Real deals

What do women want? To go wherever, together

'Sex and the City' got lots of women going to movie theaters to catch up with Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha, and inspired at least one 'City' hotel to offer a package for women. "Sex and the City" got lots of women going to movie theaters to catch up with Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha, and inspired at least one "City" hotel to offer a package for women.
Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Correspondent / July 6, 2008

The three women, all New England nurses, travel together at least once a year to talk over old times, strengthen their friendship, and most of all have a great time. This year they were taking in the red-rock beauty of Sedona, Ariz., but they were hardly unique. The trend of women traveling together - in twos, threes, or larger groups - keeps growing. Among the latest offers:

Capitalizing on the movie "Sex and the City," New York's Shoreham boutique hotel has a Girls & the City package designed to let you experience Manhattan like Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda do - sort of. The package features deluxe accommodations for two, continental breakfast for two, two Exhale Mind Body Spa packages that include a facial, manicure, and pedicure, two tickets to the movie or another of your choice, two $50 gift certificates at the Sephora beauty shop, two cocktails, two Shoreham totes, and a 2 p.m. late checkout. Prices start at $789 a night through Aug. 1.

Visit or call 800-553-3347.

Gutsy Women Travel is discounting many trips by $200 a person if booked by July 31, and says it has also reduced the dreaded single supplement cost for solo travelers. Before the discount, a nine-day Amalfi Coast Discovery tour costs $3,709 per person, including airport taxes and fees, for a Sept. 6 departure with round-trip airfare from New York, and $3,767 for an Oct. 18 departure. The cost for solo travelers is $4,149 and $4,267, respectively. (A money-saving option is to share a room with another solo traveler.)

Visit or call 866-IMGUTSY (464-8879). The discount code is GWTSF200.

How about autumn in Bermuda? The Ultimate Girls' Getaway includes three nights at the Fairmont Southampton, a Little Black Dress Calypso Pool Party, meals that include an afternoon tea luncheon at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess after a scenic ferry ride, and a pajama party featuring Bermuda Karaoke Idol and other prizes. The week also offers a selection of motivational speakers and activities, including beach walks, Pilates, a cooking class, and sessions on wellness and sexuality, interpreting dreams, cosmetics, and belly dancing. Participants get a 15 percent discount on spa services and a 20 percent discount on scooter rentals. The package is for Oct. 23-26, with rates starting at $899 per person, including tax, gratuity, and resort levy.

Visit or call 888-495-2135.

For lesbian travelers, the Olivia website has a variety of trips. For instance, a three-night Fling Seattle!, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, costs $899 a person and includes a stay at the Hotel Max plus music, sports, and parties all week.

Visit or call 800-631-6277.

At Gateway Canyons Resort in southwestern Colorado, a wellness-themed Women's Week Warrior package, July 25-27, costs $492 per person and includes two nights in the Kiva Lodge, a welcome dinner and reception on Friday night and several meals throughout the stay, life coaching and fitness classes, and a choice of touch therapy with horses or a mountain biking adventure. (Touch therapy is a restorative activity that includes brushing, bathing, scratching, and massaging an equine partner.) Also included is a shuttle to and from the airport in Grand Junction.

Visit or call 866-671-4733.

In the Caribbean, a five-night Best Friends Forever Getaway is being offered by the Tuscany on Grace Bay on Providenciales, in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The package is highlighted by three-bedroom, three-bath oceanfront accommodations for a maximum of six people, a private 2 1/2-hour sunset cruise, one massage treatment per person, a snorkel and lunch tour on private Iguana Island, and a two-hour tennis lesson with a pro instructor. The package costs $6,636 including tax and is valid Aug. 1-Oct. 31.

Call 866-359-6466. For resort information, visit

Mothers and daughters travel together, too - sometimes in perfect harmony. The Ceiba del Mar Beach & Spa Resort on Mexico's Riviera Maya has a Mother & Daughter Spa Package that includes four nights' accommodations, four spa treatments per person, a welcome cocktail, private airport round-trip transfers, a fresh basket of fruit, a spa gift and a bathrobe for each, and access to gym, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment as well as to the resort's fitness program, featuring yoga, Pilates, and AquaFit. Prices start at $1,782 a person.

Visit or call 877-545-6221.

$800 off safari

Bookings must be made by July 15, but Overseas Adventure Travel is offering a discount of $800 per couple on September through December departures of its Safari Serengeti: Tanzania Lodge & Luxury Tented Safari. The 14-day program, geared to Americans age 50 and older, begins at $3,995, with a group size of 10-16 travelers, accommodations, most meals, as many as 15 game drives in national parks and reserves, English-speaking guides, and airfare from Boston, New York, or Newark. The company notes that last year, 8 of 10 travelers rated their safari as excellent and 9 in 10 rated their trip leaders as such. Having taken that trip, I would agree with those ratings.

Visit or call 800-873-5628.

China for $1,899

The Exeter, N.H., Area Chamber of Commerce had so much success with its trip to China this year that it is offering it again for 2009. The nine-day, seven-night trip will depart March 13. Included in the price of $1,899 are transportation to and from JFK International Airport in New York, international airfare, stays at four- and five-star hotels, three meals a day, tours in Beijing, Shanghai, and Suzhou, a lake cruise, English-speaking guides, admission tickets, and airport tax.

Visit or call 603-772-2411.

Wedding on the water

Charter a Lake Winnipesaukee cruise aboard the Latitude 43, and skipper Mel Borrin, who happens to be a justice of the peace, will throw in the wedding ceremony for free. An hour's ride on the New Hampshire lake starts at $160.

Visit or call 603-253-7811 or 603-455-2533.

Orlando dining deal

Throughout September, Orlando, Fla., will have its third annual Magical Dining Month, with participating restaurants offering three-course prix fixe dinners for $19 or $29. Among notable participants are Emeril's Tchoup Chop, Roy's, Graze, and the Oceanaire Seafood Room.


Mysterious old England

An 11-day Land of Mysteries and Monarchs trip includes tours of Stonehenge and the Georgian city of Bath, entry to the Tower of London, Berkeley Castle, and other popular sites, as well as an evening Jack the Ripper or Ghosts of London tour, and a murder mystery weekend set amid Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon. The ATP Vacations trip, available through October, includes hotels, full breakfast daily, two dinners, a five-day car rental, the Stonehenge tour with transportation, entry fees to numerous sites, and airport transfers. Prices start at $2,795 per person.

Visit or call 310-791-6101.

When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at car

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