Organised romance: what an arousal-squashing concept. Discerning lovers should bypass all the pink and sickly tack for some unabashed indulgence – from helicopter rides to ladies in lakes – at our romantic hotels. Mr & Mrs Smith built a business around the art of seduction, so who better to entrust with your night(s) of passion? We’ve selected our top 12 Valentine’s Day hotels, sure to get you cooing and canoodling.
To kick-start our research into romance, we dropped into the Kensington Hotel‘s Aubrey Restaurant to test-drive their Valentine’s Day menu. (We don’t like to recommend things blindly, you see, and we were unsure whether candlelight + food + alcohol still = sparks a-sparking). Our conclusion? Let’s just say it’s lucky we weren’t wearing shell suits – by the end of the evening, we were near flammable with desire. Special Valentine’s cocktails in the bar (a passion fruit martini and a champagne blend with gold dust and ginseng) established the appropriate tone; starters of a) hot smoked salmon, salmon tartar, pickled beetroot and horseradish and b) goat’s cheese crostini took us to next base.
Passion burned sweet like the restaurant’s scented candles as we ravished our mains: roast lamb with a mini football of stuffed Savoy cabbage for one; seared monkfish with pancetta and mussel stew for t’other. Dessert was so seductive as to be downright irresponsible: assorted chocolaty delights (right), including mint-chocolate granita and the world’s best brownie. We left clutching pink roses, and trying to remember why we’d ever scorned Cupid. The best bit? The lovers’ menu is a snip at £37.50 a head (this includes your cocktail/champagne), and if you’re too full to move afterwards, you can take advantage of the Kensington Hotel‘s Valentine’s Day deal, which includes (more) cocktails, breakfast in bed, and late check-out (call our expert Travel Team on 0845 034 0700 – or +44 20 8987 4312 from outside the UK – to book).
MR & MRS SMITH’S TOP 12 VALENTINE’S HOTEL OFFERS
HÔTEL THOUMIEUX, PARIS
Style Handsome prints
Setting Seventh heaven
At Hôtel Thoumieux in the seventh arrondissement, eating comes first, sleeping second. The hotel’s Valentine’s Day deal includes a one-night stay and a romantic dinner with a champagne-and-wine pairing at its hard-to-book, Michelin-starred restaurant: Le Restaurant de Jean- François Piège. Breakfast will be thrown in, too.
Call our Travel Team to book Hôtel Thoumieux’s Valentine’s Day offer…
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THE NEW WHITE LION, BRECON BEACONS
Style Impeccable low-key glamour
Setting Little town of Llandovery
At this sweet-natured rural stay, Valentine’s Day bait includes bubbly, a dozen red roses, Cambrian chocolates, a three-course dinner, afternoon tea and a host of other treats, including spa perks and a guided tour into the Black Mountains, to Llyn y Fan Fach (Lady of the Lake) where the mystical lady emerged. Not a bad proposal scene…
See the New White Lion’s Valentine’s Day offer
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GRAND HOTEL VILLA CORA, FLORENCE
Style Renaissance of a masterpiece
Setting Bordering on Boboli
Built in the 1870s by Baron Oppenheim for his wife, Grand Hotel Villa Cora is a love letter in art and architecture. The romance lives on, thanks to the hotel’s February special: book the Valentine’s Day offer and you’ll be treated to a free room upgrade, a special gift and a romantic breakfast served in your Florentine boudoir.
See Grand Hotel Villa Cora’s Valentine’s Day offer
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LUCKNAM PARK HOTEL & SPA, WILTSHIRE
Style Epicurean country pile
Setting Woodland, hedges and herbs
Lucknam Park is the hotel that has it all: award-winning spa, Michelin-starred restaurant, 500-acre estate and even an equestrian centre, home to 35 glossy-flanked horses. It’s only right then, that its Valentine’s offering is so decadent: a red rose and pink champagne in your room upon arrival, gourmet dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurant, full English breakfast and use of the spa facilities.
See Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa’s Valentine’s Day offer
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HOTEL DE RUSSIE, ROME
Style Grandeur with gardens
Setting Between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo
Hotel de Russie has five-star comfort and style, a super-central location and – a well-kept city secret – elegant terraced gardens where guests can escape the fashionable buzz of the Eternal City. There’s a pleasingly comedic aspect to this hotel’s Valentine’s Day deal: a photographer will accompany you and your beloved around Rome, taking pictures of you doing romance. (We’re imaging hapless shots of us falling over/arguing over pasta). Less amusingly, you’ll also get breakfast, a special gift, and the chance to try the restaurant’s Valentine’s-themed menu…
To book Hotel de Russie’s Valentine’s Day offer, call our dedicated Travel Team…
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LA MAMOUNIA, MARRAKECH
Style Palace of pleasure
Setting Medina-side Mamounia gardens
Even a monk’s drawers would drop at the words ‘helicopter ride’. Book this hotel’s Valentine’s Day deal and a life’s worth of rewards will be yours: a ride in a chopper around the Atlas Mountains, return transfers in a Daimler Jaguar, breakfast and dinner, a massage on arrival and a hammam ritual.
See La Mamounia’s Valentine’s Day offer
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AQUAPURA, DOURO VALLEY
Style Sprawling spa retreat
Setting Dazzling Douro wine country
Aquapura hotel was once a rural, red-painted family farmhouse. Now, after a dramatic designer reinvention, it’s Portugal’s sexiest spa retreat, offering indulgent wining, dining and poolside reclining. Stay here for Valentine’s, and you’ll be romanced with welcome cocktails, a couple’s massage, a special tasting menu at the restaurant with local wine, and the all-important late checkout.
See Aquapura’s Valentine’s Day offer
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DAR DARMA, MARRAKECH
Style World of interiors
Setting Funky old Medina
An Italian Orientalist’s fantasy holiday home, this fully staffed Moroccan boutique stay offers its own homely hammam, mountain-view roof terrace, and a very private, ever so Moorish retreat from the nearby souks. Drop by this Moroccan marvel around the 14th, and choose a special present: a hammam and peeling treatment, free entrance at the Majorelle Gardens, traditional Moroccan babouches or a candlelit dinner for two.
To book Dar Darma’s Valentine’s Day offer, call our expert Travel Team…
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ELLENBOROUGH PARK, COTSWOLDS
Style Fifteenth-century thoroughbred
Setting Racy Prestbury
This sports-loving hotel has good looks of an Appalachian stallion, 90 gorgeous green acres, and a herd of indulgent extras, from fine dining to fine wine-ing. Stay here for Valentine’s, and you will be treated to the classic lover’s lures: champagne, chocolates, a mystery gift and a four-course feast.
See Ellenborough Park’s Valentine’s Day offer
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CANAL HOUSE, AMSTERDAM
Style Reinvented Dutch masterpiece
Setting Cobbled canalside Jordaan
Perfectly located Canal House hotel packs contemporary chiaroscuro decor into a brace of 17th-century merchant’s houses, channeling the dramatic light, natural textures and rich fabrics of the Dutch Old Masters. For Valentine’s, the hotel is giving guests a three-course dinner, breakfast, homemade truffles and a deliciously scented candle.
See Canal House’s Valentine’s Day offer
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ST MORITZ HOTEL, CORNWALL
Style Surf-side family HQ
Setting Rugged Camel Estuary
A multitalented modernist resort overlooking the Camel Estuary, the St Moritz Hotel has more can-do attitude than a team of cheerleaders, giving it a fantastic reputation among families of all ages. To woo lovers this Valentine’s, the hotel is treating guests to champagne, dinner, breakfast and a ‘Luxe Love’ box filled with naughty adult treats.
See St Moritz’s Valentine’s Day offer
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SAN DOMENICO HOUSE, LONDON
Style Restrained Italian extravagance
Setting Steps from Sloane Square
Created from two five-storey, red-brick Chelsea townhouses, complete with original brick balconies and verdant window boxes, this family-owned boutique hotel is a little piece of Italy in West London. For the 14th, the hotel is giving guests free Continental breakfast (served in your room), chocolate, strawberries, a bottle of bubbly and late check-out.
See San Domenico House’s Valentine’s Day offer
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