Archive for the ‘romantic travel’ Category

Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal

February 5, 2021
Romantic gazebos placed along the lake’s edge are extremely popular for popping the question at Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian jewel in New York’s Hudson Valley (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. –“Every day is Valentine’s Day at Historic Hotels of America,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Historic hotels are the perfect place for celebrating special occasions that create lifelong memories and are the ideal location for a romantic proposal.”

These special milestones celebrated at historic hotels include romantic getaways, the ideal place to propose, the destination for the perfect wedding, the getaway for a memorable honeymoon, and the location to celebrate a special anniversary.

“The most romantic hotels are historic hotels.  These romantic historic hotels range from intimate to grand and opulent. Proposing at a historic hotel is a wonderful opportunity to create an ever-lasting memory and increases the chance that the answer will be ‘yes.’ From historic destination resorts with romantic gardens to city-center legendary historic hotels, each provides the setting, the backdrop, and the ambiance for making and hearing yes to the perfect proposal.” 

Each year, the hotel membership organization of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, publishes its Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal: Here’s the 2021 Top 25:  

The Buccaneer (1653) Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands 
The Buccaneer Resort has a history from centuries ago.  The Danes purchased St Croix in 1733, and installed Governor Von Prock, who lived in the original hilltop Great House.  He turned the property into a sugar factory, including a large sugar mill, still intact.  This structure provides a most romantic and unique location for proposals.  With sweeping Caribbean views and gentle breezes, this setting has been a favorite for romance seekers for generations. The Sugar Mill is located on the hilltop overlooking the resort and Caribbean Sea, which combine to make it the perfect proposal location.  For those looking for an evening proposal, just before sunset is ideal as the special moment can be followed by a private dinner in the Sugar Mill. Or pair this location with The Buccaneer’s Pop the Question package to enhance the experience.  The package includes an upgraded room category, welcome basket, private beachside cabana rental for one day, and prosecco at the site on the day of the proposal.  

The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia 

The Omni Homestead Resort has beautiful, breathtaking views everywhere guests turn. From the gorgeous mountain scenery to the grand and glamorous interior settings, there are numerous places for romantic proposals. The associates at the hotel can accommodate unique proposals on-site. One proposal took place during an archery lesson with a message “Will you marry me” inserted into a balloon on the target. The bride-to-be popped the balloon as the groom-to-be popped the question.  While there are a lot of romantic settings for the proposal, the Dining Room is one of the most popular.  Part of The Omni Homestead experience for more than a century, the elegant Dining Room features custom chandeliers, an incredible domed ceiling, and large windows. Each night there’s music for dancing, a time-honored tradition at the resort. With a little advance notice, The Homestead team can arrange for the band to play the couple’s favorite song while a photographer captures the special moment.   

Inn at Perry Cabin (1816) St. Michaels, Maryland 
The gazebo on The Pointe at Inn at Perry Cabin is the most romantic spot to pop the question. On the shores of the Miles River, the gazebo overlooks a beautiful wide stretch of water often filled with boats of all sizes for a true sense of the place on the Chesapeake Bay. The Inn at Perry Cabin crew will help guests pull off the plan and once they say yes, will help the couple celebrate with a private dinner from an award-winning Chef inside the gazebo before the newly engaged retire to one of their luxurious waterfront guestrooms for the evening. 

The Willard InterContinental (1818) Washington DC 
Throughout the year, The Willard InterContinental is the location for a great number of proposals. Yet the most popular place and time throughout the year to pop the big question, is around The Willard’s iconic Christmas tree in the lobby. Couples enjoy this most festive atmosphere for a proposal, as the hotel shines bright in all its holiday decor. Recently, a groom-to-be worked with the Guest Relations Manager to strategically place a Marry Me ornament on The Willard Christmas tree that the bride-to-be would spot as they came by to view the holiday decorations and have a drink, a holiday tradition they have done each year since moving to Washington DC. In another proposal, the groom-to-be placed a present under the Christmas tree; as the couple was viewing the tree, they spotted the wrapped gift with the name of the finance-to-be that contained the ring that he needed for the proposal.  Coordinating proposals on-site is often a team effort and typically coordinated by The Willard Guest Relations team who will work with the individual proposing in advance to ensure they have the support needed to carry out the proposal and any items required such as rose petals, champagne, chocolates, balloons, and more.  

Omni Royal Orleans (1843) New Orleans, Louisiana  
At the highest point of the hotel is the famous Observation Deck which has a panoramic view of the city with a backdrop of the mighty Mississippi, riverboats, and a view of the infamous Jackson Square.  It truly captures the essence of what makes New Orleans, New Orleans.  It is easy to lure the unsuspecting fiancé up to that area with an invitation from a family member or friend to join them for a cocktail at La Riviera, the Rooftop Pool Bar.   Then a suggestion of “come see the view of the city” brings the intended up the stairs of the Observation Deck.  Sometimes family members are hiding up there and others have a few friends.  Shortly after the intended gets up the stairs, the proposer comes following behind and dropping to their knee to ask the big question. The hotel’s ensures for a memorable event that the area be temporarily closed to the public and provide Champagne with flutes for a congratulations toast.  Others have enhanced their experience by having dinner for two afterwards in a private dining room in the award-winning Rib Room.    

Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama  
As the sun starts to set into Mobile Bay, the romantic couple sits in one of the swings under giant oak trees and pops the question. Named the best large historic hotel in 2019 by Historic Hotels of America, couples have been getting engaged at the Grand Hotel since 1847. After a massive transformation, the resort has even more places for proposals. Private beach and pool cabanas offer a quiet setting for proposals. A very memorable setting is to get down on a knee at Julip Point and make the proposal as the sunsets and majestic pelicans fly above to salute the lovebirds.  Once they say yes, it is time to stroll over to Southern Roots for a delicious meal. A full team of wedding and event experts is available to help in proposal planning and all wedding aspects thereafter. 

Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian castle perched over a private lake, is among the Top 25 most romantic Historic Hotels of America members for proposing (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York 
Mohonk Mountain House is a Victorian Castle perched at the top of a mountain with a private lake. The hotel has 120 “summerhouses” which are rustic gazebos designed for two people to share special moments together; taking in stunning views during or after a hike on 85 miles of trails- all of which provide the perfect romantic backdrop for someone to get down on bended knee. The Sky Top Tower is a hiking destination with panoramic views of the Shawangunk Cliffs and Catskill Mountains and a very popular engagement site, along with the boat dock, which provides amazing views of serene Lake Mohonk.  

Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan 
For 135 years, Grand Hotel provides the charm and beauty of a variety of romantic settings for a grand gesture. The World’s Longest Front Porch, overlooking the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge, provides an enchanting backdrop. At the very top of Grand Hotel, the Cupola Bar offers breathtaking panoramic island views, ideal for that special moment. The picturesque Main Dining Room is an elegant setting with the instrumental background of the Grand Hotel Orchestra. Grand Hotel’s lush gardens provide an intimate opportunity that some couples prefer. Woods Restaurant, an opulent Tudor mansion with Bavarian charm, offers private candlelit dining experiences and is just a short, romantic horse-drawn carriage ride into the wooded interior of Mackinac Island.  Request the Grand Proposal Package and assistance with behind-the-scenes reservations and arrangements. The Grand Proposal Package includes a select location for the proposal, one-hour private carriage tour, 30 minutes of professional photography, VIP dinner reservations with a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a bottle of Grand Hotel Sparkling Wine on the table upon arrival.  

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Georgia exudes Southern charm and has various settings for a romantic proposal (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia  
Built in the Queen Ann style, the Jekyll Island Club Resort is like a castle surrounded by Southern charm. With sweeping Spanish moss and hundred years old live oaks, Jekyll Island is one of the most romantic spots in the South.  From the top of the turret to quiet moments in Crane Garden, its little slice of Heaven is perfect for any romantic proposal. The three top romantic spots include The Turret, Crane Garden, and The Grand Dining Room.  The Turret of the Clubhouse is the second tallest structure on Jekyll Island and the tallest structure in the Jekyll Island Historic District with a panoramic view of the Historic District and Jekyll River, most romantic at sunset. The manicured grounds of Crane Cottage, especially Crane Garden, offers couples the perfect romantic garden to sneak away to on property. The sunken garden features a lush lawn, sweeping ivy covered trellis, a running fountain, and an abundance of flowers. The sunken garden allows for a private moment between the blooming flowers with the Italian Renaissance style Crane Cottage framing the background. The historic Grand Dining Room offers the timeless charm of years long ago.  A private candlelit dinner experience can be arranged in advance. Special delivery of the ring can be arranged with the Catering team.  From a special toast to an extra sweet dessert moment, team members are ready to help enhance this special moment. 

