If you can party till dawn, we have the holiday for you. Kelli Armstrong explores the hottest beach party destinations, just a few hours away.
After a year grinding it out in the office and sweating it out in the gym, it’s time to ditch the rules and hit full throttle on the good times. Flaunt your hard-earned fitness with an experience that sniffs at your former backpacking days, but still caters to hard partying.
We’ve sourced the most accessible and debauched destinations in Australia and Southeast Asia, home to stunning beaches and postcard vistas. Here’s where you’ll find the hottest beach clubs, glamorous pool bars and hedonistic dance floors — it’s all about less clothing and more flesh, perfect for showing off all your hard work.
Pull up a banana lounge at one of the many glamorous beach clubs, where you’ll find plenty of gorgeous folk showing off toned and tanned bodies while sipping cocktails from infinity pool bars.
Discover endless dining options, including sophisticated offerings from celebrity chef Will Meyreck of Sarong fame. His latest, Som Chai, is a fine dining location brimming with opulence. Performance artists set the tone for after-hours frivolity with live music. Sydney’s Mrs Sippy has set up a pool bar/restaurant where you can soak up tropical vibes with the cool kids. And Maurice Terzini of Icebergs fame has cashed in with pizza-slash-disco spot, Da Maria.
When the party has ended, shake off your hangover at Eden Life in Seminyak. Focused on wellness and self-improvement, the clinic houses an uber-trendy IV Lounge for hydration and rejuvenation.
- Finn’s Beach Club, Canggu. Cocktails, DJ sets and to-die-for sunsets right on the famous Berawa Beach surf break.
- Mrs Sippy, Seminyak. This place gets the party scene rolling into the afternoon and evening.
- Potato Head, Seminyak. Three restaurants, two bars, an infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean and international DJs spinning tunes well beyond dusk. What more could you possibly ask for?
- Som Chai Bar & Restaurant, Kerobokan. Will Meyreck’s latest culinary endeavour.
- Da Maria, Bali. Iceberg’s Maurice Terzini’s disco pizza joint proves a great night out.
- Motel Mexicola, Seminyak. You won’t forget a night out at this sexy Mexican joint.
- Karma Kandara, Uluwatu. A magnificent resort perched atop a cliff in a remote location that features 54 villas with private courtyards and pools.
- Villa Jaipur, Umalas. This 5-bedroom villa of resort proportions features lush gardens, a huge pool and full-time staff to cater to all your needs. Ideal for group travel.
Boracay, The Philippines
You might not think of the Philippines as a party destination, but the island of Boracay is now a glamorous go-to for lovers of the high life.
White Beach is regularly ranked among the best beaches in the world for its powdery white sand and sparkling water, and is a hub for cool bars and clubs. It’s divided into three stations, but it’s at Station 2 that the midnight lifestyle peaks.
Epic Bar is both a dining and a dancing venue, and hosts one of the longest happy hours on the island. It brings big-name DJs to its massive parties and serves affordable food and drink.
Club Galaxy is a new kid on the beach that prides itself on sound excellence, a seductive ambience and superior service. VIP sofas and cocktails are for the very beautiful only.
A wild time can also be had at Area 51, which hosts full and half-moon parties.
After an endless night of dancing, recuperate with some action on the water. There’s plenty of SUP, kayaking, jet skiing and fun to be had.
- Area 51. A top secret party destination.
- Epic Nightclub. The best destination for dancing, drinking and dining.
- Dos Mestizos. Spanish cuisine of Castilian origin that speaks to the history of the Philippines.
- The District Boracay. A boutique hotel on the shore (above) near happening Station 2.
- Shangri La Resort & Spa. The ultimate luxury property featuring rooms, suites, and villas with private pools.
The largest of Thailand’s islands, Phuket has six-star resorts by azure waters, upscale go-go bars, sexy beach clubs and multi-level nightclubs serving up epic experiences.
During the day, Xana Beach Club is for the sun-worshiping heavenly bodies hydrating with technicolour cocktails. Xana is popular for its swim-up bar, rooftop terrace and state-of-the-art sound systems.
At night, Patong’s infamous Bangla Road is an underbelly of action — its seedy after-hours vibe means you won’t have to look too hard for mischief.
When you’re ready to leave the hustlers behind for a life of luxury, hire a private yacht — the quintessential accessory of any party connoisseur. Sail the Andaman Sea on a 70ft catamaran or 104ft super yacht complete with DJs, booze, food and massage therapists. And waking up to paradise? It’s an instant hangover cure.
- Xana Beach Club. The go-to for anyone looking to show off their hard work from the gym.
- Tiger Marine Charters. Tick “private yacht” off the bucket list.
- Siam Supper Club. Chic surroundings and first-class food to fill hungry bellies.
- Twin Palms, Phuket. A contemporary property located on “Millionaires Row” with its own beach club.
