By Lena Katz
Before Beyoncé went into Blue Ivy baby-momma mode, Destiny’s Child taught the world an important lesson: When the ladies leave their men at home, good times will soon follow. So grab your favorite gals for an estrogen-fueled getaway to remember—herewith five great girlfriend getaway ideas to make it happen.
New York City
Socialite Soirees & Shopping
On your next trip to NYC, get the full Sex in the City experience—with one key difference: Savvy shoppers never pay full price for their Prada. Spend your days searching for cut-rate fashion finds in the wholesalers and designer showrooms of Manhattan's Garment District. Then, throw on your newfound designer-wear and meet your power-gal pack in a posh Midtown lounge, like the bi-level rooftop bar in Gansevoort Park Avenue (where the Kardashians lived while filming season two of Kourtney and Kim Take New York). Stay in Midtown for a dressed-up dinner at Daniel Boulud’s eponymous restaurant Daniel (host to many a presidential dinner) and then cab it over to SoHo for an art opening or off-Broadway show.
Book It: Book a "Head-to-Toe" package at the Gansevoort Park Avenue to maximize your time in the hotel's indoor-outdoor pool and exhale spa. Starting at $696 per night, rates include use of sunbeds, valet parking, two cocktails, a Mind/Body Class, and a choice of 60-minute massage or facial. gansevoortpark.com
Work & Play Getaway
As Gone With the Wind famously narrated, Atlanta’s always been a favorite meeting point for Southern society—and with the busiest airport in the world and a compact downtown district, the city remains perfectly poised today for a work-and-play getaway. After a day of meetings, hit up the Buckhead neighborhood, nicknamed the Beverly Hills of the South, for its 1,400-plus boutiques and galleries. Then, spend an evening out on the town rubbing elbows with Real Housewives stars, CNN execs, or perhaps even a celebrity resident or two (Justin Bieber, Elton John, and Usher count themselves amongst the locals), before winding down at a sleek, high-rise convention hotel like the newly renovated downtown Hilton.
Book It: Spend your money on shopping, not pesky extras like parking and Wi-Fi. Book the "Park, Eat & Connect" package at the Hilton and get breakfast, Internet, and parking included in the nightly rate, starting at a fantastically reasonable $114 per night. www.hiltonatlantadowntown.com
Debauchery Meets R & R
From the lavish pool parties to the over-the-top spas, Sin City is set up to show girls a good time. There’s always something debuting on the Las Vegas Strip, and at the moment, the newest luxury digs are in Caesars Palace’s Octavius Tower. Opened in early January, Octavius Tower features a private entrance and lobby area, and easy access to the spectacular multi-level Garden of the Gods pool area. A spa day here is a must, and if you like to experience the latest wellness offerings, book yourself for an Aura-Soma treatment (package details are listed below). At night, enjoy the legendary voice of Elton John, hit up the hottest nightclubs (PURE and Tao rank supreme), or treat yourself to the delightfully deviant new variety show, Absinthe.
Book It: New for 2012 at Caesars Qua Baths & Spa, Aura-Soma color therapy takes Ayurvedic thinking into the visual realm. Get an aromatherapy massage with a 75-minute Aura-Soma Color Quest treatment, primed for a color therapy-inspired pick-me-up, for $210. Rates at Octavius Tower start at $249/night. www.caesarspalace.com
Stylish Cocktails in The Big Easy
New Orleans likes its bars small and friendly, and its cocktails strong enough to wake the dead. Hotel Monteleone is the home of the annual Tales of the Cocktail convention (held in late July), and here you can start with a Sazerac or a Vieux Carré before setting out to explore the jazz lounges and absinthe haunts of the French Quarter.
Book It: The Monteleone’s "Girlfriend Getaway" add-on offer includes a welcome cocktail, a New Orleans Original Cocktail tour, and a 60-minute massage, all for $139 per person on top of standard hotel rates (from $169/night). www.hotelmonteleone.com
The Amazing Outdoors
Sporty types can grab their favorite all-gals team and head up to Canada’s historic Quebec City, where the outdoors is treated like one big playground. Depending on how adventurous you want to be, you and the girls can go ice-skating in the center of town, drive a bit out of the city and have a go at snowshoeing, or even attempt try rappelling down a frozen waterfall. In the summer, join the Quebecois in tree climbing, kayaking, or rappelling down that very same (and decidedly less frigid) waterfall. After all that exercise, feel free to indulge in the region’s famous French-inspired cuisine, complete with fresh seafood, stinky cheese, and sparkling cider.
Book It: Through April 1, book a ski package at the elegant Fairmont Chateau Frontenac near the port, and get ski passes at your choice of two mountains (Mont Sainte-Anne or Stoneham), plus a buffet breakfast for two, starting at $373/night. www.fairmont.com/frontenac
Photo Credit: Young People at Casino via Shutterstock