These Hotels Are Ringing in the New Year With Covid-Safe Parties, But Who’s Booking a Stay?

DeMarco Williams
·7 min read

If you need confetti-spraying machines, free-flowing champagne and noisy concert halls to help you mark the start of a new year, New Year’s Eve 2020 probably won’t be for you. With Dr. Fauci and the CDC explicitly advising against mass gatherings in the U.S., the revelry will be a bit more restrained this December 31st.

These changes have hit few industries as hard as the travel space. Still, its visionaries, especially those in hospitality, have persevered, continuing to come up with smart, sophisticated alternatives for these unprecedented times. For New Year’s Eve, the ingenuity hasn’t stopped. Many properties will be open for business this year, with unique spins on old holiday traditions.

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Here’s what hotels in some of North America’s most popular vacation destinations are doing for New Year’s Eve 2020. All of the properties say they have all gone above and beyond with their health standards while simultaneously staying true to the customer-first approach that garnered them so much pre-Covid success. If you’re trying to stay safe right now, the best way to do that is to stay at home. But if you’re hoping to find a socially-distanced way to party the year away, well, here are some options to consider.

LAS VEGAS

The relatively new Park MGM has made headlines with its entertainment (Lady Gaga’s two-year residency) and health practices (the Strip’s only smoke-free hotel). It’ll turn heads on December 31 by hosting Bud Light Seltzer Sessions Presents New Year’s Eve, an interactive livestream concert featuring Post Malone, Jack Harlow, Saweetie and others. Though guests are prohibited from the Lilly Singh-hosted show, streaming from your room only a few floors away sounds pretty epic. And who’s to say that when you make your Eataly run downstairs that you won’t bump into Steve Aoki in the lobby? (He’s a fan of the property).

Las Vegas’ Current Covid-19 Regulations: Restaurants, bars and gaming operations can continue to operate at 25 percent occupancy with strict social distancing.

MIAMI

Though things are a bit more subdued in South Florida this NYE, Loews continues to go ahead with festivities along the beach. On December 31, Loews Miami Beach is offering a dinner buffet (spread across two indoor/outdoor seatings), plus “Champagne on the Lawn,” an exclusive event for hotel guests to nosh on Veuve Cliquot-inspired dishes, sip on bubbly and shop at the pop-up luxury boutiques.

Miami’s Current Covid-19 Regulations: Masks must be worn at all times when out in public. The City of Miami will also enforce the Miami-Dade County curfew from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NEW YORK CITY

For the first time in more than 100 years, there will be no crowds gathering at Times Square for New Year’s Eve. But just because the festivities have gone virtual that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a real glimpse of the famed ball drop. Renaissance New York Times Square’s seven Terrace rooms face east and offer obstruction-free views of the countdown excitement. Once a few noisemakers and some libations are added to the mix, it’ll feel just like old times, albeit in the safety of your own room.

New York City’s Current Covid-19 Regulations: There’s currently a 14-day quarantine rule for visitors from non-contiguous states, but you can “test out” if you obtain a coronavirus test within three days of your New York arrival. You still must quarantine for three days and take another Covid test on your fourth day.

LOS CABOS

One of the most elegant resorts on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos is welcoming 2021 with safety (the brand’s Lead with Care initiative includes on-arrival temperature screenings, in-room sanitation kits and mandatory public masking), serenity (the spa’s seasonal Sanctuary Package is the perfect stress reliever) and superb cuisine (signature restaurant Estiatorio Milos is dishing out a special Mediterranean-flavored menu) at the forefront. Mexico has become an increasingly popular destination for Americans, as it’s one of the few places right now that U.S. citizens can still travel to with their passports.

Los Cabos’ Current Covid-19 Regulations: Businesses must maintain occupancy at a rate of roughly one person per nine feet. Recreational activities can operate at a 50 percent capacity.

SAVANNAH

This coastal Georgia city is steeped in history, so it only makes sense that one of its trendiest stays, The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, would close the year with a party for the record books. The colorful Cirque De Soiree on December 31 will feature a performance from six-time Grammy nominee Ashanti “The Mad Violinist” Floyd, two DJs, hors d’oeuvres and an unforgettable rooftop look at the city’s fireworks at midnight. Tickets are available via Eventbrite, though there’s no information on how organizers intend to pull off a concert and party in the middle of a pandemic, so book at your own risk.

Savannah’s Current Covid-19 Regulations: The public must wear masks or face coverings within the City of Savannah.

DALLAS

The Dallas Marriott Downtown underwent an impressive top-to-bottom room makeover just two years ago. When you check in for its New Year’s Eve special (complimentary champagne and breakfast), you’ll get an up-close look at all the modern enhancements. We’ll just call the view of the Reunion Tower fireworks display happening just two miles away an unadvertised package bonus.

Dallas’ Current Covid-19 Regulations: All hotels located within the 19-county Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex can only operate to 50 percent capacity.

BOSTON

Situated atop Beacon Hill, the stunning XV Beacon is the sort of place that’s perfect for kicking back, reflecting on the past 12 months or thinking about starting anew. With the hotel’s posh “NYE at XV” package —the promotion consists of everything from a half bottle of Veuve and breakfast in bed to a 2 p.m. checkout— you can do it all stylishly from the comforts of your own room.

Boston’s Current Covid-19 Regulations: All city hotels must operate at 40 percent capacity. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people or less.

DENVER

Find a peace of mind this holiday season by basking in your own special space. With The Curtis’ “Oh What Fun—Choose Your Own Holiday Adventure” deal, you and your family can choose the room you want and add activities such as whiskey tasting, wreath decorating and holiday-themed karaoke to your bubble.

Denver’s Current Covid-19 Regulations: All restaurant and bar alcohol sales must end at 8 p.m. and consumption must stop at 10 p.m.

KEY WEST

We celebrated a friend’s birthday at The Reach Key West a few years ago and were awed by the staff’s generosity and the ground’s gorgeousness. Even with Key West’s mandatory 10 p.m. curfew right now, you can experience all the beachfront property’s glory through an elaborate New Year’s Eve dinner, the fireworks-filled New Year’s Eve Bubble Lounge and the aptly named Hangover Jazz Brunch on January 1. Seating is spaced-out and by reservation only to ensure the safety of all guests.

Key West’s Current Covid-19 Regulations: Beyond the nightly curfew, the Florida Keys also has a mandatory facial covering rule.

CHICAGO

There’s something to be said about looking over the Chi’s winter landscape in its calmer, less-congested state. Score Swissotel Chicago’s New Year’s Eve Staycation and you’ll not just be afforded one of the most spectacular looks at the Chicago River from your suite, but you’ll enjoy a bottle of Moet & Chandon, a decadent food spread, festive décor and more. But should the mood hit you to take a closer look down below, Lake Michigan and Millennium Park are just a short walk away.

Chicago’s Current Covid-19 Regulations: Anyone traveling from a state on the Chicago Emergency Travel Order State-by-State List’s Orange list is directed to obtain a negative Covid-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period (or the duration of their time in town, whichever is shorter). Anyone traveling from a state on the Red list must quarantine for a 10-day period or the duration of their time in Chicago.

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