NYSD’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Getting the right gift for that special someone for Valentine’s Day is never easy. Here are some romantic gift ideas that should hopefully help.

Everyone likes to be pampered especially when it is beneficial for one’s health which is exactly why spas have skyrocketed in popularity. Both the Mandarin Oriental Spa, located near the West Side’s Time Warner Center and the Red Door Spa on 5th Avenue have rooms for couples massages and offer joint manicures and pedicures. If you have never had a massage, or it has been awhile since you have had one, don’t be surprised if you experience some discomfort. The cliche, “no pain, no gain” may have been uttered by someone on a massage therapist’s table!

Given the rough winter that we have experienced, getting away to a warmer climate for a long weekend can be therapeutic in a number of ways. The Ritz-Carlton in South Beach is a full service resort whose beachfront Di Lido Restaurant has won numerous culinary awards. If you want to go to Miami but are leery of the hustle-bustle of South Beach, the Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne, near where President Nixon owned a home, offers more seclusion.

Another romantic getaway idea is to fly out to San Diego and stay at either the Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla or the Torrey Pines Lodge just up the road from the village of La Jolla. Both are located a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean and offer great sunset views as well as a chance to observe up close local marine mammals as seals, sea lions, and even whales.

Forest Hills-based discount airline JetBlue flies from JFK to Fort Lauderdale (located 15 miles north of Miami) and to San Diego.

Planning a trip is always a good time to think about getting new luggage. Atlantic Luggage’s 22″ Ultra Light Upright fits in the airline overhead compartments. If you want something larger and sturdier, Lands End’s 27″ Lighthouse Upright will do the trick.

Of course you don’t have to watch vintage Woody Allen movies to know that staying in New York City can be very romantic as well. The Spirit of New York Cruise Lines offer both terrific dining and on-board entertainment as you sail around the city. Statue Cruises offers boat rides from Battery Park to obviously the Statue of Liberty and to Ellis Island and the company has started a Murder Mystery Dinner boat ride in which passengers interact with the actors.

Speaking of interacting with entertainers, The Ride, a bus tour around Manhattan that just started up this past fall, brings comedians and singers on board and has specially placed street entertainers at various stops. Another option is the New York Pass, a card that allows you unlimited access to a variety of attractions such as museums and behind-the-scenes tours such as the legendary NBC Tour. The trick is that the card is only good for a limited amount of time, such as for a day or for a week, depending on the price.

Let’s talk about those old romantic standbys, flowers and candy. Miami-based Heinauflowers.com claims that they produce beautiful bouquets that can last up to one year with minimum maintenance. Ferrero has long been a respected name in the chocolate business and its Ferrero Collection comes in a heart-shaped box for effect. If you are a fan of gourmet cupcakes and want them shipped to your home, log on to www.alicesteacup.com or www.oohlalacandy.com.

Long Island designer Nancy Rosen has created a line of inexpensive necklaces and earrings based on what those comedically self-absorbed participants of Bravo’s various “Real Housewives Of” series, which she calls naturally, Housewives Jewelry. A good product to have if your jewelry looks a bit tarnished is Shine by Colle. Shine is a mousse that rejuvenates your valuables.

Handbags can run the gamut in price and quality. Vera Bradley’s bags have long been a favorite of women for their practicality, fun designs and low price points. Their main drawback is that they are not waterproof. Treesje’s Throttle Crossbody Bag can pack away a lot and can handle adverse weather.

Everyone wants to look as young as possible and protecting your skin is a good way to insure that. Even the most macho of guys is now willing to admit that he uses skin care products. Taking care of one’s skin is especially important in winter when the cold can dry out every part of one’s body. Clarins, Jan Marini and Jack Black (not to be confused with the comedic actor of the same name) make excellent pre and after shave products. The aforementioned, along with such fairly new companies as Korres, Ahava, and Sheago, also manufacture top-notch skin moisturizers and body butters.

The heart has long been THE romantic symbol and medical evidence now believes that red wine is an excellent way to lower bad cholesterol. Imbibing fine Italian red wines as Frescobaldi and Sagrantino Collepriano are great ways to both enhance the romantic mood and fight off heart disease.

Sending a Valentine’s Day greeting card is a time-honored tradition but a better idea might be sending a personal note on old school stationery. Bonnie Marcus (www.bonniemarcus.com) has stationery ranging from quite humorous to truly mushy.

Bathrobes can range from the mundane to the very chic. Coyuchi’s linen bathrobes will make guys feel like they are Hugh Hefner. Women will enjoy wearing them as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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