Let’s be honest, the typical ‘lads night out’ as a way of celebrating impending nuptials is getting a bit tired. Maybe it’s just because grooms are getting older, but sticky strip clubs, rows of sambuca shots and a splitting hangover the next day have kind of lost their shine. Even when you try and spice up the usual routine by doing it in a different country, you’ll inevitably bump into a posse of British hooligans decked out in matching neon shirts that make you immediately regret forking out for the airfare.
Well, never fear because there is an alternative. How does putting your feet up and being utterly spoiled for a couple of days sound? Your mates can come and there’ll be great food – and also zero chance of you getting handcuffed to a lamppost or accidentally starting a fight. Think it might be your bag?
Introducing: The Spa Stag Do. Yes, getting pampered and lazing near a pool is usually more linked to hen parties than a weekend away with the guys, but have you ever been to a spa? It’s bloody fantastic! Here are nine reasons to convince you that the best place for your stag do is at a spa.
- No hangovers
Spas are generally geared towards embracing the healthier side of life, so while you might split a bottle of wine at dinner, the only shots you’ll see are likely to be made with wheatgrass or kale. Heck, the spa might not even have a bar (in which case, consider sneaking a couple of beers up to your room). There’s definitely no drinking culture, which means no headaches, vomiting or losing the rest of the weekend recovering.
- You will eat incredible food
As if to make up for the limited alcohol selection, a good spa will go all-out on their menu, offering organic local produce and cooking it to perfection. Yes, a greasy kebab has its place in the world, but this way you won’t have to carry around a feeling of shame the next morning.
- It’s not half as ‘girly’ as you think
Since when has taking care of yourself been exclusively for women, anyway? Nobody is going to trick you into getting your eyebrows done and they’re only going to put cucumbers on your eyes if you actually ask them to. Most spas now offer specific treatments, tailored to men, such as back and shoulder waxing, facials to clear hair follicles and manicures and pedicures to tidy up unloved feet. Plus, if you start to feel soft then you can take a quick dip in the icy plunge pool or book in for an intense Swedish massage to prove to yourself that you’re not a wimp.
- A chance to sweat it out
Not all therapy is about being primped and pampered. You’ll have access to a selection of top of the range gym equipment, although if you’ve not worked out for a while then don’t expect to look like Adonis after 60 minutes on the treadmill. Alternatively, you can try to out-cook your mates in the sauna – just don’t take it so far that you pass out, because that would be a pretty pathetic story for the best man’s speech.
- You won’t have to get “properly” dressed all weekend…
You’ll be given a clean, fluffy robe and matching slippers, which will basically become your uniform for the majority of the trip. Wear swimwear underneath and pack a t-shirt if you plan to hit the gym. The only thing to consider is the spa restaurant, which might have a dress code for dinner.
- …But you don’t have to be butt naked, either
If you’re a bit conscious about getting your bits out in front of a stranger, don’t be. You can stay in your swimwear, boxers or towel for almost every treatment – the therapist will let you know what’s most appropriate. If you get a massage, remember that your masseuse will be a pro at giving you privacy and adjusting towels to keep your modesty. You can even request a male therapist if you feel weird about another woman squeezing you.
- Escape reality
Isn’t that what stag dos are actually about – taking a few days out of your routine to let loose? Rather than boozing into oblivion and making a tit of yourself in ways you can’t yet imagine, this way you actually get to unwind. Lay by the pool, chill in the hot tub with your mates or get a professional massage to work out all of your built-up stress.
- You can still go abroad
The UK certainly has some exceptional spa facilities, but if you were kind of looking forward to tying a holiday into your stag do, you can actually find some excellent deals abroad. One of Europe’s most stag do destinations, Budapest, actually has some cracking spas and thermal baths for a fraction of the price of those in the UK.
- You’ll look great for your wedding
Come on, admit it – most stag dos leave everyone feeling absolutely knackered. On top of work, finalising wedding plans and keeping a frazzled wife-to-be calm, do you really need the added fatigue of sleeping off three days of solid drinking? The closer your stag do is to the big day, the worse it gets – giving your bloodshot eyes, grey skin and a puffy gut in all your pics (no, she won’t ever let you live it down). Scheduling in a spa session a week or so before the big day will make sure that you and your groomsmen will be the glowing picture of health when you tie the knot.