Valentine’s Day Roundup: For Couples Who Love to Love
Valentine’s Day: the most romantic day of the year. While some celebrate with lavish, over-the-top excursions, others honor that special someone with romantic stays in secluded retreats and unique declarations of love. Below is a list of some of the world’s most romantic ways to celebrate February 14.
Couples can keep their love locked tight in Perth, Australia. According to legend, the tradition of “love locks” originated in China, where couples fixed a padlock to a fence, pole, or metallic chain to symbolize their eternal love. As long as the lock remains on the chain, the couples’ love will last forever. Since love locks launched in Perth more than 700 people have honored the tradition. This year at Perth’s Bell Tower in Barrack Square lovers can make a video postcard to share the special moment with family and friends. The tower is open every day at 10 a.m.
Alfred Hitchcock once declared that the riva (or waterfront) in Zadar, Croatia, provided a view of the most beautiful sunset in the world. If that wasn’t enough to attract couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, Croatia’s most romantic city is also home to two unique sites: the Greeting to the Sun installation and the Sea Organ. Made by architect Nikola Bašić, the Greeting to the Sun sits on Istarska obala at the end of the Zadar peninsula and consists of 300 multi-layered glass plates placed in a circle in align with the waterfront. Photo-voltage solar modules appear underneath the plates, with the aim to communicate with light. Situated near the new cruiser port on Zadar’s waterfront is the Bašić-designed Sea Organ, which is made up of several stairs that descend into the water. At the lowest sea-tide level are 35 pipes of different lengths, diameter, and tilts featuring whistles that play seven chords of five tones. Sound is pushed by the sea and comes out through perforated stone stairs above the canal. Each serves to bring love-struck couples closer to nature through light and sound.
The couples’ suite at Spa Gaucin at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California, welcomes lovers with a deep-soaking bath, a wood-burning fireplace, and two massage tables. Sweethearts can honor the day of romance with an indulgent, 90-minute aromatherapy massage complete with a luxurious oil blend given at the end of the service. Once the massage is over, the celebration continues with a chocolate cooking class for two with famed St. Regis Monarch Beach chocolatier, chef Frederic Moureau. The romantic package is priced at $1075 per couple; reserve a special Valentine’s Day dinner at Motif or Stonehill Tavern for and additional $105 to $240.
Stay for two nights during the week of Valentine’s Day at Rock Hall Luxe Lodging in Colebrook, Connecticut, and capture the essence of love and devotion. Starting at $1,150, couples can pronounce their love for each other with a romantic, fireside, essential oil couples’ massage, afternoon Snowball cocktails, a pair of imported Turkish towels, and a Rock Hall cocktail shaker. In addition, couples will have the opportunity to meet with Rock Hall’s herbalist to create their own unique love potion, a reminder of the love they share and the special time they spent at the estate. Additional packages offered at the Rock Hall allow guests to include handcrafted chocolates and a bottle of wine or champagne, a hands-on mixology class with “Mixmaster Michael,” and a scenic carriage ride through the beautiful Litchfield Hills with their stay.
Celebrate romance with miles of beaches and luxurious accommodations at Las Alamandas in Costalegre, Mexico. The resort’s Valentine Special features two nights in an ocean-view suite, fresh lime margaritas upon arrival, and a tropical fruit platter in-room. Guests also receive three gourmet meals daily with non-alcoholic beverages served al fresco at the Oasis Restaurant or in the privacy of the suite, as well as a romantic, candlelit dinner or gourmet picnic with sparking wine. The adventure continues with sunset margaritas and a one-hour horseback ride for two. Rates for this special package—available February 1 through 28—begin at $1,674 for two, plus tax and service.
Tucked away in an ivy-filled, gas-lit courtyard in St. James Place, Dukes St. James in London provides a romantic escape for couples to celebrate their love this Valentine’s Day. The London hotel’s “Forever in Love” package includes luxury accommodations, 18 red roses, a private butler, in-room dinner, and a welcome bottle of Champagne. Continuing its mission to be a place of comfort, elegance, and luxury, Dukes will also provide a bottle of Ren Rose Oil for relaxing baths and breakfast in bed with Buck’s Fizz cocktails. The package is $1770 for two people and is available February 15 to 17.
Orlando, Florida’s Villas of Grand Cypress entices lovers with the “Light Your Fire” escape package this Valentine’s Day. Couples can reignite their passion in a newly renovated, one-bedroom villa that comes complete with Champagne and fresh berries upon arrival. Guests at the villas to celebrate the special holiday will also receive a fire-grilled, four-course dinner prepared on a private patio and served at a candlelit table for two followed by drinks beside a personal fire pit and a view of nearby fireworks. The resort adds to the romantic atmosphere with a drawn bath infused with romantic oils and layered rose petals and breakfast in bed each morning. Available for the entire month of February, the package starts at $1499.
Throughout the month of February, Belgraves, A Thompson Hotel has collaborated with luxurious lingerie house La Perla and Theo Fennell, jeweler to the stars, to create the ultimate experience in romance. Treat that special someone to a private in-room La Perla fitting, an exquisite La Perla gift box containing a lace eye mask and Macramé necklace, and a silver Theo Fennell ALIAS charm worth $200. In addition, each room and suite at Belgraves will feature a specially curated movie library, offering classic romantic films such as “Say Anything…” and “Casablanca.” The hotel stay comes complete with Sunday brunch in bed and a 4 p.m. checkout. Rates start at $805 for a king suite.
