What is "romantic?"

Feb 13th, 2006, 02:32 PM
  #1  
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What is "romantic?"

I keep seeing requests for the name and location of a romantic restaurant, a romantic hotel, a romantic boat, a romantic whatever.

Will someone please list for me the characteristics of a romantic anything?

I am particularly interested in knowing what a romantic hotel has that a room at the Ritz Carlton does not have. A romantic restaurant? What aspects of decor, size, etc. would be required. I went to a place once that was said to be romantic. The main thing I recall is that I had to use my wife's flashlight to see the menu. Then I couldn't see what I was eating and kept hunting for the food in front of me.
Dark is romantic?

brookwood is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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I feel your pain. A couple of years ago we conducted a "pole" to determine what comprised "charming" and "touristy" and the results were somewhat vague, as you might expect, although the one thing that most people felt "charming" included was something called "pleasing to the eye."

"Touristy" was generally thought to include "not of great value" so I can imagine that definitons of "romantic" will be equally awe-inspiring.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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I think anywhere can be "romantic" if you are with the right person....

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:18 PM
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Actually, yes, lowered lights can create a romantic, sensual mood for most people. Not all, but most. There's probably some neurological explanation, or maybe it's because it helps to hide wrinkles and other flaws.

A romantic "something" would foster emotions relating to love and sensual feelings. That can vary from one person to another, but a romantic room would be more than 4 bare walls and a pallet to sleep on.

For Mrs. Fly, a romantic room includes lots of fluffy stuff and the color red somewhere in the decor. The ability to have low lighting as opposed to one bright ceiling light or total darkness works some magic as well. A romantic hotel generally means a place that is old and unique, but well-maintained--or at least it looks old and unique. Somehow having lace and stuff around helps too.

It's not a matter of logic or a checklist, but there are certain features that seem to do the romantic trick.

And, of course, you do need the right person. I've had that pleasure for 35 years.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:26 PM
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A romantic restaurant will have dim lighting but not necessarily dark, quite rather than loud and boistrous, either a spetacular view or beautiful decor, unobtrusive waiters (no "Hey guys! I'm, Binky and I'll be taking care of you tonight!")

Linda431 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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ira
 
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Hi B,

"Romantic", like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

When my Lady Wife and I were living on a sailboat, any place with a flush toilet was "romantic".

Since moving into a house, I have had to spend more money.

Women!

ira is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:32 PM
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Well, I think it would be helpful to return to the original meaning of the word "romantic"--which had little to do with love. Romantic means a ruined chapel inhabited by finches, it means a town of honeyed stoned lying in the folds of a valley, it means a simple meal of cassoulet on a terrace overlooking a little-known brook. It means seeing beyond the trivial annoyance of having to squint. It means eschewing the mass-produced decor of a chain hotel in favor of Madame Berthe's lovingly chosen items in an ancestral home that she's opened to a few discriminating guests. It means quiet, country things. Perhaps that helps
Guy18 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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To me, a romantic restaurant is one that has subdued lighting (not necesarily dark) and is relatively quiet so that conversation is easy. For decor - it can be just about anything as long as the colors aren't overly loud and there has been a nice attention to detail. I also like when the tables have a bit of privacy rather than all set out in rows in the dining room - that way the diners have a sense of being apart from everyone else. Unobtrusive waiters are important too - also service in which each course is seperate and the plates are taken away in between. Nothing romantic about being half way through your soup or salad and having to shove it aside to make room for the main course.

For hotels - the hotel has to be of good quality but also includes decor that is a bit out of the everyday - something special rather than standard chain hotel decor. It is nice to look around and know you are in a certain location rather than have the feeling that once you are inside the hotel, you could be in any city anywhere - that way any special memories can instantly be identified as occuring at that hotel in that city. A romantic room MUST have a nice bathroom, preferably with the toilet in its own room and a seperate tub and shower - soaking tub is best.
J_Correa is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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LOL . . . I can only imagine men cringing at this question. Or maybe I should say that if I asked my husband this question, he would give me such a pained look.

To me, my romantic moment, which I have experienced, was sharing a bottle of wine on the deck of a house of St. John, USVI in the light of a full moon.

I just asked my husband and he agreed wholeheartedly.

Loisde is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:48 PM
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ira
 
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Hi Loisde
>To me, my romantic moment, which I have experienced, was sharing a bottle of wine on the deck of a house of St. John, USVI in the light of a full moon.

I just asked my husband and he agreed wholeheartedly.<

May I assume that the moment was with your current husband?

MFK Fisher has a lovely story about how men will try to seduce you with candelight, good food (that they have cooked themselves) and wine.

The gentlemen, whom she fancied, put on the whole show - balcony, candles, flowers, Chateau Margaux - but.....

she was 4 months pregnant and got sick.

Her husband had to have dinner alone.



ira is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Yes, Ira, the moment was shared with my first and current husband. The one who cringes if I ask him such a question.

But now that I think of it, he has also said "I have never loved you more" when we were in pouring rain in a stadium at a college football game and I looked like a rat, but his team was winning.

"Romantic" is very subjective.



Loisde is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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Have you been drinking? (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) Really, sweetie, I don't understand what you are asking and I have great experience with Ritz-Carlton.

