Welcome to the pamperfest.
Not every bride-to-be is a penis balloon/Vegas strip-show kinda girl. In fact, more and more low-key ladies are opting for destination bachelorette parties that are all about taking it easy. Think beachside relaxing, off-the-grid spa retreats, beauty treatments from head-to-toe, and above all else, quality time with your besties. So here are five ideas that are a little less “in da club,” and a little more “in da eucalyptus steam hydrotherapy treatment room.”
You’re on “Island Time” Now
Expect the stress to melt away the second your crew steps foot on Oahu, the largest of Hawaii’s stunning Pacific islands. In the capital city of Honolulu, delicious warm breezes play with sand and surf just off Waikiki Beach, but this place is also a mecca for designer shopping and island-to-table dining, so you’re getting the best of both worlds. Retail therapy steps from your hotel’s front door, and all the pina coladas, snorkelling, lawn yoga and pool chilling your friends can handle. A few of our favourite places to stay are the Royal Hawaiian (a local mainstay of the high-end resorts), the laid-back, surfer-cool Moana Surfrider (which is actually a Marriott so you can use your points!) and the Halekulani (there’s an orchid design in the pool, as if it weren’t already the peak of luxury and right on the beach).
Sip, Savour, Spa, Repeat
Sipping pinot noir on a back deck is a great start to any gal’s weekend, but then factor in the view: rolling hills covered in row upon row of luscious verdant grapevines under soft pink skies. Neighbouring California valleys Sonoma and Napa have around 800 wineries between them—from small family-run vineyards to internationally renowned wine estates—and so sampling the local varietals is definitely on the menu, but you can go at your own pace. There’s plenty to keep you busy: tasting tours via limo, long-table dining alfresco, wine pairing dinners at Michelin starred restaurants or you can just take it easy at your luxe resort (which obviously comes with a spa).
Show Me the Pool
Palm Springs, U.S.
Even now, as the Arctic winds and flurries of “snowmaggedon” pummel our headquarters in Victoria, B.C., it’s sunny and spring-like in Palm Springs. Consistent heat and sunshine await in what has to be the vacation home capital of the U.S. and much of Canada. Palm Springs has a wicked dining scene (breakfast at Cheeky’s, lunch at SO.PA, dinner at Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey) to tempt you from your resort where you’ll be spending the days lounging poolside (umbrella drinks mandatory). And a few of the coolest, treat-yo’self resort options are: the romantic Mediterranean-inspired Korakia Pensione, the “knock your socks off” room-with-a-clifftop-view Rancho Mirage Ritz-Carlton or the chill, hipster hangout Ace Hotel and Swim Club.
The Ultimate Spa Retreat
Miami Beach, U.S.
This bustling stateside paradise is chock-a-block full of high-end resorts and spas for a pampered retreat that’s rich in latin flavour. Your group can fill their boots with some of the best Cuban food around (that includes Havana), hit the beaches, or tuck into a primo spa resort on the water. Our picks include the palatial Acqualina Resort and Spa: 4.5 beachfront acres, three oceanfront swimming pools and a 20,000-square-foot spa specializing in Ayurvedic-infused holistic, restorative and meditative treatments (sign. Us. UP). Or the Carillon Miami, a full-service spa and wellness resort that cocoons guests in world-class European hydrotherapy circuits, cryotherapy treatments and detoxifying mud massages (plus a whole suite of dining options that are healthy, delicious and tailored to your dietary needs).
Calling all Beach Bums
This resort gem on the turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea side of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula might just have the best white-sand beaches in the whole country. Exhibit A, Playa Ruinas, a white sand beach with a backdrop of 13th-century Mayan ruins. The history! The Instagram photos! The aptly named Paradise Beach is where you’ll find your next desktop wallpaper and Akumal Beach is your spot for beachside cocktails and authentico Mexican eats at a host of palapa-roofed restaurants. Plus Akumal has rentable sun beds with drink service, so you and all your friends can sip margaritas without ever having to leave the comforts of your shaded waterfront lounger. It does not get more chill.