Marvel at fireworks from a rooftop in Taipei, soak up Halong Bay's awe-inspiring limestone karsts, participate in traditional Japanese traditions in Tokyo, indulge an evening inspired by a Thai temple fair in Bangkok -- these are just a few of the settings and happenings across Asia this New Year's Eve. Have a look below at what’s brewing.
Watch One of Asia’s Best Fireworks Displays Up Close
Named by CNN as one of the world’s top ten spots for ringing in the New Year, Taipei is annually flooded with visitors who come to view the breathtaking fireworks show at Taipei 101. Revellers looking to kick off 2020 with a bang should look no further than the iconic Grand Hyatt Taipei. Located right next door to Taipei 101, the city’s largest five-star hotel guarantees a night of fun and excitement with a countdown party at The Residence -- featuring entertainment, snacks, and free-flowing drinks as well as exclusive access to the hotel’s outdoor terrace to witness the spectacular fireworks up close and personal. The party runs from 10pm - 1am and tickets start from NT$3,680 per person. For more information click here.
Usher in New Year with Authentic Japanese Experiences
From local culinary customs to a host of musical performances - both traditional and modern - Palace Hotel Tokyo is setting the stage for a memorable start to the year. At the iconic, moat-side property essential culinary customs, such as toshikoshi soba — eating soba noodles prior to midnight on New Year’s Eve — and osechi-ryori — feasting on a bento box of specially chosen foods on the first few days of the year — will be presented by the hotel’s esteemed Japanese chefs. These culinary experts will also bring the tradition of mochitsuki (mochi-making) to the fingertips of travellers staying at the hotel. On the first two days of January guests will also have a chance to witness the first Japanese tea ceremony of the year, Hatsugama. From mochi to melodies, there will be a New Year’s Eve jazz countdown cocktail party from 11pm to midnight featuring free flowing drinks and a live performance by a jazz singer accompanied by a quartet. The main lobby will be filled with the sounds of Koto (a traditional Japanese instrument) on Jan 1st and 2nd. This is only one of two days in the Japanese calendar where parts of the Imperial Palace’s private grounds are opened to the public. Sacred for the Japanese and surreal for foreigners, the experience of waving New Year’s greetings to the Imperial family has long been a treasured experience.
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Unruffle at Raffles in Cambodia
In the capital Phnom Penh, Raffles Le Royal is hosting a Dom Perignon Dinner on New Year’s Eve when they will even teach you the ancient art of “sabrage” - slicing the top off a champagne bottle with a sword. Or, if a New Year’s Day brunch is more your cup of tea, book at Le Royal Restaurant for a feast including lumpfish caviar, French oysters, a foie gras station, imported cheeses,and many more culinary delights. (Contact: email@example.com.) Meanwhile, up north in Siem Reap, Grand Hotel d’Angkor’s recently launched restaurant “1932” is hosting a New Year’s Gala Dinner at the hotel poolside where guests can be sure of much merry Khmer music and dancing, culminating in a fireworks display at midnight. And if the whole festive season is just too much for you, why not treat yourself to some tranquil time at the Raffles Spa, which is offering a special “Coconut, Citrus & Bubbles” promotion until 31 December. (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com)
Shake Your Tail Feather at a Samui Beach Party
Countdown to 2020 on a mesmerizingly magical beach at Banyan Tree Samui with a cool sea breeze and palm trees swinging to the dance floor beat. The party goes barefoot on the white sands as midnight approaches and the corks start popping. Cocktails and martinis galore will be shaken and stirred at the mobile cocktail caravan on the beachfront - a bar created from a 1950s Thai tuk-tuk. Banyan Tree will also be hosting a sumptuous 5-course dinner (15,000++THB per head) at its signature Saffron Restaurant if you wish to pre-empt the party while taking in a wondrous vista of the moonlit sea.
Keeping Kids and Adults Happy at Hyatt Regency Bangkok
Market Café goes back to its Thai roots on the last day of 2019 with a special evening inspired by a Thai temple fair. Traditional Thai performances and a live band will be more than just an accompaniment to an authentic Thai feast. Local favorites like grilled river prawns, fresh seafood, honey-roasted duck, and Thai desserts, will feature prominently on the buffet. Some western dishes like rack of lamb and beef tomahawk will also be a highlight. Games like a ball pit and rubber duck fishing will keep the kids entertained. The event will run from 6:30pm – 11pm at Market Café on the hotel’s 4th floor. Dinner is THB 2,800 ++ per person, THB 1,400 ++ for children ages 6-12. Diners can add an alcoholic beverage package for an additional THB 1,100 ++ per person, otherwise free-flow water and soft drinks are included. Later in the evening Spectrum Lounge & Bar, which spans the top three floors of the Hyatt Regency Bangkok, will be open to visitors wanting to have a few drinks while also drinking in panoramic views of the city. International DJs will get revelers moving and abstract performances will add to the entertainment. Those after a midnight snack will appreciate the unlimited truffle fries and oyster corner that will be set up on the night. The party starts at 9:30pm. Prices are THB 1,500 net for entrance and one glass of Prosecco; THB 10,000 ++ for two persons with a private seat, a bottle of spirit + six mixers or a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne; THB 20,000 ++ for four persons with a private cabana, two bottles of spirit + 12 mixers or a bottle of Dom Pérignon. Advance seat reservation is strongly recommended.
