Still figuring out Valentine's Day plans for your sweetheart? We asked five concierges—whose job is it to make you feel special—for their romantic tips and tricks that are tried-and-true.
Personalize Sweets & Treats Customizing edible gifts with a message goes a long way, according to Regina Falling, chef concierge at Park Hyatt in New York. Plus, it’s easy to do at your local candy store. “To add an element of surprise, we’ve arranged customized 'candy conversation heart' éclairs (see above)—with either a personal message or classic sayings like 'be mine,'” says Falling. “Then, our sommelier selects champagne to pair with the flavorful cream filling.”
Get Out of the City Traveling to a destination allows you to learn about a place while getting some one-on-one time in, according to Wendy Wong, concierge at Halekulani on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. “Embrace the romance of the area through the culture and legacy of the hotel, while also taking in the romance of the holiday,” says Wong. They recommend finding a special souvenir native to the area to take home, so the romantic celebration can be remembered long after the trip.
Do Something Spontaneous Doing something out of the norm is a refreshing way to spend time together, suggests Aurora Avila, celebrations manager at Rosewood Mayakoba in Playa de Carmen, Mexico. “Plan a unique activity based on what you enjoy,” says Avila, “If you’re adventurous, go skydiving. If you’re artistic, spend the day painting together. Here at the hotel, guests can take boat rides through the surrounding lagoons, or have a private romantic dinner right on the sand. The more creative, the better!”
Staying at the Homestead A few candles and extra flowers makes all the difference when transforming a space, advises James McMenamin, restaurant manager at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Te Awanga, New Zealand. Humble yet thoughtful touches can change the ambience of a home for a romantic occasion. “Keep it simple, warm and cozy,” says McMenamin.
Choose Chocolate (Enough Said) Whether it’s a gift or activity-based, there is no way of going wrong with chocolate, suggests Jean-Claude Messant, managing director of Royal Mansour in Marrakech, Morocco. “Our chocolate laboratory creates new chocolate delights every day, such as white chocolate ganache, that are incorporated in dishes served in our restaurants,” says Messant. “We love anything involving chocolate.”