On The Road
Six Destinations For A Stylish Bachelor Party
From the Scottish Hebrides to Mexico’s Pacific coast, where to go on a stag do in 2019
The pool at Cuixmala. Photograph by Mr Davis Gerber, courtesy of Cuixmala
So you are getting married. There’s plenty to sort out, of course: who’s coming to the big day, what you’re going to wear, what to do about those relatives, who’s going to be paying for it all… And then, of course, there is another spectre looming on the horizon: your bachelor party. Now we’re aware there are people out there who find these occasions – typically associated with the knocking-back-of-things and the tying-of-grooms-to-things – to be a real hoot, and all part and parcel of the overall experience. Yet they’re not exactly the kind of social events you describe as “sophisticated”, or “stylish” or, even, perhaps, “pleasant”, are they? Accordingly, ever hopeful that we can encourage mankind to be just that little more graceful, one baby step at a time, we at MR PORTER have thrown together a few suggestions for some experiences and destinations that you, the so-called bachelor, might like to consider so you can make a more grown-up and enriching experience out of your so-called last hurrah. So scroll down, and buck up your ideas a little, eh? (Don’t worry, drinks are still an option.)
THE WHISKY WEEKENDER
The Jura Distillery Still Room. Photograph courtesy of Jura Single Malt Whisky/Nat Geo Creative
Isle of Jura, Scotland
Located just a ferry ride away from Islay on the west coast of Scotland is the isolated wild Isle of Jura, an ancient landscape of mountains, lochs and stormy seas. The Jura distillery has an amazing property to rent, as well as the Jura Hotel. There is only one road and one pub, but, fortunately, it has excellent food and ales on draft. The distillery tour is one of the finest anywhere, and you can taste all the best whisky produced on site. Another option after a hard day of whisky tasting is to venture off on one of their great hikes, explore the terrain by mountain bike, or simply drink more whisky.
THE FISHING TRIP
The Chimehuin River, near Tipiliuke Lodge. Photograph by Mr Isaías Miciu
Patagonia has some the most epic fly-fishing in the world, and it’s a lot easier to get there than you may think. Fly to Buenos Aires (stay a night at the Alvear and indulge in all that this fine city has to offer), then catch a next-day flight to San Martín de los Andes for your stay at Tipiliuke Lodge. This is fly-fishing at its absolute best, in a premier resort set among 50,000 acres of cattle ranch, with thoughtful hosts and A-list guides. Needless to say, the renowned steaks at the asado (barbecue) are amazing, as are the Argentine malbecs. When you need a break from the fishing, the ranch can provide horses and guides to explore this vast land. And the nearby little town of San Martin has some of the coolest gaucho shops to supply your own asado with the tools of the trade.
THE SPECTACULAR HOUSE PARTY
Cuixmala. Photograph by Mr Davis Gerber, courtesy of Cuixmala
This estate – built by Sir James Goldsmith – situated on Mexico’s Pacific coastline, and set within the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve, can be all yours for that special weekend getaway with your best mates. Located near Manzanillo, Cuixmala is a direct flight from LAX. It’s pretty hard to argue against indulging in this luxury eco-destination with its massive multi-room estate and epic coastal views, swimming pool with beachside dining and bottomless glasses of margaritas. The friends you leave off the invite list, though, may hold it against you forever.
Panoramic sauna in the Bürgenstock alpine spa. Photograph courtesy of Bürgenstock Hotels AG
Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
If a pre-wedding detox is more your speed, there is nothing like the Bürgenstock resort and spa perched on the shores of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. The hotel has been around since 1873, but its recent rebuild makes it look like something out of a Bond film: cool, austere middle-European modernism with a view from which to plot your world domination. Indulge in the outside heated pool, vast sauna and steam rooms. The food is fab (even the healthy stuff), and there is even an epic humidor packed with Cuban cigars in the Bar & Cigar Lounge.
THE WINE TRAIL
Quintessa Pavilion. Photograph by Mr Matthew Millman
Napa Valley, California
For a wine-tasting tour through Napa, why not rent a house (one of your best options in wine country) and experience some exclusive tastings from vineyards such as Quintessa? It’s one of the world’s best wine estates with 160 acres of vineyard growing cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and more. There are private tours of the vineyard, winemaking facilities and cellars. But the highlight has to be their private-tasting pavilion, designed by Walker Werner Architects, where you can sample – and, you know, drink – all its best vintages.
THE RUM DIARIES
Rooftop pool at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski. Photograph courtesy of Kempinski Hotels S.A.
Cuba is always a good idea, and now there is finally the perfect place to set up shop for all your cigar and rum-fueled adventures. The recently opened Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski makes an ideal base. Located in the Unesco World Heritage Site of Havana Viejo, it offers spectacular views over old Havana. A dip in the rooftop pool (daiquiri in hand) is a must. From this central location it’s easy to walk to the best that Havana has to offer – otherwise, hop in one of the many vintage cars out front, for a cruise around town.