8 best places to spend New Year’s Eve

Skip the big gatherings this year and instead choose a safe get away with just your loved ones.

8 best places to spend New Year's Eve
8 best places to spend New Year’s Eve

It’s been a year like no other and it’s likely no one out there is sad to auction until 2020. Under normal circumstances, the last few weeks of the year will be devoted to the bustling social calendar of holiday parties, last-minute comfortable shopping, outings to The Nutcracker, and generational trips to remote beaches in Thailand and snowy slopes in the Alps. Obviously, this year will be different. An even more frightening second wave of Covid-19s has swept through the country, hospitalization rates are exceeding the darkest days of the epidemic and a new round of captivity has emerged (if they haven’t been set yet, as in California). There is no doubt that an epic New Year’s Eve party as well as gatherings of all forms. But if you and your quarantine class members are looking out of town for a quiet, private, and safe NYE escape, we’ve put together some of the options below. (And as with any form of travel you do during an epidemic, check each state’s restrictions —keep in mind quarantine rules before you arrive, close your business, etc. — as they are constantly changing.)

1. Texas Hill Country

Texas Hill Country
Texas Hill Country

With just 32 accommodations and 13,000 acres of land, JL Bar Ranch, Resort & Spa in Sonora, Texas, is the perfect winter escape for year-end R& R activities and away from society. For an even more private and secluded stay, book the luxurious Archer’s Nest Villa, a six-bedroom farmhouse with a gourmet kitchen, BBQ booth, swimming pool, and home theater. Along with the many activities offered at the resort, from hiking and horseback riding to oblique fishing and archery, JL Bar Ranch is also equipped with a private airport. Like driving? It’s a 2-hour drive from San Antonio, 3 hours from Austin, and 5 hours from Dallas

2. Water Mill, New York

Water Mill, New York

Escape the Hamptons to the most serene arrival in 2021 at Shou Sugi Ban House, the 13-key wellness resort (the first of its kind in the region) that opened with plenty of fanfare last year. Swap regular NYE accommodation for sunset walks, a food show directed by Mads Refslund, co-founder of Noma, and gathered by the fireplace (one seat each). And, of course, there is the spa – because let’s face it, what you really need after a year we’ve got is a powerful deep tissue massage.

3. Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

You won’t be able to make that ski trip to Zermatt this year but Ocean House – Rhode Island’s largest dame hotel – has come up with a cure for any FOMO in the Swiss Alps. The village of Veuve Clicquot Fondue, now in its third year, is a culinary experience in which alpine ski main items such as crêpes, hot cocoa, and raclette are served in classic gondolas that have been redesigned into cozy private dining nooks with chandeliers, warm Alpine details, and textiles perfect for winter. Even glassware and connoisseurs are imported from Switzerland and Austria for a completely authentic experience that makes you feel like you’ve been to Europe this winter.

4. St. Bart’s

St. Bart’s

Parties on a one percent yacht may be on pause this year but the billionaires’ winter playground is one of the safer Caribbean islands to visit this season (the CDC’s Tourism Health Notice has scheduled it as a Level 2 country, with a Covid-19 level – a high of 4). For as safe as possible (and keep others safe), choose one of the new 4 bedroom villas at Hotel Christopher. With stunning sea views, a private pool, and a fully equipped kitchen, you’ll never have to leave.

5. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

We can all certainly use some good vibes as we enter the new year and Sedona, with its majestic red rocks and powerful swirling energy, is the perfect place to re-establish the spirit. Book a romantic L’Auberge de Sedona, where all rooms are charming independent cottages. Of course, you’ll fill your day with tons of hiking and can be crowded in one or two road trips to relatively nearby attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell. The hotel offers a range of activities to complete #goodvibesonly, including stargazing, jungle bathing, and sound healing.

6. Anguilla


Cdc Travel Advice for Anguilla is currently at Level 1, becoming another attractive option for Caribbean travel. The island has also gone a step further in ensuring the safety of people – especially its residents – by asking visitors to stay in the “holiday bubble” during their stay. The concept includes a list of certified restaurants and activities — such as golf, boating, and island excursions — that tourists can experience outside of their pre-approved accommodation. Based at Belmond Cap Juluca’s house. All rooms are located right on the beach, which means you’ll have a slice of sand and a pristine sea of your own.

7. Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Life House founder Nantucket, a jewel of a boutique hotel that opened on the island in the summer, was quick to follow up with another property, this time in Denver. Like its New England sister, Life House, the Lower Highlands is an intimate, charming, and well-decorated hotel in the town center — think Victorian Industrialism meets the Wild West. On New Year’s Eve, Life House teamed up with the 90,000-a-and acres of Chico Basin Ranchlands Farm to offer guests a wild meal on the steppe with food sourced from the hotel’s Wildflower restaurant. After returning to the hotel, dinner in the room will be served along with a private jazz concert.

8. Saratoga, Wyoming

Saratoga, Wyoming

About three and a half hours from Denver is The Lodge & Spa in Brush Creek Ranch, a 30,000-a-foot farm created for social fun, back to nature. Brush Creek recently also bought a 620-a-foot private ski resort, Green Mountain, so you can add skiing to the hotel’s long list of activities, including horseback riding, snow riding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobile riding.

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