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The hottest New Year destinations

Panacea Koh Samui private villa estate

It’s that time of year again, when the jet set head off to exotic locales to ring in the New Year on the world’s best beaches, the most beautiful blue seas and always with a level of luxury to be remembered and savoured all year long. Previously those fleeing grey English weather typically headed for the warm, white sands of Barbados. But this year, another destination, on the other side of the world is garnering some major attention – and stepping into the spotlight that it rightly deserves.

It began, perhaps unsurprisingly with celebrities. There has been a definite shift in the star power making Thailand their winter destination of choice. Kate Moss is rumoured to be heading there in January as is her custom, Mick Jagger is a regular, as is Naomi Campbell, Bear Grylls, and Beyoncé and Jay are expected this year. Not to mention the entire Kardashian family who set up camp back when Caitlyn was still Bruce in villas that ran around $150,000 per week.

Indeed, Thailand is getting a bit of a luxury makeover at the moment, offering a level of glamour and style that feels exciting and new for a place that’s been a tourist attraction for a very long time. Here are our top pics for showing 2016 in, in luxurious style.

Indigo Pearl

Indigo Pearl features 3 stunning swimming pools
Indigo Pearl features 3 stunning swimming pools

Celebrate the New Year with open arms at Indigo Pearl, a stylish resort inspired by Thai distinction, where historic detail fuses with chic design elegance. Located on one of the finest beaches to be found in Phuket, this New Year’s Eve the resort is offering guests a choice of unforgettable nights. A lavish evening surrounding the theme of flora and fauna the ‘Safari Gala at the Coliseum’ starts with elegant cocktails before heading to the marquee for not only great food but, two exciting stage shows and fireworks; ensuring guests start the New Year with a definitive sparkle.

For those seeking a more intimate affair, head to Indigo Pearl’s Rivet restaurant for ‘Felice Anno Nuovo con Rivet’ where relaxed pre-dinner drinks are followed by a six-course Mediterranean inspired meal by Executive Chef Fabrizio Crocetta. The evening also concludes on the Coliseum dance floor with the spectacular fireworks that are not to be missed. Indigo Pearl is a resort visualized and conceptualized by a visionary Phuket family and designed by renowned architect and designer Bill Bensley. The atmosphere of this exotic resort results in an ultra-luxury destination, enveloped within the surrounding rainforest and exotic gardens, a welcome change of scenery to reflect on the year ahead. The lead in rate is from £140, Luxury Private Villas start from £400 per night (breakfast and VAT included).

The Nai Harn

The Nai Harn is an icon of Phuket, overlooking a pristine beach and bay.
The Nai Harn is an icon of Phuket, overlooking a pristine beach and bay.

Opening its doors this December The Nai Harn will be next year’s hottest destination for Phuket’s affluent crowd. Poised to become the island’s last word on luxurious beachfront escapes as the former Royal Phuket Yacht Club, this property is celebrating its first ever New Year’s Eve with bang to remember. New Year’s Eve at The Nai Harn welcomes guests to a decadent buffet dinner at COSMO Restaurant and Bar. The choices on offer are almost endless, although highlights include a prosecco and gourmet hot dog bar, a raw bar, sushi and tempura bar, the oyster & seafood bar as well as Indian and BBQ kitchens, ensuring more than enough to tempt all! After dinner guests can enjoy music poolside, topped off with dazzling fireworks to ring in the New Year.

From next month The Nai Harn will offer 130 luxurious guest rooms and suites with panoramic views over the soft white sands and graded azure and turquoise hues of the Andaman Sea, a bespoke luxury spa and a stunning new pool and food and beverage spaces. Leading with a promise of pure romance at Thailand’s best beach, as voted by users of TripAdvisor, The Nai Harn will provide authentic destination experiences, extraordinary culinary happenings and expertly curated connections to the best of island life and southern Thai culture. It is also the only hotel directly on the ocean at Nai Harn beach. What better way to experience all of these latest offerings than by spendingNew Year’s Eve at The Nai Harn and celebrating an exceptional year the hotel has ahead.

Price for Adult 7,900 THB++ / £146
Price for Children 7-12 year old 3,950 THB ++ / £73.07
Including a signature cocktail of a Lady Nai Harn or Rum-ble, as welcome drink, juices, soft drinks, local beers, and selected wines.
130 Rooms (all prices incl. breakfast) prices start Deluxe Ocean View Room – 10,000 THB (184.47 GBP).


Panacea Koh Samui private villa estate
The luxurious villas were conceived and designed by leading architect David Clark

For those seeking exclusivity and privacy there is no where better in the world than Panacea Koh Samui. Nestled high on a hilltop surrounded by nature’s beauty, this private villa estate offers something deeply unique in both design and intention. Think fireworks over a lush and green Thai jungle, champagne toasting from the spacious terrace on your villa, midnight swimming in your own infinity pool, a special wine selected from your own 300 bottle wine cellar, a private disco, nightclub, cinema, billiards and poker room for entertainment, and the release of glowing Chinese lanterns in the sky, symbolising letting go of all the past year’s worries: Panacea Koh Samui is 2016’s ideal New Year’s destination.

In addition to the extraordinary luxury, style and privacy on offer, their bespoke concierge service will ensure every detail is perfect, and help you celebrate in style whether it’s a small gathering or an elegant sit down dinner by candle light. The residences of all five villas enjoy breath taking panoramas of the surrounding natural beauty, maximised by high-vaulted open ceilings and sliding doors. The villas, offering 4, 5 or 6 en-suite bedrooms are both special outside and within, fully equipped with state-of-the-art-amenities, expansive private 20-meter infinity pool and a full team of dedicated staff to ensure guests enjoy an unforgettable experience.

And for those looking to start the new year off with some adventure, some of the many experiences that can be arranged include jet-skiing, scuba diving, kite boarding, mountain biking, fishing, hiking and zip lining. Or enjoy the island’s colourful culture with days visiting temples and local villages or be enchanted by the surrounding nature. Panacea truly brings together adventure, comfort and unforgettable Thai hospitality to create an experiential luxury retreat that has reinvented the private villa experience.

Villas at Pancea Koh Samui during Peak Season start from £2,000 per night for eight guests B&B accommodation with various complimentary services (£250 per person per night) and the Praana Residence costs from £8,350 per night, sleeping 12 people. Once you’re there, all details are looked after for you. Included at New Year are: a bottle of chilled sparkling wine, 10% off spa treatments, a Christmas gift for every child, and afternoon tea with Christmas’ Basket. The Offer is available for every new booking from 15th December 2015 until 15th January 2016. Prices also include a la carte breakfast, in-room mini bar, daily fresh juices and cookies, limousine airport transfers to and from Samui, concierge service, beach/shopping transfers, unlimited daily laundry service and a baby-sitting service.