Girlfriend Spa Getaways Renew And Reconnect

Looking to take a break from your hectic lifestyle and reconnect with some old pals? There’s nothing quite like a spa getaway to help you find your inner self, as well as rediscover your dearest friends while enjoying some pampering. Spa packages provide groups with an opportunity to indulge in treatments, eat healthy, and enjoy some fun activities. There’s never been a better time to try a cooking class with your mom, join in a yoga class with your friends, or try an exotic spa treatment with your sister while making lasting memories.

The Girlfriend’s Celebration Package at Aspira Spa at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, is a great way to celebrate a hallmark birthday or get away with good friends. A AAA Four Diamond property, Aspira Spa is regarded one of the Midwest’s premier resort spas. Girlfriends kick off their two-night stay with a champagne toast and chocolate, followed by some well-deserved relaxation at the spa. Treatments include massage, hydrotherapy, chromatherapy, balneotherapy, facials, manicures, pedicures, and more. The package also offers a French-classics cooking class and unlimited use of the Aspira Spa and Osthoff Resort facilities.

The Thelma and Louise package at The Spa at Bacara in Santa Barbara, California, features luxurious accommodations for two nights, as well as a chauffeured and catered wine tour through the Santa Ynez Valley. Set on 78 beachfront acres, an escape to Bacara is all about the good life. Spa services feature luxury lines such as Sonya Dakar and guests recharge their batteries with pilates, yoga and meditation classes. Bacara’s two-miles of beachfront are a water sports playground.

Plan a girls’ getaway at Canyon Ranch, the world’s premier lifestyle resort, and you may never want to go home. With locations in Tucson, Arizona, and Lenox, Massachusetts, the Girlfriends Getaway package features outdoor adventures, fitness classes, renowned cuisine, and a team of wellness professionals. In an unhurried environment, guests learn about their health status and preventive care.

Relaxation and pampering are the hallmarks of Chateau on the Lake Resort in Branson, Missouri. Their Girls’ Spa Getaway eases life’s tensions with a soak in the heated whirlpools that overlook Table Rock Lake. Guests then choose between the Chateau Dogwood Signature Massage, Talking Rocks Hot Stone Massage, or Slim and Tone Wrap, followed by the spa’s signature pedicure. Guests also enjoy access to the spa’s eucalyptus steam room and relaxation lounge on the day of their service. Pals then hit the stores at Branson Landing with a shopping passport featuring hundreds of dollars in savings.

Girls in need of some real pampering head to The Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley, California, where the two-night Damsels in Distress package battles everyday stress with a focus on personal well being. Guests begin with a private yoga session, followed by a pre-spa ritual to loosen tension, nutrition therapy, and aromatherapy massage. The package also includes dinner at the popular Paragon Bar & Café with live jazz and views of San Francisco Bay.

For girls who love shopping therapy, the Girlfriends Getaway Package at Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas includes in-room cocktails prepared by the hotel’s martini butler, an exclusive shopping excursion at Saks Fifth Avenue, gourmet breakfast, and luxurious accommodations. And after all that shopping, girls are treated to a pampering foot massage at the Spa at Four Seasons, as well as a make-up consultation with a Saks Fifth beauty specialist.

Visiting The Ffort Klub At Raichak

I never knew The River Ganges is so wide and beautiful here till I visited this place which I had never heard of before. After my visit I quote: If you are looking for solitude this is the place for you. It is right on the banks of this river and hence the name: “Raichak on Ganges.” It houses 4 resorts, 5 restaurants, a spa and a huge activity zone, 6-7 swimming pools, all encapsulated in its 100 acre stretch. Built in Anglo-Indian style, the Ffort Holiday Klub is a Dutch fort converted into a five-star property. We went there in September 2012. A two-hour drive from Kolkata warned us of the bad traffic snarls. But once we entered the resort the ambience and the property ingredients of the entire complex felt serene and tranquil. It refreshed body, mind and soul. You need to just synchronize your pace with the flow of the Ganges which looks sublime in its moods of rain and sunshine.

And, now is the time to take you to our lovely holiday experience. The first shot from my camera was of the majestic uninhibited drive on a 1.5 km driveway with imposing tall trees on either side that led to The Suites. We are always in awe when we share our holiday experiences with friends. This couple wanted to have a feel of one such holiday with us, so this time we booked a holiday in the East. My husband and I arrived there a day before our check-in date. Next day the four of us set out to a 55 km journey from here. For the people living in Kolkata, it is a place where all the big conferences and fashion shows were held. They had heard about the place but they knew nothing beyond that, and hence they wondered how a week at one place would be like? Their trepidation was to the extent that they advised us if they did not like the place they would cut short their trip. (Wait, what they said in the end!) For a moment, their wavered thoughts clouded my mind though we were sure that a lovely holiday awaited us. With our car trunk full of bags we left around 2.30pm.

