1. Con Dao Island, Vietnam
Six Senses This resort on the Con Dao archipelago (right) has 50 villas, all with infinity pools and views of the South China Sea. Chefs prepare local seafood tableside at the restaurant.
GoldenEye The former estate of James Bond author Ian Fleming has two new restaurants and luxe lagoon suites.
3. Grand Cayman
Camana Bay Grand Cayman's new food and shopping megaplex recently added a restaurant from Miami chef Cindy Hutson.
4. New York City
The Chatwal Stars like Charlie Chaplin used to hang out here; the renovated Art Deco hotel now attracts celebs like Marc Jacobs. A draw: chef Geoffrey Zakarian's elegant comfort food at the Lambs Club.
This dreamy new hotel in Baja, Mexico, offers surf lessons, a resident cowboy and delicious food from a French Laundry alum.
Lots of urbanites fantasize about dropping out of city life and moving to a beach town in, say, Mexico. Lisa Harper, a former fashion executive, actually did it. Her new Rancho Pescadero, a 15-acre resort in Baja, overlooks the ocean an hour north of Cabo, in Todos Santos. There are no TVs or clocks in the 27 suites, but there are binoculars for whale-watching right from the rooms. A typical day might include a class at the yoga pavilion or a horseback ride on the beach with the hotel's resident cowboy. Chef Carolen Barrett, who trained at Napa's French Laundry, oversees the new alfresco restaurant in the organic garden. She's sourcing ingredients from a 20-mile radius to create dishes like sautéed shrimp over chile-spiked polenta.
Insider's Tip: Volunteer
From October to February, guests can help release baby Leatherback turtles into the ocean from the hotel's on-site hatchery.
Travel Hit List
A food lover's guide to the best new places, by Jen Murphy and Megan Krigbaum
Exotic Food Tours This travel outfitter has partnered with Texas-cuisine pioneer Stephan Pyles to introduce its first-ever culinary trips that run 11 to 15 days. The destinations: Turkey, Morocco and Egypt.
Cross-Country Skiing in Maine This nonprofit organization has built three eco-lodges along its 30-mile trail network near Sugarloaf. Cross-country skiers who spend the night get dinner, like spaghetti and meatballs.
Haute Austrian Food Austria's star chef Joachim Gradwohl runs the restaurant at this new hotel in the old Erste Bank headquarters.
Wine and Horse Country This 14-suite antebellum property at the foot of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains has reopened with a new restaurant, Vintage; its wine list showcases top local producers.
Bespoke Beer at Sea The cruise line's newest ship debuts in May and will have its own private-label beera lager named ThirstyFrog Red. Beer fanatics should book now. carnival.com.