Brits swap Hen-do’s for Zen-do’s in new survey

Women swap Hen-do’s for Zen-do’s as they scrap wild nights out and strippers for relaxing massages in beachside locations before they tie the knot

  • Three quarters (74%) of women today view a Hen-do as the perfect opportunity to enjoy a relaxing break before the big day
  • The vast majority (82%) want their Zen-do to be a celebration of friendship rather than fancy dress outfits and party games, with two thirds (60%) saying this kind of Hen-do is dated
  • Just 42% see a Hen-do as a bride’s last chance to go crazy and let her hair down
  • Over half (54%) of women have lied to get out of a Hen-do because of the activities planned
  •  Strippograms, inflatable toys and Mr & Mrs games are the Hen-do activities Brides-to-be dread most, preferring instead a good meal, relaxing, massage and other beauty treatments
  • Half of women (50%) opt for a self-catered villa or even more unique accommodation to make their send-off stand out from the crowd

LONDON, UK: Once upon a time, Hen-do’s were synonymous with debauched games, strippograms and fancy dress to celebrate a bride’s final days of freedom ahead of her wedding, but women today have revealed these are the very things that would see them trying to avoid attending. Research commissioned by, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, reveals that a Zen-do is far more popular, with women preferring a sunny destination, a massage and some cocktail making as their perfect Hen-do ingredients. Shockingly, over half (54%) admit to lying to get out of a Hen-do if they didn’t like the sound of it!

Almost three-quarters of women (74%) view a Hen-do as the perfect opportunity to have one last holiday with the girls, but they’re not prepared to slum it! Camping is an absolute no-no, with only 1% of women surveyed choosing this as their ideal Hen-do location, and instead luxury and convenience came out on top. Almost half of women (43%) opted for the ease of all-inclusive hotels, a third (32%) chose a self-catered and a growing trend for unique stays came out in third place with almost a fifth (18%) choosing something a little more unusual including tree-houses, castles, yurts or farmhouses.

While women aren’t quite prepared to hang up their late-night dancing shoes on a Hen-do, the perfect balance is to combine this with more relaxed down-time during the day rather than planned activities – 29% hate the thought of a life drawing class or paintballing, while a quarter (24%) of women dread karaoke being part of the Hen-do itinerary.

What do women really want from a Hen-do?

Cocktail making


A massage


Relaxing at the beach


A nightclub


Some pampering (mani/pedi/facials)


The Biggest Hen-do turn-offs

Stripper / Strippogram


Inflatable Toys


Fancy Dress


Mr and Mrs Games


L Plates


Dreamy destinations

A cold and damp weekend will no longer do, with Zen-do’s today requiring a far more exotic, and instagrammable backdrop. In fact, from the top 10 destinations chosen, only two were close-to-home UK towns. The sunnier climes of Barcelona, Ibiza and Marbella topped the list for the best sunny Zen-do locations, while London and the Cotswolds flew the flag for the UK. Culture wasn’t off the table either, with both Paris and Amsterdam making the cut in the top 10.

And it would seem that getting some sunshine really was a top priority, so much so that 40% of women admitted to planning two Hen-do’s, with 70% of those having one in the UK and one abroad. Interestingly, 34% of women were so keen to get the exotic Hen-do of their dreams that they had a say in the choice of destination, while over a quarter (26%) said they were involved in every single part of the planning!

Most Popular Hen-Do Destinations


















St Tropez


The Cotswolds

With so many luxurious self-catering options for larger groups as well as an impressive and varied selection of luxury all-inclusive accommodation, makes it easier than ever to plan an unforgettable hen-do. With unique stays taking third place in the poll, are pleased to offer a wide range of accommodation offering an unforgettable experience from modern tree-houses to glamorous yurts and everything in between.

Jitka Foralova, UK Area Manager, at comments:

“With the busy lives women lead it’s no surprise that they’re swapping the traditionally wild Hen-Do for some time to getaway and relax with their friends instead. And what better way to do this than to go somewhere sunny where you can recline by the beach and enjoy each other’s company. Women haven’t completely given up some of the more frivolous elements of a Hen-Do, but what comes through with this Zen-Do trend is a desire to combine nightclubs and dancing with daytime luxury, pampering and downtime in gorgeous surroundings. It’s also great to see the rising trend in women looking for something a little more unusual when it comes to their accommodation – castles, tree-houses and yachts are a great way to combine luxury with a unique and unforgettable experience.”



For further information, contact the UK Press Office; / 020 3755 6400


Research commissioned by and independently conducted among 1,006 female respondents from Britain aged 25-40. Respondent completed an online survey in June 2018.


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