Winter is upon us and love is in the air. New York City is at its most romantic when the snow is falling and you’re cuddling by a fireplace with your paramour.
Check out these unique date ideas to ignite the passion this Valentine’s Day — or add some spark to any other night of the week.
Warm up after ice skating in Central Park
Take your partner for a spin around the rink in Central Park. Once your legs get tired (but before your fingers are frostbitten), head inside to warm up with light bites and drinks at The Palm Court, a Polynesian-inspired cocktail lounge tucked inside of Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel. Thaw out and pretend you’re somewhere tropical while you sip on a Chartreusian Velvet Sling (designed to be shared) out of a fresh Hawaiian pineapple.
If you’re in the mood for an elegant meal, book a table at Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, New York’s Asiate, which serves contemporary American cuisine alongside elegant interiors and astounding views of Manhattan’s skyline. This Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetheart to the restaurant’s special tasting menu and enjoy a gastronomic journey together.
Experience exquisite downtown luxury
Reconnect with a tandem spa visit with all the extras — white robes, candlelight and a Jacuzzi. The brand-new Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is the perfect place to book a romantic getaway.
Reserve the couple’s Spa Suite and bask in the spa’s relaxation room or terrace, if you’re feeling adventurous. The spa features luxurious European brands like Dr. Burgener and Omorovicza, which incorporate over-the-top ingredients such as green caviar and gold.
Have a casual date night
Keep things simple with pizza and wine at Kesté Pizza & Vino, where celebrated pizzaiolos Roberto Caporuscio and his daughter Giorgia serve up some of the most authentic Neapolitan pies this side of Naples. Taste classic pizzas paired with sumptuous wines.
This Valentine’s Day, kick things up a notch with a cooking class from the proprietors themselves. Choose from a variety of classes and enjoy your finished product together at the end. (Monitor Kesté’s Facebook page for class dates.)
And what romantic night would be complete without dessert? L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates by chocolatier Michael Klug recently opened a cozy café in Soho. Sip hot cocoa or nibble on artisanal chocolates and an impressive selection of other tempting sweets with your sweetheart.
Indulge in room service
Book the Breakfast in Bed package at Viceroy Central Park New York and skip the scene-y Manhattan brunch. Say “yes,” instead, to views of Central Park while noshing on a splendid continental breakfast from Kingside Restaurant while staying comfortably in your pajamas.
When you’re ready to greet the day, do so by taking a leisurely stroll to Rockefeller Center or perusing nearby Fifth Avenue shops.
For a unique turndown treat, finish up your night in with FrutaPop champagne popsicles, which certainly aren’t a Viceroy-only goodie but they can be delivered on dry ice to the hotel. These handcrafted “poptails” are infused with seasonal fresh fruits and, if you’re feeling friskier, vodka, sangria, rum, bourbon and tequila, too.
See the city from great heights
Pop up to Westchester, just a short train ride from Manhattan, and book a private tour back down to New York City with Wings Air Helicopters. Unlike most Manhattan-based tours, these treks, which depart from Westchester County Airport, aren’t restricted from flying over the Hudson River. Beyond the brilliant waterscapes, you’ll also be able to get up close and personal with the city’s skyscrapers.
Once you catch your breath, head to Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester for an overnight stay and the spa’s signature Time Together Massage. Enjoy dual pampering in the tranquil Topaz Couples Room.
Unwind after your treatments in the relaxation room or go for a dip in the hotel’s indoor rooftop swimming pool, which features sweeping vistas of the Hudson Valley.
Start a lazy Sunday with brunch
Every New Yorker knows Sunday brunch is the most important meal of the week. Pop some bubbly and eat your heart out at Waldorf Astoria New York’s Peacock Alley brunch buffet offered Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The decadent spread pleases any appetite with endless raw seafood, a caviar bar, eggs on demand, freshly carved meats and even a chocolate fountain.
On February 14, bring your special someone to enjoy especially decadent items, like pan-seared halibut with lobster sauce and truffled cheese tortellini.
Unfortunately, this legendary Four-Star hotel will close for a two-year renovation project on March 1, so be sure to reserve a table for its final weeks.
For early risers, Villard, housed in Lotte New York Palace, also serves an extravagant breakfast. The establishment pays homage to the Gilded Age with its gilt ceilings and dramatic style. Equally decadent is a menu featuring items like lemon mascarpone pancakes with dulce de leche butter, lobster pearl pasta with poached egg and orange-scented hollandaise and thick-cut billionaire’s bacon.
Appreciate the art of food
Sample fantastic bites from more than 20 celebrated Upper East Side chefs at the second annual Art of Food event, a tasting hosted at Sotheby’s New York on February 4.
This mouth-watering evening, hosted by celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian and his wife, Margaret, will offer goodies from Vaucluse, The East Pole, The Penrose, Maya, The Meatball Shop, Shake Shack, Seamstress and many others.