By the time a bride-to-be gets close to the date of her wedding, chances are, she’ll be exhausted. What with the guest list to negotiate, the dress to commission, the menu to choose and countless other decisions to make, a relaxing hen do could be just what she needs. For all the stressed-out hens – and their understanding friends and relatives – we’ve put together some suggestions for a low-key hen’s getaway that everyone’s going to love.
Relax in a Blissful Bali Villa
Massages, luxury spa treatments, cocktails by the infinity pool… Bali has so much to offer the Hen who needs to spend quality time with the girls as well as rejuvenate before the big day. It’s long been known as a destination for affordable luxury but Bali is fast becoming the choice for travellers who want a little 5- or 6-star pampering. The majority of the big hotels have world class spas, run by attentive, highly trained staff with expertise in making all the cares in the world disappear. Don’t just do it for the Hen – do it for the bridesmaids.
While Away the Weekend in a Winery
One of the most indulgent Hen Do options is a lazy weekend in a beautiful wine region. Australia’s Hunter Valley, just two hours north of Sydney, is the perfect, home-grown choice. Here, Hen & Co will have nothing to do other than eat, drink and be merry. There are over 150 wineries to explore but if following the wine trail by car is not an option (it is a Hen Do, after all), there are plenty of guided tours to choose from, with many including tastings of a different kind at various artisan food producers. The region is literally a food lover’s paradise and visitors are spoilt with so many gourmet delights to choose from – to fill a picnic basket or to enjoy in a top class restaurant. Accommodation is excellent and against a backdrop of quaint country towns, the Hen and her crew will be sure to have an unforgettable country escape.
Escape to the Byron Bay Hinterland
Lush rainforests, picturesque countryside, winding scenic mountain drives and charming small towns make the hinterland behind Byron Bay an ideal retreat for a relaxing Hen Do. The Northern Rivers town of Bangalow is a country gem, with its largely 19th-century streetscape of tall, verandah-lined buildings, big shady trees and quiet parks. Here there are plenty of opportunities for browsing designer homewares, artworks and English antiques or sampling the gourmet local produce – particularly the coffee.
Bangalow has a tranquil feel but holds its own in terms of fine dining, with some world class restaurants in town. It’s a beautiful place to base yourself for a laid-back Hen Do and don’t forget – the stunning beaches of Byron Bay are still reassuringly close.
Do (Almost) Nothing in Daylesford
Australia’s own spa town is located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, Victoria, and offers a Hen and her entourage the opportunity to get back some of what wedding planning takes out, with natural mineral waters and wellness retreats in abundance. The area is home to the largest concentration of mineral springs in Australia, and the water – rich in magnesium, calcium, silica and other minerals – is believed to cure all sorts of afflictions, from acne to arthritis. It’s also very likely to cure a stressed-out Hen. If the water doesn’t do the trick, Daylesford offers more spa treatments than you can poke a mud-covered finger at, from massage and facials to reiki, naturopathy – even astrology. In keeping with the town’s theme of wellness, luxury accommodation is easy to find, providing guests with a truly pampered, boutique experience. Hard core rejuvenation does, without exception, work up an appetite and thankfully Daylesford is also a town of gourmet pleasures.