Valentine's Day: how the other half celebrate

Including a pool filled with bubbly, a private helicopter, a bath of oysters, customisable room scents and a keepsake glass slipper

Saint Valentine has a lot to answer for. Thanks to him, one day a year we are cuckolded into spending our hard-earned dough on presents, cards, and flowers - all bought in a desperate attempt to tell the person we love just how bloody splendid they are.

There was a time when a single red rose was all it took. A time when a romantic dinner made a partner weak at the knees, and a simple breakfast-in-bed had them eating from the palm of your hand. Now though - if you want to impress a loved one - you have to fly them around London in a private helicopter, or fill a plunge pool with champagne. I told you the soppy saint had a lot to answer for.

The Exhibitionist Hotel in South Kensington is first on the list, living up to its name with a £35,000 Valentine’s Day Luxury Package, including a pool filled with bubbly, a bath of oysters, and no less than 30 bouquets of roses. The glitzy package also comes with a selection of “aphrodisiac delicacies”, including asparagus with truffle oil, strawberries dipped in chocolate, ginger candies, and raspberries served with whipped cream.

Guests will also have access to a bespoke iPad which is programmed to allow guests to customise the scent of the rooms. Handy after the oyster bath, I’d imagine. If that seems a tad too excessive - or you simply don’t fancy bathing in seafood – the hotel also offers a budget £3000-a-night romance package, which is similar but without the champagne-filled pool or tub of oysters.

Not to be outdone, the Conrad New York is offering a VIP Valentine’s Day Package worth £6566 ($10,000), including luxury car transfers to and from the airport, lavish accommodation in a 1,500 square-foot Conrad Suite, a customised present for your loved one from jewellery designer David Yurman – ordered and designed prior to your stay - a private helicopter tour over Manhattan, dinner for two with specially selected wine, and a one-of-a-kind floral arrangement brought to your suite with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Phew.

If money’s tight but you still want to splash out, head to The Lancaster in London, where loved-up guests will be greeted with “a wonderful surprise” upon arrival. No, not Ryan Gosling wrapped in a bow straddling a Nebuchadnezzar of Champagne, but a bedroom lavishly decorated with rose petals and balloons.

 

The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas is offering a vom-inducing “Become Her Prince Charming” package for £328 ($499) per night, including deluxe accommodation and a rose petal turndown, complete with keepsake glass slipper and personalized love note. And if you’re thinking of popping the question, the Ritz-Carlton in New York offers a special proposal package which includes a suite, a private dinner on the 40th floor of the hotel, a couple’s massage, a trip to Tiffany’s for some exclusive ring shopping, champagne, a rose petal turndown, and breakfast in bed (not at Tiffany’s, unfortunately.) The package costs £1641 ($2,500) but does require a hefty £13,127 ($20,000) minimum purchase from the famous jewellery shop. You can save money on the hotel’s free overnight parking though, which is nice.

Probably the most extravagant, however, is the Rosewood London, which is offering a luxury Valentine’s package to the value of £100,000. Labelled the “ultimate romantic getaway”, guests will be collected and taken via a chauffeured Jaguar to their own private helicopter, in which they will fly across London. Upon arrival at the Rosewood, they will take part in a private cooking class to learn how to make the perfect aphrodisiac menu. More oysters? Probably.

After their meal, guests will return to their suite for a private fireworks display and live jazz music on the terrace, accompanied by champagne. The will have access to the hotel’s spa and will be treated to a special couple’s massage. Also included is a personally created candle, a bespoke piece of jewellery by award-winning jewellery designer Shaun Leane, and – of course - a bouquet of flowers.

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