Glide into 2019 in style

As the countdown to 2018 begins, we have zeroed in on the best places to usher in the New Year across the globe.

Sydney, Australia

Best place to be: Welcome the New Year watching the fireworks erupt over Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Make sure you are early to book your spot. Viewing the world-famous light show cruising on the waters is also the ultimate way to spend New Year’s Eve – you don’t have to battle the crowds or give up the luxury of food. You can see both the 9pm family fireworks and the main event at the stroke of midnight.

What else is going on? How about catching a show at the Sydney Opera? Both La Bohème and The Opera Gala’s intervals are timed perfectly with the 9pm fireworks display. You can also book a spot at the Midnight Party along with your opera tickets and have unparalleled views, canapes and live entertainment. Or dine at a harbourside restaurant. Whether you are looking for something fancy or more budget-friendly, you are guaranteed front-row seats to the spectacular display and to begin your New Year in style.

Where to stay:


Hyatt Regency Sydney In the centre of Darling Harbour, view the fireworks extravaganza from the beach or seated sky-high at Zephyr or Sailmaker restaurants.

Pier One Sydney Harbour With the location just below the fireworks site near Sydney Harbour Bridge, majestic views are a given.

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney After the fireworks wake up in 2019 with spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour and maybe a pampering treat at Chi, The Spa?


Goa, India

Best place to be: Spectacular fireworks all along the coast, dancing on the beach, with the sand between your toes amid fairy lights strung on every palm tree, sequined sari skirts twirling under the stars, full of gaiety parties, laughter and DJs spinning the music – have we convinced you? New Year’s Eve is the best time of year to party in Goa. Arpora (try Club Cubana), Vagator (the extremely popular Hilltop), Candolim and Anjuna in North Goa are amongst the most happening places to be.

What else is going on? For a more intimate celebration head to Leopard Valley Palolem in South Goa. One of the biggest open-air arenas, the jungle-lined quarry, with its seven-metre high DJ stage, pyrotechnics and laser shows is all ready for a night of trance tunes, free flowing juices and fireworks at midnight.

Where to stay:

W Goa Sitting high overlooking the vast Arabian Sea on Vagator Beach, The W Goa is a good base to watch the fireworks and beach festivities. The party just doesn’t seem to stop. A quiet walk on the beach on 1 January and a hearty breakfast should get you set to party some more.

Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa Overlooking the palm-fringed coastline of Sinquerim in North Goa, this is one of Goa’s most glorious and legendary hotels. After a New Year’s Eve celebration, wake up to a sumptuous breakfast, an inviting pool and maybe a pampering spa treatment?

The Leela Goa, Cavelossim After dancing the night and early morning in nearby Palolem, an escape into the warm lush interiors of The Leela is totally what you will need. Wake up to riverside views of the river Sal, the coconut-tree lined arcades and a round of golf, to begin the year in style.


Las Vegas, United States of America

Best place to be: Vegas is bright lights all year round, but it pulls out all the stops for New Year’s Eve. At midnight various casinos launch an impressive round of fireworks off the roofs of their buildings. You can book a carriage on the High Roller Ferris wheel and take it all in at 550 feet above the strip or the Skyfall Lounge on the 64th level of the Delano or the outdoor patio of the Foundation on the 63rd floor of Mandalay Bay or go atop the Stratosphere Tower that stretches 1,149 feet in the air. It’s Vegas, anything is possible.

What else is going on? Enjoy the party atmosphere at New York’s Brooklyn Bridge. The High Roller New Year’s Eve party is traditionally one of the liveliest in town. The Hard Rock Café also boasts front-row views of the fireworks, and the celebrations come to life with music and food at 9pm. Wherever you saunter off to in Las Vegas, it’s bound to be a party.

Where to stay:

Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino: Kick-start your New Year celebrity style in one of the hippest hotels in the heart of Las Vegas.

Mandalay Bay Resort: This theme-park style resort is one of the best places to base yourself on the strip. It will automatically put you in a party mood.

Wynn Las Vegas: From sparkling pools, sumptuous restaurants, luxury shopping to exhilarating nightclubs, the Wynn has it all.


Rio de Janerio, Brazil

Best place to be: The main gathering at Copacabana Beach traditionally features a variety of musical acts, including the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, which plays during the splendid fireworks and is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What else is going on? If you want to party in classic Rio style, pay a visit to Jobi Bar or for some samba, pagoda and foro music head to Carioca da Gema. The magnificent view of the floating candles in honour of Lemanjá (the Goddess of Water) is a sight to behold. Head to the Ipanema Beach to party until dawn. As per the local custom, wearing white on the night is supposed to bring good luck for the year and so too is making a bowl of farofa (a delectable dish of spiced tapioca and lentils) – your first meal of the year. If you are in the water, jumping over seven small waves and making a wish each time is also a tradition. You decide.

Where to stay:

JW Hotel Rio de Janeiro Well, its beach-side location speaks for itself. So does the luxury inside. With a host of experiences and parties on offer, it’s the place to watch the fireworks, dance the night away and welcome in the new.

Belmond Copacabana Palace Why not begin the New Year with the best seat for the fireworks? That is not all. Glistening pools, finest digs, lip-smacking cuisines and show-stopping night life are in abundance.

Fasano Rio After watching the fireworks from Copaca-bana beach, head to the neighbouring Ipanema beach to continue the party. The best place to rest your dance-tired body has to be the Fasano. The breathtaking views too go a long way in setting a calm beginning to the New Year.


