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Romantic Getaways Are a Girl's Best Friend.

by Natalie Pace.

This Valentine's Day, give her what she really wants: Aphrodisiacs in the Big Apple.

For the past decade, I've been conducting surveys to determine what women really want for Valentine's Day, and over that 10-year period, one trend stands true. Through thick and thin, in good times and bad, romantic getaways are a girl's best friend, not diamonds. In fact, facials, massages and spa gift certificates sparkle more than diamonds. Gym memberships, yoga classes and other exercise certificates are gold, too! Meanwhile, no one wants the guy to show up at the door with just flowers and chocolate -- although that can be a part of a special evening...

Best Valentine's Day Gift (for women)

Answer

Percentage

Weekend getaway vacation

53%

Spa gift certificate & massage oil products

10%

Jewelry (diamonds, precious jewels)

7%

Gold

7%

Yoga, gym, exercise certificate

7%

Kindle, Kindle Fire, etc.

3%

iPad, iPhone, etc.

3%

Cash

3%

Tix to a concert, sporting event, etc.

3%

Chocolate & Flowers

0%

Source: Women's Investment Network, LLC

So, guys, this article is devoted to the best romantic getaways in New York City. New York offers an once-in-a-lifetime, royal experience that will warm your hearts forever. When you think about it, what is more memorable? A shared adventure, complete with memories for the digital photo album, or a ring that you'll need to keep in a safe to ensure it doesn't get stolen?

Best of New York (Including Some Special Valentine's Day Opportunities):


  1. The Setai.

    The Setai
    . New York's newest 5-star hotel is outstanding in every way, if you're into all things modern and have impeccably high standards. Forget about the complimentary coffee. Here you get a Nespresso machine with the finest roasted beans and a refrigerator stocked with complimentary beverages. The hotel rooms and suites range from 450 to 860 square feet -- so large it is hard to believe -- with breathtaking views of New York City's Fifth Avenue. DAS Concepts, Inc.'s interior design is simple and stunning, with Calacatta marble, Italian custom furniture, Duxiana beds, Pratesi linens and ceiling rain showers. Rather than jump and run at 11:00 a.m., you set your checkout time with your personal concierge. Enjoy a couple's massage in your room or relax together at Auriga spa. The Setai has a special Valentine's Day package that includes tickets to the Empire State Building, champagne and chocolates, room service breakfast and more. The Setai is 5th Avenue first class all the way, and if you're into cool, couture and modern, there's no rival in the city.

    The Pierre.

  2. The Pierre. The Pierre has the best location in New York City, just steps from Central Park, Tiffany's, FAO Schwartz and Bloomingdale's, but what you'll really be stepping into is the American Dream. Here, you'll feel, just like the immigrant founder Charles Pierre Casalasco before you, that you have finally arrived. It is an experience that will live with you, as part of your legacy, for the rest of your life -- as the days you spent living royally. Perhaps it's knowing that you're walking the halls of Elizabeth Taylor's former home, or in the footsteps of the Astors, Vanderbilts and J.P. Morgan, or clinking cocktails where Lady Gaga carefully sipped a very spicy Grumpy Garcia, or snapping pics where Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig had their last photo shoot. Or perhaps itís the warm greeting you'll receive from the doormen, barmen and servers. Don't miss dinner at Le Caprice (with the delectable Welsh Rarebit appetizer and the Passion Fruit Fool for dessert) and take time out to sample New York's most original cocktails in the Two E Bar and Lounge. The month of February is the month of love at The Pierre, with many special amenities, including a luxury Lover's Trunk, filled with crystals, La Perla lace, jewelry, perfumes, a little black dress and more for you to shop from. Special dining experiences include an Aphrodisiac Menu and a Chocolate Cocktail Festival.


  3. Le Parker Meridien.

  4. Le Parker Meridien.Uptown, not uptight, is the Parker Meridien motto, which means your experience is designed to be delightful and memorable from the moment you hit the elevator with Charlie Chaplin on the television, to the best breakfast on the planet at Norma's, to the most-equipped gym (two full floors!) in NYC. No matter what you sample at Norma's, this dessert for breakfast restaurant will be orgasmic. Buy the cookbook! The top suites at Le Parker Meridien have sweeping views of Central Park and the mid-town location is perfect for business travelers and tourists alike. In fact, because Le Parker Meridien is so popular with people doing business in the city (it's hard to call the celebrities who frequent Le Parker Meridien "businessmen"), you'll find the best deals on the weekends. There are all kinds of hidden treasures to discover at Le Parker Meridien, from the ultra popular Burger Joint (where you can skip the queue if you call ahead) to The Nave cocktail and espresso lounge. Four-star accommodations don't get better than this popular rock star hangout. And it's just around the corner from one of my favorite Greek restaurants.