The historic, iconic Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Hotel del Coronado (1888) Coronado, California
Hotel del Coronado is lucky to be the “go-to” proposal spot for San Diego. Its enchanting Victorian architecture and beachfront location lend an air of romance to any proposal. While many have popped the question at the holiday ice skating rink and even surprised their intended with a flash mob on the oceanfront Windsor Lawn, the two most popular proposals ideas are both on the sparkling beach. What could be more romantic the dropping down on one knee on the beach at sunset next to a roaring private beach bonfire? The hotel team is happy to assist with reserving the private beach bonfire experience and can also provide a full menu of fireside treats and cocktails to lead up to the big moment. Some proposers even go the extra mile and arrange for family and friends to join them at a neighboring bonfire after the big moment. Another romantic proposal idea is to end a romantic beach stroll with a proposal in front of a custom sandcastle. One of the highlights of the Hotel del Coronado beach resort is the sandcastle man, a talented local artist who builds custom sandcastles daily. Potential proposers can contact him directly, or through the help of hotel team, and he will create a custom sandcastle for the magical moment. With the help of a local photographer, the sandcastle proposal will be a memory that the couple can cherish for years to come. 

Ledges Hotel (1890) Hawley, Pennsylvania  
Ledges Hotel was created from a repurposed 1890s era glass factory. Thoughtful, modern design and a commitment to historic preservation offer a unique atmosphere. Every aspect of the hotel was designed to be in harmony with nature. Gathering spaces and guestrooms boast adaptive reuse furnishings, environmentally friendly amenities, and stunning views of the river gorge waterfall. The historic Bluestone building situated atop Paupack High Falls provides a dramatic backdrop for proposals. The tiered decks overlooking the natural waterfall and river gorge are one of the most romantic spots to pop the question at Ledges Hotel. It is a popular destination for engagements no matter the season. During winter, the frozen falls offer a stunning backdrop. Budding trees and rushing waters are a hallmark of spring. Summer by the waterfall is lush and cool while fall foliage creates a vibrant landscape in autumn. Seasonal specials afford special romantic touches such as a couple’s massage, in-room wine and cheese, a private yoga class, chocolate covered strawberries and split of prosecco. 

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) (Waikiki Beach) Honolulu, Hawaii 
The First Lady of Waikiki, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean, offers either a beachfront table at the hotel’s bar, or on the sand very near the bar. It all depends on how much privacy the couple would like during the proposal. Along the beach or at the bar under the famous Banyan Tree, especially during sunset is the busiest time. If a couple does not mind an audience, something can be pre-arranged with the hotel’s food and beverage department and the nightly entertainer –such as making an announcement to direct attention to the proposal. The Beach Bar located beneath the famed Banyan Tree at the Banyan Courtyard is the most romantic location. If a couple prefers to be engaged in private, a tower room facing the ocean at sunset would be ideal. 

Southern Hotel (1907) Covington, Louisiana 
The Southern Hotel has many romantic spots. Its restaurant, Ox Lot 9, offers a farm-to-table Southern cuisine experience, sourcing from local producers and suppliers to create inventive, seasonal menus. Its ballroom is perfect for a fairytale dance, and its courtyard is the perfect place to share a cup of coffee at sunrise. The most favorite romantic spot is its garden path.  Tucked away beyond the hedge of the courtyard, this quaint little path leads to the pool. Moss covered bricks meander under a trellis—a small, verdant universe. The splashing of the trickling fountain is majestic and musical. Each season brings with it a host of new blooms. Camellias blossom and welcome guests in winter and sleep in summer when the hydrangeas’ vibrant colors illuminate. In spring this garden path truly comes alive when the imperial jasmine blooms and gently perfumes the air. The hotel team can make the moment more special by lighting a few candles, coordinating with a photographer, or picking out just the perfect spot, including finding the right time and spot at sunset for the perfect moment to hear yes. 

Hotel Boulderado (1909) Boulder, Colorado 
For more than one hundred years, Hotel Boulderado has been a beloved place for proposals and weddings in Colorado. One of the most romantic locations at the luxury property is the charming balcony landing of the original grand cantilevered cherrywood staircase in the historic lobby. Couples who say “I Do” on the landing are surrounded by their loved ones lining the cherrywood railing of the mezzanine with the beautiful stained-glass ceiling above. The historic property is the perfect backdrop for memorable wedding ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, and receptions of up to 240 guests.   

Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, is the epitome of elegance, storied history and southern hospitality (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Hermitage Hotel (1910) Nashville, Tennessee  
The Hermitage Hotel provides the epitome of undisputed elegance, storied history, southern hospitality all while offering the quintessential backdrop for a romantic proposal. As Tennessee’s only Five Star hotel and designated as a National Historical Landmark, The Hermitage’s legendary grand lobby offers lovers a special place to hear the answer “Yes” to one of life sweetest questions. This stunning space is adorned with soaring columns of original Italian marble, ornate chandeliers, and light filters into the sundrenched space through a magnificent painted glass skylight, which, since the building’s erection, remains the crown jewel of the lobby. To ensure memories from this special day never fade, The Hermitage offers an engagement photoshoot package to capture the life-changing moment. 

Bear Mountain Inn (1915) Bear Mountain, New York 
Built in 1915, the historic Bear Mountain Inn is located within the beautiful Bear Mountain State Park that spans 5,025 acres located on the West Bank of the Hudson River (in Rockland and Orange Counties, New York). Many proposals have been made on these beautiful grounds, from the top of Perkins Memorial Tower, by Hessian Lake, along the Hudson River by the Bear Mountain Boat Dock, to the grand fireplace of Restaurant 1915. And countless other nooks in this luscious park and within the walls of this great historic building to ask the question Many couples who have said “Yes!” to a lifetime of love on the grounds of the Bear Mountain State Park, return to the Bear Mountain Inn to celebrate their wedding with their family and friends. Because it is in a state park and open to the public, many couples return year after year to celebrate their anniversary with a stroll through the zoo, a hike, or a romantic dinner at Restaurant 1915 by the roaring fire. 

La Fonda on the Plaza (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico 
There is no more romantic place to propose than Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the city’s historic La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel sets the perfect scene with its “Blingarita” proposal package.  The engagement experience, orchestrated by the hotel’s expert concierge staff, starts with luxury accommodations in the historic hotel’s exclusive Fireworks Suite.  The deluxe suite has a romantic fireplace and for the popping of the question, its private wrap-around balcony will be festooned with farolitos – the traditional small candles that cast a romantic glow on the adobe.  At the appointed time, a server will arrive at the suite with a pair of La Fonda’s exclusive, ultra-premium “Blingaritas,” one of them bedazzled with an engagement ring provided by the proposer and slipped secretly to staff upon arrival. Arguably the priciest margarita in town and certainly the prettiest, the Blingarita is crafted with Don Julio 1942 tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, Grand Marnier, and a 24-karat gold flake rim. The drinks are served in exquisite keepsake glasses by Southwestern designer Jan Barboglio that the couple will take home to kickstart their barware collection.  Following the proposal, a sumptuous Southwestern dinner for two will be served in the Fireworks Suite.   

Francis Marion Hotel (1924) Charleston, South Carolina 
Located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Francis Marion Hotel is in one the South’s most romantic cities. It offers so many romantic opportunities to pop the question; from a horse drawn carriage ride to a romantic walk under moss-covered oak trees. The hotel is home to historic charm, romantic details and years of love being celebrated within its walls. Offering a beautiful backdrop in the lobby or even overlooking the view in one of the penthouse suites, a proposal at the Francis Marion is sure to be met with a yes. Including the historic and grand lobby, a few popular places in the hotel that couples have gotten engaged include the penthouse suites overlooking the city of Charleston or in one of the classic and elegant ballrooms. Its concierge can help coordinate details to in-suite amenities like champagne to celebrate saying ‘yes!’

