By Michelle da Silva Richmond
February, as we know, spells: “Romance,” highlighted by Valentine’s Day on February 14.
There are many theories about how this special holiday came about, but most are linked to one of the Christian Church’s saints named Valentine.
According to one legend, Valentine was an early Christian priest who made friends with many neighborhood children. When the Romans imprisoned him because he refused to worship their gods, the children missed him so much that they tossed loving notes between the bars of his cell window. This may explain the modern-day tradition of exchanging messages on Valentine’s Day.
Another legend states that sometime in the 3rd century A.D. Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry because he thought that single men made better soldiers. Allegedly, an Italian bishop named Valentine disobeyed the emperor’s order and performed secret marriages. When he was discovered, he was said to have been burned at the stake on Feb. 14, 289 AD.
In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius I designated February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day in honor of the Christian martyr.
No matter how it began, the modern world has embraced the “holiday,” and assigned it a special day for love and friendship.
Start Valentine’s Day with us at our award-winning Gem Spa by pampering yourselves with a soothing spa package for couples only.
The Romantic Escape assures total serenity offering a romantic, luxurious experience in the Coral VIP Suite for just the two of you. The Escape features a 50 – or 80-minute couple’s massage and relaxing foot ritual, highlighted by champagne-scented oil. The Suite features two treatment beds, a Thai foot ritual station, two multi-jet Jacuzzis, an aromatic steam room, spacious rain shower and lounge area where you can enjoy fresh fruit, muffins and passion-fruit-infused water as well as a selection of teas. The Romantic Escape also includes a 30-minute use of this private suite when your treatment is done.
The Chic Setting
Also, in honor of the occasion, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun will be hosting a romantic dinner on February 14 at the award-winning, French specialty restaurant, Le Basilic.
The recipient – since 2007 – of the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award, unique Mediterranean cuisine, overseen by Celebrity Chef Henri Charvet, Maître Cuisinier de France, is showcased in a chic setting.
Drawn from the name of southern France’s delicate basil plant, Le Basilic offers an elegant avant-garde ambiance enhanced by soft piano music, attentive service and “haute cuisine.”
The checkerboard black and white marble floor, combined with art-deco clam-shell chairs, soft linens, shimmering candlelight and contemporary artwork lend a true French bistro feel, setting the stage for a memorable culinary experience.
Special Menu for a Special Day
On February 14, treat yourself to a romantic Valentine’s Day with a seven-course meal, which could include beef carpaccio with a thyme crust, black capellini with lobster or a tasty filet of totoaba in saffron sauce accompanied by beets, a carrot puree and peas.
Indulge in the perfect sweet finale with a heart-shaped vanilla mouse topped off by a rich strawberry coulis and an assortment of delicate petit fours.
A half split of Moët & Chandon Champagne is included. Pair your meal with a selection of fine wines, topped off by a rich coffee to seal the perfect finale to your romantic rendezvous.