On South Beach, where every night is New Years Eve (and/or Halloween for that matter), actually going to a party on the last night of the year seems like going to the Paris or Venetian hotels in Vegas in lieu of visiting the actual cities. Can we say overkill? Not to mention that the sticker price on most NYE events brings to mind the SNL Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers’ segment, REALLY???!!! “$300.00 for Lady Gaga, REALLY???!!.” “$300.00 for general admission, REALLY???!!” While we veterans still consider NYE to be amateur night, opting instead to cozy up with a couple of bottles of Dom and a few pounds of stone crabs (George Stone Crabs will even deliver them to your door: http://georgestonecrab.com/ 1 (800) 273-CRAB) and to celebrate on the 30th or the 1st, we will admit that New Year’s Eve will deliver a champagne-soaked, celeb-filled debauchery, as promised. So for those of you who insist that two months salary is worth spending on a night you won’t remember, here’s a rundown of some of the best the final night of 2009 has to offer.
Best place to bump into a celebrity: W South Beach
If history is the best predictor of the future, then the W hotel, which has seen more celebs in its 5 months of existence than most places see in a lifetime should be the hotbed of celebrity action on New Year’s Eve. Off the top of my head, the following famous faces have been spotted at the hotel in the very recent past: Adrian Grenier, Akon, Alessandra Ambrosio, Alonzo & Tracy Mourning, Amare Stoudemire, Andre Balazs, A-Rod, Ashley Judd, Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer, Bethenny Frankel (Real Housewives of NYC), Betsey Johnson, Brooklyn Decker, Calvin Klein, Colin Cowie, Dan and Dean Caten from DSquared, Dario Franchetti, Dina Manzo (Real Housewives of New Jersey), Drew Barrymore, Eddie George, Eddie Griffin, Gabrielle Union, Gigi Grazer, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Jamie Foxx, Jason Stratham, Jimmie Johnson (Nascar), John McEnroe, Josh Groban, Kelly Bensimon (Real Housewives of NYC), Larry Gagosian, Lenny Kravitz, Lil’ Jon, Lil’ Wayne, Lili Estefan, Luke Wilson, Michael Jordan, Naomi Campbell, Nick Lachey, Pamela Anderson, Pat Riley, Perrey Reeves, Pharrell, Randy Jackson, Rex Lee, Richie Rich, Ryan Seacrest, Scottie Pippen, Simon Cowell, Stavros Niarchos, Stephen Dorff, Tara Reid, Tico Torres, Todd English, Tony Shafrazi, Vanessa Minillo, Whitney Port, Bruce Weber and will.i.am. So there’s no doubt that NYE will be quite a starry night at the W, where the party features a live performance by Kid Cudi with a musical interlude by John Legend. Annalynne McCord will be hosting, Nick Cohen and D-Nice will be spinning, and Grey Goose Vodka is sponsoring the cocktails. General admission tickets start at $300 and include an open bar from 9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. including a midnight toast. For VIP table reservations starting at $2000, call 305-531-5535 or visit http://www.theopiumgroup.com/nye2010. Mr. Chow is featuring a dinner priced at $600 per couple, with a set menu of signature items such as Chicken Satay and Ma Mignon – perfectly matched with a bottle of Cristal champagne (that alone is worth the $600). The revelry continues at Wall until well into the morning of the 1st.
Best party you won’t get into: Malina Max’s Circus Bash
Malinka Max, the former Russian super-model and current Miami socialite has decided to host the ultimate New Year’s Eve party at her mansion, currently the most coveted invitation of NYE 2010. Incidentally, the invitation is a pop-up circus tent with a cut-out of the stunning Max. Insiders say, “Forget Lady GaGa, here you have Circus Malinka.” Apparently, no expense has been spared for this seven-figure-budget party that will leave this town raving for years to come. We hear there will actually be a “big top” and photo ops with Simba, the 850 pound Bengal tiger, which will be there with her four handlers, baby horses (not to be confused with ponies), a liger (the giant cat hybrid of choice these days), clowns, acrobats, monkeys and many surprises. We are sharpening up our trapeze skills as we write. Security is especially tight (armed guards, even), so “fuggedaboutit” if you are not among the lucky thousand to have received an actual circus ticket. Be sure to read about it right here. I promise, I’ll print photos!
Best 360 views of the fireworks displays: Viceroy Club 50
The swank indoor/outdoor lounge on the 50th floor of the Viceroy offers the greatest sweeping views of the city and an all night celebration with DJ Sky Nellor. $200 general admission tickets include open bar from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and ladies can order advance tickets for only $75 (subject to availability). For table reservations or to purchase tickets call 305.503.4400 x7138 or email NYE@viceroymiami.com. Overnight packages for two start at $895 and include a six-course dinner with wine pairings (priced separately) at EOS.