The Terrace Hotel (1924) Lakeland, Florida 
The most popular romantic spot, the Terrace Grille, offers fine dining in a historic setting. The romantic couple can have a candlelight dinner with white linen, fine-dining service. The restaurant features a beautiful cypress ceiling with antique chandeliers, massive arched windows throughout, and a view of downtown even featuring Lake Morton.  Nearby special spots for the question include an area steeped in history, the Lake Mirror Promenade where the happy couple can enjoy sweeping views of the lake and the historic buildings. Another perfect spot is Allen Kryger Overlook Park, a half-acre commemorative park that is beautiful in design and features dramatic columns in an open, flowing space. 

InterContinental Mark Hopkins (1926) San Francisco, California 
The Top of the Mark sky-lounge has become a popular venue for romantic proposals and other celebratory occasions, including weddings and anniversaries. Located on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, the world-renowned sky-lounge affords a near 360-degree visit of San Francisco with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, as well as Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf. 

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1927) Sonoma, California  
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the only comprehensive luxury destination resort in Sonoma Wine Country, boasting championship golf, geo-thermal pools, world-class spa, and fine dining. Every guest receives a complimentary bottle of wine as well as champagne upon arrival ensuring that the stage is set for romance.   Mission Suites at Fairmont Sonoma feature a four-poster king bed, wood-burning fireplace, and oversized Jacuzzi tub. All suites have a balcony or patio.  Or lovebirds may prefer a private cabana poolside at the world-famous geo-thermal Willow Stream Spa at the Wine Country resort. The destination expert concierge team at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn can assist in creating the ultimate lavish proposal which may include hot air balloon adventures, bespoke wine blending sessions, private dining options, or decadent couples massage options. 

The famed Don Cesar of St. Pete Beach, Florida, was built as a wedding present to rsemble a Mediterranean-style castle (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Don CeSar (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida 
Built as a wedding present in 1928 to resemble a Mediterranean-style castle, The Don CeSar was once the playground for distinguished celebrities, such as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Don CeSar continues to charm and impress guests today with service preserved from the Great Gatsby era of pampering. Blending European grandeur, seaside elegance, and sweet sunsets with the enchantment of yesteryear, the romantic legend exemplifies the grandness of America’s traditional beach resorts.  Favorite spots to propose are on the beach, in the gardens, or on a boat with the picturesque Don CeSar in the background. 

The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania 
Known for its refined elegance, signature services and abundant amenities, The Hotel Hershey is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway with beautiful locations to get down on one knee. The Formal Gardens behind the hotel are a popular spot for proposals. There, guests can find a quiet, romantic, picturesque area with beautiful flower beds, pergolas, fountains and reflecting pools. Inside the Hotel, the Fountain Lobby is another picturesque location worthy of popping the question. It was designed to look like a Spanish-style courtyard with palm trees, a beautiful fountain, and a painted sky on the ceiling. 

Royal Palms Resort & Spa (1948) Phoenix, Arizona 
With lush greenery, vibrant florals, and rustic accents throughout, there are several locations at the Royal Palms Resort for the perfect, romantic setting to propose. The resort grounds have a few favorite locations that are tucked away off the main pathways for a romantic setting, including Camelback Mountain Vista and Cervantes Patio. They are framed with landscape to accent the focal points, allowing for a romantic dinner for two, or a cozy setting to share a glass of wine and focus on one another. Sunset and evenings are the most ideal time to set the mood, with candles and patio lights. The  Via Cappello dining experience is the perfect opportunity for a proposal.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (1965) Kohala Coast, Hawaii 
As a long sought-after romantic destination on the big island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel provides special touches. There are three standout locations at the hotel that have been favorites for more than 50 years. The first is the grand staircase fronting the enormous, ancient 12th century Buddha. The original historic third tee at Mauna Kea’s golf course, perched above the ocean’s edge, secluded and dramatic, particularly at sunset. And lastly, the Vista Decks.  For an over-the-top proposal, sunset from the hotel’s Vista Deck overlooking the soft white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, with views to the ocean’s far horizon, is a popular romantic spot. Offering privacy, views of the white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, and the ocean’s horizon beyond, the Vista Deck can be staged for a romantic torchlit dinner for two or an intimate gathering of cocktails and pupus (appetizers) with family and friends. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s professional team of romance specialists will help arrange for a photographer (who have been known to hide in the bushes until the moment is right), florals, champagne and more to make certain all goes without a hitch and the couple’s future launches spectacularly. The shores of Kauna‘oa Bay provide the perfect backdrop to pop the question. Another option, the stunning venue above the ocean’s edge on Mauna Kea Resort’s golf course, is one of the most popular wedding locales!  The rolling blue surf of the Pacific Ocean and vibrant hues of a setting sun complete this dramatic setting.  From the sand beneath their toes to the sounds of the waves rolling onto the shore, Kauna’oa Bay sets the scene for every romantic proposal.      

Historic Hotels of America is the membership official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. The 300 members have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.  

Kennebunkport Resort Collection Unveils Igloo Ice Lounge for Paint the Town Red Festivities

February 6, 2019

KENNEBUNKPORT, ME– Paint the Town Red officially kicks off Saturday, February 2 at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel’s “Frosted! A Freezing Good Time” Ice Bar celebration hosted by Portland, Maine native Chelsea Roy of The Bachelor Season 22 and Bachelor in Paradise.

The Kennebunkport Inn is taking the Paint the Town Red festivities to a new level with its Igloo Ice Lounge. Each igloo can host up to eight guests who can enjoy small plates and specialty cocktails while wrapped in cozy throw blankets on fur lined seats. The Igloo Ice Lounge also offers outdoor fire pit seating, a heart-shaped Cornhole board and board games to keep guests fully entertained. Igloos can be reserved for private events for $275 each.

The Igloo Ice Lounge is open 4 to 8 pm Sunday through Thursday and 4 to 9pm on Friday and Saturday through March 31, 2019.

The Kennebunkport Inn is offering an Igloo Stay & Play Package, starting at $395 which includes a two-night stay at the Kennebunkport Inn, snowshoe rentals for two, an L.L.Bean boat tote filled with winter themed goodies and two complimentary Igloo Ice Lounge drink tickets. The package is available for travel through March 31, 2019 and can be reserved online or over the phone at 1(800) 573-7186.

The celebrations continue each weekend all month long with a full line-up of culinary experiences scheduled at various properties and restaurants in the Kennebunkport Resort Collection (KRC). The roster includes an oyster shucking class with local bivalves and wine pairings, sushi making demonstration with sake tasting, a tap takeover with Biddeford’s Banded Brewing Co. and an Earth at Hidden Pond pop-up dinner.

Cupid’s Love Shuttle can be booked for KRC guests needing transportation to and from the Portland International Jetport for $40 per person (one way). KRC guests can take advantage of the Love KPT hotel packages starting at $479 for a two-night stay, three course dinner, while the Put A Ring On It package puts KRC’s Cupid Concierge in charge of curating of a romantic proposal. The Cupid Concierge is available to curate a romantic rendezvous for couples staying at a KRC property throughout February and can be reached at cupid@lovekpt.com or 207-967-1517.

Throughout February Dock Square in downtown Kennebunkport will be decked out in sparkling red lights and “#LoveYourSelfie” photo stations will be positioned throughout town for love birds to stop and snap a selfie. Paint the Town Red celebrations continue all month welcoming sweethearts with a calendar of special events and stay packages.

KRC Stay Packages

  • The Love KPTpackage starts at $479 and includes a two-night stay at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, the Kennebunkport Inn or the Grand Hotel, arrival goodies of red wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, a three course dinner for two and late check-out. The package is available for travel through March 31, 2019 and can be reserved online the individual property’s website.
  • For those looking for an over-the-top engagement, KRC’s Put A Ring On It puts the Cupid Concierge on speed dial to help curate perfect romance. Beginning with luxury accommodations, the package includes an original love poem, bottle of Dom Pérignon in Waterford crystal champagne flutes, a personal photographer to capture the “big ask,” four dozen red roses and chocolate covered strawberries. Plus, KRC recently partnered with luxury honeymoon travel specialists, CIRE Travel, who will waive all planning fees for couples (valued at $1,000) booking the Put A Ring On It package. To really ramp up the romance cupid can also provide a custom engagement ring (valued up to $8,000) from a local jeweler. Available through February 28, 2019, the package can be booked by phone at 1-(800) 573-7186.

