floor. But they’re all gravy after the views, which the posh toffee-and-teal rooms take advantage of with tilted floor-to-ceiling windows. Lying on the body-contouring beds, gazing out as the sky turns blue to pink to purple to black, the unobstructed views make you feel like you’re floating.

Eat
Furnished with gold chandeliers, Roman columns, ivory wainscoting and a tsunami of mauve curtains, the historic Lyttelton restaurant at the Stafford hotel might be a little too lords-and-ladies London for 21st-century diners. Fortunately, Spanish-born chef Carlos Martinez has a modern sensibility, mounting salmon with seaweed butter and filling lime-oiled ravioli with crab and mango. Through February 20th, Martinez is doing a blowout five-course menu showcasing precious French and Italian truffles in risotto, consommé, even ice cream. It’s £85 or roughly $130, a deal when you consider a truffle supplement at many New York restaurants costs at least that much.

See
Think the London Eye gives you a nice view of the city? Try the London Helicopter. Your private chopper departs from Battersea and sweeps east along the Thames, gliding over landmarks like Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, Hyde Park and the British Museum. The same flight at dusk, called the After Dark Tour, is three times as much but three times as romantic.

Buy
Last fall, Victoria Beckham opened her flagship womenswear boutique on Dover Street. Sure, you can get her stuff stateside, but London is your only chance to shop in the Farshid Moussavi-designed glass-and-concrete mothership. Clothes are displayed like gallery pieces, changing rooms are extra-spacious, and the staff is specially trained to recognize and assist helpless husbands.

Sleep
Recently rated the best beach resort in Mexico by Conde Nast Traveler readers, the Viceroy Riviera Maya is a collection of 41 casitas spread out along a stretch of virgin Caribbean beach. It’s all about outdoor living here; each room opens onto a private palapa-topped patio with a plunge pool, rain shower and crochet hammock. Inside, think soap menus, butlers, tequila tastings and Italian linen slippers, and on Friday nights, the beach barbecue shouldn’t be missed.

Eat
Former Manhattan chef Eric Werner uses only live fire to cook at his sustainable al fresco restaurant, Hartwood, a magnet for American ex-pats and visitors to tiny Tulum. He sources ingredients locally through relationships with farmers and fisherman for dishes like grilled octopus, ceviche de Caribe and plantains roasted and dusted with canela.

See
Cenotes, or sinkholes, pepper the Yucatan jungle like marks from a hole-puncher. Caused when limestone bedrock collapses and exposes pure groundwater beneath, these caves of crystal water were used by ancient Mayan healers for rebirthing ceremonies. At the Rosewood Mayakoba, a local shaman will bring you to a cenote for the Mayan Healing Hands Ritual, a half-day couples treatment that involves guided meditation and bathing in the purifying waters, followed by a massage at the hotel’s dedicated spa island.

Buy
At JOSA in nearby Tulum, ex-New Yorker Joanne Salt and Monterrey native Ana Cabello collaborate on wrinkle-resistant caftan dresses in topical colors and patterns that go from beach to bar—staples in every decamped fashion blogger’s closet.

Sleep
Against a Golden Gate backdrop, The Inn at the Presidio sits in the heart of the national park of the same name, a storybook woodland with a military history that dates back to 1776. The secluded 22-room main lodge occupies the former Army barracks; instead of fatigues and bunks you’ll find plush bathrobes and beds attired in preppy fabrics. Windows open to welcome to the cool morning mist that seeps through the forest, and some rooms have French doors that open onto the layer-cake verandahs of this handsome Georgian Revival.

Eat
Last year, chef Corey Lee earned a rare third Michelin star at his flagship restaurant, Benu, where the $195 tasting brings Asian and American elements together on interesting, beautifully presented plates. Think lobster coral dumplings, pine-scented eel congee and monkfish liver with shiso and trout roe. Would you expect this chef to also run a French bistro? His second restaurant, Monsieur Benjamin, has been serving throwbacks (blanquette de veau, steak frites) and modern riffs on them (Arctic char amandine, foie rhum babas) since July in Hayes Valley.

See
What do you get when you combine a four-story rainforest dome, Philippine coral reef, an albino alligator named Claude and an undulating living roof greened with 1.7 million native plant species? The California Academy of Sciences, a must-visit San Francisco sight since opening in 2008.

Buy
Step 1: Purchase duffel bag. Step 2: Head to the Mission. Step 3: Fill bag with matcha snickerdoodles, green curry-coconut scones, grains of paradise-dusted morning buns and other inventive, delicious pastries from Craftsman and Wolves. Chef William Werner’s (no relation to Hartwood’s Eric) cultish creations travel surprisingly well—and beat a sack of pretzels on the plane ride home.

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