This meandering city seduces travellers from all over the world with its sky-high bars, exceptional street food and riotous red-light districts. If ever there were a city in which to get up to no good, it’s Bangkok.
Kick things off at WTF with its strong drinks and cool art, then check out The Iron Fairies, a hybrid of antiques, wine, jazz and food. Lovers of the high life should head straight to the Tower Club at Lebua and venture to Sky Bar — cashed up locals and expats meet up here for sweeping views of the city and top-shelf cocktails.
As far as food goes, there are plenty of options for both Thai and international flavours. Royal City Avenue packs in a young crowd ready to wash the week away, Sukhumvit Road is lined with bars and clubs more popular with tourists. Bangkok is the land of nights you’ll barely remember, but will never forget.
- Sky Bar. This Hollywood-famous bar (The Hangover 2, anyone?) lets you hang out above the city.
- WTF. Drink up the artistic atmosphere and enjoy a few cocktails too.
- The Iron Fairies. Culture clash! A combo of antiques, wine, jazz and food that just works.
- Siam Hotel. Set on the Chao Praya River in the historical district, this hotel has 28 suites
and 11 pool villas, all which come with their own personal butler. Why not live a little.
- W Hotel. An urban escape with a gym, pool, spa and hi-tech convenience.
Kho Phangan, Thailand
If ever there was a chance to get your shirt off, it has to be at the world’s biggest beach bash. Asia’s infamous party island, Kho Phangan is known as the Ibiza of the East, and celebrates the full moon with bacchanalia. The rave takes place in Haad Rin, a rustic location compared to many of the resort and villa-laden nearby islands, but way more fun. Not to be outdone, the island also hosts monthly half-moon parties, as well as good times every night of the week. Glow sticks and bucket drinks optional.
- Full Moon Party. Find, embrace and release your inner hippy child at this all-night party every full and half-moon.
- Fisherman’s Restaurant. When you’re on a fantasy island, what else would you eat but seafood?
- The Coast Resort. A modern property with its own fitness centre, just a 10 minute walk from all the action at Haad Rin.
The Lion City might be all business during the day, but by night the Singapore scene loosens right up. World-class DJs, A-listers, big spenders and all their hangers-on flock to this island state where a cocktail costs about as much as a bungalow in Thailand. Despite the cost, rubbing shoulders with the party scene in this modern metropolis is worth doing at least once in your life.
Start the evening off at one of many elevated dining options, like 1-Altitude, a multi-concept destination with 360° skyline views. Or perhaps mingling with models and hipsters at the innovative Don Ho Social Kitchen and Bar is more your style.
If you want to skip dinner for a drink, seek out Employees Only, where hip mixologists cater to an upbeat crowd. With new friends in tow, head to Zouk — this mother of all multi-level clubs is a go-to for international spinners of progressive house and techno.
When the weekend strikes, revellers head to Tanjong Beach Club for their opulent carnival parties that focus on great food, tunes and pool antics from sunset to sunrise. Got a hangover? Build your own cure with the Bloody Mary cart at the Manhattan Bar’s Sunday cocktail brunch.
- Tanjong Beach Club. The famous carnival parties tailor for all adventurers, all night long.
- Zouk. If house and techno beats get you stomping your feet, Zouk is the multi-level club you want to be, and be seen.
- Employees Only. A new addition on the Singapore scene, the concept for this club is USA-approved.
- 1-Altitude. Drinks? Check. Food? Check. Views? Definitely check.
- Don Ho. The destination for alternative globetrotters, with social dining and a tropical vibe.
- Hotel Vagabond. A stunning boutique property from the designer of Paris’ Hotel Costes that screams excess.
Byron Bay, Australia
No longer a seaside hippie town, Byron is flourishing as a go-to for Australia’s elite escaping city life. It’s the perfect combination of postcard beaches, ripping surf, easy-going locals, food worth writing about and an eclectic nightlife scene.
Check out Bayleaf for a hit of java and St Elmo Dining for dinner and cocktails. After a day soaking up the sun, take your tanned torso to The Beach Hotel for a few cold ones. There’s a regular rotation of bands and always a good mix of locals and out-of-towners up for a good time.
As the evening wears on, stop by The Balcony for an espresso martini then head to the hottest night spot in town, La La Land. The dance floor here hosts both regular and visiting DJs; the coastal vibe reigns, so bikinis and thongs are just as acceptable as your usual going out gear.
- La La Land. Swimmers welcome at this nightlife must-do.
- St Elmo Dining Room & Bar. Come for the first-class tapas, stay for the creative cocktails.
- Bayleaf Coffee. A brisk walk from the beach with some of the best coffee in town.
- The Balcony. Literally metres from the beach, wine and dine on freshly shucked oysters to your heart’s content.
- The Beach Hotel. The chill atmosphere here will have you holiday ready in no time