Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008

Maria Sharapova

Tennis champ Maria Sharapova jets around the globe to compete in matches in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. When she's not on the court, the 21-year-old makes time for more relaxing pursuits — shopping breaks at Topshop in London, facials at Molly's in Hermosa Beach, Calif., and the occasional island respite.

Favorite hotel: "The Four Seasons in Costa Rica. It is so secluded and has two different beaches. The spa overlooks the jungle trees."

In my carry-on: "My computer, my Sony Ericsson phone charger because if my bags get lost, I would be more upset about losing my phone battery than my new pair of Manolos, a coin angel that I've traveled with since I was a kid, my sketchbook for inspiration, 10 pens — because they always mysteriously disappear — and my Canon camera. I'm always that annoying person that pulls out the camera in the middle of dinner and starts taking candids."

Worth a trip for the food alone: "Aroma Espresso Bar in New York City, for the halumi sandwich on wheat bread. Don't be discouraged by the weird combination of ingredients — it is the most amazing food experience. Also, Koko in Melbourne for sushi, and Angelina's in Paris for white hot chocolate." Best airline service: "Emirates first-class from Dubai to N.Y.C. or L.A. I love the privacy of the room and the cute little candy basket."

Escape destination: "Somewhere warm with great food. It doesn't get any better than Richard Branson's Necker Island. You are surrounded by crystal-clear water, amazing staff and the luxury of walking around on a completely secluded island."

Packing tip: "I always pack the basics first. And never overpack; you are always going to acquire new goods along the way."

Best place to buy antique jewelry: "The Hong Kong Jade Market. The bargaining is the best part — they're pretty tough, though. Go early in the morning when it's not so crowded."

By Betsy Kroll