Refresh your wardrobe—and yourself—on these retail therapy getaways where you can shop ‘til you drop.
Azamara Quest, Mediterranean
Gone are the gaudy casinos, screaming kids, and cattle-call rush for shared dinner tables with several thousand fellow passengers! This is a far more civilized and fashionable way to explore the inspiration for many a runway show. Enjoying an atmosphere more akin to a classy boutique hotel than a cruise, this smaller, friendlier ship maintains an air of relaxed elegance and attentive butler-level service. Daily dining is equal to that of other ships’ surcharged specialty restaurants, and the absence of nickel-and-diming (laundry, gratuities, wine, and cocktails are all included) adds to the sense of pampering.
The smaller size of the ship—only 400 guests are aboard—allows for entry into exclusive ports the larger ships are forced to bypass. This is ideal for the picturesque villages and islands of the Mediterranean. Here, timeless classics beckon, from Barcelona’s stylish boutiques tucked behind the 15th-century silk exchange to Taormina’s winding cobblestone streets of Sicilian shops filled with unique finds and bespoke sandals and handbags. Monaco’s designer trunk shows tease those wanting a jump on trends, while Santorini’s stalls of airy linen shifts and wispy lace scarves and blouses will leave you wishing you had brought an empty suitcase. (Don’t worry, you can always pick one up in Florence!) AzamaraClubCruises.com
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
Gorgeous rooms with lovely views of the Back Bay (ask for front-facing floors six or higher) are ideally located in the thick of a hopping neighborhood of bars and eateries with outdoor patios prime for the idyllic fall weather. But you won’t be blamed if you never set Jimmy Choo to pavement as the hotel offers a private entrance directly to the second floor of the impressive Prudential Center.
Featuring 75 options like Vineyard Vines, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, and Vera Bradley, if the shopping high doesn’t take hold, zip up to the 50th floor Skywalk Observatory, Boston’s only vantage point for sweeping 360-degree views. Refuel at the Top of the Hub restaurant, or get down to earth with incredible baked goods, antipasti, cured meats, and more at Mario Batali’s Eataly Boston. A soothing pot of private blend tea and the 16,000 square-foot Spa at Mandarin Oriental, the only Forbes Five Star in the state, await for post-spree recovery. MandarinOriental.com
Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park
While surrounded by world-class museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum, and Shedd Aquarium, not to mention a theatre district that includes the incomparable Joffrey Ballet, this fashionably modern hotel boasts a location at the start of a mile of shopping so magnificent they named it so. The Magnificent Mile is a spectacular showcase of more than 460 stores, 275 restaurants, and unique entertainment attractions. Flagship stores abound along Michigan Avenue, dotted with iconic centers like Water Tower Place’s 100+ shops and 900 North Michigan Shops, which offer an Exclusively 900 Card to visitors for incentives and premiere savings at its 75 luxury stores, such as Bloomingdale’s, Max Mara, Michael Kors, and Gucci. After unloading your finds in the room, enjoy the hotel’s river or lake views, or pop by the on-site 11,000-square-foot mySpa and slip into an infinity soaking tub to work away any knots from toting all those shopping bags. Fairmont.com
By Sascha Zuger