Tips on Making Romantic Requests at Hotels

Staying at a hotel on an anniversary, honeymoon, or other special occasion can already be a pretty romantic event.

But sometimes you will want to enhance the romance of your stay by making a special request with the hotel. Maybe you want to decorate the room or have items like champagne or chocolates delivered to your room.

But how should you go about making these requests and what can you realistically expect the hotel to do for you?

In this article, we will answer those questions and more, so keep reading for some helpful insight.

What is your version of romance?

When you think about making a hotel room romantic the first Image that may come to your mind is a bed full of red rose petals, kissing towel swans, a box of fancy chocolates, and maybe some champagne.

Don’t get me wrong, everybody has their own idea of what they consider romance and plenty of people would appreciate getting surprised with the above but I’d recommend not getting “boxed in” to thinking that this is the only way to be romantic during a hotel stay.

Consider that you could forgo spending extra money on those things and instead splurge on a room with a vastly more impressive view where just the two of you could sit out on the balcony and watch the sunset every evening.

Maybe one of those nights, you slip your partner a hand written letter describing how you felt the day you met them and have some music playing in the background while the Jacuzzi bubbles up.

The point is to just not think that there are only a few cookie-cutter approaches to romance during a hotel stay. Try to combine your personal touch with what the hotel has to offer.

Remember, it’s not about spending money — it’s more about you putting real thought into doing something special for the person you love. A hotel can help set the mood and get the vibe right but you still need to show up!

What type of property are you staying at?

The first thing you want to think about when making a romantic request is what type of property are you staying at?

Luxury properties are some of the most accommodating when it comes to special requests like this — you would be surprised how above and beyond they like to go. Seriously, some of the staff members at these properties live for stuff like this!

These are properties like the Conrad, Waldorf, St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt, etc. You can feel free to ask them just about anything and if they can do it, they probably will.

At your standard middle-tier property, you can still make special requests and the hotel may even have romantic packages to choose from. This is especially true if you’re staying in a romantic destination like Niagara Falls.

But at lots of these properties, your special requests will be more hit or miss. If you keep them within reason, you probably still have a decent shot of the hotel helping you out.

Then there are those budget hotels.

The worst thing these hotels can tell you is no so it never hurts to ask, but I would not expect budget hotels to do anything extra.

Perhaps if you keep it small, they can help you out but they rarely have the resources to do anything extraordinary for these type of requests.

What event are you celebrating?

Another consideration is what event are you trying to make extra romantic?

Valentine’s Day is one of the most common days when people want to do these type of romantic requests.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of doing these for a few reasons but one major reason is that lots of other guests could be making the same requests to the hotel during the same time.

Not only that, but people in general are making these requests so nearby shops and stores could be running low on items and not have adequate staff to fulfill deliveries.

This means that you could have a limited number of options or be dealing with hotel staff that is already overwhelmed and less willing to go above and beyond for you.

I would much rather prefer to make these type of requests for anniversaries, birthdays, etc. And of course a honeymoon would be a perfect time.

Be very careful about how you word requests if making a request for a special secret event.

One of the worst misfires is when somebody calls about an engagement and a staff member accidentally ruins the surprise. So be very, very careful with those delicate situations.

To be honest, I would probably try to avoid involving a hotel with your engagement for that reason.

Related: Bringing an Engagement Ring through TSA While Keeping It a Secret from Your Partner

When are you making your request?

If you want to make a special romantic request, you need to make this at least several days in advance. Last-minute requests can be honored but your options will be limited and you will be putting a lot more stress on the hotel staff.

Personally, I would try to make these requests at least one week prior to your arrival. Two or three weeks would be even better.

You can always make it very far out in advance such as a couple of months out but you will need to check back in as the date gets closer to verify that everything is in order.

Tips on making a request

When making a request, the first step is to figure out what is actually possible.

The easiest option would be to go with packages already offered by the hotel.

