By Jay Lloyd

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – C’mon. Do an overnighter. After all, Valentines Day comes only once a year. So, in the name of love, make it memorable. It can be as close as a Philly boutique hotel or a Gotham Getaway. My favorites? Here’s a half-dozen.


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Cleopatra’s Needle Jazz (Jay Lloyd)

One look at the Lucerne Hotel near Central Park and you’ll feel the gilded age of New York City. You’ll step into a world of Astors and Vanderbilts at a 1903 apartment hotel where New York society lived and out-of-town notables stayed. The facade is still 20th century, but the amenities are 21st. On the ground floor, lovers who prefer not to stray far will find Nice Matin, a fine French restaurant with a Mediterranean spin. That gives it the license to wander into Italian and North African fare geared to American palates. But for a Valentine visit, after a night at the nearby Lincoln Center for Opera or Cleopatra’s Needle for Jazz, Mary and I stop at the Nice Matin bar for a quiet nightcap and a delicious Creme Brulee.

Nice Matin Creme Brulee (Jay Lloyd)


Congress Hall (Jay Lloyd)

I remember Cape May when winter emptied the streets and only 2 bars and one eatery opened their doors. Now, the weekend closest to Valentines Day is often a sellout. But with V-Day on a weekday, give the Congress Hall, with its beachfront location, a try. Here’s 19th century elegance, updated with a spa, fine dining and a bar that draws both visitors and locals for top shelf cocktails and quiet conversation. Depending on the weather, a couples walk on the beach or an indoor massage sets the tone.



Penn’s Landing (Jay Lloyd)

Keep it close to home, but with city sophistication, Delaware River views and a dynamic location. The cozy Penn’s View Hotel, a long time KYW haunt sits just off Market Street on Front. It’s a short stroll to ice skating or river gazing at Penn’s Landing. The rooms whisper elegance with a romantic touch. The in-house restaurant, Panorama is the in-place for wine sipping and the popular flights of samplers. Make dinner reservations in advance, they can become scarce. The menu is tantalizing. Where else can you find a falling-off-the-bone beef shank appetizer and a Baba Rum for dessert. And with the profusion of Old City restaurants within a few blocks, maybe just a wine flight night-cap with that Italian rum cake to share.



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Penn’s Landing (Jay Lloyd)

The solid stone building, framed by Buttonwoods conveys a timeless image. It has been a waypoint that marked the crossroads village of Lahaska in Bucks County since the early 19th century. The Golden Plough now looks out on Peddler’s Village, a  collection of boutique shops and restaurants that have grown on the outskirts of New Hope. But the Inn has retained an old world flavor in facade and furnishings. The rooms and suites are generous in size and built for comfort. Our added incentive for an overnight stay is the location, directly across the street from Earl’s, an eatery with a focus on steaks and a talent for sea treats. The bar is a local favorite and a mood creating stop before dinner and again, after. Remember, your tuck-in is just across the street.



Woodside Inn (Rick Buckman photo)

For lovers who just happen to be skiers and favor a Valentines Day getaway with outdoor action, the mini-suites, lounge and restaurant at Woodside Lodge outside of Schwenksville is the ticket. It part and parcel of adjacent Spring Mountain.  Just a short drive around the mountain and you go from breakfast to ski lifts in minutes. A before dinner drink back at the lodge and a menu of familiar fin, fur and feather favorites caps a memorable day and evening, close to most suburban homes.




Named for a quaint village in the hills of Tuscany overlooking Florence in Italy, the Hotel Fiesole is a dab of luxury in the heart of Skippack. It was once the popular Trolley Stop eatery – the trolley is still there and serves as a comfortable bar for an evening starter before dinner in one of the two highly regarded Fiesole restaurants. go upscale in elegant carpeted surroundings at Mistral or casual against a rustic backdrop at Bella Rosa, both menus take their cue from the Italian namesake. After dinner, the rooms provide a deep pillow retreat in quiet country luxury.


Whether it’s a big city getaway or country escape – this Valentines Day can easily be a memory-maker.

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