My big sister is getting married in a couple of weeks, and I spent a few weeks in May organising her hen dos. I've organised many a hen do in my life - I even set up a whole blog about it - so I threw everything I had at this. Obviously my sister is more than worth it.
When you're organising something like this, I always find it handy to see what others have done, so I've put together a little post that might help you if you're organising a hen do, a night out or a trip to Windsor or Palma de Mallorca.
My sister lives in Windsor, and wanted a day that she could invite loads of people to, giving them the option to attend part or all of the day. But actually, Windsor is a really popular location for hen dos and stag dos - we saw tons that day. The only downside with Windsor is that it's super popular, which means accommodation isn't the cheapest, but if you organise it early you should be ok. There are plenty of hotels right in the centre, including a Travelodge (we all stayed at my sister's).
We started with brunch at Bill's. Bill's doesn't usually take bookings for large groups (we were around 15), but as I preordered our food, they allowed it. We ordered a couple of bottles of prosecco with our food and got the celebrations going early!
Next up, we wanted somewhere we could play games and generally be silly, so I went hunting for a pub with a function room. I booked The Horse and Groom, which was perfect. It has a capacity of 30, plenty of seats and a pretty amazing view of Windsor Castle, as it's right next door. They were great. It was free to hire with no minimum spend, and they let us order food and drinks all afternoon, even coming up to the room to take our orders. They also let me in from 9am to decorate - I was really impressed.
There are lots of options in Windsor for dinner, but we chose Prezzo as we knew carb loading would be a good idea following an afternoon of prosecco, and they're used to big groups. It was fine, which was all we wanted.
I looked into bars in Windsor to spend the rest of our evening - All Bar One offered a function room, but it was a £400 minimum spend and even between 20 or so of us, I was a little worried about that commitment. So instead we opted to go to Bar 51, which is usually quite quiet. So quiet, in fact, that it had closed when we got there. Awesome.
Instead, we went on to No.5, which one of the Windsor locals recommended, and it was lovely. Small and intimate, but not overly busy - our hen do took up most of the bar, and the door staff even turned away people saying they were closed for a private event so we weren't hassled by pervy regulars! I was impressed by that - I mean, we were spending a fair bit of cash there, but it's nice to be looked after.
We talked about going to Atik or Scotch Bar for a dance, but instead we had an afterparty at my sister's. But if you're planning a day and night out in Windsor - or a hen do - hopefully that'll all help you get planning.
It was always the plan to go abroad, and in the end it was only 5 of us who could do it, which was a nice intimate number. We looked into Ibiza, but the flights were pushing £400 (less than I spent to go to NYC last year!) and so we cast the net a little wider. We settled on Palma instead, and booked this gorgeous villa in Puigderros. SO gorgeous, I can't recommend it enough. Big, private and with its own pool - there were 4 bathrooms between 5 of us and I got my own room while the other girls shared.
The villa was a 10 min walk from a big supermarket and shops, so if you wanted to have a super chilled holiday, you wouldn't have to go anywhere else. But it was also pretty well connected - aside from being a 20 min taxi from the airport, a 10 min taxi ride got us to Arenal, a typical touristy town with a beach, nice bars and nice restaurants. And a 35 min taxi ride took us all the way into Magaluf, where we spent our Saturday night.
What I liked about where we stayed was that you could have whatever holiday you wanted there. You could have the mad party one, staying up all night, hopping from bar to bar, or you could have the chilled one, lounging by the pool and soaking up the sun. Or you could have somewhere in between, or a bit of both. It would work as a family trip or a trip with friends, even a romantic break.
We kept things pretty unplanned - days were spent relaxing and sunbathing, and then Friday and Sunday nights were dinner and a few drinks in Arenal, while Saturday night was spent in Magaluf until 5am. I found the taxi service on the island really reliable and friendly, and they made me feel very safe (on one night when I got a taxi home solo, the taxi driver insisted on dropping me at my door, rather than 3 doors along, which the local ones round here would never do!) - many of them were female, too.
I ordered a few bits and bobs of hen do merchandise from eBay mostly, and I was pretty happy with my selections. Links below...
The bride-to-be wore...
And everything else...