INSPIRATION • October 2019
Seeking the perfect New Year’s Eve getaway for you and your friends? Why not combine a city break with your end-of year celebrations? Travel writer, Helen Ochyra has the lowdown on where to greet 2020 in style
Nowhere does New Year’s Eve – actually, Hogmanay – like the Scottish capital. Arrive in time for the torchlight procession on the 30th, a rousing march through the city with fiery torches, pipers and drummers, then prepare for the night of your life on the 31st when you can get stuck in to the city’s infamous street party. Multiple stages host big-name acts and there’s a rip-roaring cèilidh in sight of the castle.
Where to stay: Stay at the gorgeously Baroque Scotsman Hotel, the eponymous newspaper’s old home (rooms from £361), or chic and spacious Chester Residence (apartments from £400).
You’ve seen the famous ball dropping on TV, now see it in all its glittery glory at New York’s iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve party. Join the throng for live music in the lead-up, before the countdown to midnight sets off a cacophony of pyrotechnics and fills the air with more confetti than you’ve ever seen. Expect several famous faces – and to make about a million new friends.
Where to stay: The Knickerbocker hotel has the closest view of the ball dropping, from its lively rooftop party (rooms from £760), while Moxy Times Square offers funky modern rooms just around the corner (from £411).
You’ll need a siesta for this one – Madrid’s New Year celebrations don’t really get started until midnight, and you’ll find the streets deserted in the final hours of the old year while everyone has dinner with the family at home. Come the hour though, Puerta del Sol fills up for the big moment. Join the Madrileños here, then follow the crowd into the city’s raucous bars and clubs – and don’t expect to hit the hay until sun-up.
Where to stay: Book B&B Hotel Madrid Centro Puerta del Sol to be super-close to the action (rooms from £173) or the sleek VP Plaza España Design, which hosts a NYE dinner (rooms from £312).
New Year's Eve in notoriously hedonistic Berlin is no prescriptive event – here the techno clubs throw open their doors and remain that way for days, while the usual rules on fireworks don’t apply, so the city’s residents unleash rockets and sparklers at every turn. The focal point for midnight itself is the Brandenburg Gate, home to the official fireworks display and an exuberant open-air party.
Where to stay: The Apartments at Brandenburg Gate are as well located as they sound (from £176), or book art and music hotel nhow Berlin, which is always ready for a party. Keyboards and guitars are available on 24-hour room service (rooms from £198).
Nashville, aka Music City, sure knows how to throw a party, and Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight is its very best. This free outdoor concert at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park features big names in country, rock and pop, and there’s a tasty line-up of food trucks serving southern classics such as chicken and waffles. A huge musical note drops to signal midnight, kicking off fireworks and confetti cannons.
Where to stay: Omni Nashville is a short walk away and has a rooftop pool for next day recovery (rooms from £410); Hotel Indigo is even closer and has colourful contemporary rooms (from £233).
Dubai is nothing if not extravagant, and the city’s New Year celebrations are no exception. The place to be for midnight is somewhere in view of the Dubai Fountain, where a spectacular light and water show heralds the new year. Get here early to stake out your spot, or book a table at one of the waterfront restaurants by the Dubai Mall for a guaranteed ringside seat.
Where to stay: You could bust the budget for a room with a fountain view (Palace Downtown has the best, from £1,030), but it’s only a short 30-minute drive from the Palm, where you’ll find super-stylish W Dubai – The Palm (rooms from £447).