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Hen do weekends abroad for a lavish bridal send-off that she won't forget

Here comes the bride—but before that, give the bride-to-be a party she won't forget with a hen do weekend abroad.

As a seven-time bridesmaid and seven-time hen do planner, I know the slight dread that comes with having to organise the big bridal send-off.

Each hen do I’ve planned has been for a totally different bride with a totally different idea of a good time, so I’m going to share some of the places I’ve been with a group of giggling girls in tow.

Whether your bride is a raver, a thrill seeker, a culture vulture or just a lover of all things luxe, here are a few suggestions to help you make sure their hen do weekend abroad is one to remember.

A luxury beach break hen do in Marbella

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Marbella has long been a haven of luxury and I’ve had more than a few girly holidays here. The shoreline is filled with luxury beach clubs, pool parties and cocktail bars, giving you and the girls some stunning places to top up your tan, top up your wine glass and indulge in all the beachside bliss this area has become famous for. Check out Nikki Beach and Ocean Club for some classic VIP Marbella vibes.

This Spanish city is a great place to drink, dine and watch the world go by because the world here is a little different to the norm. You can sip on champagne while supercars drift down the promenade and designer-clad locals hunt the likes of Gucci and Versace for their latest retail fix. And a hen do calls for something different to the norm!

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Amàre oozes classic Marbella vibes for a sophisticated hen do—there are lots of whitewashed open spaces, signature scents spritzed across the hotel and music that puts you in the Marbs mood as soon as you wander inside.

Rooms are stark white and make you feel like you’ve drifted into the pages of a magazine. Outside, there’s a fancy beach club where you can enjoy cocktails on the beach, or you can lounge by the pool (the double sunbeds are perfect for girly gossips), where you’ll be given a buzzer to order food and drinks so you need never leave the sunshine…

Highlight

Visit the Old Town

Amàre is just a short walk from the quaint, cobbled streets of Marbella old town. If you want a more traditional Spanish vibe, take the girls to Flamenco Ana Maria for an evening of flamenco dancing.

Amàre Beach Hotel Marbella

Top rated
Marbella, 0.4 km to Ayuntamiento de Marbella
9.1 Excellent (3773 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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An adventurous hen do in Marrakech

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Culture, sunshine and adventures come together in Morocco, and it’s amazing that you and your ladies can get to this African nirvana in just over three hours. I was entranced by this city, for its fusion of African, Middle Eastern and European culture, for its beautiful riads that provide the best accommodation for a hen do and for its bustling medina and souks (they’re great for picking up traditional basket bags that are all the rage at the moment).

A Marrakesh hen do is also ideal for a bride that is craving some adventure. Get the blood pumping with activities such as quad biking in the desert, 4X4 off-roading, treks through the Atlas Mountains and camel riding in the Sahara.

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Bohemian bolthole Riad Anyssates is your perfect base for a Marrakesh adventure. Rooms feel typically Moroccan and are decorated with rich colours, but the real gem here is the courtyard plunge pool. It’s surrounded by lots of cosy corners and seating areas that are perfect for girly gossips and downtime in between desert adventures. The rooftop terrace is also a great place for mint tea and sunbathing.

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Relax and rejuvenate

Get in some pampering with a visit to a traditional hammam. It’s certainly a unique experience—it usually starts with buckets of water being thrown at you while sitting in your bikini bottoms, but it’ll definitely be a talking point of the trip.

Riad Anyssates

Top rated
Marrakech, 4.8 km to Agdal Gardens
8.8 Excellent (157 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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A hen weekend abroad fit for a culture vulture

If your bride is more art and enlightenment than bride-to-be sashes and L plates, then a Barcelona hen do is the one for you. Filled with endless culture, Barcelona‘s streets are some of the best looking in the world, and you can spend your days wandering museums and galleries such as the Picasso Museum and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (the Erotic Museum is a must on a hen do, too). Nights can be spent indulging in some of the city’s fab food, or you could even sign up for a paella cooking class or a wine and cheese evening.

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Give your girls an authentic Barcelona experience with a stay at Casa Bonay. Once an old apartment block, this hip hotel has a real Spanish vibe, with rooms that centre around a courtyard and have slick design details that’ll win you plenty of points with the bride, think whitewashed brick walls, Spanish tiled floors and lots of light to ensure you’re up in the morning exploring the city.

I’d also recommend the tasty coffee at downstairs Satan’s Corner, if you need an extra boost. The roof terrace is perfect for girly gatherings in the evening, the hotel often hosts BBQs and film screenings here, perfect for those chilled Barcelona nights.

Highlight

Schedule some sun time

It may be a cultural wonderland, but Barcelona also sits on the coast, so make sure you schedule a few hours of beach time here, too.

Hotel Casa Bonay

Top rated
Barcelona, 13.1 km to Airport Barcelona El Prat
9.0 Excellent (485 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.1 / 10
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A relaxing spa hen do abroad in Iceland

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Head to the land of ice and fire for a spa hen do that your bride won’t forget in a hurry. You can leave all your fancy lotions and potions at home, because mother nature has the edge here, with the world-famous Blue Lagoon and its healing waters that are guaranteed to keep your party zen. There’s also the Fontana geothermal springs within the famed Golden Circle, which is a route that will take you across some of Iceland’s famed geysers and waterfalls.

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Take the spa experience full circle with a stay in the CenterHotel Thingholt, a cosy bolthole in an old printing factory that keeps it cool with black leather walls, sculptures and black and white themed rooms. It has its own spa (which can be accessed for an extra fee of around £20 for guests), so you can extend your relaxation days with soaks in the hot pool, and stints in the sauna. You’ll be given a fluffy robe and slippers in this spa, which for me is a must when you’re getting pampered with the girls.

Highlight

City exploring

If you’ve had your fill of relaxation, take a wander into surrounding downtown. You can go shopping on Laugavegur or, if it’s sunny, lap up some rays beside Tjornin lake.

CenterHotel Thingholt

Top rated
Reykjavík, 0.6 km to Hallgrímskirkja
8.8 Excellent (3216 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.5 / 10
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Take the party to Mykonos for stylish all-nighters on a hen do abroad

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I was never cool enough as a teenager to jet off to Ibiza, but I have managed as an adult to get myself to Mykonos, which easily rivals the former clubbing capital. Mykonos is definitely a party island, but not in a student spring break kind of way.

It’s actually filled with stylish settings that are famously loved by the A-list. Expect late nights here, drinks usually start at around 10 p.m. and some DJs don’t start their sets until 1 a.m.—hedonism at its finest.

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On an island filled with luxury hotels that come at a luxury budget, I was so pleased to find bohemian bolthole, Poseidon Hotel & Suites. It’s the ideal spot for a hen do as you can wander up the shore to Little Venice, which is the perfect place for a more relaxed meal (perhaps at the end of the trip when you’re all partied out).

Rooms are typically Mykonos with white walls and neutral sandy-toned furnishings. There’s a seawater pool outside and plenty of spaces scattered with beanbags and loungers for a few lazy post-party days in the sun.

Highlight

Celebrate with a beach party

You cannot do a Mykonos hen do without a visit to Scorpios beach club for rustic beauty on the beach and Nammos beach bar for late and lazy lunches that turn into all-night luxury beach parties.

Poseidon Hotel & Suites

Top rated
Mykonos-Town, 0.4 km to Aegean Maritime Museum
8.9 Excellent (2434 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
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