Yes, we know it’s cold outside. All the more reason, to take a Chillcation and snuggle up inside. The Windy City’s three Hilton hotels are offering warm-me-up packages to help you rekindle the romance. The Conrad Chicago (521 N. Rush Street), Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan Ave.) and Palmer House Hilton (17 E. Monroe St.) are offering “hot” nightly prices starting at just $103 per night for a spacious room, breakfast for two, a selection of DVDs for in-room movie nights, a gift of mugs for hot beverages to keep you toasty, and more. Each hotel offers its own romantic upgrade to sweeten the deal. Try the Conrad Hilton’s “Allure Package,” for example, which adds a bottle of Prosecco with custom chocolate truffles from my chocolate fave, Vosges Haute Chocolate, aromatherapy scented turn-down pillow services, and an even sweeter wake-up with crème brûlée French toast and French press coffee en suite. www.chillcation.com.
If you’d rather a spa escape along with your Midwest escape, Trump International Hotel &Tower Chicago will tack on the Sweetheart Retreat, a 60-minute facial and manicure experience for $220, or the My Perfect Valentine package which adds a 60-minute aroma-infused massage to complete your spa holiday for $160 additional. With so many hotel and spa packages for the Valentine’s Day offered here it’s best to call 312-588-8000 to speak to a personal counselor to craft your own perfect romantic adventure. www.trumpchicagohotel.com.
The James Chicago’s “Table for Two” package is a great gift for foodies. Chef David Burke understands the complexities of both romance and love and has created an exclusive culinary experience at his eponymous David Burke’s Primehouse steakhouse. For $225 per night, you’ll get a $50 cocktail and cuisine credit for dining, plus champagne and accommodations with a special turndown from Chef Burke. 312-3316-1000 www.jameshotels.com/Chicago/special-offers .
Now’s a great time to avoid the Mardi Gras or Jazzfest crowds and enjoy the best of this wonderful city. The chefs at the lovely Windsor Court Hotel have put together a dinner for Valentine’s Day that’s sure to get you dancing to some of those fabulous jazzy bands. Food and music are the best aphrodisiac and the menu is designed to stimulate all your senses: the chili-braised gulf shrimp appetizer uses that fiery capsaicin to spice up your evening, with a sweetly dressed duck with date puree and lavender-sugarcane jus to follow. End with the ultimate food aphrodisiac, chocolate, in the salty but sweet caramelia torchon creation. A must to accompany? A glass of love-inducing port or Madeira. The sommelier can suggest the perfect choice: the hotel restaurant was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants in America in 2013. Dinner at the Grill Room is $90 per person on Valentine’s Day, reservations: www.grillroomneworleans.com, 888-596-0955. For rooms, call 800-928-7898 http://www.windsorcourthotel.com/ .
After you’ve filled your day hearing Elvis sing about heartbreak hotel, stuffing your face with barbeque or fried chicken, or filling your mind with the adorable duck parade in the lobby at The Peabody Memphis, you can satisfy your sweets craving at the new dessert buffet served from 7:30-10:30pm at the Peabody Corner Bar. Make sure you save room for the double chocolate mousse shooters, campfire s’mores, pistachio passion whoopie pies, vanilla bean crème brûlée, red velvet macarons, French pastries, and chocolate sundaes. You probably won’t want to eat for a few days after this! A sweet and love-inducing bargain at only $19.95 per person. 901-529-4000 http://www.peabodymemphis.com/
You can pretend you’ve gone to Thailand at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix. With their “Sealed with a Wish” package, you’ll send off paper lanterns with your wishes, watching them dance into the desert sky. This tradition is said to symbolize good luck and fortune. You’ll also get several spa treatments at the onsite Alvadora Spa, dinner for two, and luxury accommodations with a rose petal turndown service. The package is priced at $1199. 855-282-9048 www.royalpalmshotel.com
Art lovers will be intrigued by the Westin La Paloma Resorts & Spa’s Valentine’s Day happenings. Couples will capitalize on the area’s gorgeous light by learning how to do Sweetheart Painting at AzuL Lounge on February 15, guided by professional artists and motivated by wine and cheese. Also in the creative vein, you can learn to make your own cocktails at AZuL Lounge on the 14th where you will take three different infusions and combine them with Tito’s Handmade Vodka to create your own perfect flavor. Hors d’oeuvres included. Reserve these special events as well as rooms at 520-742-6000, www.westinlapalomaresort.com.
One of the country’s reigning food and music cities, Austin and the boutique Hotel Ella invite you to experience Texas-style romance. Dinner, breakfast, champagne and flowers are yours in this two-night stay in the former Goodall Wooten mansion, one of Austin’s original landmark estates. Beautifully located, Hotel Ella will introduce you to pure Southern hospitality with its wraparound veranda overlooking the front lawn and a cabana-lined lap pool. 512-495-1800. www.hotelella.com.