TIP SHEET

HOTELS

Label Over Location

For the truly status-conscious, it's not where you go that matters; it's where you stay. A handful of luxury hotel chains offer a pampered paradise to the wealthy--complete with in-room shiatsu massage and fresh-squeezed mango juice. "[People] don't call up and tell me where they want to go," says Alice Daunt of the exclusive U.K. travel agency Earth London. "They just say, 'I want to go away in April,' and expect me to come back with an amazing hotel. There are the Aman junkies, the Como junkies, even the Four Seasons junkies."

Aman resorts was the first "destination hotel" chain, founded by Indonesian entrepreneur Adrian Zecha in the 1980s. The chain now has about 500 rooms across 15 resorts--and more than 100,000 repeat guests, some paying as much as $3,000 a night.

Another comparable chain is Singaporean businesswoman Christina Ong's Como empire, which stretches from Parrot Cay to London's sleek Halkin Hotel to the Metropolitan in Bangkok. "People are really curious where's next," says PR head Nigel Massey. (Answer: Bhutan and Bali.)

If tip sheet could afford it, here's where we'd go:

Amanpulo, Philippines: Fly south from Manila to the coral island of Pamalican, rimmed by pristine coral reefs. Forty cottages are discreetly set back from the beach behind a tangle of bush. Book a private BBQ dinner on your own strip of sand, covered with a Persian carpet and furnished with silver service. Or lounge on white mattresses at the Beach Club, serving up fresh snapper and tuna ($525 to $2,950 per night; amanresorts.com).

Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos, British West Indies: Ong's private island resort boasts beach houses with white and teak interiors and five kilometers of white sand. But the hottest spot in Parrot Cay is Shambhala Retreat, which hosts the world's top yoga teachers. The chef prepares low-fat organic menus in addition to sophisticated haute cuisine ($380 to $4,800 per night; parrot-cay.com.

Soneva Fushi, Maldives: Upon landing at this elegant resort on the island of Kunfunadhoo, visitors must store their footwear in a cloth bag that reads no shoes, no news. Each wooden villa is set within dense, lush forest, ensuring ultimate privacy ($330 to $1,925 per night; sixsenses.com/soneva-fushi).

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, South Africa: Six intimate suites with stone-and-mesh gabion walls and topped by corrugated iron roofs have expansive decks over the bush. Lodge rangers and local Xhosa trackers offer game drives in 4-by-4 vehicles, or rhino tracking on foot ($336 to $723 per night; ccafrica.com).

Accessories: Handbag Heaven It's All In The Bag Prints and patterns are big this spring. Tip Sheet's favorites:

Charlotte Pearl, founder of Pink Lining (pinklining.co.uk), says her whimsical collection was inspired by English gardens and the seaside.

Irish designer Orla Kiely (orlakiely.com) draws on bold, 1970s-style flowers and polka dots. Her red-flower-stem print yoga bag (94) will put a spring in anyone's step.

Prada uses a picture postcard of Venice on three designs: the hinge bag (starts at 455), the canvas bowling bag (350) and a transparent plastic tote (260).

The French design house Chloe (chloe.com) offers a cheery yellow flowered print (384 with one strap; 584 with two).

Food: Best Bakeries

The Staff Of Life

Paris is the birthplace of the baguette. Yet in this city of 1,300 bakeries, many simply don't rise to the occasion. Lucky for us, this spring brings two new guides. "Le Guide des Boulangeries de Paris" (Editions de l'If) rates everything from croissants to service, while historian Steven Kaplan's guide, "Cherchez le Pain: Guide des Meilleures Boulangeries de Paris" (Plon), lists the top baguettes in town. Tip Sheet tasted, and found the best:

Le Boulanger de Monge, 123, rue Monge, Fifth Arrondissement. The only baker to earn top ratings from both guides, Dominique Saibron sells flavorful breads and pastries with an emphasis on organic products.

Poilane, 8, rue du Cherche-Midi, Sixth Arrondissement, and 49, boulevard de Grenelle, 15th Arrondissement. The most famous bakery in France still deserves its reputation .

Boulangerie Poujauran, 20, rue Jean Nicot, Seventh Arrondissement. A delectable selection. And the best fougasse aux olives in town.

Laurent Duchene, 2, rue Wortz, 13th Arrondissement. Duchene is a bread master but his cakes--like the Parizi or the mille-feuille--will send you over the top.

STYLE

Vegan Dressing

Just because they don't use animal products doesn't mean vegans can't be stylish. Today's vegan designers are so far from Birkenstocks, even carnivores are craving chic accessories like these: Moo Shoes offer stylish kicks that are leather-free but don't look it. Queen Bee makes ultracool vinyl messenger bags and wallets in an array of bright colors at affordable prices. And the groovy belts and guitar straps from Sparkle Craft will keep you rockin' long after you've forgotten why you still eat meat.

Singapore: Fling

There's a lot more to this high-tech Asian city-state than towering skyscrapers and obsessive cleanliness. Tip Sheet checks out some of the local hot spots.

STAY at the Ritz-Carlton, with original contemporary art throughout its public spaces and sensational views across Marina Bay or of the skyline (from $298; ritzcarl ton.com/hotels/singapore).

DINE al fresco at Pierside Kitchen and Bar, a fusion restaurant on the trendy waterfront that serves seaweed-wrapped tuna tempura and roasted miso cod ($40 per head, 65-6-438-0400).

DRINK heady vodka martinis at the trendy Post Bar in the neoclassical Fullerton Hotel. Sip a Sling at the Spirited Bar, or lounge to the sounds of the Music Room.

SHOP Orchard Road, stocked with glassy malls like high-end Ngee Ann City. Check out multilabel boutiques like upmarket Inez, vintage Potion and Club 21. And don't miss the electronics stores with their sleek cell phones and featherweight laptops.