Hearts. Roses. Intimate candle-lit dinners. Dates. Movies. These things conjure up one thing: Romance. In a few days it will be Valentine’s Day, and while many scoff at the day, saying that it is an overrated celebration, that is not the mindset of people who embrace the whole idea of romance and everything romantic (and possibly erotic), such as E.L. James’ bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey, which has been adapted into film. The novel itself and its film adaptation, which will hit theaters on Valentine’s Day, are being criticized for glamouring BDSM (Bondage & Discipline/Dominance & Submission/Sado-Masochism). Still the story provides inspiration for romantic interludes in different places. Here’s a look at some of the places that Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey turned into their own private love nests.
Le Méridien Beach Plaza, Monte Carlo
Christian Grey and Ana Steele went to Monte Carlo on their honeymoon, but they did not exactly spend it at the Le Méridien Beach Plaza. However, they had a few hours at this venue, enjoying the afternoon sun at the exclusive beach resort. From the Le Méridien Beach Plaza Hotel it is easy to walk towards Monaco’s top tourist attractions. You might however find it hard to leave the hotel, as it is such a serene place in a throbbing and pulsating city like Monaco. The architecture of the hotel makes full use of the breathtaking views of Monaco or the Mediterranean Sea, with its picture windows and ample-sized terraces that you access privately. Enrich your stay at the hotel by using the whole gamut of its top-notch facilities. Likewise it is the only hotel located in Monte Carlo that owns a private beach for which the clients are given direct access. You can arrange to have a massage while enjoying the serenity, privacy and the cool breeze of the beach.
There are several dining options within the hotel complex and the most popular one is L’Intempo Restaurant, a fine dining restaurant that is open 24 hours a day. If you miss your regular workout while on holiday, the hotel has a two-storey health club, a sauna, and three pools. There are activities you can enjoy outside of the hotel, including golf, surfing, windsurfing, motor boating, parasailing and water skiing. You could also rent a scooter or a moped to explore areas nearby. If you prefer to walk, you can reach the Opera in 20 minutes and the Monaco National Museum in just seven minutes.
Brown’s Hotel, London
London was Ana Steele’s dream honeymoon destination and Christian Grey did not disappoint. London was one of their stops in their extended honeymoon and they stayed at the five-star luxury hotel in Mayfair, London – Brown’s Hotel that oozes with traditional English charm with modern comforts and amenities. The hotel first opened its doors in 1837.Brown’s Hotel had catered to many famous guests through the years. Its location is in one of London’s most exclusive neighborhoods, with a high concentration of five star hotels, gorgeous residential areas, high-end restaurants and major shopping areas, including Oxford Street, Jermyn Street, Regent Street and the highly famous Bond Street.
The hotel has 88 rooms and 29 suites. All rooms have complimentary interactive entertainment gadgets, docking stations for Apple gadgets and Wi-Fi connection. All its bathrooms are lined with Carrara marble, Bisazza mosaic and Bush hammered limestone. The suites come with VIP amenities and complimentary spa treatments.It has a traditional English Tea Room that offers light snacks and specialty teas, and a modern restaurant called Hix Mayfair that serves the extraordinary creations of Chef Mark Hix. Donovan Bar is famous for its cocktails, and entertains its guests with live jazz performances.
Brown’s Hotel also boasts of having the best spa treatments in the London area and a 24-hour gym for the fitness-conscious guests. Brown’s Hotel is also a great venue for events and meetings, with its renowned attention to detail for superbly memorable wedding receptions, intimate dinners and other events. Moreover it has a business centre for the use of its busy clientele.
The Fair Lady, French Riviera
The Fair Lady is a 36.88m/121ft luxury yacht where Christian and Ana spent a large part of their honeymoon at the French Riviera. The Fair Lady first set sail in the 1920s and have already gone through a comprehensive refit in 2013 to faithfully and carefully preserve the original style of the yacht despite having modern features. The yacht has an ample-sized sun deck and dining areas located on two decks. It offers total relaxation in great comfort and style, with a lower deck that could accommodate eight persons. Forward are two single cabins that share one big guest bathroom plus a large master stateroom equipped with settees, an en suite bathroom and a writing bureau. Aft are two self-contained double guest cabins. One of the cabins has twin beds and one has a double bed. Each of them has en suite WC and shower. With its many water sport options, passengers have plenty of things to keep them occupied throughout the voyage. Flat out it can go for 12 knots and has a 10 knot- cruising speed.
