A friend of mine has been going through a made-for-television bad divorce. While talking with her one day, I recalled the “Sex and the City” movie where all the women hop on a plane and meet in Mexico for a great girls’ getaway – sitting in the hot sun, sipping mai tais and getting massages.
My friend could use a break, and it’s always fun to catch up with others in your posse. There are plenty of reasons for a vacay with women friends who share your interests.
I asked around for suggestions for the perfect watering holes with spas. Following are the three top vote-getters.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert
The exotic location at 74-855 Country Club Drive in Palm Desert is intriguing enough to make you forget all your woes. You can ride a gondola around the hotel’s waterways, which include three pools. If you spread out on a chaise lounge poolside, feel free to order lunch delivered straight to your deck.
Spa services include the $195 90-minute Desert Hot Stone massage, which uses heated basalt stones and warm cactus flower oil to massage world-weary bones. The Back on Your Feet treatment – $145 for 60 minutes – features an alluring kukui-nut-oil massage and date crème to rejuvenate. For $139, try the JW Naturopathic, a scalp massage and exfoliating foot treatment and massage.
The spa also offers a number of Ayurvedic treatments, including the $145 Bindhi full-body herbal masque; the $145 Shirodhara, with warm oil; or the Abhyanga herbal scalp and body massage, also $145. For $240, the two-hour Nirvana package incorporates three Ayurvedic treatments.
Rooms at the Marriott Desert Springs start at $269 and rise to $638 for a one-bedroom suite. Check the resort’s website for off-season specials.
For more information, visit marriott.com/hotels/travel/ctdca-jw-marriott-desert-springs-resort-and-spa.
Silverado Resort and Spa, Napa
The Silverado, 1600 Atlas Peak Road in Napa, gets points for its clever, descriptive spa treatment names, which it divides into Behind the Vine, From the Orchard, Garden Bounty, Muds and Minerals and By the Sea.
You can have a pineapple scrub with the 80-minute Volcanic Journey, which ends with a clay wrap, for $190. Or try the Chardonnay Sugar Scrub, which exfoliates your skin with six oils blended with Shea butter, a 50-minute experience for $130. The Olive Press or the Meyer Lemon Salt Glo, two 50-minute treatments for $130, use different ingredients to hydrate your skin.
The spa also offers treatments like the Wine Country facial and the Seawater Pearl facial, which uses boluses filled with red seaweed and liquid calcium seawater pearls.
To work on your wrinkles, sign up for the 80-minute Skin Authority anti-aging facial.
If body treatments aren’t your thing, a group of girlfriends can always rent 15-speed mountain bikes complete with tour guides or visit the area’s wineries. Just ask the concierge.
Room rates run from $195 to $615 per night.
For more information, visit silveradoresort.com.
Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista
The pièce de résistance of spas in the state may be Cal-a-Vie, located at 29402 Spa Havens Way in Vista, outside San Diego.
The four-night California plan may be a bit too pricey for most at $5,295 plus tax, but it does include three meals a day, three spa treatments, all fitness classes and a nutritional lecture in addition to the room.
Guests at Cal-a-Vie can participate in the resort’s walks, hikes, 100-plus exercise classes and more than 20 different “mind-body-spirit” classes.
The resort offers a women’s special for two from July 20 through September, if you like to plan ahead. It’s good for three-, four-, and seven-night packages, and allows the first person to pay full price and the second only half. That’s one way to save at this super-luxurious spa.
For more information, visit cal-a-vie.com.