Day 1: A board with the resort’s name and an entry arrow to the resort brought the first glow on our faces. It was 4.45pm. I had the first welcome note when I heard a gurgling sound of running water just outside the corridor. What a therapeutic effect! As we entered apartment the furniture came alive and said a non-verbal hello. Soon we got settled and with our huge stock of ready-made snacks we all enjoyed a hot cup of coffee. The dinner at the restaurant was a huge satisfaction. The decor was warm and staff was friendly. After-mint was so tasty, that I had my palm full! It was a weekday so the guest number was thin.

Day 2: There was no hurry to leave the bed. However, you cannot sleep till late when you are in the East India. I woke up at 5.30am and headed for a walk. No sooner did I take a few steps away from my apartment, I heard the cooing of birds. I cooed in return. And, that was fun! It was a joyous sight to see the volume of the rejoinder rise with every successive mimic. I got myself familiar with surroundings. The resort is huge with lovely in-roads and greenery in plenty. We walked down a straight road and believe me the bungalows and apartments on either side were so inviting that I gave a hell of a time to my cervical spine turning left to right, and right to left. Wish I had a chameleon’s vision!

I cannot do without my laptop and internet connection. Even on a holiday I need it. Besides the daily picture upload, I do not allow my passion of journal writing part with me. Reliance mobile modem connectivity was not so efficient, so while in the apartment we just chatted, played cards and watched my friend paint. Post breakfast, we requested for a golf cart to take us around the vast spreading resort for it could not have been easy for our happy feet. The cart glided noiselessly through the property.

Nestled in the greenery and natural habitat, our first destination was Ganga Kutir. This resort left me in trance. The virgin natural beauty of the place just on the banks of the river, with dominating presence of mangrove vegetation. Armed myself with camera I got myself photographed sitting between its infinity pool and the river. I gazed at the river rolling by and silently murmured a nature poem. I also had fun watching two ducklings floating graciously on the pond. A cow shed was a rare treat for the urban eyes. I wanted to go close but the wet grass refused to take me there.

Ganga Sundarawasalais was another beauty packed pocket of cottages. An amazing assemblage of pool cottages where you just open your apartment door and take a plunge! Phew! Isn’t it worth being there? What an experience! O My! I just kept imagining a cool lap in that serene pool.

A yet another collection of theme based country homes in its premises were GangaAwas amidst green surroundings. Imagine a private pool with every apartment. Want to buy? You decide, while I count how many pools are there on the upper terrace. I counted three here and seven pools in the entire resort, all beautifully done. These upper terrace pools overlooked the Ganges and clearly defined the concept of infinity pools. All along the pools a vast area was laid out for dining. We stopped for lunch at one of its restaurants.

The beauty of this restaurant was such that you have to go there to believe me. Sitting in the restaurant I almost felt I was being part of The Ganges. There was a constant flow of slow-moving cargo ships and you have the waves joining in. Coupled with it were lush gardens and the happy smiles of the staff who served sumptuous food. It was ecstatic to find a blend of nature and artificial beauty. The chilled beer was another shot in the arm. The day rolled into a quiet evening. We rested for a while in our room, watched TV. The mock-tails and cocktails with sumptuous fish were like icing on the cake. I was as happy as a clam.

Day 3: The portable modem did not work well. So, they complied with my request and the service staff shifted us to another apartment. Since it was our second ‘home’ in the same resort there was a new vigor and cheerfulness. I organized my things. The 3rd day flew with wings. With playing cards and room service menu card by our side and chicken snacks to go over a glass of chilled beer, I felt like a ‘yummy mummy.’

Day 4: This place acts as a link between the metro city, Kolkata and Haldia which is a commercial town on the other side of the river. It is a major trade port for the metro intended mainly for bulk cargoes. The ferry point is 1.5 km from the resort. We took our car, parked it near the jetty point and got us into the launch. The resort’s Ferry boat was under maintenance so we took the one which was the life line of locals there. In 20 minutes with a breeze on our faces, we cruised at 30 mph and reached Haldia. We hired a cab for Rs. 1200/- that picked us from the jetty point, took us to 27 mph long drive up to the port and left us back in the evening at the same point. It was fun to witness the hide and seek of rain God. By the time we reached back we were dog tired and preferred skipping dinner and retired to a deep slumber.

Day 5: Even on the fifth day, there was still much left to explore. A collection of swimming pool area, the vast gym capsule, lounge area, and a fun zone coupled with the massive floor chess at the entrance was good fun. An orient restaurant on the pool side served sinful Chinese, and a souvenir shop with good visual merchandise had besides books, a rich assemblage of apparel, hand crafted curios, and wall paintings from Bengal and North East. Having played indoor games, we ended the day with another dinner. What one marvels in the beauty of this resort was its landscaped greenery against the backdrop of the river. Constructed on an old fort theme, it houses a well laid out museum. This entire structure has 130 year old narrow bricks which are typical of historic forts giving it the look of a beautiful 18th century fort. The spa bore a perfect image for my camera lens. Overhead bells at the gate and the wonder creation in a water bowl with floral motives bunched into an intricate pattern was something I admired. The creator definitely deserved an award for this. However, the services at the spa were a trifle pricey.