As mentioned, hotels have romantic packages sometimes and you can find these online or by calling. If your destination is known for romantic getaways, chances are that hotel has something.

The packages shown online are not always exactly what you will get so sometimes you just have to expect to get something similar. You can usually customize them to a degree.

You could also come up with something on your own and then contact the property and see if that’s possible.

The hotel may be willing to run to different stores to put together your request for things like balloons, champagne, desserts, flowers, etc.

But don’t be surprised if an understaffed hotel can’t carry out your requests (which again is a reason why I would avoid Valentine’s Day for these type of special requests).

Obviously, you should expect to pay for anything that they will have to purchase for you and you also may have to pay for their time to put all of this together. Some hotels are rather generous when it comes to these requests and they may do it on a complimentary basis — at least for basic items.

Either way, it would be a good idea to leave a tip for the extra efforts.

Just be aware that when you make a special request for something the hotel does not provide you may need to follow up on this several times to make sure that the job gets done. There’s a big difference between a front desk agent telling you that they can do something, and it actually getting executed.

Tip: If you are arriving early in the morning then consider booking the room for the night before your stay so that the staff can have extra time to get things situated.

Tip #2: If the hotel is making a sign for someone with a commonly misspelled name, make sure that you note that in your request!

Ideas for a romantic hotel room

My preferred options for a romantic hotel room would be a room with an unforgettable view, preferably one with a balcony that you can relax on.

The balcony can function as a place to not just enjoy the view or sunset but also a place where you can enjoy a romantic dinner or breakfast if it’s big enough.

Having a nice big tub is also a major plus. Lots of resorts with a romantic leaning will have Jacuzzi tubs for you to relax in. Bubble bath is a must.

You want to be able to set the mood with music so bringing a Bluetooth speaker or connecting to one is a good choice. Your laptop can also suffice.

You can make a custom playlist or search something like “slow dancing music” or “sexy music” depending on what the “goals” are at the time.

And finally, dim lights is always a good choice. Lots of hotels that cater to couples will have the ability to dim the lights in the room or at least near the tub but you could always bring your own LED candles.

Remember, real candles are probably not allowed in the room because they can be a fire hazard or potentially set off the smoke alarm.

In terms of requests that you may want to make, here are some traditional ideas:

  • Rose petals leading to the bed or on the bed
  • Towel design arrangements
  • Special sign or message with “happy anniversary” (could be placed on the pillows or spelled out on the bed)
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Other sweets such as macaroons
  • Room service desserts such as creme brulee
  • Champagne/wine
  • Flowers
  • Balloons
  • Bubble bath

Just be mindful two things.

First, you may need to time your arrival so that your room is ready or the items get delivered when you are in your room so plan your activities accordingly.

Tip: See if the hotel can text you when things are ready so that you can be more discrete.

Second, some of the requests you may have could put a strain on housekeeping and so the hotel may not allow it or may not appreciate it.

Rose petals are a thing at many hotels but others consider them too much of a mess. And confetti and/or glitter could be frowned upon.

If you don’t have specific requests, you could probably just make a general request for the hotel to “do something romantic.” If you’re staying somewhere like the Maldives, the hotel will know exactly what to do.

Related: 9 Romantic & Special Surprise Ideas To Try When Traveling

In terms of things that you may want to bring from home:

  • Bath salts and bubble bath liquid
  • Massage oils or other essential oils
  • Other ideas here

If you ended up doing something in excess (spilling coconut oil everywhere), you could get hit with a cleaning fee of a couple of hundred bucks so keep that in mind if you are doing self decorating.

Beyond your room, other opportunities where your romance can sparkle include dining opportunities.

If you’re staying at a resort on the beach you may be able to arrange a private dinner right on the beach or in a special area of the restaurant. Sometimes you could even request someone to come and play live music.

Related: Will Hotels Charge for Stained Sheets,Towels, & Other Linens?

And of course, spa treatment is another go-to.

