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Gather your girlfriends this fall, and spend some time shopping, eating, drinking, and catching up. These hotels that are offering Girlfriend Getaway packages, designed for those who like to shop, drink,and be pampered.
Manicures, pedicures, cocktails and transportation to shopping trips within three miles of the hotel are just a few of the perks included in the Pampered Girlfriends package at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. Designed for a group of four, two more can be included for $75 each. Rates start at $359 per night for the group of four.
For ladies who prefer not to shop, and would rather de-stress and share plenty of laughs, the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans treats the ladies to a cocktail walking tour. Unfortunately the drinks on the tour are not free, and ladies best leave their stilettoes at home for this tour. Uneven sidewalks + alcoholic beverages + girlfriends = a major embarrassing moment in public and never hearing the end of it in the future. Eliminate that nasty old tension a little more with the included 60-minute Swedish massage. The package is $139 per day with a two-night minimum stay.
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We're suckers for a hotel with a themed room so when we got an email from the newish Edgewater South Beach proclaiming that June was "Room with a Theme" Month, we had to click, especially since one of the themes was labeled "Oprah and Gayle." Oooo! Would it be filled with our favorite things? Would the OWN network be playing on loop? Would there be a blow-up Stedman doll to fight over?
Sadly, no. The theme room is really just a girlfriend getaway package that includes a No Boyz Allowed door sign, some magazines in the room and list of things that girlfriends can do in Miami. There's not even a Moscow Mule drink or a Book Club read!
Girls like shopping! Girls like martinis! Girls like getting together with their girlfriends to gossip and eat yogurt and paint their toenails and discuss celebrities! Well, according to hotel package promoters, anyway and it's no secret that the floods of Girlfriend Getaway packages hitting the hotel market make us roll our eyes more often than not.
But this one's not so bad especially since we don't really have any money to buy clothes right now (hello recession!), and we actually do need to go shopping. Omni Hotels is now offering "Retail Therapy," a package with us in mind a girlfriend getaway for you and your chickies that offers decent freebies and some quality girl time.
From bargains to boutiques, women are sure to spoil themselves with a prescription for rest and relaxation. In advance of the visit, the "Retail Therapist" (aka the concierge) will contact the guests to help customize their experience from arranging spa treatments for the group to reservations at local hot spots. Upon check in, guests will also receive a recommended shopping list of local boutiques, the top shopping destinations and other favorite finds to help guests shop like a native.
Yeah, not very exciting this part is better: when you get to whatever Omni you're staying in, you get an "Amazonia" Envirosax, "a reusable shopping bag which is sure to add color and eco-chic to the trip." Each guest also nabs a full-size Laura Mercier lipstick, and a "special delivery of Champagne" comes to the guestroom too.
Available until December 31st, 2010, the "Retail Therapy" package starts at $175 per night and can be booked here.
The firepit: gossip and s'mores central.
We will never stop making fun of these silly girlfriend getaway hotel packages. In fact, we'd like to take this opportunity to encourage Sarah Haskins, the brilliantly funny lady behind the hilarious Target Women videos, to do a "Target Women" segment on hotel packages. That is, make fun of those silly girlfriend getaway packagey-things that are made up of what some hotel believes will appeal to women (gossip magazines! Manicures! Shopping!)
Um, that's not to say we wouldn't secretly go and book these packages ourselves if they happened to appeal to us. What? Some of us like manicures and Us Weekly. Whatever.
So, here's another from the vast and varied collection of girly getaway packages: The Parker Palm Springs encourages you to leave the dudes at home and hit up the famous-from-TV resort. That is, if you're willing to call yourself a "Parker Princess."
You'll know you've really made it as a celeb when hotels in your hometown begin to create packages with you as the theme. Leighton Meester must be jumping up and down in her Tory Burch flats nowadays knowing she is officially a superstar: the ever-creative package-wizards at the Marco Island Marriott have created a girlfriend getaway with the Gossip Girl actress, a Marco Island native, as the inspiration.
For $219 per person per night (based on a two-night stay), you can grab your girly pals and book the Gossiping Girls Getaway, which includes:
· One Gossip Girl Season One DVD set per guest
· A few gossip tabloids in-room to keep up with the hot goss
· Two tickets to the nearby Off the Hook comedy club
Now, unfortunately, you have to be 18 to get into the Comedy Club (unlike on GG, the laws are not overlooked for well-dressed, sassy minors in the real world). And also, we're assuming that whoever is performing at this comedy club is going to make a legitimate effort to kick up some trouble between you and your girls you know, to ensure some real drama goes down.
