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Vancouver is the place for a girl getaway

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courtesy of opus hotel


Vancouver’s Opus hotel has hosted such celebs as J.Lo, Gwen Stefani, Cher and Shakira.





Cindy Lauper had it right. Sometimes girls just wanna have fun.


For a little quality time with your gals, why not visit Vancouver for a good ol’ fashioned girl getaway. A hip and happening city of cute boutiques, yoga studios and sidewalk cafés, Vancouver will amuse even the most jaded of divas.





Here are a few ways to spend a day with the girls:




Where to play


Before you get your nails polished, get them nice and dirty. Why not spend the morning rock climbing, parasailing or speeding a NASCAR racecar around the track? Perfect Day, a Vancouver-based company that operates activities all across North America, offers hundreds of experiential activities for the adventurous at heart. Take flying lessons, record your very own music album or strut your stuff at a pole dancing lesson. From Mexican cooking to kiteboarding classes, Perfect Day has something for everyone www.perfectday.ca.






Where to get pampered


A trip to pHresh Spa + Wellness Club is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Body treatments include Thai massage, detoxifying fruit wraps, lymphatic drainage and, my personal favourite, the customized martini facial. The chocolate-scented mud mask, followed by the apricot whisp moisturizer, is gently massaged into the face and neck. The facial ends with a complementary eyebrow pluck and makeup application.





But the pampering doesn’t end here. You can spend the day chilling out in the Eucalyptus steam room, taking a dip in the outdoor pool or tanning in the rooftop garden terrace. www.phreshspa.com






Where to power lunch


Join a mix of pretty people and film execs for a power lunch at Glowbal’s outdoor terrace. This trendy grill and satay bar in Yaletown serves up some unusual dishes: sablefish salad with avocado and black tiger prawns or lamb with a Tequila lime-mint glaze. Wash it all down with a “You Glow Girl Martini,” a lethal combo of gin, Sour Puss apple and white grape. www.glowbalgrill.com.






Where to shop


No girl getaway is complete without a little retail therapy. For local, independent designers and vintage shops, explore the Main Street strip between King Edward Avenue and Broadway.





Check out Twigg & Hottie (www.twiggandhottie.com) for funky fashions and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Lazy Susan’s (3647 Main St.) has Jesus lunchboxes and Wonder Woman kitsch. While Lark (www.lark8thave.com) displays classic designs in a minimalist loft-style setting.





A new boutique to hit the area, Devil May Wear sells organic handmade hoodies, one-of-a-kind silkscreen T-shirts and undies made from soy. For an unusual purchase, ask for the “Bosom Cupcakes,” a sexy set of sequin pasties.






Where to indulge


Speaking of cupcakes, why not indulge in the sugar-frosting kind. Original Cupcake (1116 Denman St.) serves mouth-watering treats with cutesy names like Sweet 16, Mint Condition and Diva, chocolate cake with pink vanilla butter cream topped with sugar crystals. Baked fresh daily, no preservatives added, these orgasmic cupcakes are guaranteed to please your lips and go straight to your hips. www.originalcupcakes.com






Where to sleep


One of the newest hotels in Vancouver, Opus, has hosted such divas as J.Lo, Gwen Stefani, Cher and Shakira. Located in the trendy area of Yaletown, the 96-room boutique hotel is minimalist chic. Penthouse suits are pimp, with eclectic designer furniture: red lipstick couches, leopard print chairs and purple four-poster beds.





Voted one of the world’s top hotels by readers of Conde Nast travel magazine, a night’s accommodation at the Opus doesn’t come cheap, but staff do offer a few freebies like bicycle rentals, yoga DVDs and, when booked in advance, a personal driver. www.opushotel.com





Julia Dimon is editor of The Travel Junkie, an online magazine for independent travellers. She can be reached at www.thetraveljunkie.ca.