Celebrate your female friendships in style. Since its International Women’s Day, we want to inspire you to get away with your nearest and dearest for some well-deserved down time. Whether you and your girlfriends are shopaholics or prefer a relaxed spa break, a holiday is great chance to bond and make new memories. Let the fun begin…
New York for the shoppers
New York might be the obvious choice for a girl’s trip, but we’ve got some great tips for where to shop during your time there so you can really get to know the city. Whether you stay Uptown, Midtown or Downtown, you’ll be close to the action. We recommend the iconic Macy’s department store on Herald Square; everything from fashion to food to furniture is under one roof. On Fifth Avenue, the world’s most lavish designer labels and high street chains take up both sides of the street. Think Tiffany & Co, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier, Dior, Louis Vuitton, H&M and Zara. Madison Avenue is another label lover’s dream – Fendi, Valentino and Prada are just a few of the brands here.
If you’re trying to save rather splurge, Brooklyn’s weekend flea market in the Atlantic Center, Williamsburg is packed full of vintage and pre-loved goods. If you have time for a day trip, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley is a must for heavily discounted designer labels including Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Burberry.
Head over to fashionable SoHo to discover a great mix of designer, high street and boutique shops. Bloomingdale’s near Broadway is a great department store similar to Macy’s, while flagship stores for adidas Original’s and Prada are in the neighbourhood too. If fashion is not your thing, then Greenwich Village is a mecca for food, books, records, homewares and crafts especially along Bleecker Street and Christopher Street. Our only advice for New York is that you bring a big enough suitcase to return home with!
Marrakech for the culture vultures
If you and your girl’s want to immerse yourselves in a new culture, then Morocco is great place to visit. Known as the Red City, the capital of Marrakech is an exciting hub of activity full of vivid colours, sweet smells and the sound of street musicians and story tellers. Stay in the heart of the action in the Medina (Old Town) to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, or in the chic districts of Gueliz and Paleraie.
Exploring Marrakech, you’ll come across plenty to keep you busy away from the Jemaa el-Fna, Africa’s biggest square. Visit the Jardin Majorelle which was once owned by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, the main and biggest Souk Semmarine, and important places of worship such as Koutoubia Minaret.
The foodies in your group will love the freshly-made falafels, tagine and zaalouk you can find almost everywhere. Be sure to go for coffee or traditional mint tea at Cafe des Epices – it has a rooftop overlooking the Marrakesh spice souks. Close by, Nomad is a brilliant place for lunch and ice cream housed in a former carpet store.
Santorini for the sunchasers
Santorini may look like something out of a glossy wedding magazine, but it’s the perfect girl’s holiday location too. Pretty blue vistas and unbeatable sunsets are just a few reasons to venture here. Some hotels have pools like Splendor Resort and Scorpios Hotel, while others are all about the views. You’ll get a taste of traditional Greece too with its whitewashed houses and tiny blue-domed church in Oia.
You’ll need your walking shoes for a trip here as everything is on steep clifftops, so walking through the towns shops and restaurants is like a maze. Nearby Kamari and Perissa are the best places to enjoy Santorini’s shoreline with their volcanic black sands.
Although Santorini is largely laid-back both night and day, nightlife revolves around Fira which is the capital. There’s a great choice of cocktail bars such as MoMix and Casablanca, plus some nightclubs including Koo Club and Enigma – two of the best on the island.
Bath for spa lovers
If you want to stay on UK soil, then a girl’s trip to Bath in Somerset is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. What could be more relaxing than a weekend of shopping, cream teas and spa treatments? Bath is well-known for its Georgian architecture, Roman Baths and Britain’s only thermal hot springs at Thermae Bath Spa. Here, you can bathe in the Minerva Bath, open-air rooftop pool and enjoy massage treatments.
Elsewhere in Bath there are plenty of spa hotels to choose from such as The Bath Priory and Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel if you want to continue the pampering. Many have their own fitness suites, gardens and restaurants so you really don’t have to leave if you don’t need to. Being such a compact city has its benefits too: everywhere is walkable, you’re never too far from points of interest and the town is rarely overcrowded. In the city centre you can explore some great shopping destinations such as SouthGate retail complex, and the artisan quarter of Walcot Street and London Road. There are also plenty of tea rooms, independent coffee shops, pubs and restaurants to work your way through.