While 2021 might have been considerably better than 2020 for most people, we are still in catch-up mode for holiday fun with friends, family gatherings and parties.
Interestingly, island trips seem to be just as popular this time of year as ski trips, and nothing like the Big Apple for the perfect place to sing auld lang syne and drink too much Champagne. Here is our list from new ventures to old favorites, and spoiler alert, there seems to be a 70s Studio 54 theme remerging.
With no passport needed for domestic US travelers, Puerto Rico’s Caribbean paradise awaits. New Year’s Eve will be an exciting time as Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest will ring in 2022 with its first-ever Spanish-language countdown broadcast live from San Juan. The Condado Collection offers three luxury properties with distinct personalities to fit your needs from family or friends at La Concha Resort , the elegant Condado Vanderbilt, or an adults-only escape at Condado Ocean Club.
Situated in the idyllic and historic town of San Pedro, Alaia Belize Autograph Collection operates as the first true four-diamond resort on Ambergris Caye. The beachfront hotel is close to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve offering stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and featuring a piano bar, live art gallery, wine club, three restaurants, four bars, an onsite dive shop, a kid’s club, three pools including Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and lounge with 360-degree views. Ringing in 2022 options include, New Year’s Eve Dinner at Sea Salt or a Soiree at the Vista Rooftop, Crafted Cocktails at the Piano Bar or have a Silent Night at the K’in Spa.
On Hawaii’s Kohala Coast, Mauna Kea Resort—comprising Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, contemporary Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, and the picturesque vacation rentals Mauna Kea Residences—this is one of the best places to kick off the new year. For the New Year’s Eve bash, enjoy dinner and music on the beachfront lawn from 7pm to 10pm, followed by the After Party at the Luau Grounds from 10pm to 12:30am where the celebration continues with desserts, champagne and fireworks over Kauna’oa Bay.
Dance into the new year 80’s style at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club’s NYE Studio 54 extravaganza. True to its retro-Hawaii aesthetic, the hotel will be hosting a NYE celebration for guests and visitors ($54/person) at its ultra-instragrammable pool deck with complimentary champagne for toasting and a photobooth for the memories. Book the newly launched Society6 Penthouse (call 808-923-8882 to reserve), a shoppable suite experience in collaboration with local artists, to ring in the new year in style and comfort. Before the main event, grab a Winter Tale or Night Moves Cocktail from the seasonal holiday cocktail menu at Mahina & Sun’s and enjoy the ultimate New Year’s evening.
Conrad Bora Bora Nui Aimed at engaging the five senses – while you are already in the idyllic location of French Polynesia, this season’s celebrations center around transforming people through experience. Each offering appeals to at least one, if not more, of the five senses: tastes and smells that are awakened through worldly banquets; one-of-a-kind sights and sounds composed by nature, ancient rituals, and music; and touch-activated through thoughtfully curated activities centered around wellness and adventure. Daily activities for the whole family run through Jan. 22, 2022. Conrad Bora Bora Nui will ring in the New Year with a Metallic Muse themed bash, upscale dining experience, live music, a performance by DJ Nohorai, and fireworks at midnight.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is having a New Year’s Eve gala that will be exquisite. The luxury resort will host Colors of Carnival, a New Year’s Eve Gala Spectacle at their signature restaurant, ALBA. The gala will feature a colorful and vibrant Brazilian dance troupe and entertainers complementing the drummer and resident DJ, to add a Bossa nova carnival beat and style.
Atlantis, The Palm Dubai will be toasting the New Year with The Atlantis Gala Dinner, ‘Rouge Edition’ including a 30-piece live band and underwater dining at the famous Ossiano, plus a spectacular fireworks display. The grand event kicks off at 7:30pm and goes all night through 3:00am which includes free-flowing champagne, a lavish buffet serving everything from lobster to caviar. Live cooking stations and a child-friendly buffet will also be offered. The Palm’s youngest travelers can enjoy their own party in the Asateer Tent featuring an ‘Under the Sea’ celebration with an enormous slide, bouncy castle, an outdoor cinema, game stalls, arts and crafts and much more.
