valentines day

Hearts. Chocolate. Heart-shaped chocolate. Sometimes Valentine’s Day can feel just a little bit same-y. But that’s probably because you’re not doing it right. Rather than soppy sentiment, clued-up lovers are escaping the city and whisking their loved ones off on cheeky mini-breaks, from sexy soirées in Paris to stripping off in Vegas. Here, we reveal the cities worth celebrating in, albeit with added bang.

Do it beside the seaside

Brighton, UK

Just an hour’s train ride from the capital, Brighton – dubbed ‘London-on-sea’ – proves that you don’t need to go away to get away. Forget notions of walking along the pier with a bag of chips in chilly February and head straight to the cosy and chic Hotel Pelirocco, dubbed the city’s ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ hotel and hands-down the naughtiest spot on the seaside. All of the 19 small but saucily themed rooms set the scene for passion but it is the signature Lover’s Lair that really rises to the occasion: lip-biting features include an 8ft round bed with mirrored ceiling, a dedicated pole dancing area and a quirky courtyard for al-fresco fun. Better still, the hotel’s signature suite comes with its own private entrance for discreet comings and goings. We’ll put money on there being more of the former.

One night in Paris

Paris, France

A quickie trip on the EuroStar, chilled flute of Laurent-Perrier in-hand, and you’re in gay Paris: a beautiful backdrop to many a love story – and indeed, dirty weekend away. Add more, er, amour at Hôtel Amour in the Pigalle – once the red-light district but now really rather hip – which has stood the test of time as one of the city’s first boutique hotels. Sexy, black-walled corridors lead their way to 20 rooms decked out by prolific artists and designers – Marc Newson, Terry Richardson et al – where mirrored disco balls, leather accents, erotic photography and phallic furniture come as standard. Thankfully, rooms aren’t rented by the hour, and are beloved by a reassuringly affluent crowd. Downstairs is a dimly-lit and decadent restaurant set beneath a shimmering glass ceiling where you can exchange lustful looks between forkfuls of tartare de boeuf with other gorgeous guests. Ménage à trois, anyone?

Strip on the strip

Las Vegas, US

The clue’s in the name when it comes to ‘sin city’ – full of vice and all things very nice – and what happens in Vegas certainly should stay in Vegas when it comes to the Exotic Suite at the Palms Casino Resort. The 1,450-foot suite comes with rotating bed for sexy selfies at all angles, a bar area bedecked with scarlet-red couches on which to small talk, and a ‘show shower’ complete with stripper pole and nightclub-inspired lighting for getting dirty while scrubbing clean. It’s multi-tasking at its raciest. With drinks on-demand and a prime position on the neon strip, it’s got erogenous zone written all over it for couples that are more 50 shades than 50 red roses. We challenge you not to be seduced.

Put on a show

Berlin, Germany

Enjoy your very own petting zoo by sleeping in one of two cages in the Two Lions Room at Propeller Island City Lodge. Where else, but Berlin? Set on stilts a metre-and-a-half off the ground with just a curtain between you and your neighbours, this accommodation – made from real lion cages – is for all-out exhibitionists, so go with an open mind and loose morals. From the toilet in the bathroom, guests are also able to sneak a peak of the bathtub, a glittering old affair that simply begs for bubbles. Avant-garde and awesome in equal measure, the hotel has been dubbed ‘a work of art’, other rooms containing twin coffins and walls clad entirely in mirrors. It’s weird, it’s wonderful, and it’ll put the spark straight back into stale relationships.

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