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Bespoke experiences for your next group getaway     

Get away with your closest friend group to reconnect, rejuvenate and explore new destinations. | By Paul Oswell | April 6, 2023

Whether you’re relaxing with an indulgent spa session, enjoying a private dinner or embarking on a hike, a group getaway with your closest friends helps build bonds and shared memories. These destinations have a wealth of ways to explore new places with activities that you’ll be talking about for years to come. Build your own itinerary and prepare for amazing memories in the making.

  • Sensational Seattle: Explore the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors before unwinding at the spa

  • Opulent Orange County: The famously laid-back West Coast is a wonderful playground, whether you’re out on the water or reminiscing around a beach bonfire

  • Footloose Fort Lauderdale: Dive into the area’s trendy dining scene with a private dinner in a striking dining room or on a yacht

Two people getting a hot stone massage.
Indulge in a group visit to the spa where you’ll find curated treatments suited for everyone.

Seattle

The Pacific Northwest is an ideal region for group travel, especially if your friends love adventuring in the beautiful wilderness. Seattle is the ideal base for group getaways, with its laid-back vibe, diverse topography and a healthy mix of urban and outdoor amusements.

For one-of-a-kind views of Washington’s vast landscapes, glide above Mount Rainier National Park on a five-star-rated hot air balloon tour with Seattle Ballooning. Back on land, spend time together hiking in the verdant foothills of nearby Mount Rainier, with its picture-perfect, subalpine meadows and the mountain forests of Longmire. Nearby Puget Sound is affectionately known as the American Serengeti, and your group can relax on a private boat tour of the Salish Sea as your expert guide points out the local dolphin, porpoise and whale populations.

For a more indulgent side to the city, sign up for a chef-lead guided food tour of the famous Pike Place farmer’s market, or a wine tour of Snoqualmie Falls or Woodinville. Your concierge at Hotel 1000, LXR Hotels & Resorts will be happy to book any of these activities for you. To get around town, make use of the hotel’s car-sharing amenity by reserving a Tesla for you and your friends. Enhance your stay with optimal relaxation for the whole group by booking a Spa & Stay package that includes spa credit, retail discount and bath milk amenity. The Spa at Hotel 1000 offers a comprehensive range of hydrating facials, massages and body wraps that will reinvigorate your body and mind.

Recount the day’s adventures over a private dinner at the property’s restaurant, All Water. You and your friends can enjoy a personalized menu featuring an array of local ingredients and fresh seafood for an authentic end to your Seattle getaway.

Orange County, California

This coastal Californian county is an ideal group getaway destination for many reasons. For this friendcation, however, you may want to focus your energies on the breathtaking landscapes of the American West Coast.

Some of the most coveted spots in the region are the area’s pristine beaches such as Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. You and your entourage can live the Californian lifestyle to the fullest, whether it’s through private surfing lessons, embarking on a stand-up paddleboard tour or via snorkeling or kayaking among the scenic ocean coves. Enjoy an eco-friendly leisurely day out cruising to local points of interest on e-bikes, while exploring hidden back roads, picnicking at cute seaside bays and taking in the breathtaking vistas.

While staying at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, schedule a full range of group activities — including oceanfront golf at the Monarch Beach Golf Links or yoga classes — with expert guidance from your concierge. Soak in the sun, sand and stellar service at the hotel’s private Monarch Bay Beach Club, exclusive to hotel guests and members. Hop on the hotel’s complimentary tram down to the sandy shores, where the beach team will set you and your friends up with lounge chairs, umbrellas and towel service for a worry-free afternoon.

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach, a AAA Five Diamond-rated resort, is a sophisticated beach house retreat perched atop a seaside bluff. Take in the panoramic views with drinks at 33 North’s terrace overlooking the Pacific before dinner at Bourbon Steak, the resort’s American steakhouse from acclaimed chef Michael Mina.

Image of group of friends relaxing on luxury yacht and drinking champagne.
From cocktail hour and high-end dining to mega yachts and mansions, Fort Lauderdale puts on a memorable show.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

This Florida resort town an hour north of Miami has enjoyed a well-deserved glow-up in recent years, with more upscale entertainment options for a thrilling group getaway than ever before. A new generation of restaurants have high-end dining rooms that make for memorable reunions with friends. Fresh seafood is an unmissable local specialty, with the chefs at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Mastro’s Ocean Club serving quality crab, lobster and sushi plates.

A yacht charter shows off the best of the Floridian coastline, and you and your friends can join the lavish Millionaires Row community (as well as their mega-yachts) from the comfort of your own private vessel, complete with crew and everything you might need for high times on the high seas.

When it comes time to completely unwind, the spa at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach is a uniquely suitable facility for friends to relax together. The hotel’s spa suite experience is a private suite that accommodates up to 12 guests for massages and/or facials, along with a memorable picnic on the balcony. The entire package can be customized to the group’s needs. The hotel also offers group wellness classes, including complimentary morning yoga on the beach, and a custom WeMoke electric Jeep available for rent to explore the Fort Lauderdale area in style. No matter what’s on your itinerary, a group getaway to one of these destinations is guaranteed to create lasting memories for all.

Paul Oswell is a British award-winning journalist and published travel author based in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States. His books include Bucket List North America and The Great American Road Trip, as well as New Orleans' Historic Hotels. He has also been an editor of and contributor to several guide books/editions published by Dorling Kindersley (owned by Penguin), including New Orleans, Florida, Orlando, Los Angeles, California and The United States. His work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure (both of which he has written multiple online travel guides for) and The Guardian, as well as dozens of international newspaper and magazine titles, and inflight magazines for major airlines.

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