The Design Hotels guide to New Year’s Eve

As 2018 draws to a close, many of us may be struck by a sentiment expressed in one of the year’s top pop hits: Thank you, next. It’s been a wild year, so it’s only fitting we ring it out in style.Whether you’re in the mood (and the time zone) for a London rooftop, a Caribbean island, or a Berlin basement, the global Design Hotels collection has the party for you. There are too many great festivities to list, so we’ve compiled a small selection of some of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations across our 300+ hotels in 60 countries around the world.


New York is practically synonymous with New Year’s Eve. But only amateurs go to Times Square, darling. Instead head upstate to Scribner’s Catskill Lodge, a bucolic outpost for NYC escapologists and headspace junkies. Revelers will be treated to a Hollywood-inspired dinner complete with oysters and Champagne, and music from DJs The Naked Heroes. Two dinner services, at 6pm and 9pm, lead to a party from 9:30pm. In the morning, the rolling landscape of Schoharie County provides the perfect backdrop for an existential hangover.


Then there’s the unofficial European culture capital. Berlin becomes a frenzy of fireworks in the lead-up to midnight, while its nightlife scene does what it does best, offering a smorgasbord of unfettered hedonism. Over on the west side in the Charlottenburg district, Provocateur melds ‘20s and ‘70s decadence at its Studio 24 party from 11pm in its La Cave basement with live DJ sets by Dan Le Blonde and others, and performances by the Die Gl’Amouresque burlesque and cabaret troupe. In the words of Sally Bowles, let’s be bourgeoisie and decadent.


You can battle the crowds at The City of Toronto’s official New Year’s Eve party at Nathan Phillips Square, or you can be a sane person and hit up one of The Drake Hotel’s many parties, taking place all over town. From 8pm at The Drake Hotel in the buzzy West Queen West neighborhood, local talent ensembles Collectif Nude and People’s Champ use art, design, and music to create an immersive, multisensory, and all-around-phantasmagoric night all the way from the hotel’s Sky Yard to the Drake Underground. A bit outside town, the Drake Devonshire—in Wellington, Prince Edward County, Ontario—serves up farm-to-table dishes to the sound of a live band, with DJs performing into the small hours. Dinner at The Drake Devonshire is served from 5pm and 8pm, while the post-dinner party starts at 10pm.


New Year by the pool, anyone? Situated on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia’s oldest cocoa estate, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat will serve a special six-course New Year’s menu set to live music from 7pm. After dinner, a DJ takes over and guests are encouraged to raise a glass of Champagne to the nearby Petit Piton volcano come midnight. 


Mexico’s own take on New Year’s Eve sees ritualistic pleas for good fortune, dancing in the street, and, of course, festive feasting. In the historic city of San Miguel De Allende, Dos Casas Hotel & Spa invites talented chef Olivier Deboise—who trained at Lycee Les Sorbets and Notre Dame du Roc in France—to collaborate with the Colombia-based culinary duo Nicolás López and Sergio Meza of Villanos en Bermudas. Guests should turn up from 6pm with an appetite for cross-cultural culinary exploration and 18th-century colonial architecture.


You don’t have to be a crazy rich Asian to enjoy Singapore on New Year’s (though we’ll be honest—it helps). Guests of The Warehouse Hotel are in for One Last Night of Debauchery from 9pm, with The Glamourettes taking to the stage for a jazzy burlesque dance performance; local favorite DJ KFC bringing his house-infused disco and funk repertoire to the floor; and DJ and multi-instrumentalist Kaye creating a musical soundscape with drum machines, synthesizers, and his trusty saxophone.


What would New Year’s Eve be without a costume party? The Dwell Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, invites guests into its Glam 80s Wonderland for casual dining, free-flowing bubbly all night, a vinyl set by DJ Audiovore, and pin-up shot girls. Dress the part and swing into 2019 wholeheartedly from 7.30pm.


And then there are the age-old-classic big-city New Year’s Eve destinations: the Big Apple and jolly old London. Take in the British capital’s fireworks, hot cocktail in hand and to the sound of Carola Duo, from Ham Yard Hotel’s leafy roof terrace overlooking Soho; enjoy a five-course dinner at New York’s Whitby Hotel with live jazz music by Sam Taylor’s Trio and singer Lucy Yeghiazaryan; or choose another of Firmdale Hotels’ indulgent New Year’s Eve celebrations across eight properties in the two cities. Wherever you may find yourself when the ball drops, Design Hotels wishes you a rollicking good time and all the best in the year to come.

Sunday, December 16th, 2018