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Girlfriend Getaways

September 28, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox Travel Agent


Rooms at Rancho Palos Verdes' Terranea Resort
Rooms at Rancho Palos Verdes' Terranea Resort have separate bathtubs and showers, many with relaxing ocean views


Nothing says “Girlfriend Getaway” like an escape to a luxurious resort spa, where women can indulge in everything from girly makeovers to energizing aerobics and sports. Here are fun retreats where the ladies can relax and indulge in plenty of therapies and treatments.

Water, Water Everywhere

Canyon Ranch Miami Beach opened last November on the South Florida waterfront. The hotel has 150 one- and two-bedroom luxury suites—the most popular, we are told, are the Oceanfront Suites (mostly ending in numbers -17 and -22), one-bedroom suites with two queen beds and two-bedroom suites with one king bed and two queen beds. (For a group of gals, the two-bedroom suites are probably the best option.) The Ocean Palm Suites have a king bed and a balcony with a view of the palm court and the Atlantic Ocean.

The resort’s wellness spa is, simply put, enormous: 70,000 square feet, with 54 treatment areas. A unique spot is the therapeutic European thermal suite, Aquavana. Canyon Ranch is the first in the U.S. to offer a water-based spa of this kind, with plenty of aqua-themed therapies, thermal spa cabins, tubs and aquathermal bathing experiences. The Canyon Ranch Stone Massage and Your Transformation Facial are two popular treatments among several others.

Charlotte Prescott (305-514-7300, [email protected]) is the director of spa & fitness, and agents can either contact Sales Manager Tatiane Paro (305-514-7405, [email protected]) or Sales Manager Antoinette Vlahakis (305-514-7406, [email protected]).

Getting Far, Far Away

In northern Kauai, Hanalei Colony Resort spreads out over five isolated acres. The resort has 48 two-bedroom, two-bath condominium units with equipped kitchens and private lanais, all with views of Hanalei Bay or Kauai’s mountains. All condos have one king bed and two twin beds—perfect for a group of girls. (The most popular condos are G2, G3, J4 and the Oceanfront Premium units.) It’s true escapism: The rooms do not have TVs, stereos or phones.

Both Hanalei Colony and its 1,500-square-foot, three-room spa facility, Hanalei Day Spa, are managed by women, so they know what girls need for a prime getaway. Spa owner Darci Frankel (808-826-6621) is a licensed massage therapist and a certified practitioner of Ayurveda.

The spa has a Sand, Sea, & Spa package for two, three or four women sharing the two-bedroom condominiums. The package includes five or seven nights in an oceanview room, a welcome gift of beach supplies and a half-day spa program at Hanalei Day Spa (choose from body polishes, wraps and massages); an in-room manicure or pedicure; and choice of a Napali coast boat-tour or horseback-riding excursion. Depending on the season, prices range from $2,540 for five nights to $2,975 for seven nights.

Travel agents can contact Cissie Meyer (808-826-6235, [email protected]) or General Manager Laura Richards (808-826-6235, [email protected]).

California Dreamin’

Covering more than 102 acres of California coastline, Terranea Resort opened in June on the shores of Rancho Palos Verdes.
The resort’s 360-room hotel has 30 suites, 20 bungalows, 50 oceanview casitas and 32 villas. We are told the latter three options are the best for ladies looking to get away from it all, with locking rooms for configurable privacy and spacious kitchens for homestyle meals. Among suites, book the 1,800-square-foot Shearwater Suites or the 2,200-square-foot Vanderlip Suite, also known as the Presidential Suite, and request oceanview rooms wherever you book. Nice touch: All bathrooms have separate bathtubs and showers.

The 50,000-square-foot oceanfront Spa Terranea (half of those square feet are outdoors) has 24 treatment rooms, including couples’ rooms, hydrotherapy rooms and dedicated massage and facial rooms. For a swanky touch, there are also three VIP Suites, copper soaking tubs, fireplaces and Swiss showers. A popular therapy, we are told, is called El Segundo Blue, which involves a slow massage with aromatic botanicals, a “cocoon” of revitalizing sea-blue mineral clay and a head and scalp massage.

Travel agents should contact Raffaella Manetti (310-265-2776, [email protected]), director of leisure sales, or Thais Magri (310-265-2816, [email protected]), leisure sales manager. For spa bookings, contact Spa Director Melinda Milner ([email protected], 310-265-2745).

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a Southern California favorite. The property’s private villa, Casa Elar—with five bedrooms—was recently nominated as the top private villa in the world by Travel Agent’s sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor. The Fontana One Bedroom suite, Hacienda Penthouse and Spa Penthouse Suites are also popular, and the Fireplace Shangri La room is the entry-level deluxe room accommodation. Casa Blanca, Villa Mariposa and Villa Los Padres each have 16 rooms and a courtyard. Nice touch: All rooms have pantries, 275 have balconies and the bath amenities are exclusive from the Spa Ojai.

The spa spreads out over 31,000 square feet with 28 treatment rooms. The signature therapy is the Kuyam Mud Treatment for up to eight guests. (“Kuyam” is a Chumash Indian word which means a place to gather and rest, or meditate together.) The treatment uses three types of therapeutic clay and meditation to relax the body and spirit. Ask for Claudia for deep tissue massages and Yvonne for an anti-aging facial.

For group treatments, the Spa Penthouse has two two-bedroom suites with private outdoor Jacuzzis and one terrace with a wood-burning fireplace. The Artist’s Cottage is ideal for private groups interested in a Custom Blending Class or a Mandala Workshop. Agents should contact Director of Leisure Sales Jill Wojahn (805-798-4824, [email protected]), or Elizabeth Gould (858-450-9472, [email protected]), leisure travel manager. For spa treatments, contact Spa Director Gloria Ah Sam (805-640-2003, [email protected]).

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