The passage from one year to another is a milestone that has been celebrated “for at least four millennia,” according to the History Channel, although watching the ball drop, clinking glasses of champagne, and marking the precise arrival of a New Year with a smooch are traditions that were adopted along the way. Choosing the perfect setting in which to count down the final seconds of one year and cheer the arrival of another is intensely personal. Do you want to be in a familiar spot or someplace all new? Right in the heart of all the action or far removed but with a birds-eye view? With more luxury New Year’s Eve options than ever this year, you can tailor-make your experience. Pick your favorite place and jet off for an upscale adventure that gets even better when the clock strikes midnight.
Hotel Amanpuri, a luxury beachfront resort, has won a slew of awards, the latest of which is an inclusion on the Gold List 2018 from Condé Nast Traveler for World’s Best Island Hotels. The hotel’s indulgent offering for New Year’s Eve includes a “baroque- and cabaret-inspired” evening featuring a gala dinner, a fireworks display, and an after-party on the pool terrace. Party in style as you also celebrate Amanpuri’s 30th birthday and recover the following day at their gourmet New Years’ Day Brunch.
Berlin is a go-to spot for revelers from all around the world who come for the rowdy, over-the-top fetes; more than a million people gather in the streets, enjoying fireworks, music, and international eats. For a posh experience, those traveling to Germany’s capital this year seek out FACIL. The two Michelin-starred restaurant in the five-star The Mandala Hotel is will serve an eight-course gourmet meal accompanied by a live harpist, with champagne and oysters on the 11th floor to drink in the view of the city and watch the fireworks at midnight.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio is one of the most popular—and one of the most raucous—spots around the world on New Year’s Eve. Second only to the city’s Carnival celebration, the period around New Year’s attracts a good two million people to spots like the famed Copacabana Beach, where the fireworks dazzle and the champagne flows until the wee hours.
Emiliano Rio transformed the stretch of Copacabana beachfront that formerly hosted the Belgian embassy into a luxury, boutique five-star hotel. For New Year’s Eve, the hotel provides a private perch from the rooftop, where you can take in all the festivities from high above with caviar and fresh seafood, cocktails, and a samba performance.
What’s so special about the fireworks displays you’ll see all over the city throughout the last week of the year, culminating in a New Year’s Eve extravaganza? Fireworks are technically banned in Iceland’s capital city, but restrictions are lifted to close out the year. Combine your New Year’s stay with a Northern Lights experience at the famed luxury art deco Hotel Borg and don’t forget to book a spa experience to soothe away any remnants from the previous night’s activities.
Australia and Los Angeles
Upscale travel company Original Travel has the ultimate itinerary for New Year’s celebrants who aren’t satisfied with just one luxurious locale. Jet off “into the first sunrise of the year in Uluru,” home to Ayers Rock, one of the world’s great natural wonders whose formation is said to date back 550 million years. Then, jaunt by private jet to the other side of the world to ring in 2019 in glittery Los Angeles.