Red Hot Events

 

Red Plate Dinner Series

  • Saturday, February 16: Sushi Making Demo, Sake Tasting + Dinner at The Boathouse Restaurant – An interactive demonstration on the art of sushi making paired with light bites and sake tasting, a three course meal and sushi rolling kit to take home; 4-6pm; $50 per person.
  • Saturday, February 9Earth Winter Dinner Pop-Up at Ocean – Hosted by Chef Joe Schafer, this not-to-be-missed event provides a first taste of the of the 2019 Earth menu. The evening begins with welcome cocktails and appetizers followed by a three course dinner with plated appetizer, family style entrees, plated dessert and additional surprises. Tickets are $135 per person and include food, cocktails, wine pairings with dinner and gratuity; 6-9pm.
  • Thursday, February 14Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Burleigh and The Boathouse Waterfront Restaurant.
  • Saturday, February 23Tap Takeover & Beer Dinner with Banded Brewing Co. – Biddeford’s Banded Brewing Co. takes over the taps at The Burleigh. Chef Eric will serve light bites followed by a four-course dinner paired with four of the brewery’s most popular beers; 5-9 pm; $75 per person.

To purchase event tickets, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/kennebunkport-resort-collection-8295220906

Paint the Town Red exclusive offers and experiences are available from February 1 through February 28, 2019. Sweethearts can follow the love on social media using #lovekpt. For more information, visit: http://destinationkennebunkport.com/paint-town-red-february-kennebunkport/

 

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Romantic Dining Spots to Take Your Valentine in NYC, Hamptons

February 6, 2018

This Valentine’s Day 2018, demonstrate your love by treating your special someone to an unforgettable dining experience. Here are some of the best dining ideas in New York and the Hamptons this February 14th.

New York, NY

♥   MAMO NYC

This Valentine’s Day, dine at charming SoHo Italian Provencal Restaurant MAMO. The New York outpost of Mamo Le Michelangelo located in Antibes, France, MAMO NYC will delight couples looking to dine in a rustic chic atmosphere, with its regular menu and Valentine’s Day specials including: Pan seared foie gras, apples, mache salad and truffle; Home-made lobster ravioli with fresh herbs; Roasted halibut, seasonal vegetables and champagne sauce; and White chocolate cake, raspberries, almonds and marinated pineapple for dessert.

MAMO is comprised of two distinct spaces, an intimate downstairs lounge and a comfortable 100-seated dining room upstairs. The multi-level space boasts rustic Provencal décor with old family images and movie posters that make guests feel instantly transported to the French Riviera. The menu is derived from Mammoliti family recipes passed down through generations and integrate market-fresh specials. The extensive wine list includes hand-selected bottles from Italy and France, and the cocktail list features special concoctions with an Italian twist.

MAMO
323 West Broadway (Btwn Canal & Grand Sts)
New York, NY 10013
646-964-4641
www.mamonyc.com

♥   Russian Samovar

This elegant eatery is the perfect spot to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Owned by Roman Kaplan and managed by his daughter Vlada Von Shats and her two sons Michael and Nicholas, this upscale establishment offers some of the finest Russian cuisine in New York. Located in the Theater District, Russian Samovar boasts a 19th-century feel, complete with picturesque green and red shades and Russian folk prints.

Aside from its authentic Russian dishes, it is known for its 26 flavored vodkas prepared in-house, including ginger, horseradish, lemon and cranberry. Delectable appetizers include Beluga and Osetra caviar, Blinis filled with salmon or caviar, the Assorted Fish Platter (in-house cured Salmon Gravlax with dill, Smoked Atlantic Salmon and Smoked Butterfish), Vol-au-Vent (a wild mushroom puff pastry), traditional Borscht, a Pate Russe laced with brandy, and Pelmeni Stroganoff, veal or chicken with sirloin tips in a creamy mushroom sauce. It is its signature entrees, however, that have put Russian Samovar on the culinary map. House specialties include Shashlik Karski (rack of lamb marinated in Georgian spices), Beef Stroganoff, Veal Pojarksi (ground veal and breast of chicken cutlets), Chicken Kiev and Pelmeni (veal, beef and chicken dumplings).

Russian Samovar Restaurant & Piano Bar 
256 West 52nd Street (At 8th Avenue)
New York, NY 10019
Facebook.com/RussianSamovarNY

♥   Demarchelier

Authentic French Bistro Demarchelier, owned by artist Eric Demarchelier (brother of famed fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier), is sure to impress your date this Valentine’s Day. Demarchelier brings a little piece of France to New York City. Every meal that leaves its kitchen aims to capture the essence of authentic French bistro fair. The family owned and run Upper East Side restaurant radiates a comfortable, colorful, warm and familial spirit that has made it a neighborhood fixture for a quarter-century. Ideal for a quick bite to eat, a romantic rendez-vous, or a simple family meal. The traditional French menu is paired perfectly with a wide range of predominantly French wines.

Signature dishes include the Moules Mariniere Au Vin Blanc; Duck Confit served over a hearty mix of tomato and tarragon scented flageolets; and Pan Sautéed Sole Meuniere, accompanied by mixed vegetables. Demarchelier’s decadent dessert menu features flavorful dishes such as Tarte Fine Au Pommes, a flaky tart filled with warm apples and served with fresh vanilla ice cream; and Crepe Suzette, a classic French pancake drizzled with Grand Marnier.

Demarchelier
50 East 86th Street
(Between Madison & Park Ave)
New York, NY 10028
www.demarchelierrestaurant.com

♥   La Pulperia

The perfect spot for a romantic meal, La Pulperia Midtown serves rustic Latin cuisine with a contemporary twist. La Pulperia opened their first location in Hell’s Kitchen in 2014, followed by two additional locations on the Upper East Side and Midtown East. The restaurant is the creation of Victor Medina and Carlos Barroz, who also serves as the Executive Chef.  Named after the general stores found throughout South America, La Pulperia offers Barroz’s simple yet refined cuisine from the countries of Latin America with contemporary culinary influences from Spain and Italy.

This Valentine’s Day, La Pulperia’s three locations offer a special 3-course menu which includes a complimentary glass of cava per person. Dishes include a choice of Pan-Seared Diver Scallops (Cape May diver scallops, fried plantains, chipotle hummus, avocado) or Rib Eye Tiradito (grass-fed rib eye, aji amarillo, pickled red cabbage, avocado) for First Course; Stuffed Skate wing (lump crab meat stuffed skate wing, caramelized carrot risotto, truffle aioli) or Grilled Rib eye (grilled grass-fed rib eye, oven roasted potatoes, baby arugula, chimichurri) for Second Course; and Mezcal Chocolate Mousse (caramel glaze, 24k Gold leaves, expresso soil, hazelnut toffee, dulce de leche ice cream) or Tres Leche Pisco Latte (pisco-infused tres leches cake, strawberry mousse, yogurt chantilly, lucuma ice cream) for Dessert.
For more information, call 212 933 0757, or visit www.pulperianyc.com

La Pulperia UES
1626 Second Avenue
(Between 84th & 85th St)
New York, NY 10028

La Pulperia Midtown East
151 E 57th St
(Between 3rd Ave & Lexington Ave)
New York, NY 10022

La Pulperia Hell’s Kitchen
371 W 46th St
(Between 8rd Ave & 9th Ave)
New York, NY 10036

♥   Bobby Van’s Central Park South

For the steak lover, visit esteemed Bobby Van’s Steakhouse this Valentine’s Day. Bobby Van’s has earned its place as a venerable New York institution, thanks in part to a continued commitment to cooking techniques perfected years ago by the founding fathers of New York steakhouse cuisine. Bobby Van’s has grown from its original home in Bridgehampton, NY, and now includes a repertoire of ten fine restaurants that offer the refined style of a classic New York City steakhouse. The newest addition is Bobby Van’s on 40 Central Park South, a highly coveted location just steps away from the Plaza Hotel, and overlooking Central Park. It invites diners to the same exquisitely prepared dining experience as its sister restaurants, in addition to a special Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Bobby Van’s a la carte menu features favorites such as Crispy Calamari, Lemon Pepper Shrimp and Maxie’s Meatballs for Starter and Veal Milanese, Chilean Seabass and N.Y. Sirloin Steak for Entrée. The restaurant also offers a wide variety of dining options outside of prime beef and seafood, including supremely-prepared pastas, wood-fired pizzas and freshly tossed salads. To accompany the meal, diners have a choice of delicious sides, which include Cauliflower Carbonara, Thick Cut Applewood Bacon and Sautéed Mushrooms.

