The typical bachelorette party—involving a plastic tiara and veil, one too many shots, and embarrassing tasks dreamed up by your oh-so-creative friends—is one way to mark your final days of singlehood. But consider borrowing a page from the old-boys’ book and planning an entire weekend for you and your girlfriends doing whatever it is that you love to do.
The typical bachelorette party—involving a plastic tiara and veil, one too many shots, and embarrassing tasks dreamed up by your oh-so-creative friends—is one way to mark your final days of singlehood. But consider borrowing a page from the old-boys’ book and planning an entire weekend for you and your girlfriends doing whatever it is that you love to do. (We’re guessing that it doesn’t include a scavenger hunt through a strip club.) If a few guys are your best platonic pals, they’re welcome too—but leave your intended at home.
We did the research for you and assembled itineraries for three fabulous expeditions: an outdoorsy adventure, a spa chill out and a weekend on the town. Whether your tastes run to Outside magazine or reruns of Sex and the City, we’ve got you covered.
The Great Outdoors
Give yourself permission to play outside all day. A perfect home base is the Hawk Inn & Mountain Resort (Rt. 100, Plymouth, Vermont 802-672-3811). Start the celebration on the way to the resort with dinner at Simon Pearce Restaurant (1760 Main St., Quechee, Vermont, 802-295-1470), where elegant dishes filled with locally grown seasonal ingredients are plated on pottery crafted in the adjacent studio.
Spend the next day mountain biking (bikes and trail maps are available at the resort), hiking the beginner, intermediate and expert trails, or kayaking the resort’s Lake Amherst. “We can help set up any outdoor activity,” says Kelly Calvin, manager of guest services. “We’ll pack a lunch for the trail, give fly-fishing lessons—whatever you want to do.”
If the girls are feeling less rugged, more country club? Try a round of golf at the nearby Green Mountain National Golf Course (Rt. 100, Killington, Vermont, 802-422-4653). However you get moving, reward yourselves with hydrotherapy massages at the newly renovated Hawk Spa. “It’s very soothing for sore muscles,” Calvin says.
Don’t forget to pack a good camera: get someone to take a photo of your crew in this beautiful setting, and make sure everyone gets a copy—perhaps in a Vermont-crafted classic pewter Queen Anne Danforth photo frame (find them at www.-handmadeinvermont.com).
Sink into the soothing escape you really need before the craziness of the wedding with a sybaritic spa mini-vacation.
If nothing’s too good for your girls, head for the Berkshires and the famed Canyon Ranch (165 Kemble St., Lenox 413-637-4100). For one package price, every last detail of your stay will be taken care of. The resort’s all-inclusive getaway features lunches complete with cooking demonstations; health and fitness assessments by a registered nurse; beds made with comfy Frette linens; and use of all spa facilites, indoor and outdoor pools, and tennis and sports courts with no extra fees.
Or try a lower-profile spot, nestled near Mount Mansfield in the idyllic-but-stylish town of Stowe, Vermont: the Stoweflake Resort & Spa (1746 Mountain Road, 802-253-7355). Kick off your days at Stoweflake with an active pursuit, such as a group yoga or Pilates class, a guided walking trip, tennis or an easy round of golf on the nine-hole par-three course.
Then it’s time to chill. Spa staffers are happy to assemble a slate of treatments—including signature services such as the maple sugar body polish, the Green Mountain herbal clay wrap and seasonal “renewals”—to meet your needs.
“Of course, we tend to do a lot of manicures, pedicures, facials and massages for groups of women,” says Kathy Wheelwright, Stoweflake’s assistant spa director. “After or between treatments, women can gather with their friends at the beautiful spa cafe next to the pool and enjoy mimosas or champagne together.” Ask for spa suites, directly above the spa, and “you won’t even have to enter the general hotel to get to your next treatment,” she says.
If you can emerge from your blissed-out state long enough to leave your hotel room in the evening, try dinner at Blue Moon Café (35 School St., 802-253-7006). The weekly-changing menu incorporates fresh, seasonal ingredients—local greens, Vermont cheeses, foraged mushrooms—in its creative preparations.
Otherwise, call for room service and wine from a Wine Spectator award of excellence-winning list from Winfield’s, Stoweflake’s delectable on-site gourmet spot. When it’s time to leave (trust us, you won’t want to), put together relaxation reminders for all the ladies to bring home in the form of gift bags filled with spa products from Elements, the Stoweflake’s spa boutique.
There’s no need to leave the comforts of the city behind to have an escapist weekend. Make the Hotel Commonwealth (500 Commonwealth Ave., 617-933-5000), in the “it” neighborhood of the moment, Kenmore Square, your Boston headquarters. The hotel loves hosting groups of women enjoying a getaway, and can assemble packages, connect suites and provide a limousine to squire you about town. The hotel’s brand-new Runaway Bride package includes champagne and strawberries, coupons and vouchers for nearby boutiques, and even a pair of New Balance sneakers for the bride.
“Really, we can facilitate any request,” says Tim Kirwan, managing director of the hotel. Start your urban outing with shopping at the hotel itself, in the new and superhot boutiques Jean Therapy (524 Commonwealth Ave., 617-266-6555) and Fanny and Delphine (522 Commonwealth Ave., 617-266-2006).
Then venture to the Newbury Street area, where you can jazz up fingers and toes with manis and pedis from G Spa (35 Newbury St., 617-267-4772) and do a little more buying at hot shops like Louis Boston (234 Berkeley St., 617-262-6100), Stel’s (334 Newbury St., 617-262-3348) and the new Whim (253 Newbury St., 617-437-7600).
Ready for a night on the town? Start by scoping the great-looking scene in the bar at Excelsior (272 Boylston St., 617-426-7878), then return to Kenmore Square for classic cocktails and a dinner table that will accommodate your entire group at Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (528 Commonwealth Ave., 617-532-9100). If you are not too hungry and want a hipper vibe, small Japanese-inspired plates and cool drinks flow at the Foundation Lounge (500 Commonwealth Ave., 617-859-9900).
Commemorate your trip with baubles from Persona (504 Commonwealth Ave., 617-266-3003), the jewelry boutique right inside the Hotel Commonwealth.