You can go for a special couples massage or each of you can do your own thing. It’s usually pretty easy to find a special package that includes spa treatments or credits to be used at the spa.

At some resorts, you might be able to do spa treatment inside your room or in the case of a property like the Conrad Maldives, you could have a special room designated for spa treatment!

Involve the concierge

A good hotel concierge can work wonders for your requests.

They often have experience with helping people put together romantic surprises and so they can help you come up with ideas or better execute on the ideas you already have.

As soon as you make a request or show interest in making a special request, the hotel should put you in touch with the concierge. But sometimes you can simply call the hotel directly and tell them you’d like to speak to the concierge.

Final word

Hotels are accustomed to guests making special requests to make their hotel experience more romantic. If you want to make a request, you need to:

  • Keep in mind the type of property you are staying at
  • Make your request several days ahead of time at least

And most importantly, try to put your own personal touch on the experience because that is what will end up making it the most memorable for the person you love.

9 Romantic & Special Surprise Ideas To Try When Traveling

One of the great things about traveling is that it offers you a lot of options for surprising someone you love.

Over the past several years, I’ve been able to pull off a number of (mostly successful) surprises for other people that were truly worth all of the effort.

I’ll break down some of the different surprise ideas that you might think about for romantic surprises for your partner and some special surprises for your family and friends.

The “circle back” surprise

One of the coolest surprises to do when traveling is what I call the “circle back” surprise.

This is whenever you notice that your partner is infatuated by a site and you figure out a way to return back to that site while also surprising them.

The best example of this for me was doing a helicopter ride in Kauai, Hawaii. We flew over the Waimea Canyon and Brad noticed a small picnic table on the edge of the canyon.

It looked like the perfect picnic spot to catch a view and relax from a hike. So I looked up how to access that picnic table and found out that it was on the route of a hiking trail.

We did the hike but I did not mention to Brad that our destination was going to be that ultra scenic picnic table and once we stumbled upon it he was speechless.

This type of surprise really shows your partner that you are always paying attention to what they say and even the simplest sites like a basic picnic table can end up being a great surprise.

But this is also one of the hardest surprises to pull off because you’re probably working with limited time and you really have to be paying attention and thinking ahead to pick up on these.

The pick up surprise

One of the easiest surprises to pull off is the pick up surprise.

All you have to do is arrange to be picked up from the airport or your hotel in some type of special vehicle that your partner will love. Luxury properties usually have a lineup of vehicles you can choose from and very high-end hotels even offer options like a Rolls-Royce.

If getting picked up from a hotel, make sure that you alert the hotel staff about your plans because my surprise almost got spoiled when a hotel agent rushed up to me to tell me that our ride was slightly delayed.

The welcome gift surprise

Another easy surprise idea is a welcome gift.

For special birthdays or anniversaries, you can often arrange for the hotel to deliver something special to your room.

Some hotels might actually provide this for free especially if they are a true luxury property and you have high elite status.

Other times, you can just order things like chocolate covered strawberries and champagne for a price. The key with these things is to time the delivery.

It’s usually pretty easy to ask them to deliver these things about 30 minutes after you arrive so that you can get a little bit settled but don’t have to sit around your hotel room waiting for the delivery.

Other times you may want to make it a little bit more romantic at the hotel and have them deliver it when you know you will be in for the night or at sunset. The hotel might be willing to privately text you so that can be an easy way to get it done without ruining the surprise.

Romantic decorations for the hotel room

You can take the above surprise a step further and request for the hotel to decorate your room romantically before you arrive. This would typically be with things like rose petals and the like.

This is not always doable for a few reasons, though.

For one, a hotel simply may not be willing to work with you for something like this.

And sometimes they have good reasons. They could be worried that the rose petals could stain the bedding for example. Other times candles may be a fire hazard.

But some hotels will work with you to do something and it often will involve some type of delivery like the above surprise.