The package is available through December 22nd and can be booked here.
The Liberty Suite; your Bachelorette Party digs.
So, your BFF asked you to be a bridesmaid at her wedding and has designated you as the Official Bachelorette Party Planner (which, let's face it, is usually better than the Official Invitation Stuffer or the Official Keeper of the Dress you're lucky she has sisters). But you're not quite sure what she wants, where she wants to go, how much booze she wants involved and how raunchy she wants things to get.
Solution: you can never, ever go wrong with going luxe. And believe it or not, Ritz-Carlton Battery Park actually offers an all-inclusive Bachelorette Party package (who knew, right?)
As tired marketing gimmicks go, the Girlfriend Getaway always seems to try a little too hard and fall a little short of something worth our cash (we’ll find our own “martini man,” thank you). But if more places start taking the cue of Little Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten, we may have to reconsider. Rather than cheesy add-ons, Little Bay’s girlfriend getaway package sounds like a good deal, plain and simple.
The five-night stay costs just $585 per person and includes breakfast daily, a $100 spa treatment, a $50 jewelry store gift certificate, and a $100 boat trip over to St. Barths. Groups who want to upgrade from the standard hotel room can pony up more for swanker digs — $775 per person for a one-bedroom beachfront suite or $1,045 per person for a two-bedroom beachfront suite. The trip is available until Dec. 23, so you’ve got plenty of time to make plans.
And really, who isn’t up for a trip to St. Maarten right about now?
It’s all very well London being trendy, but sometimes we just want to ditch our day-glo in favour of a little taste of Olde Englande. So we like the idea of The Stafford hotel’s new “Ladies Who London” two night package.
The hotel itself is already pretty cutesy – set around a cobbled mews, with the rare impression of being a country hotel, with frilly wallpaper and exposed beams, even though it’s just five minutes from Piccadilly Circus.
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The way we see it, there are three distinctive types of "Girlfriend Getaway" packages offered at hotels.
There's the Sex and the City-ish types, designed for Midwestern Bradshaw-lovers to come to Manhattan, drink cosmopolitans and eat cupcakes until they feel satisfied that they've accurately experienced the "girls'" fictional lifestyle.
Then you've got your standard girly packages -- which always appear to be put together by a faceless, single middle-aged man who believes women enjoy all things pink and spa-like.
Then you've got your for-reals Girlfriend Getaway packages -- you know, the kind that nicely supplement the itinerary you'd actually complete if you went on a vacay with your girls: a bit of exercise (ideally), a bit of chillin (obviously) and a bit of drinking (not cosmopolitans, though).
Luckily, the soon-to-open Westin Riverfront in Vail Valley (anticipated opening date: late September) is keeping it real with two Girlfriend Getaway-type packages -- one steep and the other a bit, well, cheap.
We're not usually a fan of the term Girlfriend Getaway or the term girlfriend in general. Unless it's an actual girlfriend of the dating variety. So we tend to shy away from packages marketed to "girlfriends" where you're suggested to "grab your favorite BFF for a spa day!"
But a package is a package and if you're trying to save money or trying to make the most of a staycation, these can be fun alternatives. Also, it helps to have a pre-planned getaway, especially if you have poor planning skills.
The newest batch of Girlie trips now come from Loews Hotels.
Those sill girlfriend getaways are all the rage and the Waikiki Parc Hotel in Honolulu couldn't help but get in on the act too. Their girlfriend getaway package, thankfully, isn't especially girlfriend-centric, and is simply called the "My Place - Waikiki Escape Package".
The contents of the deal also don't sound especially like a really girly vacation, but are nonetheless pretty tempting. Starting at $999 for a mountain view room ($1,149 for sea views), you and your best friend get a three-night stay, a welcome bottle of wine, breakfast every day, one dinner at Nobu Waikiki, free passes to several museums and a choice of outing: surf lessons, a spa or a Lotus rental car for a day.
It's quite a nice package, but we can't really see why we couldn't do the same with a partner or pretty much anyone. If you and your girlfriends are keen, it's valid from now until December 20 this year, and we don't think they're really gonna check who you bring with you.