40th Birthday Getaway
January 5, 2015 6:08 AM   Subscribe

I need to plan an awesome 4-5 day getaway for my wife's 40th birthday sometime in late March / early April. The less time we can spend traveling the better. We are based in Austin Texas so anywhere in the U.S. or parts close by wouldn't be out of the question. I am willing to spend 3 - 5k. I am looking for specific recommendations on a city / town / resort we can go to simply have an awesome time.

This is meant to be a blowout! Think pampering / eating / relaxing / entertainment / shopping. I may want to include some of her close friends. Skiing wouldn't be out of the question but I would like to explore other options as well. A good answer might be "Spend 4 days at the Westin Riverfront Spa at Beavercreek" or "Get to Napa and stay at ABC and book XYZ". Tell me about the most amazing short vacation / experience you can think of and make my wife happy!
posted by jasondigitized to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
How about a cruise from Galveston or Houston? Easy to drive and cruises are very luxurious, adding friends is cheap.

I'd recommend spending a wad on a Super-Deluxe Suite. We had the Owner's Suite on Norwegian and it was amazing. We had a butler and a concierge. Espresso machine, three bottles of premium alcohol, bottle of champagne, meals in the chi-chi-foo-foo restaurants, a tour of the bridge, a special dinner with the Captain. The best part was the private area just for the premium suite guests. A special pool area that was mostly deserted, a steam room, I mean it was a completely different experience than a regular cruise. I'm forever spoiled now and I only want the first class treatment.

The cool thing is that if her friends want to join, they can get regular cabins, or you can get one of the suites that have 4 rooms, grand piano, balcony with hot tub.

Our room had two bathrooms, a balcony that wrapped around the entire cabin, a living area, dining area, and the bathroom was a spa in and of itself.

Cruises are already pretty luxurious, but the Premium Suite thing is beyond, beyond. The closest you'll feel to living like a millionaire without actually being one.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:27 AM on January 5, 2015 [5 favorites]

Do an all-inclusive in Mexico and/or Jamaica?
posted by eas98 at 6:58 AM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

How about Glenwood Springs, Colorado? Take the Amtrak from Denver through the mountains, stay at the Hotel Denver, soak in the hot springs, shop downtown. It has easy access to skiing and other outdoor activities. You can easily take a bus over to Aspen or Snowmass.

The Hotel Denver Brewpub has great beer and food, and The Italian Underground is an excellent local Italian place. Daily Bread is a good breakfast spot.
posted by neushoorn at 7:01 AM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

New Orleans? It would definitely cover the eating part of the equation.
posted by cecic at 8:11 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Las Vegas ticks all your boxes as well. Food, entertainment, shopping. Lots of luxurious hotel rooms, and pretty pools to lounge by. Check out the Grand Canyon if you're so inclined.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:19 AM on January 5, 2015

If she would enjoy a quiet and beautiful beach eco-tourism resort in Mexico, I highly recommend this one.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:32 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

It may not be your tasse de thé, but my wife and I had a great time at the Festival Internationale de Louisiane, a multi-day blowout with musicians from many French-speaking national and cultures. It's April 22-26 in Lafayette, Louisiana.
posted by underthehat at 8:40 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really love the laid-back vibe at Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It's touristy, but not as frenetic as Cancun, just up the road. We did the all-inclusive trip stay at the Iberostar resort for five days, and made time for side trips to Tulum and Chichen Itza. It still came to within your budget (although that was a decade ago--not sure what current prices would be.)
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:28 AM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Puerto Vallarta... hands down.
There so much to do there... & much of it is off the beaten path.... greatest time my wife & I had on vacation!!!
Goto Yelapa (day trip)... private beach only accessible via the water.
Visit the filming set of the movie Predator (in the jungle)... there is a cool restaurant there, waterfalls, etc.
We rented a car & drove north to Punta De Mita... there we rented a charter boat to take us whale watching & we did some snorkeling ....

The restaurants in Puerto Vallarta are fantastic & not very expensive...

All in all, the best time ever!
posted by foodybat at 12:45 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

small thing, but if you want more info on Puerto Vallarta it has been mentioned on the green a lot.

tons of good info in those links!

posted by knockoutking at 4:36 AM on January 6, 2015

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