On Maui, Amy Hanaialii Gilliom headlines the New Year's Eve gala in Grand Wailea's Hawaiian Room, a new showroom making its debut on Dec. 31. // © 2016 The Hawaiian Room
Feature image (above): Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii Island gets ready to ring in the new year with a dazzling outdoor party. // © 2016 Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
No matter what the holiday, Hawaii makes a great place to celebrate, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Each year, the destination’s resorts go the extra mile so that visitors and residents can ring in the new year, island-style.
December 31 falls on a Saturday this year, which may explain why the upcoming Hawaii festivities sound better than ever. Here's a look at 10 of the best hotel shindigs on New Year's Eve. Most require advance reservations, so clients should plan ahead and book soon.
Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
An adults-only fete fills the lobby mezzanine with DJ music, a photo booth, cocktails, appetizers, desserts and a midnight champagne toast. For kids, a glow-in-the-dark pool party features enhanced water sliding, face painting, a movie and a magic show.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii Island
The al fresco soiree begins with a buffet dinner followed by dancing under the stars to a live band and a spread of decadent desserts. The Veuve Clicquot flows as guests count down to 2017 and welcome the new year with fireworks.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Little Lanai parties in a big way with entertainment by Los Angeles’ Brenna Whitaker and her big band. Guests enjoy dancing, fireworks and a midnight clink of their champagne flutes. Entry is free when clients purchase one of the hotel’s holiday dinner menus.
Grand Wailea, Maui
The hotel’s new The Hawaiian Room debuts on Dec. 31 with a show tracing island music from the 1930s to today. It stars Amy Hanaialii Gilliom, a singer with deep local roots. Guests savor wine, appetizers and a countdown toast. VIP bookings include an autographed CD.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
Hyatt Regency Maui has added a late-night Drums of the Pacific Luau to ring in 2017. It comes with upgrades such as party favors, a framed souvenir photo, a special lei for each guest, a dessert bonanza, a glass of bubbly at midnight and a three-man fire-knife finale.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Oahu
The fun starts with buffet-style food stations, a full bar and DJ tunes. It continues with under-the-stars poolside dancing to a band, a photo booth and midnight fireworks. Noisemakers, hats, tiaras and beads add to the excitement.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui
At this elegant countdown party, an enticing bar serves cocktails that run down an ice luge and into each glass. Maui entertainer Eric Gilliom heats things up with live music, a photo booth captures memories, and everyone toasts with midnight champagne.
The Royal Hawaiian, Oahu
The Royal’s annual Pink Party prevails with DJ music and food stations with flights of caviar, prime rib and rack of lamb. Clients can sit indoors, outdoors or in VIP cabanas with exclusive beachfront access. The gala culminates in fireworks off Waikiki Beach.
Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu
The North Shore hotel transforms its ballroom into a masquerade ball with food stations, favors, champagne and live music by Hawaii’s Sunway. As 12 a.m. approaches, clients watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop on a big screen, complete with digital fireworks.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
Performer Dana Waldman — a longtime Westin Maui guest — joins his band onstage, playing hits from the 1950s through the present. Also on tap to usher in 2017: music spun by a DJ, champagne at midnight, favors and a balloon drop.