Destination Wednesday: Love, New York City


By Stacey Zable

Why would you not want to spend Valentine’s Day with the one you love in one of the most romantic cities in the world? That’s what it’s all about – right? Right. So given that, there’s only one thing to do: Hit Google Flights, grab your partner and perform the most romantic of all romantic gestures – sweep him/her away for some spur-of-the-moment one-on-one time in New York City, including some special events tailor-made for the day dedicated to love.

A key part of an NYC amorous adventure is an overnight stay in the right property. Manhattan’s Hotel Chandler oozes boutique elegance with the warmth and coziness of a New England bed-and-breakfast—but it’s located on 31st Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues. The 1905 Beaux-Arts building’s 125 guest rooms and suites offer something many New York City properties cannot: intimacy. Guests are greeted with genuine smiles and hellos from staff, while the hotel’s lovely library room and cocktail-and-wine bar are excellent areas to simply relax. There’s nothing like a great hotel restaurant to add romance to a property, and the Chandler has one of the finest: Juni, from Executive Chef Shaun Hergatt.

The Chandler’s guest rooms boast bay windows and pampering touches such as Frette Italian linens and Molton Brown bathroom amenities. Purchase the “Date Night Package” and you can get all of the Chandler’s romantic elements wrapped up together, plus a chilled bottle of champagne upon arrival, a box of chocolates, continental breakfast in bed for two and guaranteed late check-out. Rates vary by time of year, so call 866-627-7847.

The Chandler’s neighborhood location is quiet, despite being only a few blocks from one of the city’s most romantic icons, the Empire State Building. Go to the top any Thursday through Saturday evening and a saxophonist adds background music to your stargazing. Every Valentine’s Day, 100 or more couples actually wed on the 86th-floor observatory. It’s first-come, first-serve, so if you have a valid New York State marriage license and want to make it official this Feb. 14, apply online now. As in now.

Using the Chandler as your base, it’s easy to take advantage of many other Valentine’s Week-specific events. For another incredible, romantic city view, it’s hard to beat the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center. The Top of the Rock will be holding its Starlight Music Series tonight, as well as Feb. 14, 18 and 25, and the show is included in the admission price. Think there’s not just a little romance in this: Live music paired with a panoramic vista of New York City, with wine and champagne available for purchase at the Morrell Wine Bar & Café?

fullsizerender25On Valentine’s Day itself, you can explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art, view romantic art treasures like John Singer Sargent’s “Portrait of Madame X” and Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women,” and end your day with a concert from Rosanne Cash; the $80 ticket price includes admission to the museum. Have a three-course prix-fixe dinner pre- or post- concert for $75 per person at the museum’s Members Dining Room. Call 212-570-3975 for reservations.

Many restaurants will be offering special Valentine’s Day menus, but your own personal celebration may call for a more direct route: skipping the meal altogether and heading straight for the decadent desserts. The Sweeter Than Sugar Valentines Dessert Sugartooth Tour is a 2.5-hour escapade with stops for delicious sweets in Chelsea, the High Line, the meatpacking district, and the West Village. The tour is available multiple dates in February, including the 14th; a non-Valentine’s Day version is available year-round. Cost is $51.85 per person, plus tour-guide gratuity.

Before or after the chocolate, enjoy a “Side-by-Side Massage” at Oasis Day Spa, located on Park Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Streets, a short walk from the Chandler. It’s $315 for 60 minutes of pampering and is the perfect way to start — or finish — a day focused just on the two of you.

Though you may prefer to put the final finishing touches on your Valentine’s Day back at the Chandler.

Stacey Zable is an award-winning veteran travel writer. She specializes in family travel, spas, cruises, destination weddings and honeymoons and luxury travel. Visit her site at


Editor’s Note: A spur-of-the-moment romantic getaway to New York is definitely a Risk Worth Taking. AirCare and ExactCare from Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection cover all your Risks Worth Taking, and they can be bought up to 11:59 p.m. on the day before your trip. So there you go.