Love lessons: 7 of the best romantic gestures

In search of amorous inspiration for Valentine’s Day, we take notes from the American Express Concierge team* – and some of our hotelier friends – who went the extra mile (or hundreds of miles) to help Cardmembers show their devotion with a truly memorable trip.

Lesson one: a shared experience tops a gift every time

Three hot air balloons drift over the plains of The Serengeti National Park at dawn

Roses wilt, chocolates melt, but memories last forever

“A Cardmember called us for help arranging a romantic trip to Tuscany; it quickly emerged he planned to pop the question while away. We booked a gorgeous, historic hotel in the Tuscan countryside for the first leg of their stay, and arranged a hilltop picnic for the proposal – nothing elaborate, just a beautiful, secluded spot at sunset. We also set up a few nights in Rome and Florence to make it a more encompassing Italian trip – taking in the iconic Renaissance art and architecture, the pretty cobbled streets and world-famous restaurants of both buzzy cities – but it was the simplicity and intimacy of rural Tuscany that was just magical; the perfect setting for a proposal.” – American Express Concierge

Note to potential proposers: hot air balloons have proven to be a particular hit too. We’ve also had mid-air successes above Africa’s plains and America’s wine country.

Lesson two: spell it out

Need to get your message across? No need to be subtle

“Testament to his city’s romantic reputation, one Roman customer arranged for a path of rose petals to lead from the elevator to his hotel room on arrival. Once inside, he and his girlfriend were greeted with a candle-lit room, a huge rose petal heart, a heart-shaped cake bedecked, no less, with the name of his girlfriend, and two glasses of Champagne – one containing an engagement ring. (Funnily enough, she said yes.)” – American Express Concierge

Lesson three: don’t leave the romancing to the men

Shot of a young couple going for an ocean cruise at sunset

Romantic gestures are the domain of all

“We had a football player staying with us in Monte Carlo over Valentine’s Day. His wife wanted to surprise her husband with a magical experience to celebrate the day, so got in touch. We organised a private yacht for the evening, moored up in a scenic spot with exceptional views over Monaco’s marina, and filled it with flowers and little personal presents. A chef came in to create a special candlelit dinner for them both, a barman was on hand to mix bespoke cocktails, and a South American mariachi band came aboard to serenade them. After dinner, the team disappeared to leave the couple to enjoy the evening alone.” ­– Columbus Hotel, Monte Carlo

Lesson four: know your audience

A bit of inside info goes a long way; rose petals aren’t for everyone  

“Mid-trip in Florida, one guest arranged for the entire bathtub in his room to be filed with M&Ms – his partner’s favourite chocolate. Thankfully, there was a separate shower.” – American Express Concierge

Lesson five: a gift never hurts

Middle age woman sitting in hers manufacture workshop and making jewelery She is a designer and artist of the precious metal and crystal and she makes unique jewelry She designs necklace and draws a sketch on paper using precious stones

Especially if it’s bespoke

“As part of our Valentine’s package last year, we arranged for guests to have a private consultation with an award-winning London jewellery designer, who would then create a bespoke piece of jewellery for them to take away. Couples loved having a personalised memento so much we also offered custom-made candles from a renowned perfumer, and a couple’s monogram courtesy of a professional calligraphist.” – The Rosewood, London

Lesson six: bring in reinforcements

Don’t underestimate the power of the celebrity

“I helped a client to fly out to Lapland with his girlfriend to meet Santa. Father Christmas gave the young lady a diamond ring and stood to one side while my client proposed. How could she have possibly declined?” – American Express Concierge

And one for the last-minuters: it’s never too late

…you just need friends in the right places

“We once had a Cardmember calling from the airport – 20 minutes from the hotel – asking for their fireplace to be lit, and their room to be filled with candles and flowers, with a romantic message to their partner. The team pulled it off with just a couple of burns between them.” – American Express Concierge

Of course, you don’t have to call in the professionals to dazzle your significant other, but hopefully this has sparked a Cupid-worthy idea or two. Rose petals at the ready…

*The American Express Concierge service is available to Platinum and Centurion Cardmembers

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