Despite what the movies might imply, New Year’s Eve is rarely as glamorous and cinematic as it’s made out to be. Realistically, it often entails some combination of pricey pre-fixed menus, can’t-hear-the-person-next-to-you volume levels, and late bedtimes that usually result in a groggy morning. If you live and breathe a traditional NYE soirée then go on; be free to plan a boisterous night beneath the disco ball. But if you’ve grown tired of kicking off the start of a new year in a Champagne-induced, sleep-deprived slump, consider the following: a relaxing New Year’s Eve getaway as an alternate option. More specifically, you can plan a trip with the sole focus of recharging your mind, body, and spirit for 2023. Sounds pretty appealing, no?
A rejuvenating New Year’s Eve escape can manifest in several different ways — from a quick staycation to a multi-day visit to tranquil locations reached by a quick flight. Depending on your budget and holiday time off from work, the 13 ideas below touch on several parts of the states and surrounding vacation destinations that should spark ideas and, more importantly, wanderlust. From ‘sleep suites’ on the west coast to rituals in the jungles of Mexico, continue ahead to discover where you’ll be spending December 31 this year.
Wellness Retreat in the Desert
Long regarded as one of the most spiritual landscapes on earth, the desert is a fitting backdrop for a restorative escape. At CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa in Carefree, Arizona the property is hosting a three-night retreat themed around the New Year with the healing energy of the Sonoran Desert sitting front and center — yes, the town is actually named Carefree. Throughout the retreat guests (with the aid of special guest Alex Elle) will work to expand their wellness toolboxes with sessions on how to mindfully manage stress, increase calm with breath work, reframe their relationship with exercise, and cultivate deeper connections. All of this, combined with the resort’s signature spa treatments and largely plant-based cuisine will serve as a nourishing kickoff to 2023.
Mental Reset in Belize
For those traveling from states like Florida or Texas, a flight to Belize can be as quick as three hours or less, making it a manageable getaway for a New Year’s Eve trip. Matachica Resort is a picturesque beachfront property that’s situated along the second largest barrier reef in the world and is currently offering a Reset Package for an indulgent recharge. During the seven-night retreat, travelers will partake in a smattering of relaxing experiences like a deep tissue massage, Mayan body scrub, private yoga and meditation session, private snorkeling tour, among other blood-pressure-reducing activities.
Spa Day in Upstate New York
Sometimes the secret to a restorative getaway is as simple as a good old fashioned spa day. If this sentiment resonates with your travel goals, head for newly opened Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection in New York’s Hudson Valley. The property is surrounded by meadows and wild woodlands and features a 9,000-square-foot wellness facility called Thistle (this is where you’ll be spending most of your time, as a heads up). Slow down your mind with the spa’s treatments that lean on hand-harvested botanical oils, scrubs, and flower remedies; afterward, unwind in the outdoor hot tubs and indoor saltwater pool. If you’re looking to get active, the hotel also has an open-air fitness center and three miles of hiking trails.
Cenote Rituals in Quintana Roo
For anyone who has journeyed to Mexico’s Riviera Maya region, you already know the dramatic beauty of visiting the cenote, a hole in the earth consumed by fresh groundwater and considered sacred to the Maya and regarded as the gateway to the underworld in pre-Hispanic cultures. Rosewood Mayakoba offers a Cenote Healing Retreat that feels distinctly aligned with a new year reset. During this two-day journey, guests will partake in Mayan shamanic-inspired rituals, energy-healing session, or a meditative sound bath (the experience is customized based on the indentations of the individual). The private retreat will take place at two secret cenotes — one ‘open’ and one ‘closed’ as well as a closing shamanic ceremony.
Sleep Suites in Rancho Santa Fe
For many reasons, San Diego is a natural pick for an energizing getaway to begin the new year — the landscape is serene, the heritage runs deep, and everything seems to flow on a slower track. Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe harnesses these benefits with its Sleep suites in partnership with Bryte. Book one of these and enjoy a relaxing basket of spa amenities upon arrival like a sleep mask, bath salts, lavender oil, private yoga or meditation session, and turndown service with caffeine free herbal tea. You’ll also doze off each night in a Bryte’s Restorative Bed that has an integrated technology ecosystem to improve the quality of your Zzzs.