The charter yacht is designed for comfort and elegance, suitable for luxurious entertaining and socialising, with its living areas installed with opulent seating features, lovely furnishings and great styling that seems dateless. The beautiful yacht can have six crew on board to cater to guests. The staterooms have air conditioning and Wi-Fi access.
Le Saint Paul Hotel: Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
While on their honeymoon, Ana and Christian spent some time at the Le Saint Paul Hotel in the picturesque village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, situated on a hilltop in Provence, France. The hotel’s terrace provided a charming backdrop while they were having lunch and coffee afterwards. Ana even spent some time shopping at the village where old-time cafés, boutiques and galleries abound.
The village itself is very attractive, and the hotel is legendary within Côte d’Azur. It’s a place that attracts leading artists, such as Marc Chagall who live in the area from 1948 until his death in 1985. The locale is a favourite artist haunt thus there are numerous sculpture and painting galleries lining the area just right outside the hotel.
Le Saint Paul brings you back in time, where you can experience the best in sophistication and hospitality in the French tradition, something that’s akin to the world of legends and myths. The breathtaking views of the strikingly beautiful plain and the Mediterranean alone are worth the stay. Furthermore, you’ll be completely satisfied with the array of savoury regional dishes served on the sunny, flower-decked terrace that overlooks the labyrinth of alleyways and cobbled streets below. The light and airy rooms speak of understated luxury and elegance and you can have your tea either in your own private terrace or in the hotel’s lounge. Its two dining rooms simply echo the feeling of romance.
Palace of Versailles, France
Touring the Parisian sights, Christian and Ana visited the Palace of Versailles and were awed with the grandeur of the most famous room in the palace, the Hall of Mirrors. The palace or the Château de Versailles has long been on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. It is one of the most beautiful architectural examples of French art during the 18th century. It started off as a hunting lodge of Louis XIII before it was expanded and transformed by Louis XIV and became the seat of the French government and royal court around 1682. It became more beautiful through the improvements added by the other French Kings who lived in the palace.
Now open to the public as a museum, some of the highlights of a visit to the Palace of Versailles are the Museum of the History of France, the Grand Apartments of the King and the Hall of Mirrors. The latter is a fantastic hallway that is now used daily by visitors and is often used as a meeting and waiting place. The 73-metre long hallway showcased the artistic, economic and political success of France, demonstrated in the 30 compositions in the arch. The French economic prosperity during that time is shown by the quantity and size of the 357 mirrors decorating the hall’s 17 arches while the country’s artistic success was depicted by the beautiful pillars made of the famed red marble from France.
Gliding in Georgia
Christian and Ana Grey’s honeymoon was truly one exhilarating and romantic experience that was also full of surprises. One of the surprises Christian gave to Ana was their gliding excursion in Georgia. North Georgia is one of the best places to go gliding. Lookout Mountain has a hang gliding school located at the Lookout Mountain Flight Park. It is just northwest of the state, close to the Tennessee and Alabama borders. Although there are many hang gliding schools in the U.S., the Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding School boasts of having trained more people and being the country’s largest flight park.
The park offers several packages that cater to those new to the sport of hang gliding as well as experts. Facilities include bunny hills and a state-of-the-art launch pad at Lookout Mountain’s apex. Towing of gliders is via an ultralight aircraft.
If you are new to the sport, the school offers tandem flights where you can soar about 4,000 feet above the ground. You will be strapped into the glider with an instructor. A tow cable attaches the glider to the ultralight plane. When you’ve reached the required height, the glider is released to allow you and the instructor to glide freely. All you have to do is to enjoy the breathtaking view and obey the instructor so you could have a safe landing about 20 minutes later. A remote camera attached to the wing tip will take pictures of you and the scenery.