Bobby Van’s CPS
40 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019
(212) 369 4000
www.bobbyvans.com

♥   T-Bar Steak & Lounge

T-Bar Steak and Lounge is the popular spot for couples looking for a romantic dinner with outstanding cuisine in a casual yet elegant space. The restaurant’s charm is brought to life by a stylish, dark-wood accented dining room, frosted glass details and subtle back lighting. This Valentine’s Day under the watchful eye of Restauranteur Tony Fortuna, T-Bar will offer its regular a la carte menu, which features its signature prime beef steaks along with a mélange of grilled fish, chopped salads and pastas. Swoon over the decadent desert menu crafted by Executive Chef Ben Zwicker, which includes the famous Banana Parfait Mille Feuilles with coconut and caramel sauce.

T-Bar Steak & Lounge
1278 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10021
212-772-0404
www.tbarnyc.com/

Southampton, NY

♥   Union Cantina

For those who spend Valentine’s Day in the Hamptons, Union Cantina offers a romantic, intimate atmosphere, combined with a modern Mexican menu crafted by award-winning Executive Chef Scott Kampf. The year-round eatery sits in the iconic Bowden Square, and features a festive atmosphere, combining dark woods balanced by the bright cerulean colored walls, which are also decorated with Mexican artwork.

Valentine’s Day couples craving Mexican with a spin will enjoy Union Cantina’s A La Carte Menu, featuring delectable dishes such as Avocado Fries, Hearts of Palm Salad, Baja Tacos, Skirt Steak Tacos, Spicy Guava BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Adobo Chicken Deconstructed Enchilada and Charred Shrimp. Do not miss the popular Guacamole En Molcajate, prepared mild or spicy. A selection of Chef Specialties will also be offered on the day. Union Cantina’s winning Everyday Happy Hour is offered as usual from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.

Union Cantina
40 Bowden Square
Southampton, NY 11968
631.377.3500
http://www.unioncantina.net/

♥   Southampton Inn

Will You Be “Mi” Valentine?
February is Romance Month at the Southampton Inn! Book a King Room with a bottle of “Mi”onetto Prosecco and a box of Artisan Chocolates for $175 (plus tax). Call 631-283-6500 to book.

A Presidential Getaway
Book Friday, February 16th through Tuesday, February 20th, and get an adjoining room free.* A five day, four night family getaway with two rooms for the price of one! Call 631-283-6500 to book (not available online).

With several acres of manicured lawns and gardens in the heart of the Village of Southampton on Long Island’s stunning East End, Southampton Inn provides an idyllic, year-round escape for visitors from all over the world. Winner of numerous awards, including “Best Breakfast,” “Best Hotel,” and “Best Wedding Location,” Southampton Inn is a warm and welcoming haven with an exemplary reputation that is richly deserved. It is within walking distance of movie theaters and repertory theatre perfect for a romantic evening. Southampton Inn’s Claude’s Restaurant will serve its famous breakfast, which guests can enjoy in the restaurant’s club-casual atmosphere.

*Double occupancy, plus tax

Southampton Inn
91 Hill Street, Southampton, New York
631-283-6500
www.southamptoninn.com

WalletHub: Top 20 Places to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

February 5, 2018

SF_033115_1479e2(c) Karen Rubin-GoldenGatePk

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. San Francisco tops the list of Top 20 Places to Celebrate Valentine’s Day © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and America’s sweethearts planning to spend an average of $143.56 each on the occasion, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Best Places for Valentine’s Day along with interesting stats about the holiday in its Valentine’s Day Facts infographic.

To determine the most romantic yet affordable cities for celebrating the Day of Hearts, WalletHub compared 100 of the largest U.S. cities across 23 key metrics, ranging from florists per capita to forecasted precipitation to cost of a three-course meal for two.

Top 20 Places for Celebrating Valentine’s Day    
1 San Francisco, CA   11 Austin, TX  
2 San Diego, CA   12 Scottsdale, AZ  
3 Las Vegas, NV   13 Denver, CO  
4 Orlando, FL   14 Washington, DC  
5 Chicago, IL   15 San Antonio, TX  
6 New York, NY   16 San Jose, CA  
7 Portland, OR   17 Minneapolis, MN  
8 Seattle, WA   18 Atlanta, GA  
9 Honolulu, HI   19 Phoenix, AZ  
10 Los Angeles, CA   20 Houston, TX  

To view the full report and your city’s rank, visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-cities-for-valentines-day/10056/

Valentine’s Day Facts

  • $19.6B: Total Valentine’s Day spending projected for 2018 ($143.56 per person celebrating).
  • $191 vs. $99: Men plan to spend nearly twice as much as women, on average, for Valentine’s Day 2018.
  • $8.5 Billion: Amount Americans will spend on jewelry ($4.7B), flowers ($2B) and candy ($1.8B).
  • 9 Million: Number of marriage proposals made each Valentine’s Day.

For the full infographic, visit: https://wallethub.com/blog/valentines-day-facts/10258

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48 Hours of Romance and Adventure in Morro Bay, CA That Won’t Break the Bank

February 1, 2018

California Highway 1 Discovery Route

Kayaking in Morro Bay, California © Dave E Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MORRO BAY, Calif.– Romance abounds all year long in Morro Bay with glorious sunsets and fresh local oysters at the ready. Valentine’s Day and the extended President’s Day weekend are ideal times to plan a romantic getaway, and if you want to save a few clams, Budget Travel just listed Morro Bay, CA as one of the top 10 world-class places to visit in 2018 that won’t break the bank.

Day 1: Rock the Embarcadero

  • Rock your arrival with the ever-stunning Morro Rock.
  • Enjoy lunch on the Bay before checking in to your room with a romantic view. These winter lodging specialsare ready for romance.
  • Enjoy a romantic dinner at Windows on the Water, a local favorite for romance.
  • Late night fun for two with live music at the newly opened Siren Bar.

Day 2: Outdoor Adventure for Two (or more)!

  • A delicious bayside breakfast came be found on the patio at Blue Skye Bistro, overlooking the bay. The menu includes magnificent mimosas for those mesmerizing moments.
  • Enjoy a fun-filled morning on your kayak and lunch adventure. Paddle through the waters of Morro Bay and its 800-acre wetland and stop for a romantic picnic on the sand spit.
  • Enjoy a delectable dinner and sunset. Consider a warm-hearted waterfront dinner at the Galley Seafood Grill & Bar.

Day 3: Whales and Wildlife

  • After a lovely breakfast on the Embarcadero, set out on a winsome Whale Watching tour. The central coast is home to hundreds of humpback whales feeding on abundant sea life in the fall and winter months.
  • Morro Bay makes it easy for cyclers to get around town with bike trails and a harbor front pathway winding past families of sea otters, out to the rock and down to the beach.
  • End the day with a passionate meal at the Thai Bounty, featuring authentic Thai BBQ, seafood and cuisine.

Day 4: Parting is such Sweet Sorrow!

  • Say Au revoir and grab a coffee and breakfast from La Parisienne Bakery– one of the best “finds” in Morro Bay.
  • Make it a historic goodbye by stopping at the interactive Museum of Natural History,located in Morro Bay State Park.
  • Savor your final Bon Voyage Lunch at the Marina at Bayside Café.

For the full itinerary, click here. Couples can also find their own secluded beach in Montano De Oro State Park, or visit Hearst Castle just 30 minutes north of Morro Bay. Come find your romance in Morro Bay now, and all year long.

For additional information on hotels offering winter midweek rates from $55 and weekend rates from under $100, check out booking engine here.

For information on exciting things to do and see in Morro Bay, visit www.morrobay.org.

