"The perfect party city has a combination of factors," says Tremayne Carew Pole, founder of the A Hedonist's Guide To... series. "It needs to be cosmopolitan and the residents need to be open to outside influences. It doesn't revolve around late licences, because there will always be after-parties." By these measures, Central and South America have some prime spots for cutting loose, from Mexico City to Buenos Aires, but Carew Pole's tip for 2008 is a bit edgier: "Almaty in Kazakhstan is Moscow seven or eight years ago: decadent and with fantastic clubs that wouldn't be out of place in New York."
Almaty is Kazakhstan's biggest city and, thanks to the petrodollars flowing through the country, it's changing rapidly. Almaty's Hyatt and Intercontinental hotels will be joined by a JW Marriott hotel in mid-2008, which will be the city's tallest building, a 38-storey skyscraper on Al-Farabi Avenue, the city's main shopping street.
At night, there's something for everyone, from ravers to lounge lizards. There's a local Time Out magazine to find out where, but Carew Pole reckons tapping into the ocean of knowledge online will give revellers an even better chance of finding the hippest spots. RB
Bmi operates return flights from Heathrow to Almaty, from £400 return ( www.flybmi.com)