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Where to Watch the Ball Drop in Times Square

December 22nd, 2016

Where to Watch the Ball Drop Around Times Square

We understand: You love New York City and want to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, but you don’t want the infamous Times Square crowds, or the hassle of waiting outdoors for hours to enjoy the best spot. You envision an elegant affair, with elegant people, and incredible views of Swarovski’s famous crystal sphere, accompanied by Champagne. Because it’s New York, it’s all possible — and maybe even for less than you think. Make reservations early and break out your chicest clothes, because it’s time to welcome the New Year — New York City style.

RLounge at Renaissance Hotel

Make reservations at RLounge and party in the center of it all, directly opposite the ball drop and above Times Square’s famous TKTS booth. You’ll appreciate the upscale crowd, the modern décor and fabulous club-like lighting, but you’ll love the glass windows that allow for panoramic views of the crowd and the Times Square performance stage. Prices include hats and other party accouterments, but book your reservations while the weather is warm — because if you wait until the last minute, you’ll be shut out. Contact Carol.Pernot@RenaissancesHotels.com.

The St. Cloud Roof Lounge at The Knickerbocker

Just off the center of Times Square but with still-astonishing views of the ball, you’ll drink in midtown’s unforgettable nighttime ambiance at the St. Cloud roof lounge. Enjoy award-winning cuisine by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer downstairs, then head upstairs to the rooftop lounge for “progressive cocktails” and small plates. Prefer to keep your libations on the classic side? Ask for a martini — it was reportedly invented here. Bring a full wallet, too, because reservations last year were upward of $2800 per person.

Bar 54 at Hyatt Times Square

River-to-river views that peek over 54 stories of Manhattan’s tallest buildings make Bar 54 one of the hottest midtown New Years Eve party destinations. An excellent wine list and delicious house cocktails — plus a fun crowd — make Bar 54 one of the preferred destinations near Times Square. It’s also the tallest rooftop bar in New York and conveniently located nearby the theater district. Call the hotel directly for reservations early.

The Casablanca Hotel

You probably won’t see Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, but you will get to dance your way into 2017 at Rick’s Café at The Casablanca Hotel. Important detail: You’ll be right in the center of the action, but The Casablanca Hotel requires a 5-day stay before they’ll accept your ressie for New Year’s Eve. Also, all guests must be over 21 years old.

The Gansevoort Meatpacking

If you simply can’t stomach Times Square — or you prefer to stay south of 14th street when you’re ready to party — make a reservation at the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking district. The Gansevoort boasts the hottest location in town — try to get in to Bagatelle, too, if you can — and your New Year’s Eve package will include an overnight stay at the hotel, plus party favors, blowouts, breakfast (with bloody Marys) and a late checkout — not that we’re suggesting you’ll be anything other than springtime fresh on January 1.