Stay the Night
8 Over-the-top, Sexy Hotels
Underground trysts, zero-gravity affairs, and modern-day Bed-Ins are all part of the fun at these wacky, splurge-worthy locations.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
The Cold War may be over, but there's still something about putting on a tight gray suit or mod dress and slinking through the chilly, glittering streets of Moscow that will always evoke sexy foreign intrigue. Whether you choose to play CIA, MI6, KGB, or even a double agent (you bastard!), the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski, a five-star luxury palace on the banks of the Moskva River, is for you and your partner.Taken over by the state tourist agency during the Soviet era, it was remodeled in 1992 to reflect the "new era of prosperity and luxurious living." The Baltschug remains a luxurious spot that would be convenient for meeting your handler (or . . . tour guide) in Red Square before repairing to the "Kremlin Suite" to develop your microfilm. When the free world is once again safe, why not repair to the Bar Baltschug for a cigar and a vodka? The menu lists 60 different kinds of Russia's favorite booze, but we recommend a classic martini, twist of lemon, shaken not stirred (from $333).
Spanish Castle Magic
Castillo de Monda, near the rustic Spanish coastline and in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, is old. We're not just talking "Julius Caesar once hung out there" old—we mean "Phoenicians strolled these grounds" old. It's changed hands many times over the years and was used as both a shelter and a fort while the Catholics and Moors struggled for power. Now restored and converted after four centuries of disrepair, this modern bed-and-breakfast makes an unpredictable place for an interlude. Even if you fail to set your lover's world on fire, you can lie there under the stone roof and console yourself with the reminder, "Okay, that was bad, but not torture, confession and forced-religious-conversion bad." Get up, splash some water on your face, and go stare at the dungeon (from $145).
Your Space or Mine?
Spendy romantics have been putting money toward theoretical trips into outer space for nearly a decade now, but the proposed 3 billion dollar/three-room hotel, Galactic Suite Space Resort, ups the ante. Designed by aerospace engineer Xavier Claramunt, the pod-shaped suites are projected to travel around the Earth every 80 minutes (going faster than 16,000 miles per hour). The cost? About $4 million for a "stay" of four days, so we're hoping that includes fresh towels and turndown service by an actual Wookiee. Assuming everything goes well, this short escape from the Earth's atmosphere will allow you and your lover to swoon over 15 romantic sunrises per day, and maybe even engage in some zero-gravity hijinks. The pods aren't even set to orbit until 2012, so you'll have at least three more years to save up for the ultimate un-cheap date.
If for no other reason, the altitude will make a night at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai one to remember. Occupying the 53rd through 87th floors of the city's Jin Mao Tower, the rooms are high enough that you might even think you're seeing a little slice of heaven (or maybe just a clean spot above the city's smog). For a cocktail in dramatic surroundings, reserve a table at the circular Cloud 9 lounge, which has 360-degree views. Here, you and your sweetheart can look down on the world and say, as the Chinese do with increasing regularity, "One day all of this will be ours." And years down the road, if the excitement starts to fade, you can console each other with the thought that you once did it 800 feet up. Then call a lawyer (from $202).
Dutch Treat: Bedding Down in Amsterdam
Room 702 of the Hilton Amsterdam is where newlyweds John Lennon and Yoko Ono held the first in a series of "Bed-Ins for Peace" in 1969. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., reporters clamored to be the first into the suite, assuming that the honeymooning Ono-Lennons, who had already appeared naked on the cover of their joint release Two Virgins, would be engaged in a naked, febrile, Vietnam-protesting, 12-hour-long clinch for the cameras. The reporters were disappointed to find the long-haired activists in crisp, white pajamas, smoking cigarettes, and musing aloud about Bagism, their self-invented philosophy. In the parlance of the time, what a drag. If you and your date would rather not commit to staying in bed all day, the city and its gorgeous canals, Rembrandts, and van Goghs are all just a quick stroll outside (from $218).