  5. Molyvos. A delightful Greek restaurant, with a good selection of Greek wine, serving up fresh, organic, seasonal food, that is open late and near enough to Times Square to do pre or post theatre. What's not to love! Don't be surprised to see some on-air personalities in for a quick bite, as the Fox Studios are just down the street. I'm addicted to the chef's appetizers (changing daily), spanakopita and patzaria mi gigantes (giant white beans with marinated baby beets), but many regulars come for the octopus salad, lamb and signature Aglaiaís Moussaka. Executive Chef/Partner Jim Botsacos has been featured on Martha Stewart, the Food Network and more.

  6. ...Adour ... Alain Ducasse at the St. Regis Hotel. If you wish to have an aphrodisiac experience for Valentine's Day dinner, then make a reservation for Adour. Alain Ducasse is simply the "most awarded chef in the world," and one night with his creations will leave you needing a cold shower. (On Valentine's night, hopefully you'll have better things to do...) The tasting menus are surprisingly affordable, when you consider that for $130/person, you can have a 3-course meal, created by a 3-star rated Michelin chef on Valentine's Day. Be sure to include the sommelier's wine recommendations with your courses, which, naturally, will add to the price, but will up the delight quotient exponentially. Truffles are also optional, and the vegetarian tasting menu can woo and delight any palate.

  7. Guerlain Spa. Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria is the ultimate in personal pampering. Start your afternoon of tranquility with a glass of champagne. Share a giggle or some gossip with a girlfriend, before you detox and de-stress in the VIP treatment room. Whether you are enjoying Girl's Night Out or Couple's Night Together, the Guerlain staff, signature product line and Waldorf setting will be the perfect sensory ocean to calm your spirits. Trust that the perfumery that catered to Empress Eugenie (Napoleon III's wife) has learned a thing or two about scents, nurturing, oils and body care over the last two centuries! The famous Bull and Bear restaurant, just downstairs at the Waldorf=Astoria, is the perfect way to continue the celebration in the hotel that caters to royalty and Presidents.

  8. Ground Zero, Trinity Church cemetery and Wall Street. No trip to New York City is complete without a visit to the 911 Memorial at Ground Zero, a walk down Wall Street and a stroll through Trinity Church cemetery, where Alexander Hamilton is buried (after dying in a duel). (These historic national sites are all walking distance from one another.) This excursion will, obviously, be heavy on your spirits, perhaps a little sobering, and certainly there will be real-life stories on the gravestones and monuments that you will never forget. Zuccotti Park, also known as Liberty Square, is where Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out for two months, starting on September 17, 2011.

  9. The Bailey. I recommend starting your trip to the 911 Memorial with a good breakfast, and The Bailey Pub & Brasserie, one block north of Wall Street on William Street, is the best breakfast spot in the neighborhood. (Don't let the name fool you.) I haven't been able to move beyond The Bailey Benedict since I fell in love with it -- poached eggs on Irish Potato Cakes (instead of English muffin), with pancetta and Béarnaise sauce. (Smoked salmon is also available.) However, if I could cheat on my love affair with the Benedict, I'd surely sample the Brioche French Toast or the Bailey Omelette with avocado, tomato, black olives and basil. Hearty espresso drinks are available to pick up your spirits as well.

    Ivan Vasiliev.

  10. Kings of the Dance. You'll have to celebrate your V-Day a little late, if you want to make Kings of the Dance part of your Big Apple experience. But, when you consider the attraction of seeing the greatest dancer alive, combined with more reasonable prices for hotels and meals, love could be even more rich and luscious Feb. 24-26, 2012 than it is on February 14th. So who is the greatest dancer alive? Ivan Vasiliev, age 22, who just left the Bolshoi Ballet, as the most celebrated principal dancer in the company, to join the Mikhailovsky Ballet Theater in St. Petersburg. Vasiliev has all of the tricks and fireworks of Baryshnikov and Nureyev before him -- soaring grand jetes and whirling pirouettes -- with a sultry artistry that smokes hotter than Brad Pitt in his finest hour. The show incorporates hip-hop and modern choreography, so don't let the classical dance elements turn you off from this opportunity to see Vasiliev at the height of his career. Guys, your evening after this performance could be full of fireworks...

  11. Orso. No matter which play you see while you are in NYC, whether it is The Book of Mormon, or Wicked, or The Lion King or something off Broadway, do yourself a favor and cap off the evening with a trip to Orso. The food is great -- inspired Northern Italian fare -- and this restaurant is an in-crowd fave with famous actors. This is not paparazzi central. Stars breeze in and out with very little fanfare, so play it cool when you see someone famous. That's the verve of Orso. The food, and the crowd are star-studded, but sitting right next to you, normal as a family meal, which makes you feel part of the secret, as well.

If you prefer to have a grand European experience, I also have articles on the Best of Italy, the Best of France and the Best of Amsterdam. (Click to access those.)

 

About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street. and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, and the founder and CEO of the Womenís Investment Network, LLC. She is a blogger on HuffingtonPost.com, and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV, Forbes.com, NPR and more. As a strong believer in giving back, she has been instrumental in raising tens of millions for public schools, financial literacy, the arts and underserved women and girls worldwide. Follow her on Facebook.com/NWPace.
For more information please visit NataliePace.com.

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