Remember, Champagne is the only drink that enhances a woman’s beauty
LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Nothing so romantic as any surprising nights at a superior hotel in a city oozes of charm, tradition and intimacy. And why wait until Valentine’s Day or next spring when you can praise our thoughtful airlines eagerly looking forward to lead us off on their low-priced wings directly to romantic cities. Since romance is without limitations, we have concentrated on offers totally free of gondolas and famous towers. It’s time to plan next romantic break.
Florence, Italy: This jewel of a city would normally been at top of any wish list if it had not been so damn hard to get here. Few international flights are for Florence. But a flight to Pisa and train or car is still not the world’s hardest expedition. Once arrived you promptly forget the struggle when you spot the statue “David” at the Accademia or Botticelli’s “Venus” in the Uffizi Gallery, particularly if you have pre-ordered tickets.
Romantic hotel: David Hotel, at Via Porta Rossa, is a historic building with modern luxury. Best of the entire hotel is centrally located in the historical centre and near the central station and several sights. This is also a hotel with extra nice and helpful staff who will ensure that you experience the city’s secrets.
Exciting: Walk the hill to Piazza Michelangelo and have a priceless view over the romantic city and the Tuscan hills. Take a trip to central Piazza Signoria and stop by Ponte Vecchio. Here the restaurants served Tuscan steak for two, a local specialty, or stop by Il Gelato Vivoli, Via Isole delle Stinch 7, to taste what is considered the world’s best ice cream. The recipe is simple – it is made of natural products and a large portion of love.
Marrakech, Morocco: “Take the train from Casablanca…” Crosby Stills and Nash sings, but arriving by the air is almost the same. The Moroccan city is back on top of the list of cool places, with many new hotels and other kinds of love palaces. Marrakech is the place where it seems the time stood still for long, but with an open door to the present. The romantic city’s bustling streets and alleys are like a theatre a spectacular show with singers, acrobats, magicians, botanists, historians and charlatans – all fighting for your attention.
Romantic hotel: Select one of the six hotels to Angsana with rooms the size of a football field. Angsana Riad Si Said in the heart of downtown has original features and a style that can suit even royalty. The hotel has swimming pool, steam bath and spa providing treatments. Breakfast is served on the roof terrace and here it is both sun loungers and jazzuci.
Exciting: Hire a guide to navigate you safely through the labyrinthine streets and try to make time for a visit to Jardin Majorelle, an exotic park that was enabled by Yves Saint Laurent. Shopping takes place everywhere, but try Jewish Quarter and Beldi at rue Laksour. The romantic meal at Le Foundouk, located in Medin with French and Moroccan menu. Ask for a table on the roof with candlelight and among pots with oleander and maybe even moonlight. It’s unlikely to have a more romantic meal in Marrakech.
Seville, Spain: The story of the brave Carmen, which became a popular and renowned opera, took place at a tobacco factory where Carmen rolled cigars. Yes, it’s a true story and it is also a statue of Carmen. Another story is related to the old town by the river, where Columbus arrived in 1493 in triumph from his first voyage of discovery. Whoever comes to Seville in our days will discover a fascinating and romantic city.
Once you have arrived the hotel after 20 minutes by car from the airport, it’s straight out to feel the atmosphere and maybe try one of the many tapas bars.
Romantic hotel: It feels like breaking etiquette entering the elegant lobby of Hotel Alfonso XIII. Enormous chandeliers, detailed carvings, tiles and sturdy wrought iron – there is no expense spared. Staff is polite but formal, the rooms are large and the beds even greater. But the room price is stiff, 250 euro for a double. There are far more affordable options, but everything else is different from Alfonso.
Exciting: Tapas and Flamenco are the key words for a night out. Start with a walk around the areas Barrio Triana or Barrio Santa Cruz, where you can choose from a wide selection of small bars for a glass of local wine and tapas. If you’re still hungry eat the main meal later in the evening – much later. Take a romantic walk along the river Guadalquvir, harbour and architect Calatrava’s beautiful bridge, Al Alamillo.
The Champagne City: Reims in France is the city of the famous Champagne district. The journey is simple – fly to Paris and train or car to Reims. The train ride takes 45 minutes. A Gothic cathedral, farms, wine producers and lots of champagne are waiting. Certainly it takes a day just to study all details at the front of the cathedral, but it’s champagne is the driving force. And remember, behind the major manufacturers there are several hundred less known that does everything – from growing grapes to cork the bottles – and is the evidence that champagne is a decent wine, not just to squirt precious bubbles by racing drivers.
Romantic hotel: Royal Champagne is a hotel located on a hill above the valley Epernay, few kilometres outside Reims. Once this hotel frequently hosted Napoleon. All rooms have lavish furniture and antiquarian, and some rooms have balconies where you can sit and gaze over the valley and the famous vineyards. The hotel features 220 exceptional varieties of champagne, a bar with fireplace and a restaurant with one star in the Michelin Guide. Room rates from 300 euro, 450 euro for room and half board for two.
Exciting: Reims is the place to improve the knowledge of champagne and many producers offer tours. At Taittinger they serve a glass before a classic and excellent tour. Moët & Chandon has the largest wine cellar at their sophisticated castle. Afterwards, surely in the mood to visit Place Drouet, a concentration of bars and restaurants. For a lunch try Café to Paris, an institution with surroundings in art deco style so unrestrained that you almost don’t notice what you eat. Before leaving, there are three local products to buy: chocolate, biscuits and a delicious bottle. Remember, Champagne is the only drink that enhances a woman’s beauty.
Tromsø, Norway: Locally known as “The Nordic Paris”. It’s difficult to attract Norwegians to travel north in autumn and winter, but easier to convince foreigners. With affordable flights and prospects to experience the Northern Lights blazing dance in the sky, or directly above your head, we include Tromsø as a Norwegian experience of romance. As always the weather will be the main question, or rather if the clouds stay away so it’s possible to experience natural phenomena. The period from October to March is recommended.
Romantic hotel: The closest you’ll get the lyric in “Paris” is Rica Ishavshotell located on the dockside. Be sure the room is facing the sea with a view to Tromsøsundet, the Arctic Cathedral and hopefully the Northern Lights in the sky. This hotel is under reconstruction, reopen June 2014.
Exciting: Try Aunegarden for lunch and the best cakes. Skarven is the meeting place with atmosphere, but hardly the place for a romantic encounter. The bar at restaurant Compagnie is the place to propose, before tasting the lobster soup and fillet of reindeer. The menu should all be in for a romantic evening before strolling under heaven’s brilliant fireworks – if Our Lord is on your side.
Miami: Whether you’re newly enamored lovebirds or long-term partner, Miami offers many ways to dial up the romance. This city arouses the senses, with its warm, sultry breezes, white sandy beaches, azure waters, fragrant tropical flowers and swaying palm trees – all supervised by tropical sun and the infamous Moon over Miami.
Romantic hotel: Lover’s escape. Each June, hotels offer special deals during Miami Romance Month. We suggest settling in for a sexy ocean view room at Ritz-Carlton. This is an oceanfront resort on exclusive Key Biscayne, featuring an atmosphere of relaxed elegance with tropic accents, a lavish spa and signature Ritz-Carlton service.
They know how to make you feel like you’re the only couple in the world. Which is very sexy.
Exciting: A sure way to get your lover’s heart to beat faster is the Sensory Odyssey dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, which presents a five-course aphrodisiac-infused dinner served by a private butler in an idyllic, secluded oceanfront marquee bathed in candlelight.