When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it can be quite overwhelming deciding where to go and what to do as there are so many places, new restaurants and sometimes the whole notion of Valentine’s Day is a little bit sickly.

Another conundrum of putting your significant other in charge can sometimes be a bit tricky too and before you know it you’re at Nando’s amongst a sea of teenagers ordering the usual chicken pitta and peri peri fries. So it’s always wise to educate yourself on what’s going on so you can drop subtle hints on what you actually want to do.

On that note, if you’re like me, the idea of a full night out around this time of year is all too much, it can be forced fun and forced romance with cliche roses and giant cards, because the calendar dictates that you should be doing something soppy because it’s February 14th. In America, there is a huge hotel culture, and I love this. People hang out in hotel lobby bars all of the time and it’s a part of their lifestyle. With this comes a certain type of unassumed fun. Looking for something like this doesn’t always come easy, especially in Liverpool, but it was really refreshing to discover what Aloft Hotels have on offer this year. This place is one of those hotels where you almost feel like you’re in downtown New York, perhaps because it’s located off Dale Street and close to the docks and business district. Offering a casual coolness about it and having all the elements you want from a night out, but under one roof. 

After all, being amongst the portfolio of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, their sister version is the revered W Hotels, so you know you’re in capable hands.

The Hotel, originally the Royal Insurance Building, was built between 1896–1903. Some time later, and the £18m renovation into the Aloft Hotel, it’s refreshing to know that a lot of the original features in the Grade II building have been restored, including the original wood panelling and super high ceilings with intricate coving detail. The general ethos is laid back, nothing seems overly pretentious but the right amount of attention to detail that makes it such a destination visit. The restaurant seating nicely encompasses the bar that is central to the room, retaining the atmosphere and providing a genuine and stylish place to hang out. The weekend also hosts the best in live music, so Aloft NYL really does have everything that you want for a night out.

The NYL restaurant menu is classic at heart with an American edge such as Lobster Dawgs, Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce and an emphasis on quality grilled meats and fish with a selection of six different types of steak accompanied by a whole host of side dishes and themed fries, pan fried hake and lobster. I don’t think there is anything better than analysing the menu of the restaurant before your booking, especially as good as NYL’s. I feel it always puts you in the mood for what is to come.

So, the Valentine’s offers are available for five days over the course of the weekend and up to Valentine’s Day, starting from Friday 10th February. Two options, the first, a three course dinner with prosecco for £49 per person. The second, (this one is my favourite) a three course dinner with prosecco, chocolate covered strawberries, a one night stay with breakfast and a complimentary pleasure box for £199 per couple. Now the pleasure box is something that you could expect from Aloft, and without going into too much adult detail, let’s just say it has some special treats inside that are more than suitable for an adult’s Valentine’s night. It’s the little touches like this that you just wouldn’t get in most other venues for the fear of insulting. And what’s even better is that they’re pet friendly, so on the off chance you love your pooch that much that they’ll be third wheeling with you on Valentine’s Night, your second significant other will get their own branded Aloft bed and bowl as well as tasty dog treats to keep them as comfortable as you. There’s also a gym too but lets face it, you should be working your way through the W XYZ Bar cocktail menu pre dinner and then enjoying as much time as possible in bed with the pleasure box, after all it is Valentine’s Day. Who said romance is dead! EJ