27th Oct 2012 2:42pm | By Helen Elfer
Does the idea of a single-sex holiday fill you with dread?
Perhaps you associate them with dirty hotel rooms covered in squashed beer cans, unclaimed underwear and empty pizza boxes – and that’s just the girly city breaks.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve given the most yawnsome, outdated blokey and girly holidays a wild and wicked revamp.
Whether you want to sink into a steam bath, win a fortune on the punt, find bliss on a yoga retreat or go on a boozy bender, we’ve got a version that’ll suit you and your BFFs down to a tee – whether you’re a guy or gal.
The cliche: Lots of Carling. Location irrelevant. A few fisticuffs, a piss somewhere inappropriate and a hotel room left in such a state the housemaid quits on the spot.
For girls: Pairing beer and chocolate is not just epic comfort eating, it’s actually a bona-fide gourmet trend. Apparently, munching on bitter, high-cocoa chocolates washed down with a pint of Leffé Blonde is a taste combo straight from high-calorie heaven.
Or you could go for a sweet, dense, flourless choccie cake with a pint of bitter ale or Guinness. Go the whole hog and visit the Winter Beer Festival in Washington, US, where there will be guided chocolate and beer pairing sessions. Tickets cost £15 in advance, which includes six beers.
For guys: It is possible to guzzle a brew in a considered, civilised manner, if you do it in the surrounds of Portland’s Holiday Ale Festival in the US.
Aimed at beer-lovers who appreciate quality as well as quantity, there will be heaps of vintage brews, limited releases and other rare beers for the tasting.
You and your boozy buddies can get stuck into more than 50 kinds of hearty craft beers.
Put it like this, these won’t be the kinds of bevvies you throw ping-pong balls into or try and chug in under a minute – you’ll get some fierce looks from the ale fanatics here if you do.
The cliche: WAG-types laying out thousands on acid peels, butt-shrinking wraps, collagen injections, the works. Boring, expensive and pointless. Worse, a health retreat with pushy instructors, no fun and where celery sticks are ‘treats’.
For guys: How about an old-fashioned rub down in Istanbul? Male bonding sessions in spas have being going on since the dawn of time.
Try telling a burly Turk that getting an exfoliating body scrub is a girly pastime and you’ll soon find out the hard way that it certainly isn’t.
Seek out the famous Cagaloglu Hamami, which has a huge men-only section and has been the place to go for brutally refreshing back rubs and long steamy soaks since 1791. Entrance to the baths, with a scrub and massage, costs from £32.50.
For girls: The two major problems with most girls’ getaway spa holidays is that (a) you spend a fortune and (b) you have a horrible time.
Who wants to spend their holiday paying beauticians to tsk-tsk over their cellulite? Take the more pleasant option by visiting Bedruthan Steps Hotel in Cornwall.
Facials and massages start from a mere £19. And the real beauty of it is that there’s nothing OTT or clinical about the place at all – it’s simple, modern and the relaxed vibe guarantees a good time.