The ultimate pre-wedding party: Off & Away offers $22,500 bachelor / bachelorette auction

Ever wonder what happens to the palatial pads used in MTV’s “The Real World” after the season is over? In at least a few instances, they’ve been turned back into their original hotel suites, available for show devotees or high-rollers to rent by the night.

Luxury hotel deal purveyor Off & Away is offering their highest-priced acution to date with the ME Cancun suite apartment that housed The Real World: Cancun‘s housemates during the 22nd season.

The three-night package includes accommodations in the Real World suite for up to ten people.

The suite features four bedrooms, all with ocean views, two Jacuzzis, three private balconies, a full kitchen, six showers and six bathrooms, a private laundry room, computer, iPod docking stations, Wii and Rock Band equipment, massage chairs, pool table, and a jellyfish acquarium.

Suite amenities include:

  • Round-trip airport transfers
  • Champagne on arrival
  • Personalized en-suite check-in
  • Tropical fruit upon arrival
  • Buffet breakfast is included for all registered Suite ME guests
  • Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages throughout the stay
  • Twenty-four hour room service
  • One complimentary international newspaper each day
  • Personal staff of Aura-Experience manager, housekeeper and chef* (chef available upon request for additional cost)

Valued at $22,500, the auction package is part of their romance themed “Whole Lotta Love” series, combining romantic wedding, engagement, honeymoon and bachelor/bachelorette packages. The auction series will begin on February 11 and run through February 14.

Off & Away operates on a different model than most flash-sale sites. Members buy bids ($1 each) and increase the price of a given room, suite or experience in small increments, 10 to 15 cents at a time. Each bid also adds a few seconds to the countdown clock. The top bidder when the clock reaches zero wins the prize, and unused bids can be applied as a credit towards Off & Away’s preferred network of partner hotels. We’re big fans of this model, which, while time consuming, can allow users to win luxury hotel experiences at upwards of 90% off, a significantly larger discount than many other flash sale sites.

To join Off & Away, click here.

Pre-nuptial last rites get fun, expensive

Bachelor parties used to be so simple. A bunch of guys would cram into a limo, get wasted and let the sounds of Motley Crue fill their ears while some nice young lady works her way through college a dollar bill at a time. Eventually, you’d go home and wake up sans cash, stomach contents and a few brain cells. I’m not sure what bachelorette parties involved, but I suspect there are many similarities and the differences being limited to the anatomy of the performers and the guests.

All this is changing.

The parties used to celebrate the end of single life are becoming long, intricate and costly.Las Vegas is the top destination, followed by Florida, and the average price for one of these getaways has reached a substantial $1,250 a person. The guests are usually on the hook for their own tickets.

The tourism and travel industry, looking for ways to climb out from a two-year economic hole, sees the pre-wedding party business as a way to draw some more cash into the coffers, especially for those who are looking to have as many “last hurrahs” as possible. Travel agents and destinations are even creating programs designed to appeal to this specific segment.Notes Alex Trettin, of Travel Leaders in Tacoma, Washington, to Reuters:

“We’ve created a number of programs for brides- and grooms- to-be. Most popular are Vegas and short cruises,” he said. “Even with the economy in a slowdown, more and more people are using this as an opportunity to get together with friends.”

In a further departure from tradition, some final flings are combined, with the soon-to-be spouses hitting the same destination at the same time. Once on the ground, though, the parties split to enjoy different activities.

Yeah, pre-marital partying has come a long way. But, I’ll still take a seedy strip club with “Doctor Feelgood” and a would-be medical student over the alternatives. I believe in tradition.

[photo of Social Vixen by Steve Zak]