New Year's Hotspots
New Year's Eve from New York to Reykjavik
Where to spend New Year’s Eve: Three great suggestions
Finding the best way to spend your New Year’s Eve after a hectic year of work and travel can be quite an art. It can be tempting to curl up with a good book, the lights low and soft music playing. But if you find yourself looking for a spectacular way to ring in the New Year, traveling to one of the great capitals of the world could offer just what you need. And VOCIER has some suggestions for what you can do there.
Auckland, New Zealand
Though most North Americans and Europeans can’t imagine having New Year’s in the middle of summer, that is exactly what citizens of the Southern Hemisphere can enjoy. It may take some getting used to, but wearing shorts and summer dresses will be a pleasant change. With Auckland’s temps between Christmas and New Year’s hovering in the mid-20s Celsius, it makes outdoor activities much easier to consider. And as a result, you can pack lighter using our carry-on VOCIER F38 luggage to breeze through customs.
Where to hear some great bands
If you head to the Wondergarden at Silo Park, you can get a fantastic party atmosphere with a variety of international and local bands. It is a family-friendly event that will take you from 2pm through New Year’s celebration closing at 1am on January 1st. There is limited capacity, so if this does sound like your way to celebrate, be sure to get your tickets early.
Where to get good eats in Auckland
Auckland’s antipodean location means that it enjoys a wide range of cultural influences in everything from art and music to architecture and cuisine. On a short trip to the city, stopping off at Lucky Buddha will introduce you to this excellent level of multiculturalism. Located just blocks from the harbor, it is a restaurant that offers casual dining with a difference. Enjoy the bold flavors and inventive presentation paired with one of the excellent beers from a small Japanese craft brewery.
Where to stay in Auckland
Just a four-minute walk from the Lucky Buddha, the Hotel DeBrett offers a boutique experience with all the service and comfort to warrant that description. It is the perfect mix of elegance and convenience. The excellent location will offer the perfect jumping off point to discover more of the city. It also provides a gorgeous breakfast to help take the sting out of the New Year’s celebrations from the night before.
At the other end of the weather spectrum from Auckland on New Year’s Eve, Reykjavik quixotically boasts perhaps the largest New Year’s party in Europe. The short days and freezing temperatures will quickly encourage you to begin your New Year’s imbibing that much earlier in the day. And the jovial atmosphere across the city will encourage you to drop any inhibitions and throw yourself into the festivities.
What’s the best place to see fireworks in Reykjavik
It almost doesn’t matter where you stand in Reykjavik on New Year’s Eve: you will see fireworks. From just about any hill or tallish building, you will be able to see the firework displays. They are that spectacular and ubiquitous. If you plan your trip far enough ahead, you can get rooms at the very special Kvosin Downtown Hotel. The historic building has a clean, crisp interior which perfectly represents Icelandic design values. All rooms come equipped with cooking kitchenettes which might come in useful on New Year’s Eve since the city’s restaurants typically are booked months in advance of the New Year.
How to stay warm in Reykjavik
With the fireworks typically starting only 30 minutes before midnight, you can bide your time by visiting one of the many bonfires that are lit around the city. There are 17 in total in greater Reykjavik that are places where locals, as well as tourists, go to meet, enjoy the warmth and feeling of community. And though a small standing-picnic may not be out of the question, you are strongly admonished if you bring any personal fireworks, for obvious reasons.
Spending any night in Paris is high on all our lists of great places to be. But it is even more special on New Year’s Eve. Falling somewhere in between Auckland and Reykjavik in terms of weather conditions and available activities, there is plenty that you can find to do as a perfect close to one year and the unveiling of another.
Head to Sir Winston’s for an aperitif
Since it’s Paris, you will have likely spent most of the day walking your feet off sightseeing. A nice way to slow down in preparation for the evening’s celebrations is to head to Sir Winston’s just a block off the Étoile. With a nice selection of nibbles and Ruinart champagne available by the glass, there can hardly be a better way to kick off the evening. The cozy and appropriately Churchill-like interior will get you quickly in the right frame of mind.
Where’s the best place to eat in Paris?
Having the right reservations for your Paris New Year’s celebrations will possibly make or break your evening. La Fontaine Gaillon has long monopolized the top spot as our favorite restaurant for any night in Paris, but especially New Year’s. Do not be thrown by the Michelin stars. This is a restaurant that offers the perfect degree of elegance without feeling stuffy. And the excellent cuisine will make you realize you could be no place else but the heart of Paris. Located in the 2nd Arrondissement on the Place Gaillon, the building housing the La Fontaine Gaillon is a beautiful seventeenth-century mansion that also has a sunny terrace for when you return to eat there in the summer.
Perfect hotels in the heart of Paris
No matter how chilly the night is, once you have feasted at La Fontaine Gaillon, an easy saunter down to the Tuileries will give you a great chance of seeing the many fireworks that the city of Paris will also be lighting up. Then grab a taxi to the Hotel l’Abbaye in the Saint Germain-des-Prés for the perfect place to spend your New Year’s night. Situated on a peaceful street in the 6th Arrondissement, the building itself has a deep history. But the hotel couldn’t be more comfortable or modern. Walking through the beautiful private garden from the reception will make you want to stay there again in warmer weather.
Breakfast in Saint Germain-des-Prés
Though the Hotel l’Abbaye, of course, offers quite an extensive breakfast menu, there is perhaps no better place to spend a hungover petit-déjeuner than at le Deux Magots. A short walk from the hotel, and famous as the meeting place for the intelligentsia of Europe, le Deux Magots is surprising in how welcoming it feels and how wide the menu. Don’t be afraid to take a book and read a while. You won’t be alone.