could ring in 2016 in your best friend’s basement (again) or get Champagne service at a local bar. But if you want to channel A-list celebrities, like Jennifer Aniston and Beyoncé, you'll need to think bigger. From kicking back on a beach to hitting the slopes in style, here are 10 super glam destinations where celebs have been known to watch the ball drop. So whether you actually plan to hop a flight, or you just want to live vicariously through these partiers, click ahead for 10 perfect places to do New Year's like a boss.
Phuket, ThailandBeyoncé and Jay Z rang in 2015 on the island of Phuket (that’s pronounced poo-ket, as opposed to the way that would shock your grandma). Follow in the power couple’s footsteps by checking into one of the island’s many six-star resorts (the eco-friendly Six Senses Yao Noi Beyond Phuket, perhaps) and getting in touch with your inner Queen Bey at your villa’s private infinity pool. Once you’ve recovered from the jet lag, take in the local sights like the Fantasea theme park, the so-called Big Buddha, visit Sirinat National Park, take a tiger selfie, ride an elephant ( ethically, of course), and catch a Muay Thai fight at the Patong Boxing Stadium. If you’re more into kicking back than kickboxing, skip the bustling city of Patong and head to the laid-back beaches of Bangtao or Kata Noi and ride the waves at Kata Yai.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez, and Gigi Hadid celebrated New Year’s Eve last year in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Check into one of the city’s many luxury hotels — like the eye-poppingly insane Emirates Palace Hotel — and pry yourself away from the beach, pools, and camel racing (!) to tour cultural spots, like the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village, the Qasr al-Hosn palace, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which Jenner called an "incredible place” on Instagram. When you’re ready to run wild, go skydiving like Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell, head to the Wild Wadi Water Park, which has more than 30 rides and attractions, and Ferrari World, one of the world’s largest indoor amusement parks, which will transform the desert city into a winter wonderland. Remember, respecting the local dress code doesn’t mean forgoing your holiday bling altogether — Jenner bedazzled her hijab with sequins.
New Zealand It’s winter in the States, so take a tip from Nina Dobrev and head to New Zealand to enjoy New Year’s in the sun. The town of Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sun rise on New Year’s Day, making it the perfect place to ring in 2016 with a dance party at the annual Rhythm and Vines festival. Recuperate from your all night party at Hobbiton (as in where they filmed Lord of the Rings), Piha Beach, or Lake Taupo, then hit the vineyards of the Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay. When you’re ready for your next adventure, go skydiving in Taupo, off-roading in Waikato, whale watching in Kaikoura, or if you’re brave, go bungee jumping like Dobrev. Be sure to save time for a few days in the big city of Auckland and kicking back in Wellington, the Portland — or perhaps Austin? — of New Zealand, with a laid-back vibe and serious café scene.
Gstaad, Switzerland You know you’ve made it when you land an invite to Valentino’s annual New Year’s bash at his chalet in the posh ski resort of Gstaad. The designer goes all out with fireworks, caviar, and of course Champagne to entertain his guests, who have included stars like Madonna, Anne Hathaway, and Olivia Palermo. If you haven’t managed to score an invite to Valentino’s shindig, check into the frozen fairytale castle of the Gstaad Palace, where Elsa would feel right at home. Suit up in your finest Moncler and hit the Alpine town’s renowned ski slopes at least for an excuse to après ski at Hotel Olden, just like Brigitte Bardot. Then, treat sore muscles in one of the five steam rooms at the luxe spa at Le Grand Bellevue where you just might run into an A-lister looking for a plus one.
St. Barth When Leonardo DiCaprio wanted to ring in the New Year with an entourage of models, he headed straight for the warm beaches and turquoise water of St. Barts. The Caribbean island paradise is a popular place to sing "Auld Lang Syne" — Rihanna, Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Lindsay Lohan, Lana Del Rey, Salma Hayek, Channing Tatum, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Rachel Zoe have all watched the ball drop from the beach. Of course, trendsetters Bey and Jay were throwing down on the eight-square-mile island way back in 2009. Whether you’re kicking it at Nikki Beach (a.k.a. "The Sexiest Place on Earth"), chilling at your private villa, playing spot-the-celebrity at La Plage restaurant, or sleeping off your Champagne buzz on a yacht moored offshore, you’ll definitely feel like a star during your stay on the island.
