St. Paul has a life all its own in the wintertime. The annual Winter Carnival brings thousands of visitors to the capitol city during late January as Minnesotans look to shake off the shackles of winter, even for just an evening.
The city’s unique attractions also make it a fine escape for those looking for a bit of added romance in their lives. The pace may be a bit slower than downtown Minneapolis, but there are plenty of opportunities for couples to share a great time together.
A perfect place to stage this getaway – for Valentine’s Day or any time during the winter or year – is the Saint Paul Hotel.
The attractions at the hotel start with the building itself. More than a century old, the Saint Paul Hotel has been a major center in St. Paul for decades. It opened in 1910 as the city’s “million dollar hotel” and has been intertwined with city history. It has played host to Charles Lindberg, Midwestern gangsters, and a longstanding live radio show on KSTP. Lawrence Welk played a regular Saturday night gig; while Gene Autry and John Kennedy stayed at or visited the hotel.
It has been renovated, but the Saint Paul still retains the charm of its original turn-of-the-20th-century design. Inside, there are 254 rooms, including 31 luxury suites. Along with the beauty are the amenities, including top-notch service.
“For generations, we have been honored that sweethearts from all over our region have chosen our rooms and restaurants for their special meals and Valentine’s getaways,” said Pete Zellmer of the Saint Paul Hotel.
The holiday falls on a Thursday this year, which means people may look to the following weekend for an extended getaway. Also, the area promises to be busy with a George Strait concert at the Xcel Energy Center Friday evening.
The romance, Zellmer notes, extends far beyond Valentine’s Day. The hotel is often used as a romantic getaway, from a special date at the St. Paul Grill to a wedding reception to a way to celebrate an anniversary, whether or not the couple was married at the Saint Paul.
The St. Paul Grill is a particular attraction, not just for hotel guests but also for people looking for an excellent evening of fine dining. Often cited as one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities area, the St. Paul Grill offers a modern take on classic American dining. It also features an extensive, award-winning wine list and rare Scotches and whiskies. The restaurant will be busy with loving couples not just on Valentine’s Day, but for the week before and after, Zellmer said.
Of course, St. Paul offers other choices for couples looking for a romantic meal. The Meritage (410 St. Peter St., www.meritage-stpaul.com) offers its own high-quality meals every night, from twists on traditional French dishes to distinctly Minnesota dishes, like a honey- and spice-glazed duck breast or a coffee-dusted white-tail venison loin. Then there are the likes of Pazzaluna (360 St. Peter St., www.pazzaluna.com), Sakura (350 St. Peter St., www.sakurastpaul.com) or – if you want a particularly unusual romantic getaway – Mickey’s Diner (36th W. 7th St., www.mickeysdiningcar.com).
Some of that charm is right outside the building itself. Adjacent to Rice Park, the Saint Paul Hotel has a commanding view of the area. While the Wells Fargo Winter Skate at the adjacent Landmark Center closes Feb. 3, the park still offers a fine chance for a winter walk. Nearby attractions, from the Science Museum of Minnesota to the Ordway to the Fitzgerald and Park Square theaters, all offer fine chances for couples to enjoy their time in St. Paul, and each other’s company.
“We know that our building’s historic architecture and classic style set a dazzling mood, and that our award-winning St. Paul Grill provides exceptional dining; everyone on our staff truly believes that the best gift we are able to offer our guests is our all-out, passionate commitment to customer service. By attending to every detail, and by continuing a proud tradition in which unsurpassed quality is not just a pleasant surprise, but is, instead, our acknowledged standard, we leave our guests free to focus all of their attentions on one another. That’s the essence of romance, and that’s just the kind of Valentine’s Day experience The Saint Paul Hotel provides,” Zellmer said.
For more information on the Saint Paul Hotel or to make reservations, call 1-800-292-9292 or visit online at www.saintpaulhotel.com.