Hey, guess what. Flowers and chocolates aren’t the only way to tempt your Valentine. Romance needs a dash of the unexpected and an occasional visit to the unknown. The solution: this year, nothing says “I love you” like a room key. There are deals to be had, even last minute, so get moving and do something spontaneous and sexy. From Dublin and beaches of Bermuda to the California Coast and Colorado, these boutique hotels and intimate resorts are prepared to spoil you and your Very Significant Other with inspired getaways and indulgent overnighters made for memories.
Where better to spend Valentine’s Day than in the Old World splendor of the very city where St. Valentine found his final resting place. One of Dublin’s finest hotels, the five-star Merrion, a discreet collection of several Georgian townhouses, has created three different packages to meet the whims of lovers of all types. The “Real Love” package includes tickets to Tom Stoppard’s the “Real Thing” at the Gate Theatre, as well as overnight accommodation, full Irish breakfast in bed, a bottle of chilled rosé champagne, Valentine’s chocolates and a Champagne afternoon tea. Available February 13 to 15; priced €515 (approximately $714), per couple, per night. “Lasting Love” features an overnight stay, full Irish breakfast, a bottle of chilled Rosé Champagne, Valentine’s chocolates and a bunch of red roses upon arrival. Available throughout February, priced at €380 per couple (approximately $527), per night. “All Loved Up” offers guests a luxurious double room with full Irish breakfast, a bottle of chilled rosé champagne and Valentines chocolates upon arrival, and a candlelit, three-course meal in The Merrion’s Cellar Restaurant. Available Saturday, February 14; priced at €530 (approximately $735) per couple, per night.
A colonial-era hacienda lovingly restored by its owners, Hacienda Xcanatun is an evocative setting for a romantic respite located near Merida, the Yucatan’s “white city” known for it’s whitewashed historic buildings. In addition to allowing guests to celebrate for three nights and pay for just two, the boutique property’s Valentine Escape for Two package includes a complementary candlelight “Food of the Gods” dinner, an innovative menu featuring local ingredients which celebrates the Mayans love affair with flowers and chocolate. Available February 11 through 19; priced at $500 per couple, Superior room;$570, Deluxe Suite; $630 in a Master Suite.
Kimpton Hotel’s boutique property in LA’s Westwood neighborhood, the Hotel Palomar, encourages intimate encounters with their “Rub the One You’re With” getaway package. The romantic retreat includes an in-room massage class where couples learn from a professional massage therapist how to pamper through the art of touch. Other amenities include a take-home massage kit featuring Kerstin Florian organic botanicals, a welcome bottle of Champagne as well as deluxe overnight accommodations. Available February 1 through March 31; priced at $399 per couple, per night.
The newly opened Resort at Pelican Hill wants to indulge you and your amour at their swank resort in Newport Beach, CA. Spend the night sequestered in one of their spacious European-style villas, where you can sip Prosecco and nibble on chocolate-covered strawberries by the limestone fireplace or on your terrace overlooking the Pacific. Add a candlelit dinner or couple’s spa treatment into the Valentine’s Day mix or meander along the arroyos and coastline as you play a round on their Tom Fazio golf course (but only if both partners like to golf, right boys?). For those that want to go big in the sweep-her-off-her-feet department, the “Ultimate Engagement” package means the resort’s Bentley fetches lovebirds anywhere in southern California, then chauffeurs them to a two-bedroom grandiose villa where a custom-tailored haute cuisine meal and a live musician await. In-room massages and breakfast in bed round out the perfect getaway. The 504-acre Italian-style resort, set on the dramatic coastline, boasts an iconic Coliseum Pool, the largest circular pool anywhere with tiered decks and luxurious cabanas. February means the whales are passing by so kick back with a fluffy cocktail on that padded lounge chair and make counting water sprays in the sunshine the most strenuous activity of the day. Well, second most… Specials run February 13, 14 and 15th, starting at $795 per night and up to $5000 for the Bentley extravaganza.
Jet off to Maui for a scintillating spa weekend at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. A surprise telelgram can be delivered to your room requesting your mate’s presence and a personal spa concierge will help your paramour pick a perfect treatment. Running with the theme that Valentine’s Day equals champagne and sweets, the resort’s spa has several indulgent choices like their hydrating chocolate truffle body facial or a champagne sugar body scrub. Couples can also experience traditional Hawaiian bodywork called lomi lomi side by side, then sip champagne in sybaritic bliss. Such special treatments are discounted and available for the month of February, starting at $150 per person.
Thinking about getting engaged? 9 Beaches is an ideal romantic spot. This chilled out barefoot camp is spread over 18 private waterfront acres on the western-most tip of Bermuda. Surrounded by a sapphire sea and nine beautiful beaches, couples sleep in soft-sided luxury cabanas on stilts with views across the Atlantic Ocean. Several perch right over the water with Plexiglas floor panels to reveal tropical fish fluttering underfoot. In addition to all the delights on land, aquatic pleasures also abound: Hobie cats, catamarans, sea kayaks, snorkeling, windsurfing, and diving offer alternative activities for those who like to stay active–the perfect place to unwind with your loved one. There is even an on-site wedding coordinator if things go really well! Rates start at $205-570 depending on season and room type, includes breakfast only. For reservations call toll free 1-866-841-9009 or call the hotel directly at 1-441-239-2999 / Email: email@example.com
If you really want to get far away from it all, Chumbe Island is a marine sanctuary off the coast of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by one of the world’s best preserved shallow reefs with over 200 species of coral and 400 fish set in a castaway environment. Eco-bungalows that look like wooden models of the Sydney Opera House jut out over coral rocks and turquoise waters, rising up in perfect harmony with their natural surroundings. Chumbe has all the attractions of an island paradise – teeming coral reefs, swaying palm trees, thick coral-rag forests and sublime cuisine – but it’s as far removed from a typical holiday resort as you’ll get. There are no cocktail bars, catamarans, swimming pools, televisions or even electricity. If you’re looking for entertainment it’s all provided courtesy of nature. After a day basking on the reef and looking down, at night guests can lower their portcullis and look up to reveal a dazzling blanket of stars spread out above them, making it an ideal place for both lovers and nature-lovers. For general information inquiries, call or fax: +255-(0) 24-2231040 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org / bookings: email@example.com.
For a romantic mountainside retreat, check into the elegant Hotel Jerome in Aspen. You and your loved one will feel like you have stepped back to a bygone era in this historic Victorian-style gem that was built in 1889. This sophisticated hotel has been elegantly restored and updated with luxurious finishings and features a magical three-story atrium with a cozy fireplace, individually decorated rooms with rich damask fabrics, king-size beds, down comforters, feather pillows, and 300-thread-count linens. The hotel’s Fire and Ice special includes two nights in a one-bedroom suite, bottle of Champagne upon arrival, chocolate-covered strawberries at turndown, two 50-minute in-room couples massages, and daily breakfast for two at either Jacob’s Corner or room service. If you make it out of the room and onto the slopes, the hotel has its own ski concierge to dry your boots and purchase lift tickets. Rates start at $1,775 per night.
For the ultimate in luxury travel, check into Parrot Cay. Located in Turks and Caicos, just a 30-minute boat ride from the capital of Provo, this luxury resort will definitely put you in the mood for love. With pristine turquoise waters, powder white sand, sumptuous restuarants, and luxurious interiors, it is easy to see why so many bold-face names have chosen to get married here. The sophisticated rooms perfectly blend a mixture of Balinese and Caribbean influences. The interiors reflect simplistic elegance: white muslin curtains surrounding the four-poster beds, zen-inspired black and white photos on the walls, and white wicker furnishings. For an unforgettable Valentine’s Day, book a three-night Rejuvination Escape that includes daily breakfast, daily three-course lunch, daily three-course dinner, and one COMO Shambala massage per person. Rates through April 19 are $3,385 for a Garden View and $3,985 for and Ocean View room.