Indulge me, please

What a capital idea to spend $600 or less on a romantic overnight in town

An installation to lift your spirits hovers over the Ames lobby; over the years, many a bride and groom have descended the staircase at the Four Seasons. An installation to lift your spirits hovers over the Ames lobby; over the years, many a bride and groom have descended the staircase at the Four Seasons. (Photos By Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff )
By Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / February 14, 2010

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Let’s consider the cost of a romantic overnight.

Airfare for two? That will be at least $800, depending on the destination. One night in a fancy hotel? That will be $300, at the very least, depending on the room. Then add in dinner and drinks. Then add some in-room entertainment.

By the end of your 30-hour evening of love, you have spent about $1,500, maybe more.

But what if you didn’t leave Boston? What if you and your honey did the romantic hotel stay in your own state’s capital? Sure, the scenery out the window would look familiar, but it would still feel like a vacation.

“When they arrive here, we make it so that whatever is going on outside is going to be shut down,’’ says Charles Currier, executive concierge at the new Ames hotel. “Anything they need, we’re going to make sure they’re taken care of.’’

We were curious about what kind of romantic vacation a twosome could have at a local hotel, so we challenged six concierges and hotel executives to come up with the perfect itinerary for a night of love. We gave them a $600 budget and only one rule: the couple would not have to leave the hotel.

Look over their offers, use their ideas, add or subtract to their loving proposals. All these packages are $600 or less.

W Boston
Itinerary by Bill Bunce, general manager 3 p.m.: Check in. Drop bags in the room. Drink some champagne. “You could come down in the lounge or have it delivered to the room,’’ says Bunce. “Typically, people want it delivered to the room.’’ Of course they do.

3:30: Notice that the hotel has left a Jimmyjane feather tickler and seduction sash on the bed. What are they? Google them. “Typically, we have that laid out in the room when they come in,’’ Bunce says.

5: Eat dinner. The couple can do this in the hotel’s restaurant, Market, or in the room. Bunce assures us that in-room dining is just as classy as in Jean-Georges’s restaurant downstairs. “We’d put on a very nice tablecloth. Real china and real silverware.’’ Of course, Bunce recommends Market for a change of scenery. “I would go to the restaurant, get a cozy little booth in the corner.’’

7:30: Retreat to one of the W’s “whisper spaces.’’ As the name implies, it’s a lounge spot for canoodling. “In our seating area, near the fireplace, there’s a large sofa and two sitting chairs. And ottomans. We can isolate you so you have the view from outside.’’

8:30: You and your sweetie return to the room to find that the staff has given you a moonlight turndown. That means there are Max Brenner chocolates on the bed and at your request, there’s music on the stereo. “It’s instrumental - relaxing, soothing. Nothing that would be high energy.’’

9: More drinks. Nightcaps in the room offered by staffers.

Next morning: Breakfast in bed before late checkout at 2.

100 Stuart St., 617-261-9700,

InterContinental Hotel
Itinerary by Marc Simoneau, chief concierge 3 p.m.: Arrive. Take in the view. “We will check them into their waterfront room overlooking the Fort Point Channel,’’ says Simoneau.

3:30: Take a ride in a pedicab around the property. “We’ll have them snuggle under one of the InterContinental Boston duvets and enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne.’’ Of course, if you wait a few months to book your romantic evening, the duvet won’t be necessary. “In July we’ll give them little fans,’’ Simoneau says.

4:30: Back to the room. Rest.

6:30: Visit Miel, the hotel restaurant, for a honey tasting. Then enjoy prix fixe dinner at either Miel or Sushi-Teq, which is also on the property. “We’d want to do it three course so we can pair wines with each course,’’ Simoneau says, advising that Miel is the spot for a classically romantic meal.

8:30: Move to the intimate champagne lounge at the hotel bar, RumBa. “It’s very intimate, sort of sensual little place. The chandeliers are little crystals and the crystals are little bubbles - reminiscent of champagne.’’ At your request a Berklee College of Music student can be hired to serenade you. “It’s cost-effective,’’ says Simoneau, who hired a Berklee violinist for his own wedding brunch. “$100 for the hour.’’

9:30: Return to the room. Find a drawn bath. Snack on what the hotel calls “chef’s whimsy,’’ which is usually something like chocolate-covered-cheesecake lollipops.

Next morning: Take advantage of the 45-foot indoor pool. Sit in the eucalyptus sauna. Order a brunch of small plates. Late checkout.

510 Atlantic Ave., 866-493-6495,

Itinerary by Charles Currier, executive concierge Noon: Check in. “If they want to come in a little early, that’s just fine. Basically, from start to finish it’s all about pampering,’’ says Currier.

