Travel

By Kelley Granger

Watching the ball drop this New Year?

Yawn.

Trying to make your way through the intoxicated crowds of Times Square without getting something vile on your Fendi heels?

Good luck.

It’s often said that the way you end your year is a harbinger of what will come to you in the following 12 months. Not sure about you, but we’d like to skip the same-old in NYC and herald the new year with a celebration of exploration. With that in mind, we’ve got your ticket to a few of the hottest New Years destinations around the globe.

New Year’s fireworks at Tivoli Gardens and roulette at Casino Copenhagen

Bet on a great celebration | Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is fast becoming an “it” city, and for good reason. With a bevy of historic sites, gourmet restaurants and avante garde accommodations, this slice of Scandinavia offers something for everyone, particularly this time of year. Visit Dec. 26 through the 30 to partake in a five-day fireworks celebration at Tivoli Gardens ( http://www.tivoli.dk ), which was modeled from the romantic pleasure gardens of Europe in the mid-1800s. Each day of the event is themed after a different season, and finishes with a grand New Year’s firework show and music above Copenhagen’s Concert Hall.

For a taste of tradition, head with the locals to Amalienborg, the royal couple’s winter residence, to view another spectacular showing of fireworks and see the Royal Guard Parade march in full ruby-hued regalia. From there, set off for an evening of excitement at the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel ( http://www.radissonsas.com ), where you can get lucky at Casino Copenhagen, the largest casino in northern Europe.

See these and more holiday celebrations at http://www.visitcopenhagen.com.

Luxury at the Regent Esplanade and the festivities of Jelacic Square

Photo courtesy of http://www.javno.com

Merrymaking among medieval treasures | Zagreb, Croatia

Go Croatian chic in Zagreb, where you can wander along the cobbled streets and take in medieval architecture that evokes stunning locales like Vienna or Prague. Take part in a luxury package at the Regent Esplanade Zagreb and indulge in their New Year’s Eve Gala, where cocktails, dinner and dancing will culminate with a champagne toast in the Emerald Ballroom. If that’s too tame for your taste, you can head to Jelacic Square, where thousands of revelers take in live music by Croatian rock stars and a midnight fireworks show to welcome the new year. The next morning the Regent will awake you with a bath butler, who will pour your choice of scented oil (from the “Good Morning Zagreb” bath menu). Soak away the remnants of the previous year and toast new beginnings with a mimosa during breakfast for two at Zinfandel’s Restaurant.

Visit http://www.regenthotels.com for more information on the New Year in Zagreb package.

The Grand Palace in Thailand and the St. Regis in Bora Bora

The peak of travel experiences | Hong Kong to Bora Bora by Private Jet

Travel experts Abercrombie & Kent make a point – if you’re going to drop dough on an experience, you better make it count. We bet their three-week voyage from Hong Kong to Bora Bora will not fall short of fulfilling your wildest New Year’s dreams, or just any travel dream in general. Departing from Seattle, you’ll celebrate New Year’s Eve in bustling Hong Kong while cruising the Victoria Harbour and then enjoying a dinner at China Club, a stylish ode to all that is retro Shanghai. Other highlights of the trip include a visit to the Portuguese-settled city of Macau, a North Vietnamese cooking lesson in Hanoi, a visit to the Grand Palace of Bangkok and a traditional fire dance and Polynesian feast on the beach of Bora Bora.

Read more about the “Southward from the Peak” excursion at http://www.abercrombiekent.com

Stay at the luxurious Sasaskwa Lodge and safari on Tanzania’s reserves

Hunting for a one-of-a-kind experience | Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

This holiday, find yourself on the plains of East Africa embarking on Micato Safaris’ Bespoke Holiday Safari. This two week adventure will sweep you from Nairobi and the Wilderness Trails of Lewa Downs in Kenya to the Singita Grumeti Reserves of the Serengeti and the Sasaskwa Lodge, which is modeled after an English manor home and features an infinity pool, suites with fireplace lounges and views of the Serengeti plains. Here guests will indulge in an al fresco New Year’s Eve dinner that concludes with dancing, casino games and a midnight champagne toast. On New Year’s Day, intrepid travelers will be escorted by private charter to the Sabora Plains Tented Camp for two days of game-viewing.

Find out more at http://www.micato.com.

Originally published December 2008
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