By Carol Cain, on December 17, 2013

Winter romance in New York City

It’s getting chilly and as temperatures continue to drop, couples are finding it harder to canoodle outside in the cold. So what is one to do when looking to get their romance on in New York City in the winter?

I have a few recommendations for you to venture into the city to keep warm with your hottie by your side. Here are some of my favorites, starting with how to kick-off your romantic experience.

Couples Spa

The treatments offered for couples at the Claudalíe Spa at The Plaza are limited, but still very extravagant. Claudalíe is celebrated worldwide for its wine spa treatments and products. The ambiance is intimate, luxurious, and feels like a world away from the high energy of the city outside. Couples can enjoy 50 or 80-minute massages and a 15-minute treatment in their “barrel bath”, which is essentially a Jacuzzi experience that can be completely uninterrupted by the staff, except for the occasional wine glass served during your time there.

There are a lot of things I enjoy about the Aura Wellness Spa, like the fact that they have their own separate couples treatment area. But their steam (or treatment) grottoes are my favorite. There’s something sexy about grottoes in my opinion (is that weird?) and Aura is the only place in New York City that has them to my knowledge. Sure, it’s freaking hot in there, but what’s not to like about sweating it out with your lover?


When I think of romantic restaurants, I am not thinking long lines, crowded eateries, and pricy menus. Thus, there might be a few places on my list of most romantic restaurants that are purposefully excluded.

Balthazar in Soho, however, is not one of them. This popular eatery is well-visited and well-known for its ambiance, décor, and delicious food. But it remains on the top of my list because when it comes to flirting over a huge cup of joe or getting things started with a large serving of oysters and wine, this is the place to be. Plus, feeling like you are actually in a French bistro is a nice touch. For a well-planned romantic experience, check out the place before your date to find your ideal table spot and reserve it.

Perbacco on the Lower East Side is small, cozy, and very Italian. So much so that you can expect to hear a lot of it spoken during your visit. Reserve a table by the window and ask the server to assist in a wine pairing for your meal. Better yet, choose the tasting menu option. The chef has a wonderful presentation and selection to offer. Its candlelit ambiance, along with friendly service and a great wine selection, makes any cool New York City night seem like a scene out of a romantic movie.

Skating at Rockefeller Center

Viewfinder Tip: Central Park, even when covered in snow, is probably one of the most perfect spots to make out, while skating at Rockefeller Center is actually less romantic and way more stressful than the movies make it out to be.


Of course, at some point, you might just want to get a room, literally. For me, the perfect hotel not only has to offer room service, but also have a fabulous brunch nearby, or better yet, on-site, so that the walk of shame to your next cup of coffee is limited to only a few steps.

The Ritz Carlton at Battery Park also has a wonderful restaurant in-house that serves up one of the best brunches around. Just a heads up, however, that you might want to straighten out all the wrinkles before heading over to eat. I have all too often been looking a little off while bumping into celebrities there. Battery Park itself is a bit more remote than most hotels in the city, so if you are looking for a bit of solitude while wrapped up in the fine luxury and service for which The Ritz is known, this is the place to be.

When I think back at my stay at the Hotel Giraffe on Park Avenue South and 26th Street, there are two things I remember the most: the complimentary fruit and wine at the lobby and being woken up on a rainy Sunday morning by the soft flow of the curtains being blown by the wind that came through the French windows off our private balcony. The soft glow of morning light in the warm, intimate room was quite possibly one of the most romantic New York City images I have. The hotel was also featured as one of Mr. Big’s stomping grounds in several Sex and The City episodes. Talk about sexy.

The truth is New York City at any time of the year serves as a beautiful backdrop for romantic escapes and at the end of the day, whether in a fancy restaurant or a dive, if the chemistry is there, then nothing else really matters.Just remember to keep that hotel list handy.

What are your romantic spots in the city?