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Now that you’re nice and limber, get ready for a 90-minute massage together. Eforea allows guests to choose their massage so that couples can receive two different modalities while in the same room. Daniel McCaffrey, the spa’s director, says the Full Circle treatment is the most popular signature massage. The Full Circle is customized based on each guest’s needs and intentions, but it can include hot stones (perfect for winter), aromatherapy, energy work such as chakra balancing and massage. The room is large, the massage tables are heated and treatments that take place over Valentine’s Day weekend come with a special treat. When you book your massage, tell the front desk agent that you’d like a bottle of Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries at the end of your treatment. When your massage is complete, head to Stillpoint, the spa’s tranquil lounge, where a chilled bottle of bubbly and fruit will be waiting. You and your sweetie can relax in your robes with toasty blankets on lounge chairs and enjoy your snack.
5:58 p.m. Sunset at Airport Mesa followed by dinner at L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek and dancing at Sound Bites Grill
Last night you watched the sun set against Boynton Canyon, but tonight you’ll head to Sedona’s most popular spot to watch the sunset: Airport Mesa. Instead of joining the hordes at the Airport Mesa Overlook, we recommend parking at the trailhead just down the hill from the overlook, walking to the saddle (which is part of the Airport Mesa vortex) and watching the sunset from this vantage point. It’s slightly more intimate than the overlook but still offers a beautiful view. (Make sure you bring walking shoes.) If you’re in the mood, after the 6:10 p.m. sunset, drive up to the airport and enjoy drinks at the tiny bar at Mesa Grill (at this time of the year, we recommend the Layover Leisure cocktail) until it’s time for dinner at L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek, located in Uptown at L’Auberge de Sedona. (Reservations are strongly recommended.)
L’Auberge on Oak Creek has received numerous accolades, but we’ve become even bigger fans since Chef Rochelle Daniel took the helm in 2012. Rochelle comes from one of our favorite Scottsdale eateries, Zinc Bistro, and she brings her own touch to L’Auberge’s French-American prix-fixe menu. The restaurant is famous for its creek-side dining, but the veranda is closed during the winter, so request a table by the window. After the sun sets, the restaurant spotlights the sycamore trees and the creek so you can appreciate the outdoors from your cozy, linen-clad table.
The prix-fixe menu includes your choice of three or four courses. For a starter, you can’t go wrong with the Dungeness crab crepe, which sits in a dab of lobster bisque and is topped with cherry tomatoes and sprouts. The brie en croute salad, served warm, is wonderful at this time of the year, and we can’t say enough about the duck breast entrée. The duck is cured overnight in Guinness Stout and served with grilled nectarines, cauliflower and onion cream on top of a bed of forbidden black rice that will revolutionize your opinion of the usually humdrum starch. All of L’Auberge’s desserts are prepared in-house by pastry chef Marla Flores; if you didn’t have enough chocolate last night, opt for the popular chocolate moelleux (think chocolate lava cake) served with pistachio gelato. Tea drinkers, make sure you order a cup at the end of dinner. Your server will present you with a velvet-lined box filled with vials of loose-leaf tea from which you choose. It makes for a truly elegant experience.
If you aren’t too full from dinner, head across the street to Sound Bites Grill at the Hyatt Piñon Pointe. Sound Bites’ lounge features entertainment every Friday and Saturday night, so grab your date and hit the dance floor. The lounge is open until 11 p.m.