See also:

Four Friends and a Babymoon in Morro Bay on California’s Highway

 

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Valentine’s Gift of Travel: 10 Romantic Adventures for Lovers

February 10, 2017

 

iceland-mindy-cambiar-e2

What could be more romantic than experiencing the Northern Lights in Iceland together? Big Chill Adventures offers that trip (photo by Mindy Cambiar)

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many have romance on the mind. If you are looking to rekindle old flames or charm your significant other with something extraordinary, consider these romantic retreats. From “glamping” in Wyoming to touring France by bike, here are 10 adventures that will make capture your hearts. Consider gifting the romantic trip for a future date, with so much to look forward to.

Bike Across France – Ride & Seek has introduced a romantic cycling tour in the Provence region of France highlighting some of the most beautiful villages as ordained by the group Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Guests will visit a number of classic destinations such as St Remy de Provence and the Vaucluse. From Venasque to Les Alpilles to Glanum, this is a dreamy tour of Provence.

Rocky Mountain Glamping – Hike, ride horses, fly fish, snowmobile, x-country ski, and play cowboy at the 25,000 acre Red Reflet Ranch in Wyoming. The ranch is both working ranch and luxury resort.  Gourmet dining offers ingredients from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens.  From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet.

Robinson Caruso Island Retreat – Retreat to the mystical Chilean island where marooned explorer Robinson Crusoe once lived. Hear the legends of pirates and treasure as you hike through deep forested ravines, cascading streams, and along jagged coastlines in this World Heritage Biosphere Reserve. Enjoy active excursions such as snorkeling, hiking, diving, horseback riding, and fishing, by day. Return to the comfort of your Robinson Crusoe Island resort by night.

New Zealand Food & Wine Adventure – On this exclusive luxury food and wine tour hosted by Frontiers International Travel President, Mike Fitzgerald, guests will experience New Zealand’s charming mixture of refined lifestyle and adventure. Discerning travelers will visit some of the most scenic coastal and inland areas of New Zealand, while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities, fine dining, and world-class wine.

Trek with Gorillas in Rwanda – Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda. Intrepid travelers will also track chimpanzees and the golden monkey, and likely come across elephants and African buffalo.

Escape to Romantic St. Petersburg – Forget Paris or Rome. Join MIR Corporation in St. Petersburg where you and your lover can peruse Fabergé eggs, attend world-class ballet and opera performances, walk the halls of luxurious palaces of the czars, and stand before “The Dance,” a joyous painting by Henri Matisse.

Après-Ski Retreat in Montana – Rent a luxurious cabin at the Moonlight Basin community in Big Sky, Montana and find active pursuits paired with food and drinks. Ski beautiful terrain that isn’t open to the public, sample hors d’oeuvres and après-ski drinks by a campfire, snowshoe to the clubhouse by starlight, and then sit down for an exquisite wine-paired dinner.

Wine Cruise on the Douro River –  On this romantic cruise with Adventure Life, guests will visit a fairytale castle from Portugal’s Romantic period, dine with breathtaking views from a 14th century monastery, take in art from the 12th century to modern times, and taste plenty of wine – including at a family-run estate and a terraced vineyard.

See the Northern Lights in Iceland – Big Chill Adventures offers an opportunity to explore the southern part of Iceland, known for its glaciers, icebergs and black sand beaches. Highlights include dogsledding, trekking glaciers, snowmobiling, spelunking, and soaking in geothermal hot springs.

Discover the Silk Road and Tibet – Explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid circular route that embraces the sacred cities of Tsetang, Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse. Ride the high-altitude train from Lhasa down to Lanzhou, and onto Western China and the Kashgar Animal Market. Along the way, visit Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves and Turpan’s lush Grape Valley.

 

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Romantic Getaways: Fall in Love Around the World with Red Carnation Hotels

February 9, 2017

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.– The Red Carnation Hotel Collection offers the perfect romantic rendezvous for lovers around the world. Rekindle passion in London, discover the true meaning of romance in Dorset, create unforgettable memories in Guernsey or Geneva. Florida’s tropical Palm Beach is ideal for a beachside escape, while South Africa’s stunning scenery boasts a multitude of indulgent activities.

Every Red Carnation hotel sets the scene for tender romance – rose petals and candles, Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, delectable dining and exquisite turndown surprises – each capturing a unique Valentine’s Day experience.

  • London, UK: Hotel ‘41’ overlooks the Royal Mews and grounds of the Buckingham Palace – A Night under the Stars
  • Dorset, UK: Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is located within the glorious countryside in the picturesque village of Evershot – Valentine’s Hideaway
  • Guernsey, The Channel Islands: The Old Government House Hotel and Spa is in the heart of St. Peter Port sitting proudly just up the hill from the main shopping street and a five-minute walk from the picturesque quayside  – A Valentine’s Break
  • Geneva, Switzerland: Hotel d’Angleterre has unrivalled views of Lake Geneva’s Jet d’Eau – Romantic City Escape
  • Palm Beach, Florida: The Chesterfield Palm Beach is located in the heart of Palm Beach, just two blocks away from the world famous Worth Avenue and moments from the beaches – Sweetheart Package
  • Cape Town, South Africa: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is situated above the Atlantic Ocean and flanked by the majestic Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range – The Perfect Proposal

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection has additional luxurious packages to ensure your Valentine’s Day getaway is one to remember.

Red Carnation Hotels are a collection of family-run, award-winning boutique hotels in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA.

Each hotel is a landmark of history and tradition; from the recently restored Ashford Castle in Ireland, to the Milestone, a historic mansion hotel in the heart of London, to the truly iconic Oyster Box in South Africa – our hotels are unique and characterful with a personal approach to hospitality.

With a peerless reputation for exquisite fine dining, leading spas and sumptuous surroundings, we pride ourselves on delivering warm, thoughtful and highly personalized service.

For more information about The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, visit www.redcarnation.com.

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Cupid Cooks Up Romance in Maine for the Kennebunks ‘Paint the Town Red’ February Festivities

February 9, 2017

kennebunk

KENNEBUNKPORT, ME – This February, the Kennebunks transform into a romantic retreat for lovebirds. “New England’s Most Romantic Town” will once again roll out the red carpet inviting couples to rendezvous during the month-long Paint the Town Red festivities.

Dock Square in downtown Kennebunkport will be decked out in red twinkly lights, while restaurants, hotels, galleries and shops in the area welcome sweethearts with a calendar of special events, romance hotel packages, red plate dining specials, and red tag sales from retailers.

Paint the Town Red celebrations continue all month long with special dinners and culinary experiences, mixology classes, wine tastings and more. A full list of events can be found at www.lovethekennebunks.com.

Red Romance Lodging Packages

         Kennebunkport Resort Collection: The “Love KPT” lodging package includes a two-night stay for two people at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel (starting at $373) or the Kennebunkport Inn (starting at $405), arrival goodies of red wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, a three course dinner for two, and a late check-out at noon. The package is available from now through March 30, 2017. To book, visit the individual property’s website.  To help curate the perfect romantic getaway, couples can call upon Kennebunkport Resort Collection’s (KRC) Cupid Concierge, Tasha Harper.  Services include creating customized music playlists for the room, delivering flowers, scheduling couple’s massages and arranging late check-out, dessert in bed, and much more. The Cupid Concierge can be reached at cupid@lovekpt.com or 207-967-1517.

         Captain Fairfield Inn: the Romance Package includes an artisan cheese and meat board, a bottle of wine, and a single red rose; the package can be added to bookings for $75; rates start at $159 per night.

         Breakwater Inn & Spa:  Romance Package includes hand-made sweet treat from the property’s chef, sparkling water, and seasonal flower bouquet. Available February 1-28, 2017, rates start at$204 per night, plus 9% occupancy. Blackout dates may apply, based on availability. To book call 207-967-5333.

         The Kennebunk Inn: the full service inn and restaurant located in the heart of Kennebunk is offering a discounted weekend package rate on February 10 and 11, 2017 for two-nights (price excludes tax).  Rooms:  Adams $160, Jefferson $180, and Madison Suite $200.

         King’s Port Inn: mention LoveKPT when making the hotel reservation and receive a free gift upon arrival. To book, call 207-967-4340.

         Captain Lord Mansion: the “February is for Lovers” package includes reduced mid-week rates, romantic third night free package, split of sparkling wine, chocolate-covered popcorn and frequent visitor credits.  The third night free package is not valid February 17 through 20, 2017 and cannot be combined with any other coupon, discount or third party gift certificate. Rates start at $199 per night.

