Courtesy of Sensei Porcupine Creek
Adios pandemic revenge travel. Global explorers are making 2023 about transformative adventures, manifesting culinary dream trips, high-tech pampering, and wanderings that push their physical abilities to limits unseen.
The handsome new Andaz Mexico City Condesa Hotel overlooks the bougie nouveau architecture and wide jacaranda-lined lanes of the trendy Condesa neighborhood. Chill at Mexico City’s tallest rooftop pool sipping matcha or hit up their “Wooftop” Bar for a margarita with attendant pooches bedazzled in Swarovski (seriously). Elsewhere in Condesa, this month at House of Gaga, Mexican artist Fernando Palma Rodriguez’s trippy sculptures take on environmental issues plaguing Mexico’s indigenous communities.
Commune with nature with a stroll along the cypress and jacaranda-shaded lanes of Parque Mexico. Sip pét-nat (sourced mostly from Baja) and snack on sardine tostadas with the after-work crowd at the low-lit Caiman Bar. Score a coveted seat in the arbored garden at chef Alejandra Navarro’s art deco Botànico to enjoy pork cutlets bathed in herbs or a rib-eye burger that woos the locals. Cap off the night on a barstool fronting La Clandestina’s floor-to-ceiling bright red bar to taste world-class mezcal.
Winter brings the return of migrating gray and humpback whales to the Central Coast. Direct flights to Monterey make it a snap for San Diegans to access Monterey Bay whale-watching adventures where cetaceans put on a splashy show. Keep your cameras ready, as orca sightings might be on the menu, too.
Prefer landbased adventures? Pinancles National Park celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. Hike the rugged boulder-strewn trails of California’s newest (and smallest) park searching for endangered California condors. After dark, cozy up at the brand-new luxury B&B Villa Mara Carmel, where muted tones, deep-soaking tubs, and fire pits with peeks of the Pacific offer comfort on chilly winter nights. The new Stokes Adobe, located in a two-story historic home in downtown Monterey, has become the table to nab for perfectly roasted potatoes, Hokkaido scallops, and duck confit swimming in a chickpea stew.
In the desert, Rancho Mirage’s exclusive new Sensei Porcupine Creek caters to the moneyed wellness crowd hunting for the next big thing. Created by Larry Ellison and Dr. David Agus, Sensei’s wellness guides use technology to tailor treatments (from a golf exercise regimen at their exclusive greens to a unique desert herb poultice oil massage) to each body. Nestled in the Coachella Valley, the 230-acre adults-only resort boasts all the luxe accouterments—worldclass tennis and golf, garden spa treatments, and a Nobu restaurant serving a date cake that is to die for.
If visitors can bear to take a break from all that decadence, they’ll be rewarded with a fun new vintage shopping experience at Market Market, where creative types source art deco and one-of-a-kind finds for their homes and wardrobes. Over in nearby Palm Springs, the beloved Bread and Flours bakery just opened a brick-and-mortar where locals line up twice weekly for sourdough worth pausing that new year diet. The Palm Springs International Film Festival returns in January, offering a wide selection of lauded films, celebrity-spotting, and lively celebrations around the valley.