Spanish Castle Magic Castillo de Monda Near the rustic Spanish coastline and in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, is old. We’re not just talking “Julius Caesar once hung out there” old—we mean “Phoenicians strolled these grounds” old. It’s changed hands many times over the years and was used as both a shelter and a fort while the Catholics and Moors struggled for power.
If for no other reason, the altitude will make a night at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai one to remember. Occupying the 53rd through 87th floors of the city’s Jin Mao Tower, the rooms are high enough that you might even think you’re seeing a little slice of heaven (or maybe just a clean spot above the city’s smog).
Dutch Treat: Bedding Down in Amsterdam
Room 702 of the Hilton Amsterdam is where newlyweds John Lennon and Yoko Ono held the first in a series of “Bed-Ins for Peace” in 1969. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., reporters clamored to be the first into the suite, assuming that the honeymooning Ono-Lennons, who had already appeared naked on the cover of their joint release Two Virgins, would be engaged in a naked, febrile, Vietnam-protesting, 12-hour-long clinch for the cameras.
My choice for Valentine’s Day!
The Hotel Baltschug Kempinski On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
The Cold War may be over, but there’s still something about putting on a tight gray suit or mod dress and slinking through the chilly, glittering streets of Moscow that will always evoke sexy foreign intrigue. Whether you choose to play CIA, MI6, KGB, or even a double agent, the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski, a five-star luxury palace on the banks of the Moskva River, is for you and your partner. Taken over by the state tourist agency during the Soviet era, it was remodeled in 1992 to reflect the “new era of prosperity and luxurious living.”
Midnight at the Oasis-Korakia Pensione
It used to be that in order to achieve the kind of expat chic cultivated by literary icons like longtime Morocco residents Paul and Jane Bowles, couples had to put down that Pottery Barn catalog, get off the couch, and actually leave the country. These days, your own personal Tangiers can be had much closer to home. Korakia Pensione, in Palm Springs, Calif., is a faux-Moroccan villa built in 1924 for the painter Gordon Coutts (a Scotsman who traveled through and painted the deserts of North Africa). Over the years, guests as fabled as Errol Flynn and Winston Churchill have relaxed in the shade of olive trees and date palms and allowed the calming fountains’ trickling to soothe their skull-melting hangovers.