New Year's Eve 2013: The Ultimate Parties

John O'Ceallaigh, The Daily Telegraph, December 30, 2013

Temperatures are forecast to reach up to 90F (32C) on New Year’s Eve in Bangkok, so an evening meal in the open air should prove appealing. On the 63rd floor of the Tower Club at lebua hotel, Sirocco is the world’s highest al fresco restaurant and diners here will be served a seven-course Mediterranean menu, featuring dishes such as Brittany blue lobster with cucumber pearls, as a jazz band plays and fireworks illuminate the city. Dinner begins with champagne at 7pm and costs THB21,999 (about £410) per person.

Travellers who can’t get enough of New Year’s Eve have the opportunity to experience it twice with PrivateFly . The evening kicks off at 8pm in Sydney, with an exclusive party at Sydney Opera House (or an intimate dinner at The Dining Room at the Park Hyatt Sydney if something more tranquil is preferred) and changes course at 2am on January 1, 2014, when couples are flown by a Gulfstream G550 to Los Angeles. Those on the 13-hour journey will arrive in good time for celebrations in LA, with Cleopatra’s Ball at the Egyptian Theater or dinner at seafood restaurant Crustacean the two recommended options. Packages are available from £9,157 per person, with a full aircraft charter costing £137,355 based on 15 passengers.

New Year’s Eve at Florence’s Hotel Lungarno is a sophisticated affair. Here guests who avail of its tailored celebration package will have the use of a Ferrari during their three-night stay, dinner on the night at Borgo San Jacopo restaurant, a massage, the services of a personal shopper for half a day and various other privileges. Accommodation is in a junior or signature suite and the offer costs from €6,490 (£5,440).

The multi-award-winning boutique Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg is celebrating the new year with a one-off partnership with Ruinart. The highlight of the evening is dinner at the lauded restaurant Five Hundred, with unlimited Ruinart champagne served as an accompaniment, before a fireworks display is deployed from the hotel grounds at midnight. A table for eight costs R80,000 (£4,750).

Guests at Raymond Blanc’s Michelin-starred Le Manoir can enjoy a black tie gala dinner and dance that begins with a Laurent Perrier reception and follows with a seven-course meal. Entertainment will include live music from the band Black&Gold, a rendition of Auld Lang Syne by Highland piper David Major and a fireworks display. Providing a unique memento of the night, a caricaturist will jot drawings of guests during dinner. The package costs £370 per person (with accommodation extra).

Another option for those who would like to celebrate the night in a more restrained manner. For the first time, the Royal Opera House in London is hosting a New Year’s Eve party. A Ruinart champagne and canape reception in the Paul Hamlyn Hall is followed by a four-course dinner and a performance by members of the Royal Opera Chorus. The countdown takes place in the Amphitheatre Terrace with the Denmark Street Big Band providing a musical accompaniment. Tickets are £400 per person.

At London’s Savoy Hotel, guests can see in the new year with dinner and dancing at the Lancaster Ballroom. The night’s 1920s-inspired celebrations will include a four-course dinner and performances by an 11-piece jazz orchestra and other live bands. The five-hour party, commencing at 8pm, costs from £295 per person.

A select number of guests at New York's Andaz 5th Avenue can enjoy the city's New Year's Eve celebrations from the comfort of the hotel's Empire Terrace Suite – it enjoys views of Times Square where celebrations culminate at midnight. Up to four guests can book the suite from December 31 to January 2, as part of a package that includes in-room spa treatments for all, optional in-room dining, round-trip transfers, tickets to Cipriani 42nd Street's New Year's Eve party and a "recovery breakfast" to see in the first morning of 2014. The package costs $14,000 (£8,500).