There’s no better way to bring in the New Year than with a party, and boy do these cities know how to party! With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, we came up with our pick of five of the best cities to spend the night, complete with a selection of our boutique hotels to come back to after a night of celebrations.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is a hugely popular New Year event, attracting hundreds of thousands of people during the three-day event. The festivities kick off on 30 December, with thousands of people carrying burning torches from Parliament Square to Calton Hill before a dazzling display of fireworks. On New Year’s Eve itself there’s the Old Town Ceilidh, the Street Party – an outdoor festival attracting several top musicians, and, of course, the Midnight Moment, when the crowds will gather together for the world’s biggest and loudest singing of Auld Lang Syne and some spectacular fireworks. If you haven’t quite had enough of partying, there’s also the Final Fling, a ceilidh held at the Museum’s Grand Hall, on New Year’s Day.
Stay in the heart of the action at the Brooks Hotel Edinburgh, just five minutes from Haymarket train station. Fully refurbished in 2013, curl up with a Scotch whiskey in front of the roaring fire, and enjoy a top New Year’s Day breakfast with award-winning haggis, bacon and sausages.
The UK’s capital has a plethora of parties to choose from on New Year’s Eve, with the most popular being the fireworks display taking place over the River Thames. If you’re seeking something a little different, why not make like Gatsby and Daisy at the Bloomsbury Ballroom, which will be hosting London’s biggest yet 1920s themed Prohibition party? Complete with teacup cocktails, plenty of dancing the Charleston and dancing flapper girls, the party is set to be the ultimate throwback. Alternatively, you could join The Roof Gardens in Kensington and celebrate 2015 Vegas-style, 100ft above the rest of the city, with a casino, canapés, a winter-themed buffet and a fabulous fireworks display.
When it comes to boutique hotels, London has plenty to choose from, though we recommend The Gore Hotel, a quintessentially British establishment in the heart of South Kensington, complete with its own bar and bistro.
A party hotspot by night and a place of tranquil relaxation by day, Goa is the perfect place to bring in the New Year and the new you. Parties are held in many towns across the Indian state; the biggest and loudest in Anjuna, with more intimate affairs going on at Palolem. Wherever you decide to head, you definitely can’t beat dancing on the beach with the sand in your toes, the twinkling lights strung on the palm trees and the shimmering saris providing a dazzling backdrop. Once the partying is over, head north to Agonda for some yoga, reiki and relaxation.
Anahata Retreat is nestled amongst stunning natural beauty, just a stone’s throw from a stretch of beautiful white sand. With plenty of relaxing activities on offer, from yoga to fishing, it’s the perfect place to unwind after the festivities are over.
Rio de Janeiro
With the weather positively tropical in Rio at the moment, the city’s New Year parties bring the people to the streets and the beaches instead. Over two million people gather every year at the heart of the celebrations on Copacabana Beach, which kicks off at around 8 with lively samba performances. At midnight, the crowds are treated to one of the world’s best fireworks displays, before taking part in some of the Reveillon’s customary traditions. Among the traditions are wearing white, said to symbolise peace and purity, and jumping over seven waves, making wishes with each jump for good luck and fortune.
Just 15 minutes from Copacabana Beach is Casa Amarelo, a fun and colourful boutique hotel in the artistic neighbourhood of Santa Teresea. Overlooking the rooftops of the city below, this is the perfect place to watch the world go by.
New York City are world-famous for their celebrations, with the world watching as midnight approaches. The quintessential New Year’s celebrations are in Times Square, packed with people awaiting the fireworks and the trademark ball drop from One Times Square, surrounded by huge lighted festive billboards. Once midnight hits, the crowd goes wild, surrounded by falling balloons and confetti and enjoying the star-studded musical performances.
When the night is over, retreat from the crowds at The Jane, which attracts those in the know with its stylish rooms, rooftop terrace and elegant ballroom bar.
Image: Dominic Alves, available under Creative Commons