As the world heads into engagement season, love-struck suitors will be popping questions like Christmas crackers from now until Valentine's Day next year.
But once the big question is out of the way, the very next question on every fiancé's mind is "where will we have the stag?" With fairy-tale castles, romantic beaches and sumptuous ballrooms, the properties of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are famous wedding destinations of choice among brides and grooms-to-be. But what many betrothed couples may not know, is that when it comes to pre-nuptial celebrations, Fairmont takes the cake (model jumping out of it, optional).
The first bachelor party is rumored to have taken place in ancient Greece, when the soldiers of Sparta would hold dinners and offer toasts to the soon-to-be-married men among them. Since then, parties to mark the transition from single life to coupledom have become known as stags or stagettes in the UK and Canada; bachelor or bachelorette parties in the US; and, buck and buckettes in Australia. Perhaps inspired by celebrations portrayed in popular gal pal and nuptial flicks like Sex and the City and The Proposal, more and more best men and maids-of-honor are choosing to take their parties on the road.
For bridal parties looking for fun and memorable ways to celebrate, Fairmont offers a few ideas for pre-nuptial celebrations at some of the greatest destinations in the world. Just remember, what happens at the bachelorette party, stays on Facebook…Twitter…YouTube...
For Bridesmaids & Groomsmen:
His n Hers Hotels in Bermuda
With more golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the world, Bermuda offers a chance for the boys to play while the girls can spa their day away. Fairmont has conveniently located sister hotels on the idyllic island, so the engaged couples can be close, but not too close! For men: The Ultimate Tee Time Golf Package offers unlimited golf at The Fairmont Southampton. Package rates start from $579 USD per room, per night based upon double occupancy. For the ladies: Girls Long Weekend Away Package at The Fairmont Hamilton Princess includes $150 USD spa credit, oysters, Chablis and afternoon tea. Package starts from $1345 USD per room based on double occupancy for three nights.
Ski Bunnies in Whistler
Whether the group is comprised of ski bunnies or those in pursuit of them, the lively atmosphere of Whistler, B.C. never disappoints for a good time. With two world-class mountains, bridal parties can hit the slopes all day then enjoy the raucous nightclubs, sushi joints, cigar lounges and hot tub scene of the pristine alpine village. Where to stay: The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. What to book: Ski for Free Package, rates start at $259 CAD in early season and $399 CAD in regular season, with a two-night minimum. Available November 25, 2010 until April 25, 2011.
Take the Plunge in Mexico
Diving for the first time is considered by many to be the beginning of a life-long passion. Being introduced to a world of underwater life and near weightlessness is an experience recommended to all, particularly those whose life is about to change anyway. Fairmont Mayakoba, on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico is perfectly located a short ride away from the wild nightlife and beaches of Playa del Carmen, balanced by the tranquil Willow Stream Spa featuring a rooftop pool and healing tropical fruit juices. The betrothed might enjoy the Mayan-inspired Honey in the Heart treatment in the privacy of the treetop Cha Chaac Suite. Where to stay: Fairmont Mayakoba. What to book: Mayakoba Escapes, per room per night rates start at $229 for stays from January 2 to December 16, 2011, exclusive of spa treatments plus applicable taxes and resort fee.
Sheikh it up in Dubai
Bridesmaids and brides-to-be will love the bustling streets of the famous Gold Souk, one of the largest retail gold markets in the world, with a dazzling collection of jewelry glistening through the shop windows. Nearby, the Spice Souk offers an exciting foray into the world of Middle Eastern delicacies. Meanwhile, the groom-to-be and his menfolk can escape to The Mall of the Emirates, featuring Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski slope in the Middle East, a bowling and arcade center, a 14 screen Cinestar Cinema complex, a 500 seat theatre and an art gallery. Where to stay: Fairmont Dubai. What to book: Bed & Breakfast Package, rates begin at AED 1,159 for single occupancy, year round.
Absolute Spa in Vancouver
Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, Vancouver is famous for its ability to offer skiing and sailing in the same day. A mecca for celebrities and international visitors, the city offers great shopping, award-winning restaurants and microbreweries and vibrant nightlife on Granville or among the trendy clubs of Yaletown. By day, the Absolute Spa at the iconic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver provides hip and hangover-healing treatments for both bachelors and bachelorettes, including "Diamonds are a Girls' Best Friend" and "Absolute Man". Where to stay: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. What to book: Sanctuary in the City Spa Package, rates begin at $399 CAD per night, year round.
Wrap it Up in Jasper
For His and Her bridal parties looking for an escape from urban life, The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge provides a cozy mountain hideaway that will inspire brides and grooms alike to slow down and breathe deeply. The brand new 10,000 square foot Fairmont spa offers such delectable treatments as a maple-butter body wrap, mountain mineral ritual and a fir-infused stone massage. With a heated outdoor pool, there is no better place to refresh and unwind. Where to stay: The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. What to book: Jasper Spa Getaway Package, rates begin at $359 CAD per night, available year round.
