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Are you bored of the same generic New Year’s Eve spent in front of the telly watching the countdown? Or perhaps you simply can’t hack spending your evening queuing up in the cold waiting to gain entry to an overcrowded club? That’s why we suggest that you get away from it all and jet across the world to a location that knows how to celebrate December 31st in style. Check out our destination recommendations, give our personal travel managers a call and you’ll be on a flight before you can say ‘Happy New Year’…

New York City, North America

When it comes to the festive season, there’s truly no place like New York City. When December hits, the city looks exactly how it does in your favourite romantic comedies; twinkling lights, sky-high Christmas trees and the infamous ice skating rink at Rockefeller Centre. The celebrations continue right up until New Year’s Eve, where millions of locals and tourists alike flock to Times Square for the iconic ball drop and fireworks over Central Park. Now, if you’re not a fan of large crowds then this probably isn’t for you and there are an abundance of alternative activities going on in the city that are sure to tickle your fancy. However, heading to Times Square should be on everyone’s bucket list and is definite to provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.


Top tips – wear comfortable shoes and get there as early as possible.  

Where to stay – Mandarin Oriental, New York

Expert view – “Nothing compares to New Year’s Eve in New York City. It’s vibrant, busy and memorable in every way possible,” Tex O’Neill, personal travel manager

The Bahamas, Caribbean

What’s better than seeing in the New Year surrounded by the height of paradise? The Bahamas is the ultimate Caribbean destination and boasts year-round sunshine which, let’s face it, is truly unbeatable. Experience Bahamian culture at its finest with Junkanoo, a street festival in the heart of Nassau that most certainly has to be seen to be believed. The festival dates back hundreds of years, originally celebrating the only two days slaves had off each year. The streets of the island are flooded with colourful parades, fantastic entertainers and vibrant costumes for festivities that will make your January 1st truly sparkle.


Top tip – Dance through the night with the locals and you’ll make friends for life.

Where to stay – The Cove Atlantis

Expert View – “Junkanoo is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There’s nothing better than enjoying the festival while sipping on local rum and snapping pictures that are sure to make all your Instagram followers envious,” Claire Baker, personal travel manager


Madrid, Spain

The Spanish capital is perfect if you want to get away from home but don’t want to travel too far. Madrid has all sorts of fun and funky traditions that will have you laughing all the way into 2019. The most notable though, is the eating of 12 grapes in accordance to the 12 ‘campanadas’ (meaning chimes) just before the clock strikes midnight – it’s a lot harder than it sounds! If you manage to chew and swallow all 12 grapes on time, you’re guaranteed a happy and prosperous new year. So, head to Puerta del Sol armed with punnets of grapes and a few bottles of champagne as you watch the fireworks over the majestic clock tower. If you have some time to kill beforehand, check out the Christmas market at Plaza Mayor for authentic Spanish food, art and crafts and a whole lot of festive cheer.


Top tip – be prepared for bars and restaurants to close by 9pm at the latest. They re-open just before midnight. 

Where to stay – Hotel Villa Magna

Expert View – “The traditional eating of the 12 grapes at midnight is one of the most fun and unique New Year’s experiences you’ll come across. Pair this with plenty of champagne and tapas and you’ve got yourself a brilliant December 31st,” Emma Littlebury, personal travel manager

Sydney, Australia

We know what you’re thinking – what’s so special about fireworks on New Year’s Eve? That’s because you haven’t been to Sydney. This beautifully majestic Australian city certainly knows how to celebrate the year in style, kicking off the festivities with a firework display at 9pm and another when the clock strikes 12. The best place to watch the incredible show is from a harbour cruise, the Sydney Opera House or simply outside in the great outdoors. The firework display is an impeccable spray of lights in the sky, bursting rhythmically along to music for an unforgettable 15 minutes. Let’s not forget about the air and water show featuring aerial acrobatics and the Harbour of Light Parade – have we convinced you yet?


Top tip – if you’re going to a ticketed event, purchasing in advance is a must in order to avoid disappointment.

Where to stay – Park Hyatt Sydney

Expert View – “The firework display over Sydney Harbour truly has to be seen to be believed. I would say take a camera – but there’s no chance that you’ll be able to tear your eyes away!”, Ryan Collins, personal travel manager  


Edinburgh, Scotland

If you weren’t already aware, New Year’s in Scotland is a pretty big deal. The gem of the UK certainly knows how to party, with plenty of festivities throughout the Christmas period that will keep you busy, celebrating the annual Edinburgh Hogmanay. Along with the iconic fireworks held at Edinburgh Castle on the 31st, the most popular celebration during the festival is the Torchlight procession on December 30th which sees around 40,000 locals and tourists alike walk through the Scottish capital with bright torches. This year, English singer-songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man is headlining the Concert in the Gardens, right up until the colourful fireworks burst into the sky when it hits midnight. Fancy something a bit more traditional? Head to St Giles’ Cathedral for a candlelit concert featuring choir performances and young soloists.


Top tip – learn the words to Auld Lang Syne – you’re going to need them.

Where to stay – Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

Expert View – “Edinburgh is special all year round but there’s something truly magical about the city on New Year’s Eve. Hit the Hogmanay street party if you want to drink and dance the night away,” Emma Littlebury, personal travel manager

London, UK

Who says you can’t have a brilliant New Year’s Eve right on your doorstep? And no, we don’t mean staying inside to watch Eastenders. London is a metropole of pure excitement and thrills and has something to suit everyone from the very young to the young at heart. We recommend heading to a rooftop bar or restaurant that overlooks the incredible cityscape, perfect for seeing the fireworks burst over the London Eye. SUSHISAMBA and Duck and Waffle are perfect if you’re peckish while Madison and Sky Garden are brilliant for bringing in the New Year with plenty of cocktails. If the hangover isn’t too intense, be sure to check out the New Year’s Day Parade in the heart of the city which sees more than 8,000 performers take to the streets for a whole host of entertainment and fun for all the family.


Top tip – have a glass of champagne in your hand at 11:59pm

Where to stay – Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard London

Expert View – “Samuel Johnson said it best: when you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life. There’s so much to do in the city to bring in the New Year but make sure you’re surrounded by plenty of drinks and great company,” David Ox, managing director

Ashleigh Simmons

Ashleigh Simmons is a Content Writer