Hotel Showcase

Cities for Romance: Get ready for Valentine’s

Forgetful husbands and boyfriends beware, Valentine’s day is nearly upon us.

If you’re the last minute type, February 14th can be a great cause of stress instead of the celebration of love it’s meant to be. Frantic phone calls to restaurants, booked out babysitters, last minute shopping… you know the drill. But this year, you can avoid all that hassle by reading this article.

Why? Because there is no better way of saying I love you than discovering a new country together, and in this post, we’re showing you the best places to visit à deux, and top rated hotels to stay in while you’re there.

Paris

Terrace- Peninsula-Paris

There’s a reason for cliche’s and Paris, as a city of romance, is one of the most enduring and most deserved. To the eyes of many, your worth as a couple is measured by how happy you look in your pictures by the Eiffel Tower and whether you have a padlock on the lovers bridge.

But even though “Paris for love” is a cliche, that doesn’t mean you have to be one.

Just try and be different about it. Instead of staring at each other lovingly in the long queues for the Eiffel Tower, go find a cobbled alley and a bistro and sit down for an impromptu tête-à-tête, go and explore the Latin quarter, jump into a jazz bar for some live music and wine… the list is endless.

The Parisian hotels in our collection offer a great number of benefits for our members. Whether its starting the day with a complimentary breakfast in a Michelin Star restaurant or walking into your room to find a bottle of wine waiting, it’s all on offer here so come take a look and go love, and be different.

Prague

Mandarin Oriental Prague

Parisians invented the art of the flâneur, and they perfected it, in Prague. One of the most beautiful cities in the world, it deserves much more credit as a couple’s retreat than it gets.

The city’s rich culture makes it a veritable playground for the eyes. Ancient cathedrals cast their shadows over cobbled streets, boats float by on the calm waters of Vltava River passing underneath 14th century stone bridges, while in the distance, hilltop castles peek out from the trees and rooftops, beckoning to be explored. A medieval town with a history that dates back for nearly a millennium, this city is a pleasure to discover with your significant other.

If you’d like to visit, we’re proud to suggest the Mandarin Oriental Prague as your hotel of choice. Set in a refurbished 14th century monastery and located at the heart of the Mala Strana district, this intimate hotel with only 79 rooms and 20 suites is the ideal place to return to after a day of exploring, and thanks to our partnership with the Mandarin Oriental hotels, there’s nice list of benefits to enjoy.

Morocco

Morocco Mountains

A destination for the adventurous souls… or for those who’d rather relax by a fireplace with a bowl of dates and honey. Morocco is a destination that dances to the beat of your drum. But whatever you do, the scent of mint tea, spices and massage oils will stay with you long after you’ve left.

Those with a tolerance for crowded places, will love discovering the maze like Medina with their partners. Snake charmers ply their trade amid the crowds, their music blending with the calls of merchants, donkey carts go by, motorcycles zip past, it’s as otherworldly as a destination can get.

For the quiet types, treks by the mystical snow capped Atlas mountains, staring at the stars in the dessert skies and walking the dusty halls of the Kasbah’s will no doubt appeal. Or you can simply relax and be treated like royalty in one of these fantastic hotels, the best in Morocco by far.

Seville

Sevilla

Sevilla, is what tourists imagine when they think of Spain. Bullfighting, flamenco dancing, tapas bars… it’s all here, and like any good city, these cultural cliches are only the tip of the iceberg.

Spain’s fourth largest city, is at a crossroads between tradition and modernity, between east and west, but there’s no confusion here, it stomped its foot down and made that spot its own, like a matador in an arena. Unique in every way, Seville’s Moorish influence can be seen in the archways, churches and traditional homes that you’ll discover when roaming its winding streets and squares.

The scent of orange blossoms and citrus fruit permeates the air, the sunshine turns the Guadalquivir river into shimmering gold, and horse drawn carriages are always at hand to show you the sights at a nice “tranquilo” pace… Trust us, this place was designed by cupid and if you want to experience it all, the Hotel Alfonso XIII is the best hotel from which to do so.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Labelled “the Paris of South America”, Buenos Aires sets the tone for romance with its vibrant nightlife, excellent cuisine, stellar weather… and tango, of course.

On warm evenings, walking the cobbled streets with a head full of wine and excitement, you get the illusion that the locals chatting on their doorsteps by lamplight, sitting hand in hand on benches, or laughing and dining in the terrace restaurants, may spontaneously break into a flash mob style tango party at the first notes of La Cumparista.

But there’s more to the city than dance. Buenos Aires’s architecture draws its inspiration from ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy and Art Deco for a uniquely Argentine style that is simply jaw dropping. So grab a fresh memory stick for your camera, rent a bike, and discover the wonders of this sunsplashed city at your own pace.

After a day of exploring, it’s good to head home and our collection features four of Argentina’s best hotels where you can do so: the timeless Alvear Palace, at the heart of Argentine high society ever since 1932, The Four Seasons with its renowned restaurants, the Elena and Nuestro Secreto, the Palacio Duhau-Park Hyatt and its breathtaking view over the Ricoletta, and the Faena Hotel Buenos Aires, contemporary, young and sexy.

Milan

Milan

Not the Italian city you’d usually associate with Romance, we’ll give you that. But Milan makes the list precisely because the whole world thinks cupid wouldn’t give it a second glance.

Romance here, is what you make of it. Visit the Milan Cathedral, then climb to its spire laden rooftop for a panoramic view of Milan, one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. Then, melt your credit card in the neighboring Centro Storico, before starting the evening in a bar for a nice “aperitivo”. Where’s the romance you say? well we’ve barely scratched the surface.

All around Milan, behind inconspicuous doors and walls, are hidden courtyards, the city’s enclaves of beauty and serenity. They whisper to the passer by, telling them to come inside and sit by their water fountains, to smell their flowers, to stare at their stone arches or to sit at a table for a warm plate of pasta.

The hidden courtyards of Milan, are like windows into another world and the pleasure of their discovery is better when shared with another. Finding them all is a slow and beautiful process and the best place to start, is here.