Most holidays are all about family and a whole lot of togetherness. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, however, two is the number.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Most holidays are all about family and a whole lot of togetherness. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, however, two is the number. When the kids are grown and babysitters are a distant memory, there are more ways to love thee than even Elizabeth Barrett Browning could count. Reservations and a little advance planning go a longer distance than Cupid’s arrow, so here are a few romantic options to consider.
A weekend in New York City is both decadent and convenient. Pricey though they are, romantic getaway packages are available throughout Manhattan. Touting panoramic views of New York City and sunsets over the Hudson River, Gansevoort Hotel is a vibrant destination in the city’s hip Meatpacking District for a couple looking for trendy and mod. Their Get Intimate two-night stay includes a continental breakfast, champagne, strawberries, a dozen red roses, monogrammed pillowcases, and a late checkout. In addition, Chelsea’s art galleries and bustling West Village eateries are a stone’s throw away. How about bundling up and taking a mid-winter’s walk on the High Line?
If the Upper East Side is more your speed, the Carlyle Hotel exudes rich history, sophistication, and old New York charm. A Sense of Romance package offers rosé champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, long-stemmed roses, scented candles, and a buffet breakfast. A Taste of Romance alternative also includes a tasting menu for two at the Carlyle Restaurant. If this legendary hotel is good enough for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, chances are it will make most sweethearts swoon.
As if that weren’t enough, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a few blocks away. How perfectly appropriate that a Cézanne exhibit, running through March, celebrates the artist’s love for his wife. The paintings, watercolors, and drawings trace his close relationship with Hortense Fiquet, his muse and most painted model. Even the casual observer of “Madame Cézanne in a Red Dress” can glean that behind every great man….
Need to heat things up a bit? There are a number of last-minute Valentine’s Day getaways available. Montego Bay’s Half Moon Resort in Jamaica offers a three-night stay that includes a couples’ massage in a seaside cabana, a rafting excursion for two along the Martha Brae River, and rose petal turndown service.
St. Lucia’s Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort is celebrating its 20th anniversary by offering sweet deals on spa treatments and sunset cruises, as well as the requisite champagne and strawberries. Couples celebrating their 20th wedding anniversaries can also take advantage of a free night during their stay.
On the cooler side, there’s nothing more romantic than warming up beside a fireplace, nestled in a winter wonderland surrounded by snow-dappled evergreens. Although most ski lodges are booked as Valentine’s Day Weekend coincides with President’s Week, there are plenty of idyllic New England bed and breakfasts available for three-night stays.
The Inn at Stonington in Connecticut offers fireplaces in all its guest rooms, which overlook a charming village or the Stonington Harbor. A continental breakfast is served every morning and wine and cheese is served in the evenings. Within walking distance from restaurants and antique shops, the Inn is also close to Mystic Seaport.
The Notchland Inn in Hart’s Location, New Hampshire, is just secluded enough on a 100-acre estate within the White Mountain National Forest. Skiing, skating, and quaint shops are close at hand. The country inn offers hiking and show shoeing on the premises and all their cottages and suites have wood-burning fireplaces.
Of course, if the kids have flown the coop, empty nesters needn’t go far for an evening alone. Rye’s local florists, spas, bakeries, chocolatiers, stationery shops, and restaurants are here for couples with plenty of Valentine’s Days under their belts.