6 Girlfriend Getaways You’ll Love for Valentine’s Day
by Susan Campbell
As a travel writer specializing in the Caribbean, I know it can be tough to find non-couple focused stays during Valentine’s Day week when everything is all about romance. Personally, I prefer not to have to witness endless PDA in the hot tub when I’m attempting to escape our frigid February temps. So here are my top choices for a tropical girls getaway during Cupid’s annual love fest. These girlfriend getaways are set on the Caribbean’s best islands and are guaranteed to live up to the “girls just want to have fun” lifestyle with lots of awesome activities that don’t require two to tango.
1. Aruba: Unique Off-Radar Stays
One Happy Island has scads of fine dining, nightlife and awesome activities, but you don’t need to stay in one of Aruba’s big box resorts; there are many new unique options ideal for a girls getaway.
Where to Stay: The Old Man and The Sea Overwater Bungalows is perfect for a few gal pals seeking over sea serenity Tahitian style. Or gather a big group (up to 25) and settle into three-story VIP digs Villa Royale Aruba a luxe escape that looks like something out of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. (It’s surprisingly affordable with a group!) Up to eight of your girlfriends can also share an awesome abode called Casa Alistaire over the water in lovely Savaneta where the aqua sea is teeming with tropical fish. Or, if you want to be closer to the famous Palm Beach action, yet not sardined in with the masses, then Boardwalk Small Hotel is the spot. It’s a lovely tropical boutique oasis right across the street from the tourist strip with its own beach access, amenities and service.
2. Dominica: Eco-Haven and Hikers Paradise
If terrestrial pleasures with secret water retreats are more your idea of paradise for you and your girlfriends, then Dominica is a hiker’s heaven you need to discover. With 12 waterfalls, 365 rivers, and over one hundred miles of hiking trails–including one to a boiling lake–your gang will run out of time before they run out surreal spots to explore!
Where to stay: A top pick for a girls getaway is Rosalie Bay Resort a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. Work out the kinks and sore muscles from all that hiking with yoga, a stellar spa and fitness regimes at this charming little cottage style eco-resort located where the river meets the sea. Soft black volcanic sands kissed by aqua surf and surrounded by green velvet mountains give it a distinctly South Pacific vibe though it’s in the heart of the Caribbean. Healthy eating menus are also available. Ideal for girls who want to stay fit while having fun on a getaway.
3. Jamaica: Hey, Hey, Hey, Montego Bay!
Learn to “ lime” and enjoy the “irie” life with your gal pals on one of MoBay’s best beaches at a choice of two adult-only sister all-inclusive resorts. And the staff at both is crazy good, and so much fun. Don’t be surprised to see your room service tray delivered on your server’s head, or your pool butler walk right into the water carrying your drink with all his clothes on!
Where to Stay: Choose from laid-back Secrets St. James or more party hearty Secrets Wild Orchid right next door for their signature Unlimited Luxury ® amenities. The resorts share a massive dining and entertainment village and a great beach, and there is lots of space to chill by the sea or get physical in the fray. There’s a small onsite casino, a big luxurious spa, and every room has a glorious whirlpool tub!
4. Anguilla: Live Your Mermaid Fantasy
What better way to bond with your gal pals than to channel your inner Ariel and don flippers to transform into a bonafide mermaid!
Where to stay: The brand new Zemi Beach Hotel on glorious Shoal Bay invites Mermaid School International to give classes in their awesome glassed-in infinity pool. On site is also a rocking beach bar, an incredible Thai spa, a rum room, and both casual and fine dining enclaves. More gal pal friendly pastimes include horseback riding right in the ocean with Seaside Stables and boat trips to private islands for killer lobster. And don’t forget to seek out Bankie Banx’s famous beach shack the Dune Preserve for live music–you never know who’ll drop in to jam or barefoot bop on the beach- it’s a legendary celebrity magnet!
Want some tips on where to eat on Anguilla? Check out our A Taste for Travel post on Unplugged Anguilla: Best Beach Shacks and Food Trucks
5. Curacao: A Marine Life Mecca
No need to be certified to dive if you and your girlfriends want to get up close and personal to marvellous marine life! Curacao has two very unique experiences where you can go fish finding without even knowing how to snorkel. Aquafari is a cool eco-friendly underwater scooter that allows you to breathe normally while trekking around down to 20ft below, and Substation Curacao’s Curasub is an incredible 4-person submersible that travels down into the depths to 1,000 feet below without your even getting wet!
Where to Stay: the historic Avila Beach Hotel offers the best of all possible worlds with a lovely beach, spa, a legendary jazz club and first rate rooms. Its within the hip new colorful neighborhood of Pietermaai with scads of trendy dining spots and off beat bars- all within steps of each other. You can also rent a gorgeous cliff top villa out on the west point, right beside an awesome snorkel spot, that sleeps up to eight people. It’s called Villa Seashell and it’s very affordable with a group!
6. Bonaire: Windsurfing and Wellness for Women
Although best known as a diver’s paradise, and Bonaire does boast some of the best shore diving in the world; it’s a best-kept secret that it is also one of the best spots on the planet to learn to windsurf! And kite board, too! The calm, shallow waters at Lac Bai provide optimum conditions and have produced world champions, making it a great choice for an active girls getaway.
Where to Stay: Sorobon Beach Resort Book through Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations for a curated women’s windsurf and wellness week that uses the island’s top instructors and best yoga and fitness gurus. Sorobon is a lovely newly refurbished boutique resort right on Lac Bai. Bonaire is also the only place in the world that makes liqueur from cactus! Sample it in the tasting garden at the artisan Cadushy Distillery in Rincon. And this island has surreal snorkeling, too.
So, with all these fabulous Caribbean girls getaways to choose from, who needs annoying Cupid, cheap chocolates and cheesy cards to enjoy Valentine’s Day? Take a girl’s getaway and celebrate you!
Here are some tips on how to find a deal for your next girls getaway:
1. Subscribe to receive updates or newsletters from your chosen hotel. For example, if you register (it’s free) to receive updates from AMResorts, you’ll hear about deals and specials direct in your in-box.
2. Get the best deal on your hotel by using Hotelscombined.com, a search engine that compares top travel websites (such as Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com) to find the cheapest price. Check it out below:
Here’s a handy Pinterest image ready to save.
Looking for more travel ideas for fabulous beach escapes for girls getaways in the Caribbean and Mexico? Check out these posts: