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Standard vs. Standout Valentine's Day Hotels

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Valentine's Day flowers, candy, dinner and hotel stays can get costly, but they're not worth a thing if almost no thought goes into them.

Piles of money and precious little thought goes into making the "most romantic day of the year" decidedly average. Consumers will spend an average of roughly $69 on their loved one this Valentine's Day, up from little more than $63 last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Adults 25 to 34, however, more than triple that by spending nearly $190 on average, boosting overall spending that is slated to top $15 billion.

Rank amateur romantics make up most of that take, as Valentine's bouquets from the local florist or filling station make up 20% of the floral industry's annual take, according to the Society of American Florists -- which estimates that more than 180 million roses are grown solely for the holiday. The Greeting Card Association, meanwhile, thanks Valentine's Day for contributing a quarter of holiday-card sales, with the 190 million Valentine cards sold in the U.S. and 1 billion sent worldwide trailing only Christmas' tally. Those open to DeBeers' suggestion that six months' salary is an appropriate amount to spend on Valentine's Day helped that holiday's jewelry sales soar to $2.2 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This said, the same folks who put those three items on cruise control likely do the same with their choice of romantic accommodations. Every major city has a grand hotel that's an easy default for a Valentine's Day spender with lots of money to burn and little time or desire to plan. There's nothing wrong with these hotels, and their prestige and tourist appeal are the envy of places that have to ply guests with gift packages and multiday deals, but there's great reward in digging for a hidden gem.

With help from Jennifer Garfinkel, editor of hotel site >, TheStreet took a look at hotels in major cities across the country and came up with beloved romantic standards and hidden standouts in each. How do they stack up? It depends.

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