Local restaurants will feature Red Plate Specials ranging from specially priced bottles of champagne and three-course dinners with wine, to pizza making. Red Tag Savings will also be offered throughout the month at participating shops, attractions and spas, ranging from 50% off all items to complimentary admission.  For full details and list of participating restaurants, shops, spas and attractions, visit: www.lovethekennebunks.com.

Paint the Town Red deals and events are available from January 27 through February 28, 2017. All details, restrictions, and booking instructions – as well as a complete list of events and specials – can be found at www.lovethekennebunks.com. Consumers can follow the love on social media using #lovethekennebunks.

 

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Romantic Getaways: Iconic Santorini Boutique ‘Cave’ Hideaway Offers Early Booking Discounts

February 9, 2017

greece-iconic-santorini-e2

Iconic Santorini is a multi-level hideaway carved into traditional caves on the volcanic cliffs, perched 1,000 feet above the sparkling blue bay of the caldera.

(Santorini, Greece) If sitting in the sun, gazing at a sweeping view of the Aegean Sea or bathing in your own plunge pool while sipping a glass of local Greek wine, is your ideal for a romantic getaway, you might plot a stay at the Iconic Santorini and taking advantage of early booking discounts for vacations between April 28 and June 18.

Iconic Santorini is an extraordinary multi-level hideaway carved into traditional caves on the volcanic cliffs, perched 1,000 feet above the sparkling blue bay of the caldera.  Its 19 residences and rooftop decks feature balconies and terraces so that guests can dine, relax, cool off and cast off the cares of the everyday life enveloped by awesome panoramic views.

The serene retreat has been voted “Greece’s Leading Boutique Hotel” at the World Travel Awards 3 years in a row.

The individually designed suites, re-imagined from traditional Santorini homes and craft shops, reflect the island’s famous white-vaulted style and colorful fabrics, adapted for today’s demanding travelers.  Guests live the authentic Greek experience while still enjoying luxury amenities like individual air-conditioning, flat-screen televisions with international channels, private routers for hi-speed Wi-Fi, JBL sound systems and sumptuous 4-layer COCO-MAT bedding.

In addition, discerning travelers, honeymooners and lovers rave about Iconic’s serene fitness and massage suite with its own grotto pool, the outdoor swimming pool with a jetted seating area and the hotel’s modern take on a traditional taverna serving Greek cuisine of the highest quality.

Regular double rates at “Greece’s Leading Boutique Hotel” include breakfast, mineral water, roundtrip airport transfers and complimentary high-speed Internet access begin at $621 a night .  For details of the specific Early Booking Offers for each individual suite, email info@iconicsantorini.com and include booking code ICO-10.

Special Romance Packages that include sightseeing, Moet & Chandon Champagne, dinners and other extras at great value-added rates are available at

www.iconicsantorini.com/iconic-santorini-romance-packages

Visit www.iconicsantorini.com  for full details of each residence with photographs.

 

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Feel the Love Throughout New York City This Valentine’s Day Weekend

February 10, 2016

Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine's Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine’s Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Feel the love in New York City this Valentine’s Day. Throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, the City’s five boroughs will be filled with activities and events where residents and visitors can find their true love or cherish time with their loved ones.

“New York City is the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable and romantic Valentine’s Day getaway,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “From a date night under the stars of the Hayden Planetarium to romantic nature walks and chocolate tastings at Wave Hill in the Bronx, the heart of the five boroughs can be felt throughout the City.”

At the crossroads of the world in Times Square, celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Heart of Hearts public art installation. The display features 12 golden mirrored hearts that create a kaleidoscopic effect, reflecting the fast pace action of Times Square. Those looking for the perfect spot to renew their vows can join hundreds of locals and visitors at Duffy Square for a vow renewal ceremony. When the sun goes down, a special midnight moment by artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss will span across Times Square’s billboards for three minutes before midnight every night in February, presented in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum. (timessquarenyc.org).

Theatergoers who are in town during Valentine’s Day weekend can take advantage of 2-for-1 tickets to some of New York City’s best shows during Off-Broadway Week. Featuring more than 30 productions, Off-Broadway Week makes seeing a production more accessible and affordable. To purchase tickets, visit nycgo.com/offbroadwayweek.

Other Valentine’s Day events and activities taking place throughout the City include:

American Museum of Natural History: The stars of the Hayden Planetarium will illuminate on Valentine’s Day evening with a special Romance Under the Stars event. The museum invites couples for this unique date night, complete with an open bar cocktail hour, champagne, chocolates, hors d’oeuvres and music by the Josh Rutner Quartet, followed by romance storytelling under the stars of the Planetarium. To purchase tickets, visit amnh.org.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts: Kids can create their own special valentine with arts and crafts on Saturday, February 13. There will be activities throughout the afternoon and plenty of fun for the entire family (bronxmuseum.org).

Brooklyn Museum: In celebration of Valentine’s Day, take the free Love and Lust in American Art tour, which includes a stop at the American Identities installation and the exciting Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland exhibition (brooklynmuseum.org).

Bronx Zoo: On Valentine’s Day, the Bronx Zoo’s Name a Roach event will crawl back to life. Visitors can keep an eye out for more information about this year’s event at bronxzoo.com.

Brookfield Place: Purchase gifts for a special someone at Dry Bar, Cos Bar and many other fine shops at the new Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. When done shopping, take a romantic walk beneath the 650 color-changing lanterns in the Winter Garden atrium as part of the Luminaries lighting display, which has been extended through Monday, February 29. (artsbrookfield.com).

Carnegie Hall: Mitsuko Uchida will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra from the piano as they charm the audience with beautiful melodies of Mozart this Valentine’s Day. The blend of the heroic and humane makes Piano Concerto No. 25 one of Mozart’s most popular, and the andante movement’s tenderness will fill your heart with love. To purchase tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.

Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival: This Valentine’s Day, celebrate at Central Park Conservancy’s Fifth Annual Ice Festival in Naumburg Bandshell. The event includes ice carving, a photo booth, a Central Park trivia contest, sweet treats and, as night falls, a 1980s-themed silent disco with DJs and more. For information on this free event, visit centralparknyc.org.

Cupid’s Chase 5K New York: Community Options, Inc., will hold its Annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run on Saturday, February 13, kicking off at 10am in the West Village. The race will take place at Hudson River Park’s Charles Street Pier (enter at Christopher Street). To register, go to comop.org.

Empire State Building: The world famous Empire State Building will host 14 lucky pre-selected couples on Valentine’s Day as they say “I Do” on the 86th floor observation deck. At night, the spectacular heartbeat light show illuminates the building with shades of red, pink and white. Visit esbnyc.com for more information.

Gotham Archery: Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow like Cupid at Brooklyn’s Gotham Archery during Valentine’s Day weekend. After a brief intro class, archers can test their skills on one of the 30 shooting lanes and enjoy some friendly competition. To book a class, visit got-archery.com.

Historic Richmond Town: Take a step back in time, tour village homes from the 1690s to 1860s and see images of valentines from the General Store’s collection at Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town on Saturday, February 6. Participate in the Victorian Valentine Workshop, where guests will learn about Victorian scraps, paper lace and decoupage to create their own valentine (historicrichmondtown.org).

Hornblower New York Cruises: This Valentine’s Day, sail aboard a love boat with one of several Hornblower New York cruises. From a Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise to a two-hour happy hour mixer aboard the Aboard Alive After Five cruise, a cruise around the City’s skyline makes for an unforgettable evening. To book, visit hornblowernewyork.com.

Jazz at Lincoln Center: The sound of jazz will fill the air as Jazz at Lincoln Center offers three musical jazz performances through Valentine’s Day weekend. A regular at Jazz at Lincoln Center, singer Cécile McLorin Salvant will put on a Valentine’s Day–inspired performance that will have you feeling the love. Monty Alexander & Friends: Sinatra at 100 will treat you to jazz hits that will satisfy both nostalgic and contemporary tastes. In addition, jazz pianist and singer Freddy Cole will share Songs for Lovers, a great way to end a date night. To purchase tickets, visit jazz.org.

