One last hurrah for the bride and groom can leave friends and family members that choose to attend out of pocket, with extravagant parties costing anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. If your soon to wed couple are looking to go out with a bang it's likely that they'll opt for an overseas affair, with the cost of flights, accommodation, food, booze, and club entries to factor in. When jetting off from Australia there's plenty of popular destinations to choose from. We've asked around and selected the front-runners, for one final farewell to singledom, before tying the knot.
Hotels in this story
Amsterdam is a popular destination for stag parties on a mission to discover the perfect location for one last weekend of freedom. There are loads of day time activities to choose from, which include brewery tours, canal cruises, and bubble football. Nocturnal travellers are spoilt for choice in the the famous red light district, known for its sex shops, nightclubs, and red-fringed window parlours, that frame an assortment of women wearing next to nothing.
Where to Stay: The Dylan Amsterdam
The Dylan is a stylish, upscale boutique centrally located in the Canal Ring. The 41 rooms are split into six different styles, ranging from lofts with cathedral ceilings to all-white rooms to Asian-inspired spaces. All rooms have high-end amenities including Bose sound systems, stocked minibars, and Zenology toiletries. A cozy lounge, two bars, a brasserie, and a lovely courtyard with heat lamps are all draws, but the real highlight here is the Michelin-star Vinkeles restaurant, which serves contemporary French cuisine in an exclusive space with just a handful of tables. While some rooms are quite small and rates are high year-round, the hotel does offer free Wi-Fi and some rooms have beautiful views overlooking the canals.
For a pre-wedding bash, both hen and stag parties flock to the shores of Phuket in Thailand, with flights being relatively cheap, and the Australian dollar running a mile when you arrive. Resort style accommodation can be snagged at a bargain price, and in terms of what to do, the possibilities are both endless and affordable. Yacht parties, golf, snorkeling, fishing, quad biking, white water rafting, shooting ranges, Muay Thai Boxing, and spa packages are some of your options. Phuket is also famed for it’s nightlife, with plenty of lady boy shows, and go-go bars with ‘ping-pong’ and other ‘dart-throwing’ entertainment, designed to give party goers the full experience.
Where to Stay: Regent Phuket Cape Panwa
Regent Phuket Cape Panwa is a five-pearl property overlooking the Panwa Cape on Phuket’s quiet southern end. With a breathtaking infinity-edge pool overlooking the Andaman Sea, a private sandy beach, and tricked-out villas and rooms, the Regent Phuket is an ideal spot for couples and families seeking a luxurious tropical vacation with all the trimmings. Fun extras include iPad tablets in the rooms, a full spa and salon, and a free breakfast buffet. Those who would prefer to explore Thailand may not appreciate the semi-isolated location; expect a 20-minute drive to Phuket Town and 45 minutes to the airport. It’s also worth considering The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa Phuket, which has three infinity edge pools and generally lower rates.
Las Vegas, Nevada, America
If the film ‘The Hangover’ is any indication, Las Vegas is truly a bucks party experience that’s best summed-up as epic. Known as the city that doesn’t sleep, with casinos that stay open 24-7, there’s always time for a punt. Popular day time activities include Grand Canyon air tours, gun shooting, and pool parties. When the sun goes down things tend to heat up, with strip clubs, limo rides, and nightclub crawls tipped as favourites.
Where to Stay: The Palms Casino Resort
This three-tower, off-the-Strip hotel is known for its crazy parties and celebrity stopovers. It features 428 sleek rooms with up-to-date technologies; numerous popular clubs, and two large pool areas. But while there are some good restaurants, the food is not a main attraction, unlike at similarly priced Strip centerpieces such as MGM or Mandalay Bay, or even at off-the-Strip Hard Rock, which boasts a Nobu.
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand, a close neighbour of Australia is a cheaper option than many for destination do’s. Both bachelor and hen parties are drawn to Auckland with an assortment of activities sure to keep guests entertained. In the evening limo rides, pub crawls, strip clubs, and party buses are popular choices. During the day, New Zealand’s vast landscape lends itself to outdoor adventure seekers with clay board shooting, bungy jumping, fishing, and golf being most popular among the lads. For the ladies nude art classes, cocktail making, and day cruises to the nearby Waiheke Island are front-runners.
Where to Stay: Auckland City Hotel-Hobson St
The 138-room Auckland City Hotel-Hobson St is a moder, upper-mid-range hotel in the heart of Auckland’s Central Business District (CBD). Though housed in a structure dating back to 1912, rooms are strikingly contemporary in decor, and some have the convenient addition of small kitchenettes. Amenities are limited to a game room with a snooker table and an on-site Malaysian restaurant with a huge variety of cuisine options (including a pricey breakfast buffet), and while the hotel does offer free access to an area gym and pool, the facilities are a 15-minute walk away. There is a pesky fee for Wi-Fi (in rooms beyond the corporate floor, where Wi-Fi is free). Travelers seeking more facilities may want to check out the nearby Heritage Auckland, which has a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and even tennis courts.
Bali, a strong contender with Phuket in Thailand, is a seaside destination popular among both bucks and hen parties, for its reasonable prices and all-encompassing packages. There’s plenty to keep you occupied from the moment you land, with stretch hummers on offer to collect you from the airport. In terms of activities, top picks include fire dancing entertainment, ludih lady yacht parties, private villa bashes, spa packages, and babi guling; a whole pig spit roast.
Where to Stay: The Magani Hotel and Spa
The 108-room Magani Hotel and Spa is an upscale, contemporary property in a busy area with restaurants, shops, and the beach within a five-minute walk. Big, sophisticated rooms offer furnished terraces or balconies, and some have whirlpool tubs or private outdoor plunge pools. This fresh, pristine property offers a Mediterranean restaurant, pool with swim-up bar, and spa with two saunas. The business and fitness centers are modern, and Wi-Fi is free. Because of its desirable location, the hotel (and especially the street-facing restaurant) tends to be somewhat loud and can draw partiers. Guests may want to consider the Ossotel, another upscale option in Legian that’s less expensive and offers free breakfast.
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