The wildest party destinations to escape to for a weekend

·6-min read
 (Alamy Stock Photo)
(Alamy Stock Photo)

MEXICO CITY

Favourite of A-gays from LA and NYC, the Mexican mega-capital is the next step on from Tulum for escape with a side of party. Cheap and chic, Roma Norte and Condesa provide tree-lined streets, a mass of bars and restaurants, and boutiques for daytime mooching. One of our number called the club Bon Bon ‘one of the best nights they’ve ever been to’, Domingo Santo Rooftop Bar is best for a bougie mezcal, Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons for cocktails and club institution Patrick Miller for disco balls and out-out dancing. You know what they say: first come the gays, then the girls, then the industry…

MIAMI

According to locals, the party never really stopped for Miami: pandemic or no pandemic. But now Bungalow 8 founder Amy Sacco — who for more than two decades was literally the key to NYC — says it’s having a moment. ‘Miami is a vibe,’ she says, ‘and the Faena Hotel is a scene in itself.’ Superclub Space has also been spinning tunes for over 20 years, Soho House Miami is still serving a scene and for pool party fans, Nikki Beach says its Miami beach bar has the brand’s most elite party scene with A-listers dropping in regularly for lunch. Time to drink all day, play all night, Miami style.

PARIS

French fancy: La Parouse (La Parouse)
French fancy: La Parouse (La Parouse)

‘The city is alive again and it feels so good,’ a Parisian told me recently. And when even Parisians are excitable about Paris, it’s time to follow their lead. For decades the French capital has felt very much establishment, only post-pandemic there’s a fresh wind blowing through the city. New ‘It’ hotspots include multifaceted-café-cum-club-space Bambino; Forest, a restaurant or ‘post-modern refuge’ at the Museum of Modern Art; and quayside landmark La Perouse, opened in 1766 and now suddenly white-hot again. Hotel-wise there’s a lot on, too: from Madame Rêve and Mimosa at Hotel de la Marine to the old-school Parisian grandeur of Maison Russe and the new Soho House.

VERBIER

Verbier (Getty Images)
Verbier (Getty Images)

The snow-capped scene of many a Royal ski photo-call is dusting off the establishment fust in favour of some pure luxe hedonism. Alpine ski resort Experimental Chalet as well as Farm Club reopen this winter — perfect for hot Eurospotting — as well as the launch of 67 Pall Mall Verbier, which will be the first European opening of the members’ club founded by wine lovers for wine lovers. It will feature over 5,000 wines, making it the biggest selection in the Alps. The resort also hosts the very cool Polaris Festival, plus there’s always the chance to bag an invite to dins at James Blunt’s or the Branson gaffs. Good luck skiing home from that one…

JOSHUA TREE

The party destination for the festive season? According to travel and lifestyle specialist Urban Junkies it’s Joshua Tree. ‘It’s proximity to Palm Springs and LA means you have a diverse crowd,’ they say, ‘and there’s something about the contrast of a night out at the Wild West-style Pappy & Harriet’s — an open-air saloon in Pioneertown with live acts — and then staying in one of the contemporary architectural rentals from Homestead Modern that feels so right at the moment.’ Add to that outdoor dinner and dancing (Kitchen in the Desert is a must-visit), sound baths, hot springs, hikes and star-gazing and you’ve got something approaching peak haute hippy in the high dez.

MEDELLÍN

Medellin Metro (Getty Images)
Medellin Metro (Getty Images)

Travel concierge company Remote Year, which takes care of your vacation arrangements and curates community-based travel programmes including remote workspaces, has identified Medellín in Colombia as the new hipster party haven. Known for having fun with a capital F, locals head to main party district Parque Lleras for its notoriously hedonistic nightlife and famous rooftop bars. Taxi to El Poblado’s Barrio Provenza for a one-stop street filled with live music, a relaxed atmosphere and a perfect balance of locals and tourists. Other party hubs are disco spot Barrio Colombia, and local favourite La 33, one street west of the river where tourists are few and far between. Yes, Medellín has its Escobar history; these days it’s a long way from Time magazine calling it the most dangerous city on earth 30-odd years ago.

BUDAPEST

Hungary’s capital is currently the go-to filming spot for Hollywood blockbusters (Dune, Midsommar and Black Widow to name but a few), while Covid rules mean many actors have three or four days’ break between scenes. Luckily there are more than a few options to fill the time. Try lingering over a signature cocktail at Muzsa bar within the Four Seasons, before upping the tempo at an iconic ruin bar. Meanwhile Sparty, the EDM night at Budapest’s oldest thermal baths, is ideal for visitors looking to get wet ’n’ wild. Head to Alter Ego Club for a spot of Hungarian drag, then on to bar Mazel Tov for a nightcap. And, if you see Timothée Chalamet sipping on Grey Goose in the corner, just act cool.

LISBON

Eduardo VII Park in LIsbon (Getty Images)
Eduardo VII Park in LIsbon (Getty Images)

The Portuguese capital is the perfect party destination for those in middle youth. A city of rooftop bars (Entretanto at Hotel do Chiado is the best), foodie destinations and interiors shopping make it a go-to for those who need a bit of time off in between nights on the tiles. Nuno Mendes (of Chiltern Firehouse fame) has returned to re-open the Bairro Alto Hotel restaurant, Sky Bar at Tivoli Avenida Liberdade is sleek and chic, while Praia no Parque, a beach-themed bar overlooking the lake in Eduardo VII Park, is one of the city’s hottest spots. The opening of Mama Shelter Lisbon in December promises to be quite a sceney spot, but for now Casa Independente has east London club vibes and Lux Fragil, co-owned by John Malkovich (yes), is the place to go for proper out-out dancing — the club’s rooftop terrace is a fine place to watch the sun come up. Hello.

MARFA

Often called the ‘hidden gem of the South’, the small Texan town of Marfa (population 1,831) is well-known within the art scene, and an alt party go-to for the super chic — and rich. Put on the map by the acclaimed artist Donald Judd, who headed west from New York and founded the Chinati Foundation art museum in 1979, the town has subsequently become a haven for magnate minimalists, with more millionaires making homes there per square mile than Mustique. Rumour has it that one of their favourite pastimes is to take ’shrooms and gaze upon one another’s art collections, but if that doesn’t tickle your fancy there’s always Marfan stalwart The Hotel Paisano (an old James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson favourite), a meal at LaVenture at chic Hotel Saint George, bar Capri and its killer hibiscus Margaritas, or classic Texan watering hole Planet Marfa. Cowboy cool, and then some.

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