3 -min. read

Valentine’s Day is upon us and we have the sads. Even though we’ve got a warm body to share the holiday with, the hotel offerings that have come across our desks these past weeks have been, well, depressingly anticlimactic. Like, Cupid didn’t just miss the mark. He pulled back his bow and the arrow went limp. And this failure to launch boggles our minds.

On any given day or night, magic is happening in hotel rooms around the world from city suites to overwater bungalows and even (especially?) past-their-prime hotels by the airport. (Apologies for that disturbing image in your head now.)

Yet why do hotels always disappoint on this universal day of love?


Year after year, hotels often hastily pull together the same two types of romance packages for Valentine’s Day. The first kind includes champagne and chocolate, along with the promise of a late check-out, if available. #tease #swipeleft. The second type is a package that’s popped Viagra, where every romantic amenity and service imaginable is offered in a sort of super-sized IN LOVE WITH LOVE! bundle that usually costs several thousands of dollars. A helicopter ride across the city does sound cool, so does the private pianist playing love songs on the grand piano in the penthouse suite, and the five-course meal prepared by the executive chef with wine pairings and champagne toasts. But let’s be real, is anyone actually booking those packages? If it’s a press mention you’re after with this ostentatious package, you’ll definitely get it…along with all the other hotels that have put together similar outrageous offers.

But we aren’t turned off entirely, as we did find handful of hotel packages that either spark creativity or are just very much in tune with what real guests want. Take for instance the Perrier-Jouët Fleurs des Rêves happening at the London EDITION all this month. In collaboration with Bompas & Parr, the incredible “flavor-based” design studio, guests can pop into the basement of the hotel from February 11-14 and pick up a bouquet of color-changing flowers, along with Perrier-Jouët champagne and some tips on how to create their own chameleon-esque flower arrangements. (Hint: the magic is in thermochromatic ink which is painted on the flowers. You can read more about the pop-up here.)


Credit: Ann Charlott Ommedal
Credit: Ann Charlott Ommedal
Credit: Ann Charlott Ommedal
Credit: Ann Charlott Ommedal

At the Andaz Liverpool Street, also in London, they’ve pulled together a “Bed, Flix & Chill” package this weekend, borrowing on the Insta-popular meme of “Netflix and chill” which is pretty much code for sex. The offer includes a bottle of Prosecco, gourmet popcorn, a late 2pm check-out and unlimited in-room movies. It’s sensible but absolutely perfect.

For something a little kinkier, the SLS South Beach has dreamed up the “Seductive Little Sleepover” package this month that includes a Love is Art body-painting kit. And by body-painting we’re talking about painting a canvas with your bodies using non-toxic body ink. Ooo la la.

See? It is possible to be original and true to your hotel’s personality on Valentine’s Day without being too cheesy or over-the-top. We also dig how these offerings are timely, meaning they aren’t available all-year long, which is another thing that depresses us about hotel romance packages.

While we’ll have to pass this Valentine’s Day in our regular ole’ bedroom, we’ll stay hopeful that hotels will up their love game next year.

[Photos: Flickr / Bompas & Parr]


Juliana Shallcross
A self-confessed hotel addict, Juliana Shallcross has been reporting on hotels around the world for more than a decade. She was previously the managing editor A good portion of her job involves sleeping in new hotels, obsessing over technology and keeping tabs on the ever-changing hospitality landscape. She's based in Los Angeles.

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