The Curtis Hotel in Denver, Colorado, invites couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a unique way: by channeling their favorite famous pairs. Are you and your boo a couple of stylish jet-setters? Choose “The Brangelina” package and unwind by watching Brad and Angie’s most famous movie together while enjoying a decadent French snack and bottle of wine. “The Ellen & Portia” is for couples who like to shake their groove thing; the package comes with a CD of popular tunes, a batch of Blondies, and a bottle of California red wine. Finally, “The John & Yoko” celebrates the timeless love of the Beatles legend and his wife with an iTunes gift card, two groovy cocktails from The Corner Office, and chocolate-covered “Strawberry Field Forever.” Each package also comes with a surprise amenity reminiscent of each celebrity couple. This offer is available from February 14 to 16; rates start at $174 per night.
Searching for passion and seduction this Valentine’s Day? Look no further than Buenos Aires, Argentina, where couples can escape on a 12-night journey with Jacada Travel. For $5,294 per person, couples can learn to tango with the pros and put their skills to use in the traditional tango halls of Buenos Aires. The tour takes adventurers from the Argentinian hot spot to Mendoza and the Fabre Montmayou Winery for a lesson in wine blends followed by a trip to Bariloche and Victoria Island. Next, in El Calafate, couples will receive a daylong tour of the Perito Moreno glacier before heading back to Buenos Aires for one final chance to tango the night away in the vibrant city.
A trip to Pontresina, Switzerland, and a Valentine’s Day stay at Grand Hotel Kronenhof begins with a magical train ride from Zurich in a narrow-gauge Rhaetian train, part of the famous Glacier Express route and a UNESCO World Heritage railway. At the Pontresina station, couples are picked up in a chauffeur-driven car and whisked to the hotel where Champagne on ice awaits. Next, it’s time for two hours at the Kronenhof’s private spa suite, where couples can enjoy an aroma massage and rasul ceremony in a steam bath and watch snowflakes fall outside while lounging on a double waterbed. The romantic piece de resistance, however, is a ride along the tree-lined Val Roseg in a horse-drawn carriage, snuggled under warm blankets with a mug of Gluhwein. Couples can also take a telecabin to a stunning 360-degree view of the French Alps and the Italian Dolomites, explore snowy paths, race downhill on toboggans, or skate on the hotel’s natural ice rink. The three-night package is $1350 per person.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic escape to the British Virgin Islands. Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina’s “Be My Valentine Private Island Escape” package includes three nights in one of the resort’s ocean-view guestrooms, chocolates and a bottle of Champagne, and a 60-minute couples’ massage. Love-struck pairs will also be treated to a private continental breakfast served in the Ixora Spa and a romantic dinner at Caravela, a fine dining restaurant. Guests can enjoy unlimited ferry access to Tortola Trellis Bay, personal concierge service, and unlimited use of the resort’s fleet of kayaks, fitness center, and hiking trails. Rates begin at $2,160.
Every two years, Roquemaure hosts the “Fête des Amoureux” a lovers’ festival, on the weekend closest to February 14. This year the small town in Gard, France, will celebrate the 23rd festival with a 19th century historic reconstruction in honor of the arrival of the Relics of St. Valentine in 1868 to protect the surrounding vineyards from disease. Couples will toast to their success with a variety of Côtes du Rhône wines available throughout the festival. The celebration will also include more than 800 people in old-fashioned dress, horse and carriages, knights in armor, decorated shop fronts, and a quaint market selling old-style produce. In addition, couples will be entertained by groups of musicians, street entertainers, jugglers, and acrobats, and the “Manivelles de l’Amour” (or “The Handles of Love”) allows lovers to sing along to beautiful love songs played on nearly 40 old-fashioned pipe organs.
It may be designed for honeymooners, but Blanket Bay’s ultimate package is an ideal way to celebrate love this Valentine’s Day. Located on the edge of New Zealand’s Mount Aspiring National Park, Blanket Bay offers five nights luxury accommodation for two in a chalet or lodge suite, a bottle of Amisfield Arcadia Methode Traditionelle and fresh flowers on arrival, breakfast each morning, and pre-dinner cocktails each evening. Sweethearts will also dine on a five-course meal each night in a choice of locations, including a private dinner in the Blanket Bay Wine Cave, and have access to a wide range of lodge facilities. An additional “Over-the-Top Honeymoon Picnic” takes couples on a helicopter flight to a choice of spectacular mountaintop locations overlooking Lake Wakatipu for a private gourmet picnic. The all-inclusive honeymoon package starts at $4,060, and the picnic price is an additional $1,866.
What could be better than being serenaded by a loved one this Valentine’s Day? Being serenaded with a song your partner wrote just for you. NIYAMA Maldives, a Per AQUUM Resort in the Maldives, invites couples to kick off Valentine’s Day with Asia’s biggest hip-hop artists, Joe Flizzow and Sono One. The pair are presenting a music workshop called “Love Struck Beats” where guests can write and produce their own rap for their special someone. NIYAMA will host three days of workshops that focus on beat listening, beat familiarization, beat selection, and lyric inspiration, putting it all together to create a Valentine’s Day gift that will last forever.
Las Vegas, Nevada, has a reputation for unique wedding themes, and the “walk-thru” wedding through the boneyard at the Neon Museum certainly fits the bill. For $777, couples and up to four guests receive a wedding ceremony amid the largest collection of rescued neon signs in the world as well as a romantic tour of the more than 150 signs on display. The newly hitched pair can pose in front of the museum’s popular vintage “Wedding Info” sign before enjoying a champagne toast and wedding cupcakes with their party. Partakers in this wedding package will also receive 25 percent off room rates at the El Cortez Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas’ downtown district. Space for the Neon Museum wedding is extremely limited.
Tomorrow, Jetset Extra will share the scoop about Valentine’s Day celebrations for singles!