Girlfriend getaways come in all shapes and sizes, from glamping in yurts to shopping expeditions in exotic souks. No matter what type of trip your crew is planning, all busy gal pals love the chance to relax and indulge in a spa treatment or three. Here are a few spots with a wealth of spas to soothe the harried soul, along with bestie bonding activities to keep everyone happy between treatments.
Go Outdoorsy in Phoenix and Scottsdale
Spa Time: The Phoenix outpost of the renowned Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa holds court in Biltmore Fashion Park, so you can combine your spa day with a shopping excursion. Ask what seasonal treatment is being offered; for example, for fall it’s a salt scrub with pear-infused brandy followed by a massage featuring marshmallow shea butter. You can also get your hair and makeup done before you head out for a night on the town. Half-day packages start at about $365.
Play Time: If you’re not feeling too glam, explore the Sonoran Desert with a guided mountain bike tour. Arizona Outback Adventures gives a discount if you have at least four people in your group. Or head to Echo Canyon and hike to the top of distinctive Camelback Mountain. Trails to the top are short (less than two miles), but steep. If you’re too much of a girly girl, check out the shops and galleries of Scottsdale’s Old Town, before enjoying an al fresco dinner at Olive & Ivy and the lively nightlife scene.
Get Beachy in St. Thomas
Spa Time: Did you overdo your beach time a bit? Prãna Spa, at Yacht Haven Grand, can fix you up with an after-sun hydrating wrap, which soothes prickly skin with essential oils and moisturizers. Or bring a bit of the ocean indoors with a seaweed wrap. Those who prefer a DIY approach to relaxation can book a semi-private yoga class. Half-day packages start at $350.
Play Time: Bustling Charlotte Amalie is the place to go for shopping and historic sights, and is within easy reach of several lovely beaches. Just be prepared for cruise-ship crowds; St. Thomas is a popular port of call. If you want to get away from it all, hop a ferry at Crown Bay Marina for tiny, mostly residential Water Island. Here you can snorkel, swim and sunbathe to your heart’s content away from the crowds.
Stay Young at Heart in Orlando
Spa Time: Spa treatments at Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes feature herbs and honey produced on resort grounds. You can book a treatment in a poolside cabana and meet up with your friends for a healthy meal in between treatments at the spa’s cafe. Half-day packages start at $399.
Play Time: Grab your girlfriends and unleash your inner children at one of Orlando’s famed theme parks. If you have something a little more serene in mind, the Ritz can book you on a kayaking or eco-tour excursion. For a night on the town, try the Church Street District, where restaurants, clubs, and performance venues surround a historic railroad station.