Inside: I share the details of our hopelessly romantic date night at the Renaissance Columbus – Polaris hotel with a fabulous dinner from the Two-One Restaurant.
I’m kind of obsessed with date night. Maybe it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic. Maybe it’s because I just love the undivided attention I get from my husband on date nights, or the feeling that we’re making a conscious choice to invest in our relationship. Maybe it’s because I know that date nights, especially when you have young children at home, feel incredibly rare and precious.
In any case, I’m all about dates. The lazy morning coffee dates. The trendy restaurant dates where you have to pay for valet. The adventurous dates where you head to a new-to-you ethnic spot and order everything on the menu. But for special occasions, I have to be honest – my MOST favorite dates include fancy hotels and cocktails and an indulgent dinner.
As a travel and food writer, I’m often asked for suggestions and ideas on how to best celebrate a special occasion like an anniversary or birthday. And I always suggest spending the night in a gorgeous hotel and treating yourself to a fabulous dinner.
Here’s the thing – there’s just something magical about staying at a beautiful hotel. You get to check out of your crazy, busy life and get to check into a relaxing atmosphere. It’s heaven to me.
And in Columbus, one of my favorite options is a stay at the stunning Renaissance Westerville-Polaris hotel, paired with a dinner at The Two-One Restaurant. With a chef-crafted menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients, and a cocktail list full of prohibition-inspired cocktails, The Two-One is an unbelievable treat.
Our Romantic Date Night at the Renaissance Columbus-Polaris Hotel
The Renaissance Columbus – Polaris hotel is a Marriott category 4 and has everything you could possibly desire – an indoor pool, fitness center, gorgeous water front property and romantic vibes in spades.
As soon as we walked into the hotel, we were in love. The decor is modern lake house vibe and I immediately felt like I was on vacation.
Looking past the lobby, you will find their stunning bar. I recommend checking in, running up to drop off your bags and then immediately heading down to the bar for a cocktail to start your date night off to a romantic start.
When we walked into our hotel room, our jaws dropped. The room was gorgeous. We loved the vibe, the decor, and the luxurious bedding.
After we dropped off our bags and freshened up, we decided to officially start date night off with a drink. Depending on the season, I recommend heading out to their patio with your cocktail. They have several fire pits and a gorgeous water view.
Relax with your cocktails and just gaze into each other’s eyes. Or you know, talk about how much you already miss your kids and wonder out loud if the sitter is regretting her decision to watch them for you. It’s cool. You do you do. And remember, you have the whole night to enjoy each other’s company.
One of my favorite things about staying at the Renaissance is that the entire team truly wants to go above and beyond for you. So if there’s something they can do to help make your stay a little more romantic – let them know. From suggestions on nearby activities, to helping you to order flowers or wine for your room – the Renaissance team is always so happy to provide the best service.
In fact, they set up a delightful cocktail making class for us on our stay. This was the perfect activity for my bourbon loving husband!
The bar manager led the class himself, and while he walked us through making the perfect old-fashioned cocktail, he told us all about the history of prohibition and it’s roots to Westerville.
We learned how The Two-One restaurant is named after the 21st amendment to pay homage to Westerville, where the temperance movement was highly influential.
As he shared the history of prohibition, he taught us how to make a proper old fashioned cocktail. I felt pretty fancy running an orange peel around the rim of my rocks glass!
The set up was just perfect and we both had a blast. And not to brag, but it might have been the most delicious old fashioned cocktail I’ve ever had.
So after our cocktails, we headed into the lobby to have dinner. And you guys. What a treat. Dinner was absolutely fabulous, and I want to share what we ordered even though it’s likely you’ll have an entirely different selection to choose from since the chef-crafted menu rotates seasonally.
Don’t forget to try the cocktails! I have a soft spot for Prohibition-style drinks and these cocktails did not disappoint. My husband and I have drastically different tastes in cocktails and we both found things we absolutely loved!
We took our time with dinner and enjoyed ourselves. We ordered entirely too much food and probably should have skipped dessert….but…it was date night. So we ordered a dreamy dessert. And I’m so glad we did. We only had a few bites, but we took it up to our room and stuck it in our fridge to share with our little one the next day.
Now typically we are a “two cocktails over the course of an entire evening” sort of people. A cocktail before dinner and a glass or wine or beer with dinner. That’s how we roll 99.8% of the time. But one of the best things about hotel dates is that you can just walk up to your room, responsibly. So we decided to indulge in a third cocktail, and opted to have it outside on the patio, next to the fire pit.
We had such a relaxing, romantic, fun date night at the Renaissance Columbus – Polaris. Definitely put this one on your list!