A diamond may be a girl’s best friend but a women’s-only getaway is the shiniest way to beat the midwinter blues. Before you buy that fancy car, trade the spouse for a newer model or generally behave badly, consider a girls-only vacation without the husband, the kids and the bills.
Nothing beats a midlife crisis like a day on the blue sea and if you’ve already left the spouse, never had one, might be looking for one or doing just fine solo, a girlfriend’s getaway is a popular winter rite of passage for gaggles of gals worldwide.
Big Girls Don’t Cry
The party kicks off with champagne cocktails at the swishy LaLuna resort in Grenada. With the aptly named ‘Girlfriends Getaway’ package, gal pals check into side-by-side cottages with plunge pools and cozy porches for a three night/four day escape from the winter winds at home. Tempting add-ons include yoga sessions for the entire gal gaggle, three spa treatments per person and a cooking class with the resorts handsome Italian chef. All-inclusive rates, per person, start at $2,785 for travel through April 12. Check out the Laluna Hotel.
Choice Hotels International is big on low prices with generous discounts at several of their Caribbean properties. A rate slice of up to twenty-five percent with a minimum stay of four nights invite at properties in the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. “This is the first time we’ve rolled out region-wide promotions like these,” said Bill Clegg, regional vice president, “for those who stay fewer than four nights, they can earn twenty percent off all Caribbean properties once advanced booking requirements are met.”
On the talc sands of Pinney Beach in Nevis, the uber-fabulous Four Seasons is offering a three-night package for ladies in search of the ultimate Caribbean chill-out. Starting in a five-bedroom villa, the package includes a pajama party with popcorn and DVD’s, leisurely massages, gourmet nibbles at the Hideaway Grill and personality testing for a custom blended perfume. If that isn’t enough, extras include Ladies Tennis Boot Camp, rainforest hike with a real bush doctor and tours to an organic farm with Rasta Farmer Mansa. “Nevis is a place you can truly cocoon and escape the stresses of the modern living,” said Nancy Mitchell, spa director, “a trip with treasured friends is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.” Check out the Four Seasons Nevis.
Also in Nevis, Nisbet Plantation Beach Club is offering Fitness Retreats for gals who put on a few unwanted pounds over the holidays. From yogurt to yoga, the week-long getaway includes nature tours, nutrition counselling and plenty of healthy gourmet cuisine. “We enjoy assisting friends in planning their perfect getaway,” said Jamie Holmes, general manager, “all they have to do when they get here is enjoy quality time together.” Check out the Nisbet Plantation Beach Club.
The Big Ticket
No better way to bond with the girls or make a few new guy pals than at an outdoor music festival under the Caribbean sky. The hottest ticket this spring is the St. Lucia Jazz Festival set for April 30 to May 13 boasting a top-shelf roster of superstars from Lionel Ritchie and Ziggy Marley to South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and gospel king Kirk Franklin. Now in its 21st year, the popular festival is held at various spots around the island including scenic Pigeon Island Island, Rudy John Beach Park in Laborie and in the quaint village of Fond D’Or in Dennery.
For tickets and island information: www.stluciajazz.org.
Girlfriend Getaways 101
- Set a date and stick to it.
- If anyone mentions her husband or kids by name, she puts a dollar in the communal kitty.
- Bring your own chardonnay and don’t forget the corkscrew and peanuts.
- Get t-shirts made after the trip, a far more personal souvenir than a magnet or snow globe.