From New Zealand to Tahiti, it will take 24 hours for the sun to rise on 2018! Here are ten magical places, broken down by time zone, to celebrate the New Year in style.
1. On the Dock of the Bay
UTC+12: New Zealand - Matakauri Lodge
2018 starts here. Twenty minutes from Queenstown Airport and even closer to downtown Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge is set on Lake Wakatipu, in New Zealand’s South Island. This alpine retreat is an ideal New Year’s Eve getaway, with the town of Queenstown pulling out all the stops to mark the big event, with live music, entertainment and fireworks on the Queenstown Lakefront. For something more intimate, retreat to the lodge and share in evening drinks and canapés with friends or family, and enjoy a dinner featuring the finest New Zealand produce.
2. Nature Lovers
UTC +9: Japan - Tenku no mori
Tenku no Mori, meaning "heaven in the sky,” is located on the south-western tip of Kushu Island in Japan. Honour the start of the new year here, under the gaze of Japan's volcanic Kagoshima mountains and surrounded by rainforest. This is a chance to not only celebrate the old and new year but also nature and your place in it. Toast to good times in the restaurant, over original cuisine with seasonal, organically grown vegetables from the garden and free-range Satsuma-jidori chicken.
3. Away from it all
UTC +5: India – Jawai
Jawai is a sophisticated and ecological camp in the heart of the wilderness at the bottom of the Aravali Mountains with, spectacular views of the dramatic wilderness of Rajasthan Jawai is located between Udaipur and Jodhpur, approximately 130 km from both. The tents of canvas, stainless steel and leather accoutrements, are surrounded by wide spaces, isolated from the rest of the world. Spend your evening looking for leopards on a sunset game drive in a vintage jeep with informed guides and feast on thali curry at a dinner under the stars in landscape of acacia forests, mustard fields, and smooth-sided granite hills.
4. Bright City Lights
UTC +2: South Africa – AtholPlace Hotel & Villa
While Johannesburg, the City of Gold, holds a feast of its own, with restaurants and bars abuzz with excitement on the last day of the year, you might prefer to retreat to this small boutique hotel on the outskirts of Johannesburg, in Sandton. Whether you bring the children or share it with friends or a partner, the bar, gardens and terraces provide an intimate and charming stage for the big day. Should your feet be itching to head out on the town, the hotel team are available to help arrange a trip for you to explore what is quickly becoming one of the trendiest city destinations worldwide. After the celebrations, curl into the privacy of your own suite or villa and emerge only when necessary.
5. Midnight in Paris
UTC +1: Paris – Marquis Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Celebrate the stroke of midnight on the streets of romantic Paris, when the magic of the city can be felt even more, or head to the Faubourg Saint-Honoré district for a night in a private 18th century mansion at 8 rue d’Anjou. Here you’ll find the beautiful Marquis Faubourg Saint-Honoré, within walking distance of the Louvre Museum, the Opera House and the Champs-Elysées Avenue. Enjoy drinks or a meal in the lounge (or as room service) until closing time at 10:30 pm and celebrate the last moments of 2017 with a loved one (or two) and a selection of French wine, Champagne or your favourite spirits. (Note to self: Don’t have so much fun that you forget to look at the clock.)
6. Country Cheer
UTC: UK - Buckland Manor
Buckland Manor sits next to a 13th-century church amid beautiful gardens in the Cotswolds. Celebrate the festive season with a dinner of fine wines and exquisite food or an exclusive house party with friends and family at this intimate countryside retreat. The manor’s New Year’s Eve special includes a seven-course tasting menu with wine pairings and a magnificent fireworks display over the estate to welcome in the New Year. On New Year’s Day, honour the great tradition of an invigorating countryside walk after breakfast and return to an à la carte dinner.
7. Love is in the Air
UTC-2: Brazil – Saint Andrews Gramado Honour
New Year's Eve in the heart of the Quilombo Valley at Saint Andrews Gramado. Set in a uniquely designed building, inspired by Saint Andrews Castle in Scotland, the hotel lies in the Serra Gaúcha region in Rio Grande do Sul. Experience romantic lake side dinners at the hands of an expert chef and kitchen team, with wines from the best winemaking vineyards in the Rio Grande do Sul region presented by a dedicated sommelier. You can also delight in wood-fired barbeques in the rose and lavender garden, with traditional live music, or a taste of the land in the hotel's main Primrose Restaurant with Franco-Italian cuisine and influences of the Serra Gaúcha.
8. New York, New York
UTC-5: New York - The Surrey Hotel
The excitement of a New Year’s Eve in New York can be felt just outside the doors to The Surrey, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. But inside The Surrey you can retreat from the public and sip cocktails against the backdrop of the iconic New York skyline and Central Park in the Roof Garden, or at Bar Pleiades, and savour meals at Café Boulud, the French eatery directed by Chef Daniel Boulud. Consider it New York's best alternative to New Year's Eve in Times Square, but should you wish to head to the square for the celebration, be sure to catch the lighting and raising of the ball at 6:00 pm, followed by its ascent with pyrotechnic effects. Watch its descent sixty seconds before the big moment, and at the stroke of midnight, glimpse its lights switching off as the clocks strike midnight.
9. California Dreamin’
UTC-8: California - Auberge du Soleil
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the heart of the Napa Valley. Auberge du Soleil, the “Inn of the Sun”, rests in an olive grove reminiscent of Provence, on a hillside framing a spectacular view of California’s winelands. Behold the sunset from the bar and bistro and honour the joy of the festive season with the restaurant’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and the finest locally- and globally sourced wines from the 15,000-bottle cellar.
10. Polynesian Paradise
UTC-10: Tahiti - Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa
Le Taha’a is situated on a beautiful islet of the archipelago of the Society Islands, facing the vanilla fragrant island of Taha’a in the South Pacific. Have a romantic evening under the Tahitian starlit sky celebrating with champagne, listening to the sounds of ancient Tahiti and enjoying the rhythms of a local dance troupe. Alternately, catch the last sunset of the year with cocktails in hand and a meal to remember at La plage, the beach restaurant, Le Vanille or Ohiri.