Ring in 2020 Among Halong Bay’s Limestone Karsts
It would be tough for revellers to find a more captivating location to welcome 2020 than Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay dotted with myriad limestone karsts. To mark the occasion, Halong Bay’s leading luxury cruise provider Paradise Cruises will host gala dinners before countdown celebrations on its Paradise Luxury, Paradise Elegance and Paradise Peak cruises. The dinner menu includes Atlantic smoked salmon and fresh Halong oyster with Sauvignon Blanc jelly and black caviar, marinated king prawns with brandy, slow-grilled lamb leg, roasted tom turkey and prime Australian beef tenderloin. A live Filipino band will perform an eclectic mix of tunes ranging from jazz and pop to Vietnamese classics on Paradise Elegance. When the sun appears on New Year’s Day, guests will again be greeted by incredible vistas of the bay’s limestone karst formations rising up from turquoise waters, with sunrise tai chi on the sundeck among an array of onboard experiences during the New Year’s Eve cruises.
Mark the New Year at Cam Ranh with Champagne, Caviar and More
Indulging exquisite food and wine is the order of the day on New Year’s Eve at The Anam on Vietnam’s upcoming Cam Ranh peninsula. Following high tea featuring Osetra Prestige Caviar by Kaviari, foie gras, a bottle of champagne, vodka, chocolate pralines and more served at The Colonial restaurant from 11am until 5pm, the 12-hectare beachfront resort will host seven-course and five-course dinners at The Colonial and The Indochine respectively, and a barbeque buffet at Lang Viet restaurant. To a backdrop of live classical music on a baby grand piano, the Colonial’s degustation menu by executive chef Peter Ye includes pan-seared Hokkaido scallops with green pea puree, prosciutto crisps, buttered spring peas and chive oil, sous vide Black Angus beef short rib with charred baby leeks, pan-fried foie gras, roasted artichoke crème and truffle jus, and raspberry semi-freddo with thyme jelly, earl grey gel candied thyme leaflets and raspberry coulis -- all of this paired with wine, of course. Revellers will then ring in 2020 at a countdown party at The Beach Club replete with fire dancers and DJs spinning house tunes.
Old Meets New in Vietnam’s Former Imperial Capital
With its magical setting overlooking the Perfume River and the centuries-old Hue citadel, Azerai La Residence, Hue offers an enchanting location to ring in 2020. The evening of Dec. 31st begins with a cocktail reception in the hotel’s art deco-style lobby lounge, followed by a traditional Vietnamese lion and dragon dance. The celebrations continue with a gala dinner at Le Parfum restaurant, featuring a wide selection of international dishes and Vietnamese specialties, including sauteed prawn with tamarind sauce, Bun Bo Hue (Hue noodle soup), and banana flower salad with chicken. Dinner will be accompanied by Hue folk songs performed by a traditional band. The evening kicks into gear after dinner as local DJ Quynh Mo spins tracks outside the hotel on the lobby lounge terrace, where just before midnight revellers will count down the last moments of 2019 and greet the New Year with a spectacular fireworks show.
Countdown in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
A whole host of activities starting in the mid-afternoon are planned to help guests usher in the New Year at Azerai Can Tho in Vietnam’s “Nine Dragon River Delta.” The festivities kick off with a special Mekong Afternoon Tea featuring various kinds of coconuts and Vietnamese street food served underneath the resort’s banyan trees. Guests can also discover the art of Vietnamese calligraphy and coconut weaving. The New Year’s Eve cocktail hour includes bespoke drinks at the Lounge Bar, followed by a gala dinner with live music from the local acoustic band Coffee Fresh. Guests will be provided with a glass of Champagne to cheer the arrival of 2020, and the party will continue at the resort’s Lounge Bar until the wee hours of the morning.
Stunning New Beach Resort Marks its First New Year's Eve
After celebrating its grand opening in April this year five star Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort, overlooking Ho Tram beach within easy reach of Ho Chi Minh City, will soon mark another milestone; its first New Year's Eve countdown. On December 31, the 17-hectare resort, deemed one of the most prestigious properties in the Meliá Hotels and Resorts portfolio globally, will host a delectable buffet dinner at its lush gardens surrounding its lake by the beach. Diners will be spoilt for choice with a vibrant array of stations. A live BBQ station will brim with lobster, tiger prawns, crabs, tuna fillets, rib eye steak, lamb, veal, chicken, clams, snails and more. A carving station will feature roast sirloin steak, beef medallions, and braised leg of lamb. A Vietnamese station will offer a host of favourites ranging from seafood banh xeo (savoury pancake) and steamed whole grouper to caramelized pork in clay pot. In addition to main courses such as red snapper and Vietnamese chicken curry, vast selections of appetisers, cold cuts, international cheeses, salads, mezze and more will be served. The merriment will continue at Vietnam's first Spanish beach club, Breeza, where there will be free-flow beer and wine and live entertainment in the lead-up to the countdown.
Balance Reflection and Revelry at Fusion Resorts & Hotels Throughout Vietnam
While indulgence over the festive season is usually a matter of tasty treats, one hotel group in Vietnam is doling out spiritual pick-me-ups, to boot. At Fusion’s beachfront, all-spa-inclusive resorts throughout Vietnam, there are body rubs, tai chi and yoga classes, to go alongside buffets and champagne-fuelled parties. For example at their Phu Quoc property, on New Year’s Eve, a gala dinner will be held in the resort’s main restaurant before guests are invited to gather for a white-themed beach party that will lead to an end of year countdown. Those wishing to balance the reveling with some reflection can book a visit with the resort’s visiting yoga teacher. Rami Barak will be leading guests through yin and yang yoga classes, mindful movement sessions, as well as Hatha and Ashtanga style classes. Those wanting to put the right foot forward in 2020 can start with yoga at 8:30am on the first day of the new decade.
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