It only comes once a year, so why not close out 2011 with a bang? Check out these indulgent, blowout New Year’s Eve experiences. You might wake up and wonder where the night went, but that’s what resolutions are for.
Sunbathe Like Beyoncé in St. Barth
The Offer: If a sun-kissed glow is your bait then hop a private plane to St. Barth for rest, relaxation, and some jetsetter-style partying. Sunbathe the day away with the likes of Beyoncé, Rachel Zoe, and Donatella Versace at the Hotel Guanahani and Spa, a 5-star resort that completed a $9 million renovation last December featuring two new luxury suites, private beach access, and a Clarins spa. For your night out, reserve your spot at the annual Eden Rock New Year’s Eve party with dinner, dancing, and a beachside fireworks show.
Good to Know: The 2-bedroom Serenity Suite at the Hotel Guanahani comes with a private swimming pool and stunning 538-square-foot wrap-around deck, but rates go for $7,340 a night. And pampering like a pop star doesn’t come cheap. A five-day package at the Clarins Spa, including a clay body wrap, facial, massage, jet lag-recovery treatment, and more, costs $890.
Book It: Call 800/216-3774 or visit Hotel Guanahani.
Ski Like a Duchess in the French Alps
The Offer: Chanel, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton are not your usual active attire, but that’s what you’ll find on the slopes of Courchevel. This luxury resort in the French Alps boasts pristine runs spread across five resorts with such unimaginable services as a horse-drawn Hermès carriage and a ski salon to pre-heat your boots before going en piste. Sipping Champagne at apres-ski, browsing the snow-frosted boutiques on heated pavement, and admiring the rotating works of publicly displayed art are all part of the experience. Have late-night fun at Les Caves, where you’re likely to rub shoulders with Russian oligarchs, oil sheiks, the Beckhams, and—if you’re lucky—Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton.
Good to Know: You won't have to lift a well-manicured finger in this French ski town, where it's all about chalet-living—but luxury comes at a price. The Chalet Tsuga, part of the Le Kilimandjaro hotel grounds, is available for $16,350 a night with daily butler, maid, and chef service. New Year’s Eve reservations at Les Caves start around $10,000.
Book It: Visit Chalet Tsuga.
Party Like a Celebutante in Las Vegas
The Offer: The Bellagio hotel is getting a Hollywood-style reboot. SLE's Sam Nazarian, owner of the original Sunset Strip Hyde Lounge, is opening a new location in the Bellagio on New Year’s Eve. Designed by Phillipe Starck, the much-anticipated 10,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor space will feature 40 V.I.P. tables, extravagant chandeliers, and a "secret" Tuscan garden. If it’s anything like its L.A. older brother, expect a steady flow of Vincent Chases and their entourages.
Good to Know: Partying in Vegas doesn’t include a bed to nurse your hangover. Bellagio’s luxurious Chairman Suite with 24-hour butler service starts at $6,000 a night.
Book It: Visit the Bellagio and its Hyde Lounge site for updates on advance booking. Or, take your chances at the door—with fake lashes and a bandage-tight dress so the bouncer thinks you're one of the Kardashian clan.
Escape with the Billionaires to the South Pacific
The Offer: When Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz wants to—gasp—wind down, he heads to his private island, Laucala, in the Fiji archipelago. The 3,000-acre isle is as idyllic as it is luxurious. Twenty-five thatch-roofed villas line the white sand beaches, and there’s personal watercraft at the ready should you tire of the 18-hole golf course. Or channel Brooke Shields and seek out an aqua-green lagoon. For New Year’s Eve, pull up to one of the island’s five restaurants for a taste of fresh local fare; the vegetables and fruit are farmed right up the hillside.
Good to Know: Rates range from $3,800 to $35,000 per night for the high season.
Book It: Visit Laucala.
Club-Hop in South Beach with Hollywood’s Hottest Stars
The Offer: Come winter, the sunshine and sizzling Latin vibe of Miami's South Beach attracts everyone from the Ronson family to Nicki Minaj. Start your night off with a lushly decorated gala dinner plus performances at the Setai. Then head to Wall at the W South Beach, where Swedish DJ Alesso is on the turntables, or to Mansion (where Minaj played last year) to dance well into the wee hours of the morning.
Good to Know: The Setai’s annual gala dinner, this year with a Marrakesh theme, goes for $695 per person. With the heavy-duty Champagne swilling, best to book a hotel within easy walking distance from the hot spots. W South Beach’s "Penthouse Extreme Wow Suite" is more than 2,000 sq. ft. and will set you back $5,000 a night. That just about matches up with Mansion’s "ultra VIP" tables. Each reservation is priced at $5,000, and includes two bottles each of vodka and Dom Perignon Champagne.