Take me Away! Weekend Escapes for Women

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Picture it: enjoying a glass (or two) of wine, a stain-free outfit, and freshly manicured and pedicured fingers and toes while engaging in hours of conversation with your girlfriends. Imagine all of this, uninterrupted by countless questions, screams of “Mom! He looked at me!” snack requests just minutes after you’ve cleaned up lunch, and running off to wipe up yet another spilled glass of juice. Now dream about indulging in this scene for an entire weekend!

Embarking on a girls’ getaway is an investment in your mental health, especially during the dead of winter. Gather the girls and relax at the spa or a yoga retreat, explore a new city, or just hang out in a really cool hotel. Check out some of the fun options we came up with.

If you want to spend your getaway in the Northeast, consider The Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort, serenely located on 380 acres in Lenox, Massachusetts, in the heart of the Berkshires. Though all the accommodations are elegantly appointed, I’ve stayed in at least half a dozen different guest rooms and have particularly enjoyed the cottage suites. Book an appointment at the spa (one of the largest in the Northeast), hit the links, or drive a few minutes away to the Premium Outlets in Lee, Massachusetts. After dark, indulge in casual or candlelight dining in one of the on-site restaurants, or grab a bottle of wine, order room service, put on your pajamas and take advantage of your in-suite fireplace while you gab the night away. The Cranwell often extends mid-week discounts and girls’ getaway packages.

Saratoga Springs, New York, is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a smaller, walkable city in the Northeast. Gourmet dining, boutique shopping, spas, dancing and cocktails are all within blocks of each other. The streets of Saratoga look like they just popped out of a picture book, with immaculate landscaping and historically preserved buildings merging fabulously with modern apartment buildings and hotels. Saratoga Springs is known for its mineral water, and many of the spas offer the opportunity to relax in healthy mineral baths. Check out The Roosevelt Baths and Spa on Roosevelt Street. While it’s a bustling tourist attraction during summer months, Saratoga is quaint and cozy during the snow-crested winter.

If you’re looking for a more mild climate and are willing to indulge a bit, head west to San Francisco and share a room at Cavallo Point, ranked number one by Travel and Leisure in “Best hotels in the San Francisco Bay area.” This impeccably restored historic hotel features contemporary, modern decor and offers spectacular views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. While you’ll enjoy two dining options on site as well as the tranquil Healing Arts Center and Spa, you’ll definitely want to venture out into this cool, eclectic city at some point. Book a walking or Segway tour, stroll through the boutiques, sample the world-class wine and indulge in the many exquisite dining options. Before you leave, add “cable car” to your list of planes, trains and automobiles.

We can’t discuss a girls’ getaway weekend without mentioning Vegas. While thoughts of Vegas may automatically conjure up pictures of casinos, this southwestern city has so much more to offer. Spend the morning at the spa, the afternoon shopping, head back to your room to freshen up, grab a few cocktails at a hotel bar or two, book dinner reservations at one of the amazing restaurants here, buy tickets to a show, dance the night away, then do it all over again the next day. While the hotel options are plentiful, my favorite is The Bellagio. The rooms are posh, the pool is upscale, and the Bellagio’s famous fountain light show is a must-see, featuring a fantastic display of light, music and water. With so much to see and do, you and your girlfriends will be talking about this trip for years to come!

If you’re looking for a tropical climate and have always dreamed of visiting a yoga retreat with the girls, then Bali is for you. You’ll find the yoga and meditation retreat packages at Blooming Lotus Yoga in Ubud very affordable. When you aren’t downward-dogging in your two daily yoga classes, enjoy a meal of vegetarian cuisine, take a dip in your villa’s private pool, or enjoy the breathtaking view with your girlfriends. If you venture off site, bike through the Balinese countryside, stop by one of the many temples, visit the Satri coffee plantation or enjoy an afternoon of whitewater rafting. Yoga retreats are plentiful here, so you may also want to check out One World Retreat in Ubud, where Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert practiced yoga.

Whatever you choose, enjoy your weekend away with the girls and come back to your family refreshed and ready to tackle the mound of laundry that will surely await! HLM

Sources: cranwell.com, cavallopoint.com, travelandleisure.com, blooming-lotus-yoga.com, oneworldretreats.com and experience of the author.