For Bridesmaids Only:
‘Dream More' in New York
Bridesmaids heading to New York City can live it up and enjoy all of the luxuries that The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel has to offer with the ‘Dream More' package. After shopping at The Shops at The Plaza, grabbing a cocktail in The Rose Club, and getting glamorous at Caudalie Vinothérapie® Spa and Warren Tricomi Salon, bridesmaids can relax in a Plaza Guest Room or Suite. The Dream More package includes luxurious accommodations and a $100 stay credit for guests staying in a Plaza Guest Room and $200 stay credit in a Plaza Suite. Stay credit may be applied towards Plaza dining outlets or Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa and must be used during stay. Where to stay: The Plaza, a Fairmont managed hotel. What to book: Dream More Package, from $965 USD per night, Available year-round, based on a 2-night minimum stay.
Pajama Party in Scottsdale
With its warm sunny skies, prickly pear martinis at chic poolside lounges, and some of the best designer outlet shopping in North America, Scottsdale is a dream destination for a girls' weekend. Fairmont makes it even more girly-girl, with pink pajamas, pedicures, manicures, complimentary cocktails and of course, tubs of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Where to stay: The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. What to book: Girlfriends Pajama Party Package, with rates starting at $605 USD per night, available year-round.
DIY Perfume in the South of France
Fragrance will fix a moment in time in our memories like nothing else. Brides and bridesmaids can design their own signature scent in preparation for an unforgettable wedding day, with a trip to France's oldest Perfumery, Galimard. The perfumers will lead the ladies through a workshop explaining the perfume making process and each participant will take away a bottle of their own custom-designed scent. Where to stay: Fairmont Monte Carlo. What to book: Scent…sational Package, rates begin at €459 per night with a minimum two night stay, available year round.
Sun Salutations on the Big Island
Downward dog will never be the same after seaside yoga classes on the beach. The bride-to-be and her party will find blissful escape from the details of wedding planning at the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island of Hawaii. An authentic Hawaiian outdoor Spa Without Walls draws from the island's natural healing mana (power), featuring waterfall massage hale (huts) and breathtaking oceanfront massage cabanas. In addition to yoga and pilates classes, bridesmaids can learn to snorkel, paddle an outrigger canoe, hike through the largest petroglyph field in the Pacific or learn to weave a coconut leaf basket, all guided by the Orchid Beach Boys. Where to stay: Fairmont Orchid. What to book: Bed & Breakfast Package, rates begin at $319 USD per night, available year-round.
BFF in Banff
The Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs, nestled in the Canadian Rockies, offers the ideal setting for a bride-to-be and her best-friends-forever to relax, beautify and socialize in the clean mountain air. Featuring mineral pools under majestic snowy peaks, this spectacular mountain retreat and fairytale setting will leave the bridal party feeling refreshed and ready for the big day. Après-spa martinis in the lounge provide breathtaking, panoramic views of the Bow Valley. Services include the Alpine Aromatherapy Massage and the Rockies Rehydration Facial for a healthy spa experience. Where to stay: The Fairmont Banff Springs. What to book: Escape to Willow Stream Spa Package, rates begin at $539 CAD per night, available year-round.
For Groomsmen Only:
Tailgate Party in Chicago
Steaks, deep-dish pizza, blues bars, the Magnificent Mile and "da Bears"… what is not to love about a boys weekend in Chi-town? After a hearty dinner of bombshell wines, fine cigars and a wild night at the clubs on Division Street, groomsmen can bond over a Bears game at Soldier Field. Where to stay: Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park. What to book: The Bears Touchdown Tailgate Package, rates begin at $224 USD and does not include game tickets, but does include a Chef-prepared take-away lunch with Shaved Beef Sandwiches Au Jus, Chicken Wings and Tortilla Chips with Seven-Layer Dip. Available the evening prior to and game day only, based on availability.
Hockey Night in Montreal
Montreal is famous for its legendary bachelor parties and a night of Canadian hockey makes it that much more memorable. From Crescent Street to St Laurent Boulevard, the night club scene and trendy bars attract an international crowd. The real excitement is in joining Montreal fans to cheer on their beloved Montreal Canadiens, known as the "Habs". Where to stay: Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, conveniently located near the Bell Centre. What to book: Hockey Night in Montreal Package, rates from $139 CAD per night. Available when the Canadiens play home games, until April 5, 2011.
Pilgrimage to St Andrews
The Best Man will live up to his name by booking a Manor Home for up to eight buddies at Fairmont St Andrews, voted one of the World's Top Golf Resorts by Condé Nast Traveler readers and one of the World's 50 Best Golf Hotels by the Golf Digest Awards. After a day on the links, the lads can enjoy a chef-prepared barbecue before kicking back to sip some of Scotland's finest whiskeys while solving life's mysteries. Where to stay: Fairmont St Andrews. What to book: The Ultimate Manor Home Package, rates are £2,216.00 per night based on eight sharing and a minimum 3 night stay. Available until April 30, 2011.
Need for Speed in Sonoma
Heart-racing adventure and relaxed elegance join forces in this perfect combination of exhilaration and rejuvenation. Bachelor parties can burn up the pavement with racing lessons at the Jim Russell racing school. Afterward, they can chill out with a much-needed complimentary cocktail at the famous Lobby Bar at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Where to stay: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. What to book: Burn & Chill Package, rates start at $219 USD, not including Jim Russell Racing School component, available year round.