Hen Weekend in Portugal | Cocktails, Dancing & VIP

Back in November my bridesmaids surprised me with a basket full of goodies and clues for my hen weekend. From then the excitement levels were rocketing and the countdown was on until Easter Weekend. My bridesmaids are my three best friends and I knew they would do an amazing job but it really was the most amazing weekend and I loved every minute. The holiday was booked through a local travel agent with Jet2, because of that we had 22kg luggage which was great and the transfer to the hotel was smooth. The girls had a few activities planned, brought their own games and goody bags and the biggest surprise of all was 2 of my uni friends joining us a day into the trip. I was speechless.

All Inclusive Stay at Real Bellavista Hotel and Spa
One of the first things I was told once we'd landed in Portugal was that we were staying in a 4 star All Inclusive hotel that doesn't actually allow hen parties. From then on we became a netball team... I understand that hen and stag parties tend to be rowdy and drunken but that wasn't going to be our intention in the hotel so we had to keep the hen side of things on the down low. My bridesmaids (along with the travel agent) wanted to book somewhere All Inclusive that would allow us to relax in the sun and enjoy spending time together. They definitely chose well as the hotel was brilliant and lets just say even though we were quite obviously a hen party we weren't any more drunken than some of the families there!

The hotel was a taxi ride away from the strip (about €5-6) and just over an hour away from Faro Airport. The hotel had 2 outdoor pools (which were freezing) and an indoor pool with jacuzzi, along with lots of gym facilities which we didn't go anywhere near. There was a bar inside and outside along with one with the evening entertainment. We weren't there for that but we did go to the quiz and karaoke on two of our tamer nights. We had no problem finding 11 sunbeds at any time of the day and there was plenty of places to sit, drink and enjoy the crack.

The hotel had food available pretty much all of the time and it was all quite good quality. Even the fussiest of people found something to eat and a few took the opportunity to try new things too. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel every day and took advantage of the chips, pizza and baguette snacks in the afternoon. The bar had a 2 drinks per person at a time rule but that didn't hinder us on getting through the cocktail list. A Mai Tai and Pina Colada proved to be a favourite with most of us, we went to the bar in groups at regular intervals and the staff were happy for us to make the drinks ourselves to help them out!

All of our rooms were twin rooms and they were all close together. The beds were comfortable but the air conditioning didn't work in our room which was really annoying. Most of the rooms had a fridge, but not all of them, and we all had a balcony of varying sizes. The rooms were a good size to be able to get ready and store luggage. We used one of the rooms to get ready for glitter night and though it was a bit of a squeeze there was 11 of us. We also drank and played some games in one of the rooms too.

Cocktail Class at Albufeira 66 
Our first activity was on Friday night once everyone had arrived. We headed down the strip to Albufeira 66. It's an American themed bar that runs cocktail making classes for 2 hours. My bridesmaids had seen the photos on Facebook and booked it after reading some of the reviews. It was a brilliant start to the night. The class started at 7pm and we had a bar to ourselves. There was 2 guys running the class and they were great fun, they knew their stuff and were happy for the dares to commence - lets just say I won the trophy for doing dares and was on the bar by 7.30pm. 

The class started with shots then we all made a White Russian. We were all making the cocktails at the same time so there was no sitting about waiting. After the first cocktail we played a game similar to beer pong with lots of shots as prizes. Then we made a Sex on the Beach and finished off with a slushy with a sparkler. 

The atmosphere at Albufeira 66 was brilliant, there was a band on and the place was packed. Cocktails were €5 each and all a good size. We stayed in the bar dancing and doing dares for ages. From there we headed off along the strip and that's where the spending money stopped. We visited loads of other bars and clubs with one of my bridesmaids striking up a deal before taking us inside. Everywhere we went we were given free shots, fishbowls, cocktails or champagne. One of our favourite places was Savannah Bar, or as we liked to call it the circle bar. We returned here on both nights for a few different reasons; it was quiet so we had space to dance, the DJ played all the music we wanted and we were free to dance on the bar. The staff there were brilliant, they helped mend my sash when it broke on the second night and they made sure we were safe when some men got a little creepy.

Dance Class at UDance Albufeira
On Saturday we managed to wake up all pretty much hangover free. We spent the morning sunbathing by the pool and talking about the night before. After lunch we got changed out of our bikinis ready for our second activity - a dance class. The UDance studio was a short walk away from our hotel and a cute little dance studio. We were booked in for an hour lesson and my bridesmaids chose Spice Girls Wannabe as our song. The dance teacher was lovely and she made us all feel totally at ease - put it this way we're not all natural dancers haha. By the end of the hour we had danced our little socks off and had a full routine mastered and recorded. We also managed to do the dance routine 12 hours later in the middle of the Savannah bar. What a brilliant activity for a hen weekend and I'd totally recommend UDance.

VIP Booth at Matt's Bar 
After relaxing with some cocktails and getting our energy levels up with dinner we started getting ready for the big night out - glitter themed! My bridesmaids had booked a VIP booth at Matt's Bar with vodka, gin, mixers and most importantly Blue WKD. Unlike on Friday with a 7pm start we spent a little longer getting ready and having cocktails at the hotel. We played some games then got taxis down the strip closer to 10.30pm. Unfortunately when we arrived there was a bit of a problem. Another hen party had taken our booth and drank all of our drink. I'm not quite sure how they got away with it but give the staff at Matt's Bar their due they sorted it all out as quickly as possible. Some of my hen party took me away onto the dance floor and my bridesmaids got the issue fixed.

Before long we had a temporary section in the VIP area whilst the imposter hen party were thrown out and the booth was cleaned. On top of our vodka, gin, mixers and Blue WKD we were given an extra bottle of vodka and Sourz as a way of apology. The staff at Matt's Bar didn't stop there, they did everything they could to make sure our night was perfect. We were given shots from the topless waiter and made sure security were at our VIP area to stop anyone coming into our section. We were free to dance on the pool table (as well as the podium in the main section of the bar). We had shot scavenger hunts and had free goes on the Bucking Bronco. The area was decorated with hen party banners and balloons and a member of staff frequently checked that everything was fine. What started as a total disaster by 3.30am we had had an amazing night and were ready to leave, the now quite quiet, bar and head down the strip. We didn't actually managed to drink all of the drink so a few bottles of Blue WKD joined us in our bags and we went straight to the Savannah bar. Again we were greeted with free champagne and the nicest staff. We partied until the lights turned on.

The next morning we were up after a little more than 2 hours sleep and ready to relax in the sun. Sunday was our last day and we spent it at the hotel, laughing and joking all day about the weekend as a whole. By the evening my face and stomach hurt from all the laughing. We've got pages and pages of stories, jokes and memories of the weekend. What an amazing hen weekend! I can't thank my bridesmaids enough. If you're planning a hen weekend abroad then I'd recommend checking out what Albufeira, Portugal has to offer.

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