If you’d like to ring in the New Year from above the water, grab a front-row seat for the best view of the fireworks lighting up the Philadelphia skyline on the New Year’s Eve Signature Dinner Cruise. Packages include premier bar access, souvenir champagne flutes, and bottles of sparkling wine. City Cruises Philadelphia is also offering the Early New Year’s Eve Signature Dinner Cruise for those looking to start their nights off with a two-hour dinner cruise on the Delaware River. City Cruises is also offering classic buffets on the water with unforgettable views on the New Year’s Day Signature Brunch Cruise and New Year’s Day Signature Dinner Cruise to start January with a bang.
The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago has just finished the remodel of its guest accommodations, designed by San Francisco-based award-winning design firm BAMO. This New Year’s Eve, the hotel will host their annual party, Swingin’ The New Year Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, in the Atrium from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am; featuring live entertainment from jazz swing band The Flatt Cats, hors d’oeuvres, dessert bars and plenty of champagne to toast to 2022. To purchase tickets, click here.
Maybe skip Times Square this year and high above the lights of Fifth Avenue for The Peninsula New York New Year’s Eve Rooftop Party. The black-tie affair will see Salon de Ning transformed into a Studio54-inspired party on the heated rooftop 23 stories above the city. Tickets to the event ($750 per person) will include a raw bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, a specialty open cocktail bar and an evening of 70s-themed disco music by a live DJ with a midnight countdown. For a more intimate experience, book one or two of the Chalet de Ning igloos, inclusive of bottle service served alongside a variety of canapes for up to eight people starting at $5,000. The hotel’s signature restaurant, Clement, will also feature a New Year’s Eve Five-Course Prix Fixe Dinner with a caviar bar and lavish five-course holiday dinner in an elegant setting followed by dancing with a live band past midnight.
Brand new tommie Hollywood is a lifestyle hotel located near Sunset Boulevard designed by Studio Collective (The Shay in Culver City and Virgin Hotel Las Vegas). The vibe will appeal to a modern spirited traveler looking for something original and you can find just that at the Desert Five Spot, a 7,000-square-foot rooftop pool and lounge above the 212 guest rooms across nine floors and more than 15,000 square feet of food and beverage space including KA’TEEN, the hotel’s feature restaurant by celebrated chef Wes Avila. Here you will find prawn and potato tacos, whole grilled fish with salsas, and banana leaf wrapped Heritage pork with dry chilies amid a leafy courtyard patio.
For New Year’s Eve, they are hosting a Rockin’ Rodeo party on the roof from 8:00pm to 2:00am with an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, a tequila toast plus a live and DJ Wade Crescent. General Admission $100, VIP Admission $125, Ticket link.
Just around the corner at their sister property Thompson Hollywood, they will be throwing a midnight in the French Riviera bash during the same time frame, also with an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast, live jazz performances and DJ Greg Cerrone on the roof at Bar Lis. General Admission $125, VIP Admission $150, Ticket link.
Witness Big Bear Lake’s Annual New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade at Snow Summit, where over 200 skiers and snowboarders light up the night as they make their way down the face of the mountain in the dark with torches. Spectators can gather in the Snow Summit base area to watch the event and cheer the skiers and riders as they slide into the New Year. Partake in the New Year’s party afterward to watch the “snowball” drop.
Amid the Vines at Montage Healdsburg in Sonoma, on New Year’s Eve from 5pm to 1am, celebrate 2021 during an evening of elegance in Montage Healdsburg’s signature restaurant, Hazel Hill with a three-course or five-course prix fixe dinner menu. After dinner, ring in the New Year with a festive celebration of bubbles, live music, late-night bites and midnight sabering at Champagne Countdown in the lobby Scout Field Bar.