Is anyone else seeing Dumbo, or have I had one-too-many bowls of gin?
Balenciaga is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:19 PM
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"A romantic restaurant is one that has subdued lighting and is relatively quiet so that conversation is easy. I also like when the tables have a bit of privacy rather than all set out in rows in the dining room - that way the diners have a sense of being apart from everyone else. Unobtrusive waiters are important too - also service in which each course is seperate and the plates are taken away in between. "

I agree--and I like banquette seating so I can cuddle up to my fella.
abram is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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And NOT some waiter crouching down at your eye level and saying:

"Are ya finished workin' on that?"

Grrrrrr
Loisde is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Definitions will differ, but my theory is that "romantic" means an atmosphere that is conducive to intimacy. Bright lighting is often not "romantic," I think, because many people tend to be more inhibited when they are brightly illuminated. Dimmer lighting often has a way of relaxing people a bit, especially when others are nearby. Maybe that's why so many places that are considered "romantic" are dark. Certainly, one can find romance any time of day, but there is something about less light that puts many people into a more conducive mood.

Visual appeal is important, of course, because lovely surroundings tend to raise more emotion than bland or ugly places. That's why a beautiful view or a very attractively decorated bedroom are romantic. I also think that places that offer a sense of privacy are more romantic than those where people feel more exposed(lighting helps, greenery helps, smaller nooks help).

One factor can compensate for others. A beach in the middle of the day can be romantic if a couple is alone. A crowded place can be romantic if the lighting is low and view is spectacular. What it ultimately boils down to is, does the setting put a person in an amorous mood? I think that maybe these factors--lighting, beauty, and privacy--tend to make a place romantic.

However, this is just my opinion. Others may feel otherwise.


JennaZ is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:46 PM
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I think romantic is something that each person has a different definition of.

But I think most people feel a quiet and beautiful decorated restaurant with good food and unobtrusive but excellent service is "romantic". Yet one of the most "romantic" dinners I had was with my DH in a little out of the way restaurant on a beach in Pescara, Italy. Noisy and full of families enjoying their seaside vacations.

A romantic hotel I think for most people would be a well furnished room and sparking clean with some bathroom items such as bubble bath etc and a large tub and large fluffy towels etc. But my favorite memory is an off the highway motel when my DH decided spur of the moment "we needed to get away" and four hours later we hit the road without any idea where we were going. He said he just "needed some quiet time with me".

And how about romantic gifts? My DH gave me a gift once that I will never forget..and it wasn't any of the jewlerey etc. He came back from a walk one autumn day and presented me with the most beautiful red autumn leaf I have ever seen. I love autumn and he said when he saw this leaf he immediately thought of me and wanted me to have it.

Soooo, romantic is all a matter of who you are with, the moment and the memories IMHO.

Happy Valetines Day to everyone~~
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:54 PM
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I think most people would think romantic means soft (but not necessarily dim) lighting, soft music, a nice beach or waterfall or rippling stream, a pretty view, luxurious accomodations - and most of all - NO CHILDREN. (Disneyworld must be the least romantic place on the face of the earth.)
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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OK. I will share with your my most romantic moment.

We (girl friend of about 46 years and I) were in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen to be exact in late August. We had walked down toward Staubbach Falls as the sun was setting.

As we walked toward the falls, the setting sun was casting a rosy glow on the Jungrau and the Breithorn. As the sun was setting, a full moon began to rise behind the Jungrau. Slowly the rosy colored snow on the peaks turned to silver as the sunlight waned and the moonlight grew brighter.

With the falls to our right, the rush of the stream in the distance, and the beauty of the snow in the chaning light, I thought I had found THE perfect spot.

Now if that is romantic, I think I know what the term means. I guess we were so prosaic as to think it was beautiful.

I will tell you something I think is more funny than romantic. Somebody as the local basketball games came up with the idea of KissCam. There is a big screen up on the wall at one end of the arena. The cameraman finds couples and puts the camera on them in a KissCam frame. What is really funny is when he puts the camera on two sub teen aged children, a boy and a girl. The reactions are hilarious. My wife suggested that they probably are brother and sister and no respectiable 10 year old boy is going to be caught kissing his sister. Ugh. Girls.

I had a student once whose sister was a beauty queen. Someone made the remark that a tie in a football game was like kissing your sister. This guy simply said, "You haven't seen my sister."
I had, and I agree with him. Very pretty girl. Better looking than most Miss Americas.

brookwood is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 01:44 PM
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ira
 
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>Someone made the remark that a tie in a football game was like kissing your sister. This guy simply said, "You haven't seen my sister."<

Hmmmmm, Arkansas?

ira is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Romantic: anywhere as long as it could, at some point, include a massage.

I had the most romantic moment with two friends of mine. It was really strange. We were tipsy and sitting on the ground in a plaza in Barcelona. All of a sudden it got really quiet and you could have suffocated on the air. . . the weird, odorless perfume of romance. The boy in the situation said "You know what? I love you two." We both returned the love, then said so to each other. Then we got up and headed out of there, because it could have gotten weird.

I returned to the plaza another time with another friend and the same thing happened. Of course, this time I wanted it, which is why I took him there. I will not divulge which one it is because I plan on using it in the future and I will be damned if I am ousted by another fodorite.

Claire
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