11 Places You'll Wish You Were Spending New Year’s
December 15, 2014
11 Places You'll Wish You Were Spending New Year’s
No matter where you might be celebrating, one tradition that’s nearly universal is trying to have as much fun as possible in the final hours of the old year — and the first few hours of the new one.
Watch the iconic New Year’s fireworks over the Sydney Harbor in style from a 12-person cabana with your own private butler serving a three-course meal tailored to your specifications at the Opera Kitchen in Sydney. The decadence comes with one caveat: it’ll set you back $1,100 Australian, or about $900 U.S.
Celebrate at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Two million visitors per year gather on Rio’s sandy white beaches to watch hundreds of fireworks light up the night sky over the ocean. Don’t forget to wear white — the customary color for the holiday — as you dance in the sand to the live music that begins around 8 p.m.
Iceland: Perlan Restaurant, Reykjavik
If you were hoping for a cozy New Year’s Eve, look no further than this domed restaurant that sits atop the city’s hot water storage tanks. After a four-course dinner, guides will lead you down to the city’s traditional New Year’s bonfire, after which you’ll be led back to the Perlan for dessert. At the stroke of midnight, guests raise their glasses of Champagne as they watch the fireworks display through the restaurant’s 360-degree panoramic windows. The night will cost you about $310.
Italy: Teatro la Fenice, Venice
Venice is known for the beautiful New Year’s Eve fireworks display that lights up the city’s centuries-old buildings and narrow canals like a fairyland. But before the colorful explosions, you might what to take in the more pleasing sounds of Beethoven, Puccini, and Verdi played by some of the best musicians in the world in what’s widely considered to be the world’s most beautiful opera house. Of course, the show has been sold out for ages, but for future reference, tickets set guests back $68-$128, depending on your seats.
Mexico: Hotel Matilda, San Miguel
Historic San Miguel becomes one giant party on New Years Eve, with food and dancing in the streets. But before you get lost in the revelry, why not sit down to a six-course meal of classic Mexican dishes prepared by famed Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera who also oversees Moxi, the hotel's brilliant restaurant. Following the dinner, a full staff escorts the guests down to the picturesque Jardín, the main square. for an elaborate fireworks display. The price is a reasonable $132 USD, and you’ll get a bottle of Champagne to sip in front of the fireworks.
Switzerland: Silvesterzauber, Zürich
Silvesterzauber translates to “magic New Year,” and this 200,000-person party that stretches all the way around the banks of Lake Zürich certainly lives up to its name. Eat party snacks from local food stalls scattered throughout the party and drink from dozens of pop-up bars as you watch the fireworks display over the water at midnight.
Spain: Nochevieja at Poble Espanyol, Barcelona
Families get together on New Year’s Eve, or la nochevieja, which means “old night” in Spanish, for a traditional Spanish meal. It’s also Spanish tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each time the gong strikes. But you might have to listen closely for that gong at Barcelona’s giant outdoor New Year’s street fair. There are no public fireworks in Barcelona on New Year’s Eve, though you may find some locals are about and about with sparklers and fireworks to ring in the New Year. Visitors can head to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, one of the city’s major tourist attractions, for a spectacular lights show.
Thailand: Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan
This small Thai island comes alive for New Year’s Eve (full moon or not). The main party takes place on Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin and begins at sundown but often lasts on into the next day. To keep you refreshed, there are plenty of beachside bars and local food vendors, and if the party gets to be too much, you can always head back to the Sunset Beach side of the island for a late night/early morning swim.
United Arab Emirates: The Oberoi, Dubai
Round up 34 guests and enjoy a breathtaking view of the city’s fireworks from the 26th floor of this opulent hotel. The view will set you back $230 USD per guest, so we’re hoping the canapés and sparkling wine are well worth it. You’ll also get a full staff to help you plan your menu and drink selection beforehand, so the party will be just your style.
United Kingdom: Weston Park, Shropshire
For ₤15,000 (just about $24,000), you and 29 of your fanciest friends can ring in the New Year Downton Abbey-style by renting out this decadent seventeenth-century British manor house. You’ll be served a five-course meal in the dining room, and you’re free to drink up because the house is yours for the night. Come morning, you’ll be served a hearty New Year’s Day breakfast before you go.
United States: MGM Casino, Las Vegas
For just $500,000, you can have your bottle service via chariot! This year, the Hakkasan Las Vegas nightclub is offering the opportunity for you and 40 of your closest friends to drink the world’s largest bottle of Champagne — a 30-liter Midas by Armand de Brignac, delivered to you by a “model cocktail waitress” atop a chariot, but you’ll get more than that for your money. You’ll actually get one ornately decorated bottle from each size the brand offers, from its 750-millileter size on up.