The first class cabin celebration

If you’re ever flying first class on an international airline that is known for great service like Singapore Airlines or Emirates and flying on a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon, that is an amazing opportunity to surprise your partner.

Even if you are a same-sex couple and potentially worried about receiving push back certain airlines, some of these airlines can actually be more progressive than you would think.

Singapore Airlines helped me pull off a first class surprise for Bradley for our anniversary and they brought us a cake, stuffed animals with our names stitched on them, and a huge card signed by everyone on the crew.

There’s nothing like a surprise celebration in the sky!

The under-hyped hotel room

One of the easier surprises is what I called the under hyped hotel room.

This one is easy to do because you basically just downplay the quality of your hotel room so that your partner does not have great expectations.

Then, whenever you show up at your hotel room your partner can be amazed by the awesome view, beautiful suite, etc.

I recently did this on a trip to Hawaii but by accident.

I was downplaying our room because I had our hotels mixed up and truly thought that we were not going to have that great of a room.

Then once we arrived at our room I realized that it was much nicer than anticipated. So did Brad.

It then clicked to me that this would be an easy way to add another surprise to our travels in the future. It’s the whole under promise, over deliver principal.

The post-travel food delivery

One thing that most people love about travel is the ability to try out different foods, especially local hot spots.

And now, with service is like Gold Belly it’s super easy to get those amazing foods delivered to your doorstep.

Brad recently surprised me on my birthday with lobster rolls from Maine which he noticed I fell in love with during a recent trip. It’s amazing how fresh these foods can be even when delivered from across the country.

Biting into those lobster rolls instantly took me back to my Northeast travels and it’s a great way to deal with the travel bug when perhaps you’re not able to travel at the moment.

So pay special attention to what your partner is into when it comes to cuisine and you’ll find it to be a great way to surprise them in the future.

The concierge surprise

If you have a premium credit card like an American Express Platinum Card you can utilize the concierge to help you arrange a surprise.

This is a great thing to do if you have no idea what you would want to surprise your partner with but you have a day or two of planning time.

If you are going to find it difficult to get away from your partner and have a phone call with the concierge to verify the gift sometimes you can just tell them to find something within a certain category and within a certain price range.

You can tell them something like “I want an edible arrangement under $100” and they will find something for you.

Then when the gift arrives the both of you will be surprised!

Of course, you can also utilize the concierge at a hotel to help you with things like this as well.

The surprise return

This surprise is more for people living abroad or for people just spending a lot of time abroad. Whenever you return home that’s always a great opportunity to give your family or friends a surprise.

The best examples of these in my opinion are when military members return home but even if you have just been traveling abroad for a long time the surprises are still priceless.

The best way to do this is to surprise them whenever they are in a setting where they would not expect you to arrive.

After living in the UK for several months we made a return visit to surprise my mom. We met up at a Mexican restaurant while they were in the middle of a meal and she had no idea what was coming!

Don’t let your surprises get ruined!

If you really want to pull off the perfect surprise, think through all the situations that could ruin your surprise.

Brad was recently infatuated with the rare sight of the green flashing light at sunset which you can usually only see when viewing the sunset on an uninterrupted horizon, such as an open ocean or mountain peak.

I booked us an astronomy night on top of a mountain which included giving us the chance to see this amazing natural phenomenon and looked forward to surprising Brad with it.

The problem is we found ourselves in an information center beforehand with a guy who had recently done the astronomy night.

Literally, one of the first things he mentioned was the AMAZING green flashing light that they train you to see and the surprise was no longer on the table.

So try to think through different situations where your surprise might be revealed by someone other than yourself. It’s the one time in your relationship it pays to be sneaky!

Final word

Finding ways to surprise your partner is a tremendous way to add excitement to your travels and to your overall relationship.

It’s a great feeling whenever you never know what your partner is going to try to pull off next. And it feels amazing to pull off the perfect surprise for your partner.

The ideas above should hopefully give you some inspiration for pulling off some surprises of your own and hopefully you’ll have success!