Day 6: We luxuriated for five days, it was the day devoted to the last-minute photo session around ‘The Suites.’ My camera was constantly in action since the scenic beauty was so vast that it wanted to click almost every ten steps of the area! I marveled the greenery of different foliage and stopped by to appreciate the various sculptures interspersed around the pocket gardens. This day we had also driven past Diamond Harbor. The Ganges is very wide here for the picnickers delight to watch river at its most serene with vastness. You could see as far as your eyes could go. However, the ice-cream on the road tasted like mud. As we drove further into interior villages, we saw a long stretch of ponds all along the two sides of narrow lanes which is a very familiar sight in suburbs. Greens seemed to have just bathed in the rain. We took glimpses of villagers getting ahead with their daily lives. While someone was weaving, another could be seen sifting wheat, and the third carrying a child on the waist. A four-wheeler was an alien to kids.

Day 7: It was time to say good-bye. We felt a sense of pleasant pain of parting with resort’s grandeur, the lush gardens and the charming hospitality. Even after a gap of four months these are still vivid in my mind. I stitched together my wonderful memories, and tried to paint the account on this canvas with a hope that just like our friends who await to holiday here with their American kids, you too would book a holiday here. And, if you still ask how I rated this resort, I would say you were joking.

Spa-ing Caribbean Style

Easily reached by air within a few hours of most U.S. cities, the Caribbean is more like another world with its azure waters, white sand beaches, and lush vegetation. It’s here that visitors come to truly escape from it all. Offering many types of refuge, today’s Caribbean resort spas provide guests with everything from recovery from a heady night scene in San Juan to the ultimate escape – a few days on a nearly uninhabited island. With this in mind, Spa Finder highlights some of the Caribbean’s “spa-musts” to add to your list.

Largely untouched by tourism and commercialism, Anguilla is a new kid on the block for many visitors. Opting for smaller luxury hotels and villas in place of mega-resorts and casinos, the island nation is a self-governing British nation known for its more than 30 untouched, white-sand beaches. On the southwest coast, Cap Juluca Spa features 79 luxury accommodations along its private beach. Spa-goers come for the resort’s Mind, Body, Spirit Weeks and Dance for Joy programs. Guests also enjoy the convenience of booking spa treatments in the privacy of their rooms. While guests enjoy the resort’s remote location, they can easily enjoy the shops, restaurants, and nightlife of St. Martin – only a 15-minute boat ride away.

With pleasant trade winds and a constant year-round temperature of 82 degrees, Aruba features unique Dutch colonial architecture and a thriving nightlife. Just 15 miles north of Venezuela, Aruba has two neighboring islands, Bonaire and Curacao. The three islands are often referred to as the ABC Islands. As the island lies outside the hurricane zone, visitors are able to plan their trips to Aruba all year long. Surrounded by fragrant gardens, lagoons and waterfalls, the 14-acre Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino is an ideal choice for spa seekers. Guests can take in views of the ocean from a private balcony, included in all accommodations. The oceanfront Larimar Spa assists guests in balancing body and mind. A selection of services, including therapeutic and integrated massages are offered in the 13,000-square-foot facility.

More laid back than the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has kept tourism at bay by decreeing that no building can be higher than the surrounding palm trees and offers no direct flights to the U.S. mainland. Those who do make it to the B.V.I., however, are not disappointed. Hotels and resorts are spaced out, providing guests with the feeling of possessing an entire tropical island to themselves. Here, Peter Island Resort combines a balance of rejuvenation and energizing activity. Located on the fifth largest of the British Virgin Islands, the resort only welcomes 116 guests at a time where they can enjoy five beaches, including one that is reserved for use by one couple at a time. From scuba diving and island parties to luxurious accommodations and stunning scenery, guests re-energize while still having fun.

Dramatic landscapes mark the island of St. Lucia, with its twin volcanic peaks and rugged coastline. The island’s northern part is home to the most population, which also contain most of St. Lucia’s resorts. On the south side of the island are charming banana plantations and more than 19,000 acres of rainforest. Arranged around its own white beach and sparkling bay, LeSPORT looks like a charming village with its two-story white terraced guest buildings, cabanas, and spa pavilions. Guests indulge in mineral-essential seaweed body scrubs and facials, followed by an array of sports activities, while couples may learn how to massage each other during the Honeymoon Massage.

The Turks and Caicos, while off the beaten path, is a British colony that is home to the third largest coral reef system in the world and 200 miles of beaches. Made up of 40 islands, Grand Turk is the capital, and it is here that Christopher Columbus is said to have first made landfall on one of its beaches. Whale and dolphin watching are both popular pastimes. At Parrot Cay, the hilltop COMO Shambala Spa offers Eastern-inspired therapies and recently added a 6,600-square-foot extension. Fitness is a strong element to the spa’s program, and includes a Pilates studio and yoga retreats. The spa is a popular choice for celebrities who seek a low-key getaway.