Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Years Eve Getaways for the New You

New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays that pushes travelers to explore new experiences as you celebrate the start of a New Year and a New You. Even if for a short getaway, it’s a perfect post-holiday recap before launching full force into the daily grind the New Year will bring. Here are three options for today’s curious traveler:

Explore Cultural Traditions in Style
New Year’s Eve is one of Japan’s most memorable holidays and what better place to experience the tradition than at the new Palace Hotel Tokyo. From December 31 – January 2, Japanese customs will be offered including mochi-making classes, dinners featuring toshikoshi and osechi-ryori (foods specially prepared for the holiday) by PHT’s notable chefs, and hatsugama, the first tea ceremony of the new year. Traditionally dressed musicians will play the koto in the hotel’s lobby, while Japan’s top musicians and juggling masters put on a show. Guests will ring in the New Year at PHT’s Palace Lounge overlooking the city’s lights. And on January 2, guests have a rare front-row seat to see the royal family’s annual appearance, as PHT is adjacent to the Imperial Palace Gardens. Rates for the New Year’s package begin at $3,000 USD for a two-night stay.

Celebrate Low-key, Like a Local
Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a landmark hotel that just celebrated its 100th anniversary, offers stunning views of the ancient Old Town and the Adriatic Sea. Most of the town comes together to celebrate at this iconic hotel this night. With their New Year’s package, guests will enjoy a five-course dinner at Hotel Excelsior’s New Year’s Eve Gala, listen to world-class live music and dance the night away. Also includes access to the hotel’s spa and wellness facility and daily breakfast. Rates begin at $300 USD per night.

A Trip that Gives Back
Epic Road, a luxury tour operator specializing in travel to Africa, has recently created an exciting, custom-made itinerary for a trip to Kenya offering a one-of-a-kind opportunity to become a sponsor of an endangered elephant or rhino at the highly acclaimed David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust orphanage. Why not spend the first few days of the New Year making a difference? The sponsorship allows the guest private time to spend with the baby elephants and rhinos and helps the Trust in aiding to nurture these young animals, ultimately helping them live a longer life. See here for a sample itinerary. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust orphanage exists because of the dire poaching crisis in Africa. Killed for their ivory for nothing more than trinkets and décor, at the rate African Elephants are being poached they will be extinct within 15 years. Rates vary.

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