The last single holiday

The last single holiday

Where would you like to spend your last holiday before you tie the knot? Here are a few bachelor/bachelorette getaways in the world...

Women on a bachelorette vacation in Aguilas, Spain

It is believed that the first traces of bachelor parties can be traced back to the fifth century when Spartans would celebrate the last night of their friend as a single man. However, it was much later in 1922 that the term ‘bachelor party’ was used in Chambers’s Journal of Literature, Science and Arts, a Scottish publication. Women, on the other hand, used bridal showers in the 19th century on the pretext of gathering dowry and preparing for the big day. It was only recently, in the 1960s, when bachelorette parties became an
expression of freedom commonly associated with alcohol and male strippers.

In India, stag and hen parties have been further popularised with movies like Hangover and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Now, Indian urban adults pack their bags and travel weeks before their wedding to an exotic destination with their inner circle. Here are the top destinations for a bachelor/ bachelorette getaway:

For luxurious getaways

India: Head to Gangtok’s Mayfair Resort and Casino in the foothills of the Himalayas. The eclectic hotel houses a 24/7 casino, a swanky Tongba Bar, and an innovative spa. Their private villas come with pools perched on wooden terraces overlooking the magical hills of Sikkim.

Maharashtra’s treehouse wonder, The Machan, is perfect for those who want a good mix of nature therapy, spa solace and private conversations.

Puducherry has been a favourite of many winter revellers. Wine and dine at the rooftop terrace of The Promenade. Stay by the waters at The Windflower Resort and Spa or the colonial Palais de Mahé.

International: Turkey’s Ottoman city, Istanbul, flourishes with its specialty properties like Ciragan Palace Kempinski, a member of ‘Leading Hotels of the World’. The award-winning Sumahan on the Water, a former Ottoman distillery, is known for its excellent Turkish cuisine and a well-equipped spa.

At a comfortable distance from India, Bali flatters with unique elements like Blow Bar (a salon coupled with an upscale bar), all-day beach and bar hopping in a retro 1980 Volkswagen Kombi bus, and of course, spa rituals at Prana Spa or Spa Alila Seminyak.

For outdoor lovers

India: Get a peek into India’s rich wildlife in Bandhavgarh National Park, which boasts of the highest density of royal Bengal tigers, and is also home to the Asiatic jackal, sloth bears, leopards, and more. Taj Hotels’ Mahua Kothi has many safaris and nature trails with certified naturalists. Pugdundee’s Kings Lodge sits quietly in a tribal village. Apart from their jeep safaris and village visits, their al-fresco restaurant adjoins to a well-stocked bar and plenty of open recreational spaces for conversations. Travel to Northeast India to get a glimpse of the untamed forests of Meghalaya, where travellers indulge in easy to extreme adventure activities like day hikes, kayaking, caving and canoeing.

International: Explore unknown destinations like Réunion Island, a small dot between Mauritius and Africa in the Indian Ocean. It is home to Piton de La Fournaise, one of the few active volcanoes in the world with many craters; chart out hiking trails of variable distances here.

Saxony, Germany’s underrated eastern state, fascinates with its stunning landscape, unique rock formations and easy outdoor trails in Saxon Switzerland. Hike, kayak, fish, cycle, or just take a steamer ride across the Elbe here.

Prefer going mainstream? Kenya’s safaris are most rewarding. Head to the ecosystem of Masai Mara National Reserve in the southwestern part of Kenya to sight lions, zebras, and the great migration of wildebeest, if in luck.

For food therapy

India: There is no other destination like Rajasthan for food lovers. Indulge in vegetarian delights like pyaaz kachori, famed dal baati churma and masala gatte; or choose between their non-vegetarian spicy curries — lal maas and jungli maas. The capital’s Choki Dhaani is famous for serving it all in a platter, whereas Jaisalmer’s Suryagarh raises the bar with its laal maas.

International: With precise and immense pride in their art, Italy has always focussed on making authentic dishes which are beyond pizzas and pastas. Participate in a cooking class with Enrica Rocca in Venice or Anna Tasca Lanza School in Palermo to get insider secrets.

Closer home, countries of Southeast Asia attract large groups of friends with their experimental food, affordable drinks and vibrant nightlife. Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia have options that range from simple to experimental.

For party hoppers

India: Though overrated, Goa is the one-stop destination for pre-marital send-off parties. No other state entertains affordable, late-night revellers like Goa does. North Goan localities like Anjuna and Baga have discotheques open till the wee hours. ‘Silent noise’ parties are catching up in northern nooks, too. South Goa’s Palolem is known for its laidback, lively late-night bars.

International: Beyond Indian borders, the list is endless. Spain’s Ibiza, USA’s Las Vegas, Japan’s Tokyo and the Netherlands’s Amsterdam are known for their overnight disco buses, strip clubs and 24/7 casinos, 24-hour open geisha bars and vibrant red light districts and indulgent beer biking. Or throw in Prague’s pub crawls which are a favourite with the bride brigades. Of course, there is Thailand — a destination where every woman and man wants to spend their last single vacation.