Yeah, you could go to your family's place for New Year's Eve. Or you could go get slightly more than tipsy with your friends again. Sure, you could pay a lot of money to dress up and hang out with a lot of people you won't talk to, too. But will it truly be memorable? Everyone remembers where they were for the kickoff of Y2K (and what an anticlimax that was, huh?) Seriously, beyond the potential ethanol-induced haze, will you keep anything from the last night of the year? (This is all, of course, assuming you'd like to remember.) That's no way to spend a New Year. Hotels are the way to go. Weird hotels to ring in the new year. Hotels, yeah, that's it.
And when you're talking weird, you've got to start far far north. You've no doubt heard of the Snow Castle in Kemi, Lapland. One hundred twenty kilometers south of Rovaniemi and slightly further east of Santa Claus' place lies the Castle, really a brilliant idea and a marvel of construction that must be rebuilt every year. Always popular when in existence, the Snow Castle (or "Lumilinna" in Finnish, actually a much nicer name) specifically takes reservations for the celebration. Promised entertainment features light shows and effects to ring in the new year. Hotels may come and go, but Lumilinna does so literally. Oh, and you humbugs will love this - the menu offers reindeer. No more need be said.
Naturally, this groundbreaking idea has spinoffs and imitators. At least two other high-profile frozen precipatory hotels exist. In Quebec, Canada, the Ice Hotel Quebec-Canada rises and falls annually from January to April. Opening for New Year's Eve celebrations, the hotel will melt away in April. Inside are ice sculptures and other artwork (including paintings, believe it or not) and vodka, plenty of vodka. Looking at the intricacy of it all, it's hard to believe that the Quebecois actually build and rebuild this edifice in different fashion every time. Oh, and you can get married there. Just stay cool.
The Alaskan version, the Aurora Ice Museum, goes one better than the original: it's year-round. Bonus attractions here include a life-sized chessboard and sculpted ice glasses at the bar (for that vodka, lots of vodka). You could drink to that in the new year. Hotels aside, though, Alaska is a place to party. Just check out the nearby ChenaHot Springs.
What? Did someone say hot water? Think that's a civilized way to ring in the new year? Hotels exist for you, too, friend. Check out Hotel Gellért in Budapest, Hungary. Respected for its history as a high-culture landmark in Budapest, the Gellért's bathhouse has a few odd treatments you might wish to undergo as part of your resolutions, let's say. You can be suspended by the arms into the hot tub if you've got back problems. Or how about having your muscle mass stimulated electrically? Apparently, it gets those natural electrical impulses in your body back to a healthy rhythm, presumably so you can drink more vodka, lots of vodka...you need the in-house doctor to approve, but he always does. And remember. Electrotherapy first, water second. Do not mix.
Don't like water, either? You want dry climes, something like cottages for New Year? Well...not too much oddity there, but check out Holbrook, Arizona, for the Wigwam Hotel. Hey, it's on Route 66 and the weather's great...how do you say "Happy New Year!" in Hopi? We'll talk cottages for New Year after you try the teepees.
Now get to work on that resolution-making.