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Sweets for Your Sweetie in San Francisco

In today’s V-Day installment from GloboMaestro, Antonio Barrios, concierge at the St. Regis San Francisco takes us to Hayes Valley in San Franciso in search of exquisite chocolates, old-school cakes, and all manner of sugary treats for your sweetheart—or yourself!

For more ideas on where to find great candy, chocolates, and more, check out our new feature "Best New Sweet Shops."

Love on the Rocks: Romance at NYC’s First-Ever “Pulqueria”

It’s not your average aphrodisiac. Pulque—the frothy, vitamin-rich, rough-around-the-edges beverage made from fermented Maguey sap—has been the drink of gods and mortals in Mexico for over 1,000 years. This less sophisticated cousin to tequila is also a “must imbibe” concoction for those wanting to conceive.

Today, as part of our special love-inspired V-Day video series with GloboMaestro, we’re featuring a sexy subterranean watering hole that pours pulque by the pitcher. And, it’s in the unlikeliest of places—New York City’s Chinatown. This romantic spot also turns out some really authentic food, too. Don’t miss sharing a bowl of the sikil pak, a Mayan pumpkin seed dip served with housemade tortilla chips.

Pulqueria NYC
11 Doyers Street (Bowery & Doyers)
212-227-3099
www.pulquerianyc.com

V-Day Video: Where to Pop the Question in NYC

We’re pleased to announce a special Valentine’s Day series with video content partner GloboMaestro! Watch for great ideas for classic and offbeat romance as we count down to February 14.



Founded in 2011, GloboMaestro is harnessing the vast local knowledge of some of the travel industry’s most knowledgeable insiders—hotel concierges. It’s enlisted some of the very best to act as tour guides. We think it’s a pretty smart idea.

Today, Raphael Pallais Chef Concierge at The Plaza Hotel, has some fun (and unexpected) suggestions about where to enjoy a night out in New York City—or even pop the question. Next up: Miami.

Third Night Free at Top NYC Hotels

trump soho

Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently announced that New York City played host to a record 50 million visitors this past year. Seems like we can expect a few more in 2012: NYC & Company, the official tourism board for our fair Gotham, has rallied some extraordinary big-name luxury hotels to participate in their wintertime Third Night Promotion, where you get one free night for every three-night stay.

The list of  ‘signature collection’ properties hosting this winter sale includes both elegant, storied hotels and see-and-be-seen hip newcomers. Choosing just one may be the biggest challenge of your stay:

The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel
The Chatwal New York
Hôtel Plaza Athénée New York
Jumeirah Essex House
Loews Regency Hotel
The London NYC
Mandarin Oriental, New York
The New York Palace
The Peninsula New York
The Pierre
The Plaza Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
The St. Regis New York
The Setai Fifth Avenue
The Sherry-Netherland
The Surrey
Trump International Hotel & Tower
Trump SoHo New York
The Waldorf Towers

As one who regularly watches these hotels for affordable offers, I can tell you that an opportunity to save 33% doesn’t come along very often. I can also guarantee that a visit to NYC this winter will be a memorable one. Whether you take the budget route of window-shopping, people-watching, and street food, or use those savings to indulge in some of the thrilling culture, cuisine, and commerce of the city—either way, you’ll leave already planning your next visit.

Ritz-Carlton Central Park

Top photo courtesy of Trump Soho; bottom photo of the Ritz-Carlton, Central Park © Kelly Kollar.

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

Following the Royals Through North America

BBC Travel - Passport Blog |  At the end of this month, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will embark on their first royal tour of North America.

The 11-day trip will begin in Canada’s National Capital Region (Ottawa, Ontario, Gatineau and Quebec) and continue into Montreal, Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, Alberta and then to the west coast of the United States. The exact itinerary for the American portion of their tour has yet to be released.

A source from St James’s Palace told People Magazine that the couple views this as a “working” trip. If you decide to trace their path, though, your royal trip can focus more on stylish luxury than “work”....

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A Royal Honeymoon in the Seychelles

seychellesjogjpg
BBC Travel
|  After months of secrecy, the news of where Prince William and Kate would spend their honeymoon finally leaked this week. Sources say the royal newlyweds are currently in the Seychelles for a 10-day trip.

Back in February, we named "Renting a private island in the Seychelles" as one of our "Five best getaways for a royal honeymoon". It appears we were prescient, since that's exactly what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did. Vladi Private Islands has said that it rented the secluded North Island to the royal family. Photo: Martin Harvey / Alamy.

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Royal Wedding Hotel Packages in London and U.S.

royal doughnut

While big, lavish nuptials hold limited charm for me (I eloped, and recommend it for its romance and intimacy), plenty of people are mad for all things wedding, and especially all things William and Kate. Even Dunkin Donuts, friend of the common man, is offering a heart-shaped tribute to the royal couple.

If you’re looking to celebrate the Royal Wedding with something more decadent than a doughnut, we’ve gathered some hotel package options.

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T+L on the Today Show: Hotel Getaways to Fall in Love With

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Oops, even if you missed the chance to sneak away for Valentine’s Day this year, there’s still time to redeem yourself and steal away with your loved one. After all, romance is a year-round affair, and what better way to celebrate togetherness than to escape to a dreamy hideaway?

T+L Features Editor Nilou Motamed’s top picks for a romantic hotel getaway are:

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Win a Trip for Two to Paris!

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Sick of Valentine’s Day? Even if you love to hate the holiday, you’d still accept a free trip to Paris, non?

If your answer is “OUI!” click over to NileGuide and enter their “Fall in Love with the City of Love” contest to win a trip for two to the City of Light. In addition to airfare and seven nights in a furnished luxury apartment courtesy of iStopover, the grand prize also includes dinner at the Les Deux Magots, tickets to the Eiffel Tower, and a visit to the Museé Rodin.

All you have to do is become a fan of NileGuide on Facebook and enter your contact information. C’est facile, n’est pas?

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Q&A: Most Romantic Experiences in Africa?

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Last year I had the pleasure of meeting the mother-daughter team behind Extraordinary Journeys. As their name implies, Marcia and Elizabeth Gordon (below) custom craft some pretty swoon-worthy adventures—to Africa, a place they know top to bottom (and all the secret spots in between) and that easily inspires dreamy visions of exotic animals, ancient baobab trees, and untamed landscapes where it’s impossible not to get away from it all.

201102-b-africa-1jpgSince my husband and I have a new baby and no real plans on deck for celebrating Valentine's Day this year, I thought I’d call on Elizabeth to share her expert tips—and provide me/Carry On with a vicarious dose of travel-inspired romance. Clip and save, dear readers. Sleeping under the stars on the Savannah beats a box of chocolates any day.

Question: In your opinion, what are some of the most romantic and memorable experiences in Africa?

Answers:

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