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Destination: Houston!

Get away—but don’t go far—and find the style and substance of a city the world’s jet-setters are finally discovering.

Highland Village’s Up

The lobby of the Royal Sonesta

A spring cocktail at Philippe

The Frolicking Fashionista

Why not spend a whole weekend in Houston’s retail wonderland, the Galleria and nearby Highland Village, where there’s plenty of new to see and do—and buy!

STAY. Check in at the Royal Sonesta (2222 W. Loop S., 713.627.7600), which this summer undergoes a
massive face-lift. Chill out by the rooftop pool, then grab a gal pal and head down to the hotel’s restaurant. Fuel up for a shopping spree with a feast featuring meats from 44 Farms, a new partner of the hotel’s. Think skirt steak with avocado, lobster and grapefruit. If you buy dinner for two, you can book one of the hotel’s warmly furnished rooms for just an additional $44.

DO. Hit the Galleria and get this party started. Check out Carolina Herrera’s (713.627.0049) flowing frocks, and go by the revamped Louis Vuitton boutique (713.961.2643) for its pre-fall line of embroidered handbags. If your staycation hits at the right time, preview David Yurman’s new collection at Neiman Marcus (713.621.7100) during a trunk show on May 9. The mall’s neighboring Highland Village includes Anthropologie (713.840.9428), which has hopped across Westheimer to a bigger, newer store; a J.Crew will also move in soon. Pop across the street to Valobra Jewelry and Antiques (713.961.4500) for jewelry crafted from rare stones.

EAT. Recharge with lunch on the see-and-be-seen terrace, or sink into one of the cream-hued booths, at Highland Village’s third-floor Up restaurant (3995 Westheimer Rd., 713.640.5416). It offers a three-course prix fixe menu including hazelnut-crusted Scottish salmon salad with grilled pineapple, and, for dessert, a macaron sampler with flavors like rose and lemon.

DRINK. Nearby Philippe (1800 Post Oak Blvd., 713.439.1000) pours new spring cocktails—the perfect pick-me-up after a long morning of retail therapy. May we suggest the Method to Her Madness, with absinthe, gin, Riesling liqueur and lemon, best enjoyed on a
tufted leather banquette in the downstairs lounge?

RELAX. Continue the self-indulgence nearby at the Spa at the St. Regis (1919 Briar Oaks Ln., 713.840.7600), which offers the new full-body Energizing Spirulina Experience treatment. After some downtime in the dry sauna—a perfect time to decide if you want that Louis bag in crimson— the treatment begins with a salt scrub followed by a live algae wrap. A hot stone massage with firming body lotion completes the experience.

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