Aspen, Colorado Aspen is the go-to destination for snow-loving celebs who can’t find their passports for a trip to Gstaad. The town’s New Year’s Eve celebrations feature guests like Mariah Carey, Kris Jenner, and Melanie Griffith. Do your best to walk the snow-covered streets in heels as you make your way to Bootsy Bellows Aspen, the Rocky Mountain location of the famed L.A. nightclub. Or you can ring in the New Year with a Champagne shower at the Dom Pérignon Party at The Nell, where you can arrange to have a private butler refill your glass all night long. To make sure you make it to bed safely, book a room upstairs at the Little Nell hotel. Sleep off the festivities at either Viceroy Snowmass or the St. Regis Resort where the on-site Remede spa can help soothe your woes with one of its trademark six-hour spa sessions. That should eventually get you ready to hit some of the area’s best ski slopes at Buttermilk and Snowmass with one of the world-class ski instructors at Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen.
The MaldivesThe island nation tucked away in the Indian Ocean isn’t easy to access, but stars like the Beckhams, Gordon Ramsay, and BFFs Michelle Williams and Busy Philipps have all made the journey for NYE. Kick back on the white sand beaches and work on your New Year’s resolutions as you stare into the turquoise waters from the privacy of the Faafu Atoll or the Velaa Private Island. The Beckhams spent time at the One & Only Reethi Rah resort, which has 130 private villas, 12 beaches, 40 pools, a seaplane, and a spa with “swirling vitality pools, crystal steam rooms, saunas, and stimulating ice fountains.” While celebrities have been known to go all-out on their vacations in the luxury hot spot, none come close to the Saudi prince who once booked three entire five-star resorts for his entourage to the tune of $30 million.
Maui, HawaiiWhen Taylor Swift wanted to recharge before her massive 1989 tour, she took her squad to Maui. Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Jason Statham have all spent time in this island paradise. It’s a popular place to ring in the New Year, too, with stars like Rob Lowe and Aerosmith legend Steven Tyler swapping snow for sun. To capture star style, rent a luxury beachfront villa for ultimate privacy, or stay in style at the island’s many five-star resorts, like the Andaz Maui at Wailea, which has four (four!) ocean-facing infinity pools. Rent a vintage Porsche speedster to head to East Maui to explore the island’s spectacular waterfalls, hiking trails, and beaches or check into the Travaasa Hana hotel. Charter a private boat to find hidden snorkeling spots for ogling the local wildlife, like the green Hawaiian sea turtles, tropical fish, and maybe a star or two. Of course, Maui isn’t the only option for Hawaii-lovers — President Barack Obama rang in 2015 in his home state, relaxing with family and friends in Honolulu.
Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
Trancoso, Bahia, Brazil When supermodels need to get away from it all, they head to Bahia, Brazil — or at least, that’s what Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell did for New Year’s last year. They brought fellow model Bianca Balti, Kate’s husband Jamie Hince, and a pool noodle to the rustic coastal town of Trancoso on the eastern coast of Brazil. The little 16th century fishing village, parts of which are protected by UNESCO, didn’t get electricity until 1982, but now has plenty of modern luxuries. For proof, look no further than the Uxua Casa hotel, a charmingly rustic five-star spot run by the former creative director of Diesel. The real draw is Trancoso’s white sand beaches, though, which are pristine and lined by Atlantic rain forest on one side and crystalline water on the other. Work on your tan (or hide under an umbrella), grab a caipirinha (or two) at one of the barracas, or beach bars, while luxuriating in miles of empty beach and sounds of the rain forest.
Cabo San Lucas, MexicoHead South of the Border to Cabo San Lucas, the tiny town on the top of Mexico’s Baja peninsula to ring in the New Year in festive style. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux spent the New Year hosting friends like Jimmy Kimmel and Molly McNearney and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt at their home in Cabo’s fancypants El Dorado Golf and Beach Club. Spend December 31 at celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s steakhouse Seared before heading to nightlife spots Cabo Wabo or El Squid Roe to throw down, Cabo style. New Year’s Day should be spent recharging poolside at the super luxe One & Only Palmilla or exploring Cabo’s natural wonders, by diving into the coral reefs in the Sea of Cortez or taking a glass-bottomed panga (boat) out to Cabo's most famous natural feature, the Arch. Depending on your relationship status, kick back at Divorce Beach, which is right next door to Lover's Beach. If you’re ready to take your relationship with Cabo to the next level, Amal and George Clooney’s villa, which is next door to Cindy Crawford’s spread, recently hit the market for an estimated $50 million, which is a lot, but all that Clooney karma is priceless.