Trip Ideas

Supposedly Romantic Travel Experiences That Just Aren’t

Travel can certainly set the scene for romance. But what happens when it all goes wrong? In honor of Valentine's Day, we've nominated the bad, the worse and the seriously awkward experiences that will kill the mood (we're looking at you, creepy innkeepers).

See recent posts by Chelsea Stuart | Photo by Ira Lippke

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Couples Massages

You’re nude. Your partner slips out of his robe. This should be the beginning of some hot hotel action, but instead you’ve paid a premium NOT to touch each other and let strangers do it instead. When it comes to a couples treatment, it’s hard to relax. You’re lying there wondering, “What’s going on over there? Are they liking it? Is it weird we’re naked next to strangers? What if I fall asleep and start snoring/drooling?” Nope. We’ll take our spa treatments solo, thank you.

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Tasting Menus

It always sounds like a good idea, splurging on the 11 course tasting menu. And, hey, we’re on vacation, lets get the wine pairings, too. Then by course 8, your stomach is distended, you’re staring down a trifecta of cheese plates, cakes and mousses and the dizzying mash-up of truffles and duck fat, pork belly and pate has pretty much given you instant gout. But never fear, you’re unlikely to fully remember the $1200 experience because those generous wine pairings render everything hazy. Trust us, one good bottle of wine and some a la carte entrees will win almost every time.

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Ice Hotels

What you’re picturing: A glittering igloo, an ice bed draped in furs, cozying up beneath the northern lights with your one and only. What you haven’t counted on: Ice is hard. So no matter how much padding is down, you’re signing up for a stiff back. Ice is also cold, like really really cold. Lets just say you’ll want to keep on your PJs…and your long johns…and your parka. The more romantic option? A rustic lodge with a big ol’ fireplace and down blankets aplenty.

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Rose Petals on the Bed

Roses are almost always a great idea. They smell great, they’re beautiful to look at. By all means, fill a room with them. Just don’t throw the petals all over the bed. We don’t mean to be the Grinch who stole V-Day, but the dye ruins the sheets and can even stain your skin. And it’s a bit of a mood-killer to wake up with wilted petals stuck to various body parts.

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Bath Butlers

Relaxing in a big, ol’ tub with your someone sounds like the stuff vacation relaxation is made of. But does it strike anyone else as a bit creepy that someone sneaks into your room before your arrival (or, even more awkwardly, while you’re in the room), to draw an elaborate bath for two? And so often by the time they’ve filled the thing up and headed out, the water’s lukewarm? Instead, why not turn on the spigot yourself, throw in some bubble bath, surprise your partner. Just leave the poor butler out of it.

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Minibar Sex Kits

We all know what goes on in a hotel room. But we don’t like thinking of what other people have gotten up to…in This. Very. Hotel. Room. Cheesy in-room minibar kits make us aware of the people that have been here before us and it takes away the mystery of it all. Besides, if you need anything but the booze in the minibar to get things going, then the hotel needs to seriously work on its mood lighting.

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Exhibitionist Bathrooms

The idea: a steamy glass wall is all that separates you from your partner in the shower. The reality? Mystery is far more attractive than over-exposure (let that be a lesson to you Kardashian clan). Begone glass-walled bathrooms. Let us floss, pluck and beautify in peace.

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Bed and Breakfasts

An idyllic little inn. A glass of wine or three by a fireplace. A porch swing at sunset. There are so many things a bed and breakfast can do well. But there are also two wild cards: 1. A potentially over-chatty and/or nosy inn-keeper and 2. Potentially over-chatty and/or nosy guests. Because bed and breakfasts often require more social interaction than your average hotel, you're at the mercy of the personalities around you. That is, until you can escape back up to your room to laugh about it later!



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