Love Sculpture: While exploring the sights of Midtown Manhattan, take a photo in front of the Love Sculpture. Originally designed by American artist Robert Indiana as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art, the sculpture sits on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th Street and is the perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day photo. For those looking for hope in the new year, not too far away is the Hope Sculpture on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street.

Museum Hack: Couples can join Museum Hack for a private tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a guide will reveal stories of love, relationships, fertility and ancient longing. Book a tour at museumhack.com.

Museum of the Moving Image: The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens will be screening several films throughout the day including Inside Out and Burden of Dreams. Families can also check out the family workshop and learn what goes into designing their favorite characters. For screening schedules, visit movingimage.us.

National Lighthouse Museum: All lighthouse lovers are invited to Staten Island on Saturday, February 6, for a beautiful evening of Valentine cabaret. Special signature drinks, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment are all part of a night to remember. To register, go to lighthousemuseum.org.

New York Botanical Garden: Between chocolate tastings and exploring the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, visitors to the Bronx are in for an immersive treat on Valentine’s Day. Walk through beautiful tropical rain forests of the conservatory, have a special love poem written and listen to music under the palm dome. Champagne, beer and wine will also be available for purchase (nybg.org).

New York Public Library: On Thursday, February 11, the New York Public Library will present Shakespeare, Love and Spring at Lincoln Center. This free performance is on a first come, first serve basis and features skits and songs of women in love, doomed love and universal love (nypl.org).

NYC Candy Stores: Sweeten your visit to New York with gifts from around the City. At M&M’s World Times Square, create customized M&M’s candies with your own image and personal message for special someone. Also stock up on jelly beans, gummies, chocolates and apparel at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan. Voilà Chocolat invites chocolate lovers to dip their own chocolate-covered strawberries, top off their own artisanal truffles and create personalized chocolate bars with love messages on Valentine’s Day weekend.

On Location Tours’ Romantic Movie Moments Tour: On the Romantic Movie Moments Tour, a local New York City actor will bring to life some of the most alluring movie locations featured on the big screen, including the bookstore where Harry and Sally met in When Harry Met Sally. To book a tour, go to onlocationtours.com.

One World Observatory: With breathtaking 360-degree views, One World Observatory, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, can be the perfect place for a memorable night. The Date Night package includes admission for two, two glasses of prosecco and chocolate truffles. To purchase tickets, visit oneworldobservatory.com or call 800-416-7192.

Queens Botanical Garden: For an unusual yet fun Valentine’s Day weekend event, the Queens Botanical Garden invites bird lovers to their 19th Annual Bird Counting Event. The event will include a nature walk, scavenger hunt and bird spotting along the way. To register for this free event, visit queensbotanical.org.

Rainbow Room: Atop Rockefeller Center, the beautiful Rainbow Room will be open for brunch and dinner, with live music from Vince Giorando & The Nighthawks and Nightingale Jazz Band, throughout Valentine’s Day weekend. Gigacup oysters, truffled boulangere potatoes and roasted salsify are just some of the delicious offerings to be found. To book a table, go to rainbowroom.com.

Staten Island Museum: Painter Sarah Yuster will share insights into her dreamy and romantic works of art depicting the lush landscapes and streets of Staten Island at the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor on Saturday, February 13; wine will be served. To register, visit statenislandmuseum.org.

St. George Theatre: On Saturday, February 13, the St. George Theatre in Staten Island will host its exclusive Murder Mystery Dinner Show: Crime and Pun-ishment. Couples are invited to wear their best pin-striped suits and flapper dresses as a pair of undercover feds and jilted lovers make an appearance at this fun speakeasy. Book a table at stgeorgetheatre.com.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center: For those ready to pop the question, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is offering three VIP packages as part of its Engagement on Ice program. All packages include exclusive ice time and a celebratory romantic glide as the crowd cheers. Couples can also choose their favorite song to play and enjoy a celebratory champagne toast for an unforgettable proposal. For more information, visit the rinkatrockcenter.com.

Top of the Rock: As part of the 2016 Winter Starlight Music Series, Top of the Rock Observation Deck will host a special Valentine’s Day concert with a live performance from Joelle and the Pinehurst Trio. Guests will be immersed in 360-degree views of the City as they enjoy food and beverage available for purchase from The Sea Grill. To purchase tickets, visit topoftherocknyc.com; concert is free with price of admission.

Wave Hill: The intimate winter gardens of Wave Hill in the Bronx are a perfect backdrop for spending time with someone you love on Valentine’s Day. Adults can enjoy a decadent chocolate and wine tasting, where they can learn about how the chocolates were made from a premier chocolate maker. Families can enjoy a nature walk through the gardens, spot heart-shaped leaves and create a special keepsake to take home (wavehill.org).

Your Love, Our Musical: Located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, the Littlefield venue will host Your Love, Our Musical on Valentine’s Day, where comedians Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman will interview a real couple and create an improvised musical about the couple’s love story. Tickets to this fun celebration of love can be purchased online at littlefieldnyc.com.

In addition to these events, there are several Valentine’s Day and romantic-themed hotel packages throughout the City:

Hotel Packages 

Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island: For a quiet getaway that is close to all the action, the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island have several offerings as part of their “Eat. Stay. Love” package during Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy a three-course dinner at Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret or a lavish gourmet brunch buffet, complete with romantic piano music. Overnight accommodations are also available and includes in-room champagne and a breakfast buffet. For reservations, go to lorenzodining.com or call 718-477-2400.

Loews Regency New York: For the perfect girls’ night, the Loews Regency New York on the Upper East Side is offering a Girls’ Night In package, complete with a $200 food and beverage credit, monogrammed bathrobes and slippers, an in-room movie and accommodations in a grand or luxury suite. Spa treatments at the Julien Farel Salon are also available for an additional cost. To book the package, visit loewshotels.com or call 212-759-4100.

The Marmara Park Avenue: One of Manhattan’s newest hotels, the Marmara Park Avenue invites couples to book their Suite Hearts package on Valentine’s Day weekend. The package includes a drink at the OneOne-Four Bar & Lounge, a carriage ride around Central Park, a special hammam treatment for two in the authentic Turkish hammam and complementary early check in and late check out. To book, visit park.marmaranyc.com or call 212-603-9000.

The New York EDITION: Celebrate the month of love in style with the New York EDITION’s Suite Surrender package, which includes overnight accommodations, a premium bottle of rosé, a white rose petal turndown service and room service breakfast for two. To book a room, visit editionhotels.com/new-york or call 212-413-4200.

Peninsula New York: Romance is in the air during Valentine’s Day weekend at The Peninsula New York. The hotel’s Lucky in Love package includes accommodations in a deluxe king room, one dozen roses, a bottle of champagne and daily breakfast or brunch for two. Upon arrival, guests will receive a red envelope that could contain a complimentary upgrade to a suite, free dessert, a champagne toast at the rooftop bar and lounge and more. Go to newyork.peninsula.com or call 212-956-2888 to learn more.

Royalton New York: Couples can warm up by the fireplace and book a special Royalton Fireplace hotel package. The package features a choice of scented fireplace wood including oak, pecan, maple, hickory apple or limited-edition Burn Baby Burn Cherry Wood in the room’s fireplace. In addition, couples can enjoy cherry-chipotle braised short rib, a specially made cocktail named “My Cherry Amore,” a selection of desserts and more. To book, visit royaltonhotel.com or call 212-869-4400.

Sheraton New York Times Square: For the ultimate and memorable New York luxury experience, book a Penthouse Escape Package at the Sheraton New York Times Square. Relax in their two-level, 3,500 square-foot Penthouse Suite on the 45th floor overlooking Times Square and Central Park, complete with bottomless premium wine tastings, an in-suite gourmet cooking session and more. To book, visit sheratonnewyork.com or call 212-581-1000.

The Westin New York Grand Central: Just a short stroll from Bryant Park in Manhattan, the Westin New York Grand Central is offering a romantic getaway for couples with their Presidential Suite package. The package includes a split of prosecco, a personal guided Manhattan run, late checkout and accommodations in the 1,035-square-foot Presidential Suite on the 40th floor, complete with sweeping views of the skyline and a Jacuzzi tub. To reserve, call 212-490-8900 or visitwestinnewyorkgrandcentral.com and enter code PRSPKG.

For other great Valentine’s Day weekend events, visit nycgo.com/valentinesday.

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