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The Travel File: The World's Most Exclusive Party Cities

The Travel File: The World's Most Exclusive Party Cities

From the sky-high bars of Honk Kong to Berlin's underground techno scene, these are best cities for a wild night out.

A view of the New York skyline looking down the river and straight out at the Empire State building
A view of the New York skyline looking down the river and straight out at the Empire State building

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA

Stay: In lieu of staying at the Chelsea Hotel, one of the most rock ‘n’ roll establishments in history (now under refurbishment) we’d recommend snatching 40 winks in the City That Never Sleeps at The Standard High Line. Floating above the High Line park in the ever-trendy Meatpacking District, this boutique hostelry is artsy, chic and industrial. The real draw for the international clubbing crowd: it comes with its very own discothèque and rooftop bar, Le Bain, for residents who like to party whilst in residence.

Eat: Believe the hype: New York is all about food. Head to Frenchette, the hottest new ticket in town, for laid-back French fare with a side of celebrity spotting. For those who are as serious about their pasta as they are their partying: grab a bowl of midnight tagliatelle at Primo’s in Tribeca. A late-night menu, old-school cocktails and clubby atmosphere make it a must for night owls.

Party: NYC’s party connotations are never-ending: from the glamour of Studio 54 to Ballroom culture to ‘80s punk and beyond, its reputation precedes it. Whether you’re looking for a taste of old New York on the leather-clad banquettes at Belman’s on the Upper East Side, or underground clubs in the Meatpacking District, it’s here. Cocktails, flair and creativity – three things the Big Apple excels at when it comes to partying hard.

Image: Oliver Niblett via Unsplash

A view of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas and a neon 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' sign
A view of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas and a neon 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' sign



LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, USA

Stay: Las Vegas is a hedonist’s dream come true – a city built for pleasure. It’s Disney land for grown-ups, with its very own Eiffel Tower and more sources of entertainment than should be entirely legal. Sin City’s hotels read like a who’s who of American luxury: Caesars Palace, The Venetian, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas to name a few. You’re unlikely to spend much time in your room, but it’s wise to make it a good one for when you need to crash.

Eat: Vegas is a global foodie city with enough clout to draw the world’s best chefs to its neon bosom. Dine like a don at one of the strip’s many fine restaurants, from the Wynne’s Lakeside sanctuary to Julian Serran’s glamorous Picasso affair at the Belaggio. Side note: the casinos will serve you food all day and night (if you play your cards right).

Party: Whether or not you’re a gambling (wo)man, from pool parties to dive bars and outrageously decadent super clubs, Las Vegas has it all (and that’s before you even consider the fun you could have at the roulette wheel). You’re going to need some stamina if you plan to make it through a Vegas night – it’s a global centre for electronic music and you can get pretty lost in the Strip’s bright lights. Come sunrise, you may be experiencing some fear and loathing of your own, but the promise of a poolside cabana and mimosas on tap should help to soothe your nerves.

Images: Getty, James Walsh via Unsplash

A red-lit alleyway in Berlin
A red-lit alleyway in Berlin

BERLIN, GERMANY

Stay: With a reputation for being ‘sexy but poor’, Berlin has a surplus of hip hotels that have sprung up in the past decade to cater for hard-core party-goers drawn by the promise of 48-hour clubs and underground cocktail bars. Take refuge at Hotel Zoo in West Berlin on the grand Kurfürstendamm boulevard, the historic centre of the city’s bohemian heyday when jazz bars, theatres and cabarets were on every street corner. Its luxe ‘20s architecture and soothingly chic interior will make light work of sore heads after a night of deep, dark techno.

Eat: For a hedonistic dining experience like no other, make tracks for Crackers Berlin which hosts live DJ dinner sets on Fridays and Saturdays in what was once the legendary Cookies club. Come morning, when you need a wholesome dose of avocado on toast, House of Small Wonder serves brunch with a Japanese influence in magical greenhouse surroundings.

Party: High-end cocktail bars live cheek by jowl with underground fetish club nights in this party mecca. It is home to the most infamously hard-core of all clubs, Berghain, where the notoriously strict door policy is less to do with dress code and more to do with your attitude. Your chances of making it onto the cavernous dancefloor of this brutalist power station are slim. It’s simultaneously inclusive and exclusive, which makes for a formidable crowd once you’re inside the venue. If you queue for three hours and are turned away, try Sisyphos, Tresor or ://about blank.

Image: Via Hotel Zoo, Stefan Widu via Unsplash

A view of the Hong Kong skyline from Victoria harbour
A view of the Hong Kong skyline from Victoria harbour

HONG KONG, CHINA

Stay: If you’re not opting for the city’s historic Mandarin Oriental, a boutique room at the aptly named Luxe Manor is a playful and decadent option for those with a party spirit. Its bold, surreal interiors and dada-themed bar are a design-buff’s dream and makes for some pretty fabulous post-party anecdotes.

Eat: For the best Dim Sum in the city, try Man Wah on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental before you head off into the night. Dine on tiger prawn dumplings and Wagyu beef whilst you drink in the view of Victoria harbour and the city’s glittering skyline. And those who enjoy a late night (or early morning) bite after a few rounds of cocktails, rejoice. Hong Kong has a culture of late-night eating and you can get traditional Cantonese food across the city at three in the morning every night of the week.

Party: The party scene in Hong Kong is distinctly international and can be pretty high brow. Take the vertigo-inducing lift to Ozone, the highest rooftop bar in the world, where the Sunday brunch includes free-poured Dom Perignon. Lan Kwai Fong is the party district – where super-clubs rub shoulders with karaoke and darts bars. Play and Dragon-i draw some of the world’s best Djs and the crowd is well-heeled and beautiful. Step behind the velvet rope and enjoy lounging, dining and entertainment at its best.

Images: Via Mandarin Oriental, Pexels