WHEN CHOCOLATES SIMPLY AREN'T ENOUGH
Getting besieged by hotels all over the world offering Valentine's Day deals. A little overwhelming, and how do they all have my email address, anyway? Do they think Toronto Star readers care about the latest Comfort Inn in Fresno, California?
Anyway, there are lots of deals out there for you and your sweetie, of whatever style that might be. Plenty of places offer up roses and rose petal baths, as well as Champagne and truffles and all that. What got MY attention was a story that the Affinia Hotel chain was offering "naughty and nice" packages in the Big Apple, Chicago and Washington D.C. so guests can play out their "friskiest fantasies." Included is an "Agent Provocatuer Strip Poker Set," which could result in some hot times and melted chocolates you would think.
ST. MORITZ ON SALE
Badrutt's Palce Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, is offering a 40 per cent reduction on regular ski package rates. Of course, the bad news is you have to stay in a dump like St. Moritz. Note to chamber of commerce: Just Kidding. I love Switzerland and Swiss people and have many friends over there, including a great couple I met in Hawaii (sorry to brag) last week. He's a funny guy - Marco Rima - and he's a famous Swiss comedian and an actor who's making a hockey movie, so that makes him an honorary Canadian. He's promising to take me out to play golf in Switzerland some time, so that would be kinda fun. Don't associate golf with Switzerland, somehow. He warned me that they don't take kindly to shirts being out of place or any other sort of rules being broken. Which isn't surprising. I like the Swiss but a friend in Lausanne used to regale me with stories about being taken to task for trying to use the laundry facilities in her apartment building on ... wait for it ... something other than her prescribed day of the week and time. My goodness, people dousing their clothes with soap at all hours, it just can't be allowed.
EVEN BETTER THAN AIR CANADA MUFFINS
Boy, this hurts. Got a note a minute ago saying that a top chef from Italy, Luisa Valazza will create menus for First and Business Class passengers on Lufthansa’s long-haul flights. This is what the PR agency wrote: "Passengers travelling in First Class will have a choice of starters including select medium rare saddle of veal with Piedmont style parsley oil and vegetable jelly, followed by a main course of fried turbot in red wine sauce with Romanesco broccoli and Venus rice, or hazelnut-crusted tenderloin of beef served with balsamic sauce, mushrooms and creamy polenta. In Business Class, the innovative Italian chef will treat passengers to an appetizing menu consisting of salmon confit with carrot orange sauce and Venus rice, followed, for instance, by roasted poulard in savoury malted jus with carrots and mashed potatoes and, to conclude the meal, Amaretti chocolate flan."
And you thought it was great to get those little snack packs of apple slices from Air Canada and United, didn't you?
Here's another good promotion, from the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon, Portugal. Seems they're offering to let guests jump into a motorcycle sidecar so they can "zoom along 14th century cobblestong streets" and "take in Moorish, castles, monuments, monasteries and all the alleyways and lookouts too tight for cars."
Sounds almost as much fun as driving a Chevy Impala around Yonge and Sheppard, doesn't it?
When you spot the perfect picture, the professional photographer who's accompanying you on your zippy ride (presumably he or she is the driver, not sitting in the sidecar with you getting friendly) will hop out and show you how to get the most from your camera; kinda like Star photographer Richard Lautens does in his monthly reports on the star.com/travel.
Except he doesn't ride around on motorcycles in Portugal. At least not this week.