Five Best: Hotels for hen weekends

Kate Hilpern hunts down the best accommodation for a girlie celebration
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The Independent Travel

The Ritz-Carlton, New York

If the hen's idea of heaven is to shop 'till she drops, The Ritz-Carlton's Fashion Neighbourhoods VIP Shopping Package could be for her. Guests stay at the 33-storey hotel at the foot of Central Park – within walking distance of Fifth Avenue – and enjoy a four-hour, chauffeur-driven, tailored shopping experience. What's more, there are private appointments in the VIP sections of boutiques and with designers in their showrooms. Breakfast in the hotel's new Laurent Tourondel restaurant is included.

The Ritz-Carlton, 50 Central Park South, Manhattan, New York (001 212 308 9100; www.ritzcarlton.com). The one-night package starts at $1,875 (£938) per double room.

Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel, London

The "Only Girls Allowed" package kicks off on Saturday afternoon with this chic Belgravia hotel's Cocktail Masterclass, where guests can learn the tricks of the trade and sample their own creations with canapés. Also included in the package is a three-course dinner with wine (a half-bottle per person) at the hotel's Mimosa Bar and Restaurant, complimentary entry to the exclusive members' club, Movida, and a full English breakfast the following morning. If you have any stamina left by Sunday, you're just minutes away from shoppers' heaven, with Sloane Street, Harvey Nichols and Harrods all around the corner.

Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel, 21 Lowndes Street, Knightsbridge, London SW1 (020-7823 1234; www.jumeirahlowndeshotel.com). The one-night package starts at £399 per double room.

Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris

The two last-ever episodes of Sex and the City were filmed in this quintessentially Parisian Hotel, which hasn't missed the opportunity to cash in on this point in television history with its "Sex and the City" package. On arrival, each guest is met with a surprise gift from Plaza Athé*ée's Red Line products, which includes scented candles and leather goods, along with a copy of the official Sex and the City book and Carrie's trademark red umbrella to hit the shops with. You'll be welcomed into the Christian Dior Boutique on Avenue Montaigne, which also featured in the last episode. And the star-studded Le Bar du Plaza Athé*ée will kick-start your evening with two Cosmopolitan cocktails – Carrie's favourite. Continental breakfast in the Alain Ducasse restaurant is included both days.

Hôtel Plaza Athé*ée, 25 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, France (00 33 1 53 67 66 65; www.plaza-athenee-paris.com). The two-night package starts at ¿€1,500 (£1,071) per double room.

Tone Dale House, Somerset

This Georgian, Palladian-style country house is ideal for a larger hen get-together. On Friday night, guests sit down to a traditional West Country dinner before relaxing in front of a chick-flick. The following day, ladies wake up to a Continental breakfast before going pony-trekking on Exmoor or go-karting or quad-biking in Devon. Then it's back to the house to be wined and dined by house staff. Sunday is a day of repose, as guests relax in the grounds after breakfast. You can play boules, badminton or croquet, or, at an extra cost, book some beauty treatments.

Tone Dale House, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0EZ (01823 662673; www.Holiday-Rentals.co.uk; property 2024). The two-night package starts at £308 per person, based on 21 sharing (or if there are fewer guests, the house hire costs £3,850 plus £125 per person for extras).

Mar Menor, Murcia

The majestic Mar Menor is a luxurious retreat on south-east Spain's Costa Calida. Billed as the "Garden of Europe", it is a diverse region of plains and coastline that gets more than 300 days of sunshine each year. The hotel's "Hen Weekend in the Sun" includes two nights in the Presidential Suite, where the sheer spaciousness and lavish furnishings provide an immediate wow factor. Also included is a closed spa experience, enabling you to take over the ESPA spa and finish off with a treatment each. There is also a chauffeur-driven shopping trip to Cartegena. Dinner on one evening and breakfast on both mornings are thrown in, too.

Mar Menor Golf Resort & Spa, Carretera Los Alcázares, Torre Pacheco, Murcia, Spain (00 34 902 500 322; www.intercontinental.com/ marmenor). The two-night package costs ¿€1,125 (£804) per person.

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