As time away is a scarce commodity, it is essential to make the most of it. The destination resort Tortuga Bay merges the elegant sensibilities of Oscar de la Renta's décor with one of the most beautiful enclaves in the Dominican Republic. The Beach House at Manafaru Maldives is another option, boasting villas with plunge pools, a roaming "sorbet butler" and indigenous spa treatments. Head to Bali for an eco-friendly retreat and visit jeweler John Hardy's new Bambu Indah hotel, comprising four antique houses from Java that Hardy transported to his garden.
A living wall containing more than 20 plant species created by French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc was a fitting backdrop for Stella McCartney's floral-focused spring 2008 runway show. In addition to designing "vertical gardens," Blanc is known for his ability to create these plant installations without soil. Ever since he took a trip to Malaysia in his teens, Blanc has dedicated himself to studying plant life. His work has appeared everywhere, from the Htel du Dpartement outside Paris (above) to the Marithé + François Girbaud store in New York City. While Blanc spends a vast amount of his time in the tropics searching for new species, his work uniquely merges nature with urban life.