Stag & Hen Destination
Somewhere that over the entire year averages nearly eight hours a day of sunshine clearly has one particular point in its favour. But there is more to Marbella than just the sun, especially as far as stags and hens are concerned.
Not many stag and hen parties go for the culture – though fitting in a little bit wouldn’t hurt and could give your liver a rest! – but there is plenty to be seen here with a little effort – the Roman bridge, the 16th century Plaza de los Naranjos in the old town, and the Moorish city walls.
What has made this city on the Costa del Sol (the clue is in the name) a major tourist destination – at its peak in high season the population quadruples – is the beaches, combined of course with that sun. There are about a dozen of them where you’ll find all the facilities to make life pleasant – though sunscreen and a lounger are all some need, plus a bottle of water to avoid dehydration – with more than 40km of coastline to choose from.
Watching beach bodies pass by is a cheap and cheerful way to spend the time, but during your stay the party will want something a bit racier, whether we’re talking stags or hens. Inevitably there is paintballing, where the groom’s friends try to paint his equipment with projectiles, and the hen’s are just as bad with more areas to shoot at – wear padding guys! Something on wheels is always a good option, with 4x4 off-roading, or karts, or the ever-popular quads. Slower but better for your bod is a bike ride to take in some of the more scenic spots, the mountain views being a favourite naturally, with luck spotting an eagle or two on the way.
The Med is not just to be enjoyed from the beaches – catamaran cruises with a glass or two, or for that touch of luxury a private yacht are both ways to feel like a millionaire for the day, and given other people are doing the work it’s relaxing. You can look at the stuff millionaires buy in some shops here, or make for the markets or the old town which has some quirky craft and independent places that fit most pockets better.
Taking it down a notch, again an option for day two of the jaunt, suggests that a bit of pampering could be in order. Not that we are jumping to conclusions, but a hangover spa could be attractive (and feel like a life saver), otherwise go with the usual massages and treatments to get you looking your best again and ready for another night on the town.
Speaking of which. Before hitting the bars and clubs a tapas meal is a casual way to fill the stomach (and the soul, it’s a fun way to eat), or if you want something more round-the-table-big-occasion there are all sorts and prices of restaurants in Marbella, from the cheapest to the sort that the Saudi princes and film stars hang out in when they hit town. Many of them come for the golf, as do the footballers in their off-season: Valderrama is the most famous name in the area, but there are many other clubs that you and your party can play on if that’s what tickles your three wood.
Tibu and Pangea are celebrated names in the club world, likewise Linekers in Puerto Banus but things may change so using an organiser with local representation and knowledge is a good idea, they will have their finger on the pulse. They can help too with airport transfers (it’s only 30 minutes from the airport to the town, but if it’s 30 degrees or more...) and sorting you suitable accommodation.
If you prefer watching other people dancing then lap-dancing and pole-dancing can both be found, (for hens pole-dancing classes may be a way to break the ice, and/or cocktail making classes to find a good use for that ice once broken). Strip clubs seem a bit passé but for the traditionalists such entertainments can be found, and the classic bar crawl is easily arranged.
Marbella is a fun place, known for it. As having a bit of fun with your mates is the whole point of your hen or stag do, it has to be worth thinking about as the venue for your party. Enjoy.