Hong Kong

Best place to be: Catch the dazzling musical fireworks display that illuminates the Victoria Harbour and iconic Hong Kong skyline and get in the mood to toast the New Year. You could also go on one of the many New Year’s Eve cruises that sail around the harbor and get the best views in the house along with snacks and dinner.

What else is going on? Get to a rooftop for some unparalleled vistas. You will be spoilt for choices with Felix on the 28th floor of The Peninsula, the Ozone Bar on the 118th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Petrus on the 56th floor of The Island Shangri-La and the Skye Restaurant and Rooftop Bar on the 27th  floor of The Park Lane Hong Kong.

Where to stay:

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: You can catch the fireworks from their viewing deck. The views are perfect. There are also a full-slate of high-end events at the hotel not to be missed.

The Peninsula, Hong Kong: The Grand Dame of the Far East certainly knows how to throw a party and New Year’s Eve is no different. You can watch the fireworks from your room or just cross the road and join the crowd.

The Park Lane Hong Kong: Toast in 2019 with spectacular views of the fireworks from the roof top bar. A good rest and the luxury shopping should help make your entry into the New Year, fashion-ready.

Cape Town, South Africa

Best place to be: The excitement at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is in a category of its own. It is the only place you’ll find the whole package in one convenient location. There’s live music, dinner, dancing, fireworks, and many parties to choose from. Plus, there are loads of fantastic hotels at your disposal, so if you don’t want to fight the crowds for a cab you can do the whole thing on foot! Or there is always Table Mountain for unrivalled views.

What else is going on? Belthazar has a fantastic New Year’s Eve menu if you’re looking for somewhere to eat. Just make sure you book early, whether it’s for dinner, drinks, or accommodation. It’s one place you can take your little ones along as there’s plenty to keep kids occupied. The celebration continues with costumes, song and dance at the Kaapse Klopse festival on 1-2 January.

Where to stay:

Cellars-Hohnenorth Hotel: This is a beautiful estate located on the slopes of Table Mountain decorated with antiques and South African art. As if that was not enough, there are mesmerising views and the majestic New Year’s Dinner Dance to convince you as well.

The Silo Hotel: Can you think of a better way to welcome in the New Year, than with sunlight peering through across the expansive views of Table Mountain? This utterly charming 28-bedroom hotel is also close to shops, restaurants and the Albert & Victoria Waterfront.

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront: Located as it is, you are right in the middle of the New Years’s Eve waterfront celebrations and fireworks. Say hello to new beginnings as you wake from the depths of your deliciously sunken bed to the sounds of gentle waves breaking on the shore.


Keeping it local

Best place to be: If you are going to stay in the country (and there is absolutely no reason not to) The Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Atlantis, The Palm and The Palm Jumeirah are the hot-spots to base yourself for the night.

What else is going on? The Royal Gala at Atlantis The Palm is an extremely fabulous affair – with a 30-piece band playing through the night until 3am you’ll feast on lobster and caviar and of course unrivalled views of the glittering cityscape. Or how about escaping the crowds and embarking on a cruise of the Arabian Gulf while enjoying a buffet dinner, the shimmering coastline and the fireworks? If you’re looking for a high, how about beginning your New Year on a literal high – by dining on the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa or at the luxurious Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

Where to stay:

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray One of the best places to find yourselves living in on New Year’s Eve. After the splendor of the fireworks, the parties and the dances, come back to your luxuriously comfortable lodgings. The Talise Spa has a range of magical potions especially designed to begin your New Year with unabashed pampering.

Rixos Premium JBR Offering a seamless view of the beach, Dubai skyline and the Dubai Eye, this 35-storey hotel is a majestic haven to call home on New Year’s Eve. An early morning refreshing swim, a sumptuous breakfast followed by pampering at the spa – how does that sound? New Year, new you as the saying goes.

Al Baith Sharjah This gem in the heart of Sharjah has been raising the bar for luxury ever since it opened. This New Year’s Eve make it your home for the night and watch as fireworks light up the sky over Qasba. Better still, join in the gastronomous festivities and good cheer of the night at the resort.


Hotel hotspot

Palazzo Versace, Dubai

All the excitement and dazzling firework extravaganza is bound to whet your appetite. So, whether it’s a gala dinner, an intimate outing or dinner with a bunch of friends, Palazzo Versace will pull out all the stops to make New Year’s Eve special for you.

What’s on offer? Giardino has your Christmas Eve and Day all sorted with a fabulous brunch with all the trimmings. Before embarking to watch the fireworks, how about an indulging afternoon tea-break at Mosaico? Sumptous pastries, cakes and homemade jams are on the menu. Can we let you on a secret? Entertaining at home on Christmas night just got way easier than you imagined.  All you have to do is get the signature Versace turkey delivered right to your door. And it comes with roast potatoes, chicken sausages, glazed chestnuts, cranberry sauce and much more. We won’t tell your guests, so rest assured.

For New Year’s Eve? Dress up in your best and join the magical world of Alice in Wonderland. After your meet and greet with March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and a host of other fairy tale characters make your way for an exquisite buffet at Giardino, a four-course dinner at Vanitas or a festive set menu at Enigma. Full disclosure: be ready for some magic tricks at your table. At 11pm put on your dancing shoes so you can dance your way into the New Year.

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Images: Getty and supplied