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The Travel File: Luxe New Year's Eve Destinations

The Travel File: Luxe New Year's Eve Destinations

From the vibrant beach parties of Rio de Janeiro to after-dark glamour in New York, these are the world’s most luxurious New Year’s Eve destinations.

A street party and fireworks over Edinburgh castle at New Year's Eve
A street party and fireworks over Edinburgh castle at New Year's Eve

EDINBURGH

Stay: One of the city’s most-loved landmarks, The Balmoral is timelessly elegant and glamorous. World-class luxury meets traditionally warm Scottish hospitality within the hotel’s walls. Curl up in the bar with a dram of Scotland’s finest and enjoy the views over the city. A truly celebratory experience.

Eat: Indulge in a luxurious Hogmany gala night at Dine, one of Edinburgh’s most celebrated fine dining restaurants. Expect a four-course feast of contemporary, thoughtful food paired with champagne and cocktails. For a more informal evening, head to Contini for ‘Fish & Fizz’ – a night of prosecco and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese.

Party: Hogmany is a three-day celebration in honour of New Year’s Eve that sees the city party from dusk ‘til dawn from the 30th of December through to the 1st of January. From firework displays to candlelit concerts and street parties to traditional ceilidhs in the shadow the city’s historic castle, it’s one of the most exciting places in the world to ring in the New Year with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

Image: Getty

New York's Times Square
New York's Times Square



NEW YORK

Stay: In the heart of midtown at the St. Regis New York. It’s a Manhattan icon offering views of Fifth Avenue and Central Park from grand designer suites. Founded over a hundred years ago, luxury has been honed to a fine art here – the hotel’s fleet of Bentleys will transport you around town, whilst the expert staff at the famous King Cole bar will get you ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style.

Eat: Be unapologetically indulgent at The Pool on 52nd Street, a seafood restaurant in the re-imagined interiors of a building that was once the Four Seasons. It’s fun but sophisticated, decadent but simple. A chic New Year’s Eve experience for grown-ups.

Party: Whilst you could attend the ball drop live in Times Square, the crowds will be wild as approximately a million revellers fill the space for midnight. Instead, grab a cocktail at one of the many chic rooftop bars overlooking the street parties below, or head to the ever-trendy Meatpacking District to explore the city’s coolest after-dark possibilities.

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A view of Rio's Copacabana beach with fireworks in the sky on New Year's Eve
A view of Rio's Copacabana beach with fireworks in the sky on New Year's Eve

RIO DE JANEIRO

Stay: The A-list stay at Fasano, a sleek design hotel overlooking the white sands of Ipanema Beach. If it’s old-world Rio elegance you want, book a suite at Belmond Copacabana Palace, a name synonymous with the jet-set lifestyle of the golden-age Hollywood stars that used to flock here.

Eat: Eat like a well-heeled local at Sushi Lebon, a favourite of the city’s carioca elite that serves up Brazilian-Japanese fusion cuisine. For authentic Brazilian fare in a truly beautiful setting, book a table at Aprazivel, which boasts a hearty but refined menu of national dishes and views across the Guanabara Bay.

Party: Known locally as ‘réveillon’, New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest nights in Rio, rivalled only by Carnival. The city’s inhabitants dress up in white and party on Copacabana beach underneath the stars. Get a seat on the terrace at Bar dos Descasados where live bands play as the sun sets, or dance the night away in the streets of Lapa, Rio’s vibrant after-dark district.

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Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year's Eve
Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year's Eve

SYDNEY

Stay: At The Darling on the city’s dazzling waterside. Aptly named, this luxurious escape really is the darling of Sydney’s five-star hotel scene. Wraparound views across the Sydney Harbour Bridge make it the perfect place to play come New Year’s Eve. Put your glad rags on and head out into the night, darl.

Eat: At Catalina, a Sydney institution that specialises in fine seafood accompanied by panoramic views across Rose Bay. They put on the glitz every year with a decadent NYE menu and fireworks. Alternatively, local favourite The Apollo serves up authentic Greek fare with an experimental twist – the Saganaki is the best this side of the Aegean.

Party: Head to Smoke, a rooftop, waterfront cocktail bar with a fabulous menu and impeccable service. The perfect place for sundowners as we bid farewell to 2018. Looking for a unique experience? Enjoy summertime in Sydney on The Island, a floating club moored in the Harbour. The best seats in the house for the city’s famous fireworks display.

Image: Getty