EVERYONE knows that irritating feeling - New Year's is approaching, and you haven't got a clue how you're going to spend the evening.
You resent the cultural obligation of having to do something special, but at the same time wish you had an answer to the question all your friends are asking: What are you doing for New Year's?
For people who are no better at thinking up a New Year's activity than buying an original Christmas gift, but who don't want to brave it out with the hooligans on city squares around the country, The Slovak Spectator has put together a few ideas from restaurants, hotels and resorts that responded to our request for information.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Bratislava
Tel: (02) 5934-8080
The Fusion Restaurant, which opened just this fall in the newly renovated Crowne Plaza (the former Forum Hotel) on Hodžovo Square, specializes in Far East cuisine. For New Year's they are offering a "Delicate New Year's Eve Gala for Delicate Guests". Malaysian chef Saravanan Gurusamy will be preparing eight exotic New Year's Eve courses with a selection of archive wines and a traditional Malaysian celebration.
New Bridge, Bratislava
Tel: (0905) 499-108
The flying saucer object above the futuristic-looking Nový Most (New Bridge) is actually a restaurant and night club called UFO, which specializes in "Mediterrasean" cuisine. Its New Year's Eve celebrations include a five-course menu, midnight fireworks and a stunning panoramic view of the city.
Sad A. Kmeťa 76, Piešťany
Tel: (033) 774-3422
This splendidly redone 1920s spa hotel sits on the edge of the Sad A. Kmeťa park by the Colonnade Bridge. Its New Year's Eve program, at Sk2,500 per person per night, includes champagne, a five-course meal, and entertainment by the Pavol Zajačka band.
Hotel Park Avenue
Beethovenová 3, Piešťany
Tel: (033) 791-0999
This hotel is offering a combined Christmas and New Year's package for Sk13,300 that stretches from December 21 to January 3 and includes visits to the Červený Kameň castle in Slovakia and the Schönbrunn castle near Vienna. Presents and spa treatments also included.
Odborárska 7, Piešťany
Tel: (033) 772-6646
The Sergijo's New Year's package is a wellness offer including Thai massages, spa treatments and a gourmet New Year's Eve feast with entertainment. Tickets are Sk2,200 per person per day.
Štefániková 2B, Piešťany
Tel: (033) 773-3734
The Sandor has three different New Year's packages ranging in length from a one to three-night stay. The cheapest tickets are Sk1,700 and include a meal, a bottle of wine, Slovak folk music and a midnight tombola.
Hotel pod Zámkom
Hurbanovo Nám. 2, Bojnice
Tel: (046) 518-5100
Nestled beneath Slovakia's most beautiful castle, the Hotel pod Zámkom offers Christmas parties and events for companies with 20 up to 150 people, and a full New Year's Eve event with musical entertainment and fireworks.
Športová 1, Poprad
Tel: (052) 785-1111
This water park is the largest in Slovakia, and UK/Czech investor Jan Telensky intends to invest further billions of crowns in extra hotel, pool and conference facilities. With the stunning High Tatras mountains in the background, this can be a fabulous holiday with wellness facilities in addition to local skiing. The New Year's Eve program includes fireworks and music with the Big Band from Prešov, giving way to a DJ after midnight. The four-star hotel on the premises is intimate and comfortable.
Vyšné Ružbachy spa
Grand Hotel Strand
Tel: (052) 426-6542
The Strand at the Vyšné Ružbachy spa offers a Christmas package from December 19 to 26, and New Year's package from December 26 to January 2, with special prices and holiday offers, such as free spa treatments and use of the resort's ski slopes.
Tel: (033) 775-7733
The country's oldest and most popular spa resort offers cheaper winter season prices, but not for around the Christmas and New Year's breaks. The "Silvester" party will include a gala dinner, folk and belly dancing, a salsa music group and a midnight buffet. Treatments at the spa facilities are limited during the holidays.