Urban Classics

Maison Orleans, New Orleans
Recently, when a suitor turned up, ring in hand, the butler took over: rose petals were cast about the guest room, torch songs were cued up on the stereo, candles were lit, and a bottle of bubbly was put on ice. All must have gone well. When the prospective fiancée arrived, the couple weren't seen again for two days. 904 Iberville St., New Orleans, La.; 504/670-2900;; doubles from $385.

Hôtel San Regis, Paris
If there's a more discreet hotel in the French capital, someone has yet to find it. The perfectly petite town house, in the Eighth Arrondissement, is decorated with 19th-century antiques and designer fabrics. For Valentine's Day, the hotel is slashing the rates on its deluxe rooms. If that's not reason enough to jet to Paris and celebrate a love affair, what is?12 Rue Jean-Goujon, Paris; 33-1/44-95-16-16;; $900 for three nights between February 12 and 16, including champagne, roses, and breakfast.

Hotel Astoria, St. Petersburg
Rooms in the newly renovated Rocco Forte gem are done up crisply, yet luxury prevails: acres of linen color the walls; marble bathrooms glitter and shine. In the five Presidential Suites, night owls can watch from the window as winter snow sifts through the trees. Or they can nap in an oversized brass bed and listen to bells ring out against a silent night. 39 Bolshaya Morskaya, St. Petersburg, Russia; 7-812/313-5757;; doubles from $290.

Anassa, Cyprus
From the little notes left on your pillow (like this one, quoting Picasso: "Love is the greatest refreshment in life"), to the sunset sailing trips, Anassa takes romance seriously. It should—the goddess of love was born near here. Many of the 177 suites have private pools—where the two of you can re-enact the ancient myth of Adonis and Aphrodite. Neo Chorion, Cyprus; 800/323-7500 or 357-6/888-000;; doubles from $260.

Emiliano, São Paulo
The sumptuous lobby is all warm tones, stained woods, and soaring ceilings. Bathtubs are extra-deep, beds are oversized, toiletries are deliciously infused with tropical Brazilian fruits. Best of all, guests are welcomed with a complimentary massage. Let the seduction begin. 384 Rua Oscar Freire, São Paulo, Brazil; 55-11/3069-4369;; doubles from $300.

Sofitel Metropole, Hanoi
For a full century, the lush gardens and white colonial grandeur of the Metropole have made it the hotel of choice in the Vietnamese capital. (Charlie Chaplin even honeymooned here.) In the old days, diplomats and writers had conspiratorial chats over French cuisine, comforted not by in-room mini-bars or saunas but by a hotel bomb shelter. Though renovations have added rooms and facilities, the historic allure is still intact—and the bomb shelter, too. 15 Ngo Quyen St., Hanoi, Vietnam; 84-4/826-6919;; doubles from $122.