GN Focus | Holidays

Bachelor breaks

Our resident man's man goes looking for the best holiday destinations for the red-blooded male

  • By Farhan Hasan | Feature Writer
  • Published: 00:00 May 2, 2011
  • GN Focus

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive/Supplied
  • As in the movie The Hangover, Las Vegas is just the right place to let your hair down

The bachelor party may traditionally be a one-shot swansong for grooms-to-be. Men however — married or single — need that sort of experience every so often. It is essential they be allowed an occasion to let loose and behave badly — an opportunity to ditch the necktie, the in-laws, and TV dinners. A change of scenery definitely helps in this regard, and here is a list of spots on the globe ideally suited to such an excursion.

Las Vegas, Nevada
The original sin city — and whatever happens there very much stays there. The strip is considered one of the liveliest stretches of real estate on the planet, with a flurry of neon lights and ostentatious hotels. The city is known for its decadent pool parties, lavish hotel suites and penthouses, nightlife and restaurants. Tao Beach Club and Wet Republic are two of the more popular pool party venues. Check out the suites at the Palms Palace and Mandalay Bay hotels. The Mandalay Bay also houses a Vegas institution — the Stripsteak restaurant, serving some of the country's top gastronomic extravagances. Vegas is exactly the kind of occasion that warrants going all out and hiring a stretch limo to transport you to nightclubs such as Marquee and Haze. There is something here for everyone, including an abundance of daytime activities such as golf days and helicopter tours of the Hoover Dam. One of the best things about this legendary party city is that holiday packages now make it more affordable and accessible than ever.

Kiev, Ukraine
A utopia of sorts for the stag, Eastern bloc states in Europe are known to have one of the highest women-to-men ratios in the world. The male-starved population hence is very welcoming to bachelor tourists and as such there are lots of activities catering to them. Plus the place just happens to be culturally rich with the Ukrainian ballet a popular fixture. Additionally, tours to the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl — the site of one of the worst disasters in human history — are quite popular. Oddities such as tank-driving and firing AK-47s are common activities for tourists — just the kind of adrenalin release lauded by stag-doers. Though expensive, go a step further and you can experience a ride in a fighter jet. Tour companies also arrange pranks to be played on your friends, one of which is a staged mafia-style kidnapping! There is a lot going on in this city, aside from the famous nightlife.

Beirut, Lebanon
Beirut may have had a rough history, but that hasn't prevented it from cementing its reputation as one of the most charming cities in the world. It is a true blend of cultures, with European, Levantine and Arabic influences witnessed everywhere. Its European personality has accounted for a prominent café culture in the city. Historically rich squares such as Place de l'Etoile are littered with coffee drinkers watching the world go by, offering microcosms of Paris in certain parts. The trilingual local population has a reputation for being very sociable and outgoing. It is not a surprise therefore that the nightlife in Beirut is seen as the very best in the Middle East. There is a strong emphasis on high fashion, so before visiting globally recognised spots such as Skybar, White and BO18, be sure to dress up. The Ashrafieh district is one of the most happening around town. The Beirut jazz and film festivals are also great options for those with cultural appetites. In terms of activities, Lebanon is a great destination to experience both seaside sports and skiing in places such as Faraya and Mzaar.

Ibiza, Spain
Considered by most to be the party capital of the world, Ibiza is a fantastic blend of dance clubs, scenic beaches and equally scenic people. It is the home of house and techno, with the world's greatest DJs residing in its phenomenal night clubs. Privilege is one such club that boasts the largest dance floor in the world — hosting DJ Tiësto, widely acknowledged as the world's top DJ, on a regular occasion. Other clubs include Pacha, Amnesia (residents of which include Paul Van Dyk), and Space — a club that has been voted the best in the world by several DJ magazines. Though the vast majority of tourists, mainly British, are club-goers, the island has more to offer than simply the nightlife. It is home to a handful of magnificent caves and rock faces. Es Vedra is an island rock on the west coast — a much frequented attraction due to its mysterious nature. Then there is the hidden cove of Atlantis — the location of which is a local secret, so it might pay to make some friends while in town. Cova de Can Marca is the sight for the biggest natural caves on the island in Puerto de San Miguel. Ibiza is small enough to discover on foot, and an ideal setting for some bachelor wolf-pack exploration.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
With its beaches, beautiful inhabitants and infectious dance culture, it is a buzzing landscape of Latin charm. For a bachelor break, it is probably best to hit Rio during the Carnival season in the first quarter of the year when the city comes alive with parades and celebrations. It might also be a good idea to align a bachelor break with the upcoming Fifa World Cup in 2014. Copacabana beach, situated near the centre of town, providing great views of the metropolis and Sugarloaf Mountain, is a must-see, not to mention the barrage of Brazilian beauties sure to cramp your neck. It would be a shame to go to Brazil without paying a visit to one of the Samba clubs. Lapa is the nightlife district of Rio where venues such as the three-storey Rio Scenarium are in abundance.

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