It’s around this time of the year that I start to say obvious and repetitive things like: “Can you believe it’s nearly 2017?!” And: “It feels like January was only five minutes ago!” Other people always nod and agree enthusiastically so I don’t think it’s just me! The next question someone involved in this annual conversation is likely to ask is… what are you doing for New Year? It’s an innocent enough question and yet people do not like it. New Year is, it appears, generally considered an annoyance by 95% of people. Or, at least, 95% of the people I’ve spoken to over the years. Considering these negative feelings it’s a wonder that anybody at all goes out on New Year’s Eve. Apparently everywhere is far too busy and far too expensive. It’s never fun and one’s best bet is to just stay in and fall asleep while watching television. Preferably before midnight. I refuse to fall into line and say mean things about New Year’s Eve though. If Christmas is the one day of the year that we all agree to do nothing but sing, eat, drink and play games, then NYE is the one night of the year we all agree to stay up late and be silly. And if you’re bored of spending it in your locale then get on a plane and go experience it through the eyes of another nation.
If you’re not from London then get over here! It’s a wonderful place to watch the clock tick into 2017 while Big Ben bongs. Stay at the quintessentially English retreat Dukes for a true taste of the capital plus you’ll only be a short walk from the river, the Houses of Parliament and the world’s most famous bell.
Or another good choice would be Cologne in Germany, home to the country’s most popular tourist attraction, the twin spired cathedral. Most importantly for New Year’s Eve purposes though is that the people are known for their joie de vivre and there are plenty of beer halls to experience it in! Stay at one of the world’s most unusual hotels, Hotel Im Wasserturm, which is housed inside a 19th-century water tower.
The Aussies know how to enjoy themselves and in Perth they do the last night of the year with aplomb. Fabulous eateries, great wine bars, and plenty of great beaches are housed here in arguably Australia’s most exciting city. More than 1000 people a week move here so it must be a fun and vibrant place! The only place to stay has to be Como The Treasury in the city’s Cathedral Square. The buildings, which have housed state government offices for 140 years, are stunning, the indoor pool with views is extraordinary and as one would expect from a Como, the spa is sublime.
Of course cities don’t have the monopoly on great New Year’s Eves. Staying up very late and watching the sun come up on January 1 while sat on a beautiful beach sounds pretty much perfect to me. There are, of course, a lot of beaches to choose from on this lovely planet of ours but if I were choosing for this year I think I’d go for Mexico, Vietnam or Barbados. In Mexico it would have to be the Blue Diamond Riviera Maya in Playa Del Carmen. I’d know there was some action nearby should the urge arrive but if not I could sit back and take in views of the rainforest, white beaches and sea while enjoying a special first day of the year champagne breakfast treat! Plus there are two golf courses so Henry would be thrilled!
In Vietnam I would head straight for Princess D’an Nam Resort and Spa. This is where a sloth would go to chill. A stunning spa, incredible views of the East Sea and colourful fishing boats dotted across Ke Ga Bay, and seafood galore. The only major decision to make as 2016 turns into 2017 is which of the four pools to swim in!
Barbados manages somehow to combine total relaxation with a unique party spirit. If you haven’t ‘limed’ with the locals here or danced to the tunes of Red Plastic Bag (yes a real and very popular artist) then you need to pop it on your to do list. Perhaps New Year is the time to tick this one off – I’ve never been there for the big night itself but having experienced a Bajan festival I can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be an incredible night! Stay at The Sandpiper, a family-owned boutique hotel that’s been impressing guests for more than 40 years.
Wherever you decide to be for New Year’s Eve please don’t give up on it! There are so many ways to celebrate it and the world is full of cultures and beautiful spots that offer a new and exciting way to say happy New Year!
See you next week