1 p.m.: Sip on the Polish Passion, a drink that can be enjoyed downstairs or in your room. It’s a mood-setter made of Belvedere, passion fruit puree, and a dash of chili pepper.

2: Enjoy the seduction kit in the minibar. “This day and age, people like to be a little risqué behind closed doors,’’ Currier says. Listen to music. The Ames has a CD offering, but the hotel will also play tunes you’ve prearranged to hear. “Their first dance - or maybe the song that was playing when they met.’’

4: Take a shower. This is important at the Ames. The shower is super-sexy because whoever is in it can be seen as a silhouette through the curtain.

6: Dinner at Woodward. Dessert is a must. “My personal favorite is the brownie sundae. It’s got peanut butter ice cream, whipped cream, and hot chocolate sauce,’’ Currier says.

8: Sexy shower, take two?

Next morning: Late checkout.

1 Court St., 800-697-1791 ,

Seaport Hotel
Itinerary by Craig Cunningham, vice president of marketing

3 p.m.: Check in. Visit your room with a waterfront view. Listen to music you’ve prearranged to hear. “Just drop off your iPod. We can have it all set in the room when you get there, on the Bose system in the room - your soundtrack playing,’’ says Cunningham.

4: Couples massage in the room, or stop by the gym, where there’s an indoor pool. “We have wonderful steam rooms.’’ You can also take advantage of the pool after dinner. “I would imagine that on request, you could do a midnight swim,’’ Cunningham says.

6: Dinner at Aura. Cunningham suggests roasted chicken and gnocchi or truffled fried egg on top of steak.

8: Bath time. Take advantage of the “romance basket,’’ which has rose petals and special bath salts.

9: Watch a movie. The hotel will give you romantic films to watch on the Xbox in your room. “Or maybe it’s a realistic situation where one spouse is watching a movie and one is playing a video game,’’ Cunningham jokes.

Next morning: Breakfast in bed.

1 Seaport Lane, 800-440-3318 ,

Four Seasons Hotel
Itinerary by Maggie O’Rourke, chief concierge 3 p.m.: Check in. Your wedding song (or another romantic song) is playing as you walk into your room, which, if you plan right, will overlook Boston Garden. Open presents that you have left at the hotel ahead of time. “Send a care package and a handwritten note for her in advance. We’ll have it placed beautifully in your guest room before you arrive,’’ says O’Rourke.

3:30: Early dessert. “The Pastry Shop can re-create your wedding cake, or bake her favorite dessert, which will be in your guest room upon arrival.’’

4: Hit the 8th-floor private swimming pool.

6: Walk down the Four Seasons’ grand staircase. Yes, it’s just a staircase, but it’s a staircase with romantic vibes. More people have used that staircase in their weddings than O’Rourke can count. “Bring your camera and we will snap your photo,’’ she says.

7: Bath time. “We’ll draw a luxurious bubble bath sprinkled with rose petals.’’

8:30: Dinner. You can do this in the room or at the Bristol Lounge. The hotel will print you a special menu. “I will say the short rib ravioli. It really is a wonderful dish,’’ O’Rourke says.

10: Dessert time again. Take advantage of the Viennese dessert buffet, “an elaborate spread of everything chocolate and heavenly.’’

Next morning: Sleep in. “A large pot of coffee and selection of the very best house-made pastries will be delivered bedside, so you never have to lift a finger - or move a muscle.’’

200 Boylston St., 617-338-4400,

Mandarin Oriental
Itinerary by David Canas, Les Clefs d’Or member, and Edwina Kluender, spokeswoman for Mandarin 3 p.m.: Check in. Sip on the hotel’s MO’Kisses martinis made of St. Germain and strawberry liquor, strawberry puree, champagne float, and gold dust.

4: Spa. Perhaps some Oriental foot therapy for two?

6: Early dinner. Take in the Back Bay vibe while enjoying a four-course tasting menu. The restaurant Asana offers “New England fare with influences of Asia.’’

8: After-dinner drinks at M Bar & Lounge.

9: “Upon returning to their room, guests will find an intimate surprise gift for the couple to share.’’ Hmm.

9:30: Hot chocolate in the room, unless you wait until summer and get refreshing iced tea.

10: Bathe. “A luxurious Mandarin Oriental signature spa bath oil will be set up by the tub for guests to enjoy and relax when they wish.’’

Next day: Late check out.

776 Boylston St., 617-535-8888 ,

Meredith Goldstein can be reached at