People often ask us what the absolute best highlights of our cross continental road trip were, and we have such a hard time answering because there are just so many. We have our favourite scenic drives, our favourite breakfast spots, our favourite national parks and beaches, our favourite hotels and motels and hostels… even our favourite states, provinces and territories. So we thought we would make a series of Top 3’s so that we can focus on the best of the best and provide you with some great insight into some of the most fabulous places right here in our own backyards.
And so we begin with the Top 3 hotels and resorts from our travels that we think would be great destinations to ring in the New Year!
Pacific Sands Beach Resort in Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
You may remember from Episode 21 Of Monday Evening with Alexandluke that we absolutely loved this resort because of its cozy and luxurious amenities and spectacular beachfront location. This is one of the first places that comes to mind when we think about absolute rest and relaxation and for this reason we think it would be an amazing spot to rejuvenate during the holidays.
Situated on secluded Cox Bay, which is a haven for surfers, the suites and villas at Pacific Sands Beach Resort are part beach house, part luxury hotel. With fully equipped kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, contemporary yet comfy décor and spectacular views of the wild Pacific Ocean, it really has everything you could ask for if you are looking to stay in and be cozy with someone special this New Years Eve. Low key doesn’t have to mean tasteless tv tray dinners and reruns of The Golden Girls (though if you’re Alex, that actually sounds like a pretty decent Friday night). At Pacific Sands Resort low key can be sophisticated. Even the frozen food they offer in the main lobby to prepare in your villa is first rate! Hint – the curry and pizza is to die for!
And if all of that wasn’t enough to sell you on this magical corner of the world, check this out – between October 12th and April 30th the resort offers Storm Watching Packages that start at just $117. Before you question why I am trying to tempt you while using the word “storm” let me just explain a little bit about Tofino on Vancouver Island…
Tofino is the type of place that is absolutely spectacularly beautiful when the sun is shining and the seas are still, but it is arguably even more special when the waves are crashing and a thick coat of fog sits heavily on the bay. Tofino is world famous for its wild seas and emotional weather and The Pacific Sands is well equipped for anything Mother Nature throws its way. Heck, they even offer complimentary rain slickers to every guest to use during their stay!
A dark and stormy night at The Pacific Sands is exactly what you should hope for to get you in the spirit, but on the off chance that the weather is clear come New Years Eve you can still ring in 2011 with a bang because you will have front row seats to a fabulous fireworks display right there in Cox Bay. It seems they really have thought of everything.
Mondrian Miami in South Beach, Miami, Florida
If all this talk about stormy weather and rain slickers has you running in the other direction, this next destination may be just the place for you. With unbeatable views of Biscayne Bay, the quintessential eccentric styling that Miami hotels are known for, and a retinue of poolside patrons that are as colourful as the lights on Ocean Drive, The Mondrian Miami is the perfect choice for the partygoer who wants both sunshine and an unforgettable night on the town this New Years Eve.
We loved our stay at the Mondrian, not because it was comfy and cozy and felt like home (though it really was quite comfortable). No, we loved the Mondrian because it was actually nothing like home. It offered us a perfect escape from the familiar and a glimpse into the fast and colourful life that is Miami. When we thought about where we would go back to in order to have the most outrageous time on New Years Eve, we both immediately thought of The Mondrian Miami.
With a little research we discovered that this year’s soiree is proving to be as over the top as we imagined it would be. First of all, it is hosted by the one and only Chloe Sevigny… we are BIG Big Love fans and cannot even imagine anything better than attending a Miami party with Nikki – what would Barb think??? On top of that your ticket includes an acoustic performance by Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow (who we deemed favourite song to in Episode 16 of Monday Evening), music by DJ Paul Sevigny and The Misshapes, a premium open bar (hello open bar!) AND midnight fireworks over the bay!
We can only imagine the Facebook albums that are going to result from this New Years Eve party, and might consider combing twitter on the 31st to see if we can get insider glimpses into the festivities!!! If you plan on attending, kindly DM us some Twitpics of Chloe’s outfit!
The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, Dixville Notch, New Hampshire
Okay, okay – we know, we haven’t actually been to The Balsams yet, but that will soon be remedied! And from everything we have learned about this place in preparation for our upcoming stay there, it is obvious that as a destination to spend New Years Eve, it is the absolute tops. It may not have the outrageous party scene of South Beach or a view of surfers riding waves, but what it does offer more than makes up for it.
For us, the ultimate New Years Eve festivities involve very little planning, a lot of relaxation, quality time spent with family and friends, and that old fashioned but totally alluring vision of a grand party with a live band, party hats and noisemakers, champagne toasts and fireworks, and guests dressed up in cocktail dresses and blazers with patches on the elbows, maybe smoking pipes out on the veranda as the snow lightly falls and kids on a sleigh ride glide by…
I realize this is starting to sound like a New Years party hosted by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, but that’s what’s so great about it! The Balsams is exactly the type of place where you can have all of the bells and whistles of a traditional New Years Eve party as described above! Who wouldn’t want to be transported to a world where you feel like a group of performers might break out into a choreographed tap number with full sets and costumes at any moment? Okay, so maybe that’s not quite realistic but at the very least we can confirm that the sleigh ride thing really does happen at The Balsams, and you better believe we’ll be partaking in that activity as soon as possible!
There is a long tradition at The Balsams, and New Years Eve is one of the biggest nights of the year. Between the all-inclusive on-site skiing, the grand buffet, the picturesque surroundings of The Great North Woods, and the charming historic backdrop that the hotel provides, we cannot think of a more perfect place to ring in The New Year.