Watch stars, planets and galaxies light up the sky on New Year’s Eve from ADERO Scottsdale the only certified Dark Sky Zone resort in the region. Guests can enjoy champagne toasts from 2,500 feet above the Sonoran Desert in intimate globes overlooking Arizona’s famed McDowell Mountain Range. The seasonal globes – known as The Village at SkyTop – offer guests a private four-course meal featuring dishes like winter lobster bisque, pan-roasted wagyu, and chocolate terrine alongside festive cocktails.
Globes are staged under the stars and feature plush interiors by local designer Robin Halperin. CIELO, the resort’s second culinary concept, will offer additional options for New Year’s Eve and Day with an elevated vantage point of the dramatic desert landscape below. Menu items include organic chicken poulet, polenta cake with acorn risotto, Scottish salmon with braised turnips and wild mushroom arancini.
From big and bold to quiet and low key, Sea Island, the Forbes Five Star Resort on the coast of Georgia has a party for every mood, a celebration for every taste. At The Cloister, dress in black-tie attire and enjoy beautifully crafted dinners, for a more casual setting, try The Beach Club with events for the entire family. The Lodge is for those seeking lower-key sophistication, with dining options in the Wine Cellar, Oak Room and Colt & Alison. No matter where you land, the entire resort rings in the New Year with a magnificent fireworks display. Additional activities throughout the holiday include bingo, a 5k run, polar bear plunge, brunches, golf, fishing, fitness classes, kid’s activities.
Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, the iconic beach bar in Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands , holds an equally iconic celebration to ring in the new year or “Old Year’s Night,” as it is commonly referred to in the Caribbean. With dozens of yachts and boats docked near their beach, the party goes all night throughout the beach, bar, and surrounding boats. Headliners and local area bands provide non-stop music from dusk till dawn, and this event brings in locals and high-profile visitors who have included Michael Jordan, Jay Z, and Richard Branson. Tickets for the event are $600 and can be purchased on the website here.
The JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek, one of the newest resorts in the upscale neighborhood, will toast to 2022 this New Year’s Eve with a Bonenkai party at the resort’s Japanese-inspired rooftop lounge, illume. The traditional Japanese celebration roughly translates to “forget the year,” where friends and family gather to do just that. The party will have a live DJ from 8:00pm to 1:30am. and 180-degree views of the Orlando fireworks.
To start 2022 off right, the resort will also host a New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch at Unreserved, with indulgent menu items including maple-glazed pork belly, Nutella stuffed French toast, a crab cake benedict station and a complimentary mimosa or bloody Mary for those looking for a hair of the dog.
Just off the southeastern U.S. shore, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is a lux oceanfront resort where you can celebrate New Year’s Eve at the new Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House, helmed by six-time James Beard award-winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson. The five-course dinner package includes a pre-fixe five-course dinner (from $225/person) with Bahamian favorites like seafood platters, prime beef tartare, and chocolate hazelnut dacquoise, while the Marcus Up Top rooftop celebration package (from $250/person) includes an open bar, live music, and the best seat in the house to view the Baha Mar fireworks show over the water. Book here.
The Islands of Madeira are a European paradise that offer the best of Portugal’s culture, history, cuisine and natural surroundings. December might be the best time to visit the island paradise, with warm weather and one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world with a spectacular 360° firework show that can be observed across the capital city of Funchal. Homes, restaurants and hotels are spread across the city’s towering mountains that surround the port and downtown area, essentially acting as an amphitheater for the majestic display.
Angsana Corfu recently opened in Akra Punta, Corfu, Greece as Banyan Tree Group’s first-ever European property. A collection of 159 guest rooms and 37 one to four-bedroom luxury villas built in the style of local architecture are perched on an idyllic hilltop overlooking the turquoise waters of the historical bay of Benitses and serve as a true Mediterranean sanctuary for travelers just minutes away from the town of Corfu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The resort is hosting a gala for New Year’s Eve for guests to experience the holiday with a 7-course meal of salmon carpaccio, fresh black truffle risotto and toffee parfait, along with a DJ, dance floor and plenty of bubbly and cocktails.
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