Ocean Preservation in the Maldives
It’s no secret that doing good for others makes you feel better. If you’re looking for ways to give back as a framework for beginning 2023, incorporate it into your travel plans. At Patina Maldives, Fari Islands guests can recharge in one of the most breathtaking places on earth while also participating in ocean conservation. Their events run the gamut from organized beach clean-ups with marine biologists and adopting turtles with the Oliver Ridley Project to coral propagation initiatives that include a boat ride to plant a frame in the reef. There’s even pottery lessons with Kevala artisans at the Marine Biology center that dissect how ceramics can play a part in coral reef restoration.
Equine Therapy in the Berkshires
If you’ve spent time around horses you already know their magic; these majestic creatures possess a certain sort of spiritual wisdom that can be felt simply by existing in their presence. At Miraval Berkshires located in Lenox, Massachusetts the wellness-oriented resort has a dedicated equine program that nods to the power of the horse. Guests coming here for a rejuvenating getaway can choose from several different themed experiences (Centaur Meditation, Horse Sense, and Hooves & Heartbeats, to name a few). These workshops aim to leave visitors with new insights and tools that they can take home with them, just in time for the new year.
Treehouse Treatments in St. Lucia
Take your New Year’s Eve recharge to the next level with an escape to Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort is nestled within 100 acres of rainforest and the UNESCO World Heritage site Val des Pitons. Scenic surroundings aside, the property’s Rainforest Spa is a major draw — each individual treatment room is housed within a unique treehouse. Inside, wellness seekers can enjoy a bamboo massage or hot rock therapy that uses ingredients from nearby volcanic springs and cocoa plantations. The spa is also partnered with Tata Harper for an exclusive treatment called the Rainforest Renewal Ritual —a gentle, powerful body peel followed by a full-body massage and revitalizing facial.
Tranquility on a Tennessee Farm
Opening in December just in time for a New Year’s Eve getaway, Southall in Franklin, Tennessee is a 325-acre working farm that’s been transformed into a pastoral resort. The property has a 15,000 square-foot spa with a steam room, sauna, and outdoor mineral pool overlooking the private lake. There’s also a smattering of thoughtful treatments like The Lotus Effect that uses a lemongrass sugar scrub or The Rock Star massage that works with Himalayan salt tones and candle oil for the ultimate skin-conditioning effect. And for those inspired by farm life, enjoy a tour or book a cooking demonstration to learn how to live off the land.
Guided Breathwork on the Coast of Baja
Another new opening, Rancho Pescadero located along the coast of Baja Mexico is located on 30 acres of unspoiled oceanfront beauty. The property’s focus on wellness makes it a worthy New Year’s Eve visit, especially with villas that feature private plunge pools, fire pits, and outdoor showers. Beyond this, though, the activities really shine here — like the Cacoa Ceremony. On this journey, guests take strong organic cacao from Tabasco and partake in a traditional ritual that’s combined with breath work for a powerful experience. If you're looking for something lighter, Rancho Pescadero also has a candle-making class that challenges participants to pour their positive intentions into the new year with their new creation.
In-Room Treatments in Cape Cod
A quiet destination that already feels like a retreat, Cape Cod plays host to Chatham Bars Inn. The historic property opened in 1914 as a semi-private hunting lodge and is now a renowned wellness escape in the northeast. While a stroll along the storied hotel's waterfront overlooking Aunt Lydia’s Cove is well worth your time, if you’re looking for an indulgent, relaxing New Year’s Eve, book one of their 12 adults-only spa suites. Each room is designed with oversized hydrotherapy tubs, saunas, steam showers, and a fireplace. That, plus room service, and what else could you ask for?
Thermal Baths in Manhattan
Based in New York City and steering clear of rowdy celebrations? Book a staycation at ModernHaus SoHo. The art-focused downtown property just launched a partnership with iconic AIRE Ancient Baths, which is conveniently located five-minutes walking from the hotel. The Ultimate Bath Experience includes access to the baths, a DIY Aloe Vera Body Scrub, as well as small-but-special extras like a cold pressed fresh fruit juice, sheet face mask, and wellness shot. Back at the hotel, relax in your guest room with bath products by Le Labo, Frette linen and Terry, and a Beautyrest Black Label mattresses.
Peaceful Snowshoeing in Vermont
For those on the east coast, a relaxing trip to snow-capped Vermont is a lovely way to ring in the new year. In Woodstock — once voted the prettiest small town in America — winter sports abound. If you’re not up for a day of skiing, head for the Woodstock Nordic center where you can go snowshoeing on 45 kilometers of groomed trails on Mt. Peg and Mt. Tom. Afterward, check in at The Woodstock Inn & Resort, a former Rockefeller estate featuring an award-winning spa (their seasonal Winter Rose treatment is truly a must).