From overnight stays in the lavish Empire Suite to amorous dinners at Astor Court and indulgent couples’ treatments at Remède Spa, love abounds at The St. Regis Atlanta this season. – By Kristin Devoto
Winter in Atlanta brings the coldest days of the year, with low temperatures and icy winds that whip down Peachtree Street. The best way to warm up is to grab your sweetheart and get cozy. At The St. Regis Atlanta, romance is in full swing this winter season.
Whether you’re visiting for the day or staying longer, there are many routes to romance, from ice skating to fine dining and exclusive luxury suites.
“The Astor Ice Rink can be fun and very romantic,” says concierge Louis Wood. Open from Nov. 21 through Jan. 2, the Astor Holiday Ice Skating Rink is a winter wonderland. Located in the 40,000-square-foot Pool Piazza, the tented ice skating rink transforms the space into a frozen playground, just right for the young at heart. Imagine bundling up in scarves and gloves, arriving at the beautifully decorated ice rink and strapping on your ice skates. You might sneak a kiss before leading your partner onto the ice and gliding off hand in hand, with cheerful holiday music in the background.
After whirling and twirling around the sleek rink, it’s time for some refreshments. You’ll be sure to find just the right libation on the Winter Wonderland Holiday Collection menu. Perhaps a classic hot chocolate will satisfy, like the Astor Holiday Hot Cocoa, served with whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate shavings and sprinkles.
If something stronger sounds just right, the peppermint hot chocolate (hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps) or Celebration Cider (spicy apple cider with St. Regis personal selection Woodford Reserve bourbon) should do the trick. And no winter skating escapade is complete without a little snack. The St. Regis S’mores Experience is available at the Astor Rink, which includes the traditional chocolate and graham crackers with specialty marshmallows in flavors like peppermint, cinnamon and vanilla.
Couples can ensure that the Astor Rink will never be crowded; to maintain a comfortable skating experience, only 30 skaters are allowed on the ice at one time. If guests prefer a more bespoke experience, Wood also suggests reserving the Astor Rink, lending to a more private and intimate experience. To ensure a seamless arrival, reservations are encouraged.
Experience the Empire
While every stay at The St. Regis Atlanta is an experience in luxury, there’s one suite that Wood suggests for romance above all others. “The Empire Suite is the St. Regis version of a penthouse suite,” Wood says. “It’s incredibly huge at almost 3,000 square feet with a separate chef’s kitchen and separate dining room. It has its own exercise room, even a grand piano. It’s far and away separate from any other space in the resort.”
The exclusive Empire Suite is the finest The St. Regis Atlanta has to offer, and the perfect setting for a romantic escape. Once you and your sweetheart are ensconced in the Empire Suite, you won’t need to leave.
Additionally, it’s possible to arrange an entire evening in the Empire Suite, Wood explains. The concierge desk can assist with setting up a violinist, or other musician, as well as flower arrangements and a private dinner. The ultimate in exclusivity, a stay in the Empire Suite is sure to encourage romance.
“It evokes a very elegant and upscale, very luxurious feeling,” Wood says.
Celebrate your love St. Regis style this winter season. This year, let The St. Regis Atlanta help you craft a Valentine’s Day celebration to be remembered with the Suite Memories Overnight Experience package.
The scene will already be set for enchantment; kindling the romantic fire will be up to you. Tailor your experience to your taste by selecting an intimate private dining experience, or venture out of your suite to enjoy the culinary offerings of Astor Court and handcrafted cocktails in The St. Regis Bar.
While staying in residence, guests will enjoy, among other unparalleled services offered by the resort, luxury accommodations in a St. Regis or
Caroline Astor Suite; food and beverage credits; complimentary valet parking; and assorted chocolate truffles as well as heart shaped macarons upon check-in. To reserve this special package, please call 866-716-8116.
Though there’s only one Empire Suite, all of the rooms at the resort are elegantly appointed and feature marble bathrooms with luxurious soaking tubs. To ensure the most romantic experience possible from the second they cross the threshold, many guests turn to the concierge. “They ask us regularly,” Wood says. “People do come and ask us for help having flowers or cake sent to the room.”
When they ask for suggestions on setting up romantic surprises, Wood has a somewhat surprising answer.
“I often suggest that it doesn’t have to be extravagant,” he says. “We don’t need diamonds by the yard. One woman loved M&Ms, so we arranged M&Ms in crystal bowls around the room, and she was thrilled. I always suggest thinking of their favorite CD, perfume or candy. Often, they end up going with the standards of Champagne and roses.”
Or, if a more extravagant surprise is planned that may involve a little bit more preparation beforehand, butlers and the concierge can help with arrangements, Wood explains.
For a decadent pampering experience with your loved one, head to the Remède Spa on the resort’s sixth floor. Spa manager Genny Holden suggests a couples massage for a serene escape for two.
“Guests book far in advance to enjoy our couples suite for a couples massage and a Jacuzzi bath,” Holden says. “We include rose petals and candles to make our guests’ experiences more memorable.”
To take it to the next level, consider the Remède Spa Shared Indulgence Package, a two-and-a- half-hour pampering session designed for couples. The package includes both a customized facial and customized massage for two.
If a guest has a special surprise in mind, the spa staff is eager to make it happen. “We have many special requests from our guests throughout the year at Remède,” Holden says. “Other guests will want a romantic lunch poolside or in the couples suite to celebrate their special occasion. We have arranged food, beverages, special cards, flowers, snacks and more for our guests to surprise their loved ones or guests.”
Overlooking The St. Regis Atlanta’s resort lobby and crystal chandelier, Astor Court is the perfect setting to let the romance flow, with its rich persimmon hues and intimate ambiance. Additionally, with its array of cuisine selections and sweet libations, it’s ideal for cozying up with your sweetheart, sharing a few different plates of food and swapping heartfelt conversations.
“I think sharing creates a romantic mood,” says Executive Chef Joseph Trevino. “I create plates that people can share from each other and taste. I do think food creates romance, especially appetizers.”
In that vein, Trevino has added several new appetizers to the menu, all perfect for sharing. Guests may enjoy the green garbanzo hummus, served with artisanal olives, roasted peppers and grilled flatbreads. Trevino says it’s perfect for guests to share, taste and interact over.
Dessert, he says, can also be a sensual part of the meal. “I always think of deep, dark chocolate. The chocolate ganache cake with winter berries really comes to mind and is perfect for sharing.”
As to what should be sipped, Trevino lays out guidelines for food and wine pairings. “First and most important is tasting,” he says. “Focus on what’s new and interesting.”
Second, throw out “rules.” “It’s passe to assume a pinot noir will always go with tenderloin,” he explains. “We’ve gotten creative with varietals and try to provide unique choices that will push the boundaries of what guests might choose.”
For his own idea of the perfect winter food and wine pairing, Trevino selects strong tastes. “On a cold winter day, I like a robust, spicy wine,” he says. “Maybe a hard-hitting Oregon pinot noir.”
From ice skating in a winter wonderland to being pampered in the spa, or simply enjoying the elegant rooms, the resort sets the scene for an inspired romantic getaway. Ignite your romance at The St. Regis Atlanta this winter season.