Best Place to go Gaga for Gaga:
In case you miss her concert at the American Airlines Arena, or are hungry for more, Lady Gaga will be hanging by the Fontainebleau pool just before midnight, where she’ll be doing the countdown and then her first performance of 2010. Go to www.newyears.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
Best Rooftop Party for the price: Red, The Steakhouse
If open-air rooftops and delicious bites are your thing, then celebrate New Year’s Eve at Red’s spectacular rooftop party. Guests are invited to ring in the New Year with an open premium bar from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., appetizers, sweet treats and late night snacks, while enjoying panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Miami skyline. Guests will also have front row seats to view the Miami Beach fireworks display. The cost is $99 per person, and a full dinner is only $50 more a head. For reservations contact: 305.534.3688 or visit www.redthesteakhouse.com. Valet parking is available- which is worth the hundred bucks, especially on NYE.
Best New Place to Interview a Vampire: Klutch
The new club by nightlife vets SMAC entertainment, in the former Opium/Prive space, is being hosted by the cutest “vampire” of all, Twilight’s, Kellan Lutz and Attack of the Show! and Iron Man 2‘s Olivia Munn. There are a slew of big pre-parties going on, starting December 29, featuring performances by Boys Like Girls, Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester, Hey Monday, Kid Sister and Steel Panther. Tickets cost $40 per night for the pre-parties, $200 for NYE, including open bar, and are available at www.newyears.com. For more information, visit www.klutchmiami.com.
Best Bang for your Buck: The Catalina Hotel and Beach Club
Boasting an all-access pass to live music and entertainment, including food and open bars in each of the hotel’s three buildings, this party seems a bargain at just $95 per person for an all-inclusive evening. Your party-hopping pass allows you access to each building’s line-up of musical acts, including The Spam Allstars in Maxine’s Bistro & Lounge, the best of old school hip hop at Kung Fu Kitchen & Sushi, and 80’s groove in the red bar. Guests can enjoy three distinctly different and delicious dinner buffets, gourmet sushi, decadent desserts, open bar, including a vodka ice luge and specialty cocktails. The VIP New Year’s celebration at the Catalina’s rooftop lounge is priced at $900 and includes a VIP rooftop cabana, six all-access passes, one bottle of premium vodka and a bottle of champagne and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Contact: 305-674-1160 for tickets or more info.
Best Place to get sand in your shoes: The Raleigh
The Raleigh invites guests to join them for a night of music, dancing and glamour. This year’s theme, “A Night to Remember,” is a far cry from Susanne Bartsch’s, “Burlesque New Year’s Eve 2009.” As we said before, the “remembering” part is unlikely. The drinks and hors d’oeuvres package goes for $200 per person and the dinner package is $300 per person. To RSVP, go to NewYearsEve@raleighhotel.com or call 305.612.1173.
Best place to strike some pins: Lucky Strike
The perfect alternative to the velvet rope hype, Lucky Strike is offering bottle service packages starting at $150, which includes one hour of complimentary bowling, shoe rentals and a midnight champagne toast for six guests. Celebrity fans like Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, who were spotted at Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge earlier this month, just might stop by to get a break from the mayhem outside. The party goes until 5:00 a.m. For more information, contact: 305.532.0307 / www.bowlluckystrike.com.
Best Place to clog an artery: Chef Todd English’s da Campo Osteria
Brown butter, shaved truffle ravioli, veal shank, chocolate soufflé…prepared by a hunky celebu-chef…not a bad way to bid adieu to 2009. Dinner reservations can be made for 6:30 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. for $125/$150 respectively, including a glass of Proseco. For an additional charge of $25.00 per person, guests can stay and enjoy festivities in the lobby area. The 10:00 p.m. seating includes a second toast and lobby party which will continue through 1:00 a.m.
Best all-nighters: Set, Mansion, Louis and Wall
All of your favorite clubs will be ringing in the New Year until morning in style for a hefty price tag. Get all the latest information and buy tickets online at: http://www.theopiumgroup.com/nye2010.
Best pre-New Year’s all-night dance parties: Black Curtains at White Room
Sources tell us a mix of locals and Phish fans will be dancing all night for three nights at this Indie hang-out. The Phish after-party series takes place December 28-30. The musical line-up features some of the best dubstep, electro and IDM acts in the country, including Break Science, Boombox and EOTO (Michael Travis and Jason Hann of the String Cheese Incident). Also on the bill are many of Miami’s top local performers such as Afrobeta, DJ Le Spam and Richard Devine. The venue is a short walk from AA Arena where Phish is staging its four-night NYE run and all headliners in the Black Curtains series will start their sets after the Phish shows let out, keeping the dance party going late into the night. A limited number of 3-day passes are available for $30 at www.underonebeat.com.
For more information about individual tickets, contact 305.995.5050 or visit:
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