Busy lives, work schedules and unavoidable commitments can put a damper on travel– especially for a holiday like Valentine’s that doesn’t include a vacation day. But don’t be discouraged– most of us get two days off every week. Take advantage of the weekend and knock this Valentine’s Day out of the park with a romantic weekend away.
This year the special day falls on a Thursday– so make it a long, sexy weekend if you can take the time off. Either way, two days is plenty of quality time to have you both floating back to your home base.
We suggest you consider destinations no more than a three hour flight or drive (give or take 20 mins). After all, you want to have as much energy to devote to each other as possible– and long travel times have a way of sapping it. You and your sweetheart can leave work a little early Friday afternoon and still have the night to dine, dance and canoodle. Bonus points if you can take the day off and get to your destination while it’s still daylight. But don’t stress it. When it comes to romance– the night time is usually the right time. And the three hour travel limit will really make a difference on the day of your return trip. On Sunday you can bask in the afterglow, enjoy a relaxing brunch and still be on the road by late afternoon. We’ve picked a few places we love that’ll inspire you to plan a Valentine’s Day getaway with your sweetheart.
We’ve all heard the saying that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…” Hopefully, romance isn’t one of them; because Vegas does wining and dining with more glitz and glamour than most cities. Your Valentine’s Day weekend doesn’t have to be over the top, but the option is there if the mood strikes you. The Strip has plenty of marquee entertainment options, including shows like Cirque du Soleil, Michael Jackson One and various popular singers, magicians, comedians and bands. Malinda and I have taken a couple of quick trips from LA to Vegas specifically for shows — once each for Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Lopez. In fact, we danced the night away at The Stevie Wonder Song Party with one of our favorite couples Sol (@solaponte) and Jennia (@JenniaFredrique). If you’re more into clubs– Las Vegas has you covered, from day parties to all-night raves with some of the world’s hottest DJs.
Affordable lodging is another of the city’s charms. Casino operators would rather that you spend a fortune on the casino floor– so the room rates are pretty reasonable. You also have an incredible selection of dining options to please any wallet and palate. There are top flight restaurants from well-known celebrity chefs like Morimoto, Robuchon, Andres and Giada that will sate your cravings be they surf, turf or earth. Vegas is Vegas, so remember this isn’t a gambling trip. It’s a chance for the two of you to have one-on-one fun in the world’s largest adult playground. Stop by the casino floor if you must, but make the most of your time to share meals, moments and make memories.
Shopping can be romantic when you find the right gift. Get some inspiration from the likes of Balenciaga, Hermes, Gucci, Zegna and many more high-end shops at the beautifully designed and decorated mall, The Shops at Crystals on The Strip. If your Valentine’s Day weekend trip goes really well, there’s a 24-hour wedding chapel just a stone’s throw away. The already married among you can renew your vows in the most Vegas way possible.
Miami’s heat goes beyond the temperature. Sunbathe with your Valentine by day and dance the night away to rhythms ranging from rap to rock with salsa, bachata, merengue and reggaeton taking turns in the lead. Of the many excellent lodging options– from small, sexy boutiques to huge chain properties like the W Hotel or the SLS— we suggest booking a beachfront property for your Valentine’s Day getaway. Work your magic to get a room that faces the ocean and the view alone will set your hearts aflutter. You’ll likewise appreciate easy access to the beach with chairs, towels and a waitstaff to keep you both hydrated and your appetites sated. Have the sunscreen handy to help your sweetheart with those hard to reach areas. After years as a goto property, Miami’s landmark Delano hotel has maintained its sex appeal and still boasts a pool/ cabana area that alternates between incredibly relaxing and alluringly turnt, depending on the time of day or night of your visit.
Cuban food is a must, with plenty of options to fuel an afternoon spent alternating between the shopping and sand on South Beach or exploring Miami’s vibrant Winwood art district. Like Vegas, Miami’s dinner destinations are numerous and delicious; whether it’s a local favorite, a celebrity-chef standard or hotel restaurant. You won’t go hungry or– travel far– to find a stimulating, romantic environment with good food and good ambiance. The Fontainebleau hotel has all off those in spades with several well-known restaurants (Hakkasan, Scarpetta, Pizza & Burger, etc.) and the renowned LIV nightclub on the premises. The huge property, with plenty of ocean-facing options (some including balconies), is a couple of miles away from the more populated South Beach/ Collins Avenue area. It’s the perfect place to stay if your idea of a great Valentine’s Day getaway is a tropical, whirlwind weekend romance without having to leave the property– Cuban food notwithstanding.
Just a hop and a skip from the majority of the east coast, this beautiful island is full of bounty even in February. Bermuda beckons Valentine’s Day travelers with its beautiful, colorful homes, lush vegetation and lingering scent of Frangipani. Seriously, the entire island smells like flowers and is incredibly clean throughout. There’s still enough warmth to get a couple’s spa treatment on the beach (or facing the beach if it’s chilly). Romance is sure to make its way into your psyche as you drift off to a relaxing massage in tandem. Try a yoga class amidst the walks along the beach to keep your bodies lithe and ready for adventure.
Downtown Hamilton has plenty of restaurants, art galleries museums and historical sights and cultural events to keep you both fed and entertained. Island Icons like the Elbow Beach Hotel and the Hamilton Princess, which features Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant Marcus’ are among the properties outside the city which also have restaurants and spa facilities to cater to your Valentine’s Day wishes.
February is one of the few months of the year that the Arizona climate is suitable for mere mortals. With highs in the seventies, you and your sweetheart can spend Valentine’s Day enjoying the scenery, spas and boutique shopping that make this desert jewel shine. Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright was so smitten by Scottsdale, that he located his architect’s school and and sanctuary in the city. The Taliesin Museum celebrates his inspired architecture and offers intimate tours of the property year-round. And on Valentine’s Day there’s a special night tour that promises to kindle romance as the two of you experience breathtaking rock formations beneath an expansive star-filled sky.
Mild temperatures will make it more comfortable than usual to experience Scottsdale’s high end approach to life and shopping with its invigorating vistas, rejuvenating spas and ultra-luxe retailers. Malinda suggests hitting a few boutiques (resale, vintage and otherwise) to find a hidden gem or two on consignment. Scottsdale’s To Be Continued is well-known and sure to please. Try to leave enough time to take a day trip to Sedona. Just two hours away, it is an amazing and energetic place that beckons nature lovers and hikers with its beautiful trails, rock formations and natural beauty. We took several hikes and each one rewarded our sweat, determination and communication with a deeper sense of connectedness to ourselves, each other and the earth. It is that beautiful.
For crystal lovers Sedona is a must visit. Not only can you find all manner of semi-precious stones, but there are many places in and around the town where you can see and feel the effects of a distinctly different natural energy.
Whether or not you ascribe to the power of crystals and the metaphysical– visiting Sedona is an opportunity to enjoy the wonder of nature and set intentions for your life with your partner in a divinely romantic setting.