Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine’s Day Escapes

Save 5% on Gift Certificates With Code VALENTINE5. Ends 2.14.11
As the countdown to Valentine’s Day continues, I have been collecting information on some interesting getaways. It doesn’t look like I’ll be taking part in any romantic explorations this year, but here’s a few ideas that I would consider if I were…

Looking to get married this Valentine’s Day? Well, if you aren’t into quiet, private ceremonies, check out the Valentine’s Day Group Wedding Ceremony in Atlantic City. It’s at the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall at 2:00 pm on February 14th and is open to anyone who wants to get married, have a civil union or renew their vows. There will be a champagne toast, wedding cake and photos taken. For more information or registration for the event, visit

Once you’ve said those vows, you will find plenty of places to get romantic in Atlantic City. "An Evening of Romance" will take place at Absecon Lighthouse from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will include appetizers, chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. Music is provided by a DJ, and keepsake photos will be taken. Tickets are $125 per couple. For more information, go to

If you are looking for someplace to stay overnight, there’s no shortage of deals in Atlantic City. Bring your Valentine to the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for a performance by Enrique Iglesias. Packages start at $1,149 and include two tickets to the concert and overnight accommodations in a Borgata Fiore Suite, a couples in-suite massage, champagne with chocolate strawberries, a $50 credit for breakfast in-bed and a $50 off coupon to Just Cavalli/Hugo Boss. For more information or to make reservations, call 609-317-7555 or visit the website

JW Marriott Chicago is offering a lavish Romance Spa Package, available Friday, February 11 through Monday, February 14. Couples will begin with an appetizer and cocktails in the Lobby Lounge before each receiving a 60-minute spa experience at VALEO. It’s then off to the room where you can enjoy the romance with a drawn bath, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne and strawberries. In the morning, enjoy breakfast in bed or in The Florentine restaurant ($70 credit) before a late 3pm checkout. Reservations may be made by calling 312-660-8200 or visiting the website. Be sure to use the promotional code LVU for this package, which costs $679 per night.

I loved my overnight at the spectacular Palmer House Hilton (above) and it’s certainly a regal place for romance. Rates are as low as $225 for a room with early check-in; sparkling wine or cider; access to the health club, pool and whirlpool; and a full breakfast for two. Finish your stay with a walk down the block to the Art Institute. For more information, visit the hotel’s website or call 312-726-7500.

If you are just looking for a romantic dinner in the Windy City, how about Michelin-rated Sepia? From Saturday, February 12 through Monday, February 14, enjoy a prix-fixe menu with ($115) or without ($70 wine pairings. The four course dinner includes such treats as a First Course of Roasted beet and leek soup, crème fraîche, caviar, accompanied by 2009 Wimmer-Czerny Roter Veltliner 'Fels am Wagram', from Wagram, Austria, and an ending of Chocolate-ancho chili parfait, cinnamon cake, blood orange, candied pine nuts, served with 2009 Domaine La Tour Vieille 'Rimage' from Banyuls. For more information, or to make a reservation, call (312) 441-1920.

Finger Lakes Wine Country-
I can’t imagine a better combination than wine and chocolate on Valentine’s Day so why not enjoy the pairing in one of my favorite wine regions. Events will be taking place throughout the area, including: “Truffles and Tastes" on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail; "Chocolate & Wine Weekend" on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail; and "Be Mine with Wine" on the Niagara Wine Trail. Also look for specials at individual wineries in the Finger Lakes, such as "Tokens of Love" at King Ferry Winery; "Valentine's Weekend Fun" at Wilhelmus Estate Winery; "Dinner with your Valentine" at Knapp Vineyards Winery & Restaurant; "Wine 101: Couple's Edition" at JD Wine Cellars; "Valentine's Wine Tasting for Wine Lovers & Learners" at Adirondack Winery; "Valentine's Day Chocolate and Wine Tasting" at Black Bear Farm Winery; "Sweethearts Tasting Food and Wine Paring" at Coyote Moon Vineyards; and "Valentine Champagne & Chocolate" at Brimstone Hill Vineyard. For more details on these and other wine country events, visit the New York Wine’s website

Enjoy a romantic getaway to a private island, specifically Eagle Island in Georgia. Capt. Andy provides round-trip boat transportation (the only way to get there) from Darien, Georgia. During February you can take advantage of the Romantic Valentine Package that includes: a Private Islands of Georgia tote bag; Eagle Island cap; imported Teak Sugar Mold Candle Stand with votive candles; bottle of wine or champagne; fresh flowers; Private Islands of Georgia signature BBQ sauce; and the Coastal Georgia Guide to wildlife, boating, island facts and adventures. Enjoy accommodations with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a wrap-around screen porch with a hammock and Jacuzzi. Packages start at $400 per night. Call (912) 222-0801 or go to

There’s no shortage of places for romance in Napa (check out some of the stories from my trips), but it’s also a great place to go if you are a single woman without someone to celebrate with. Check out some of the special offerings for Girlfriend Getaways in Napa:

Spa Diva Package at The Meritage Resort and Spa includes a two-night stay in a superior guest room or suite; daily breakfast in bed; late checkout; complimentary bottle of wine; two 50-minute treatments (Terra Swedish massage or European facial) at Spa Terra; and two Spa Diva tees or hats.

Girls Gone Wine Package at The Napa River Inn ­ offers a two night stay for a group of four girlfriends. It starts at $199 per person and includes a two night stay for four people in a guest room with two double beds; complimentary bottle of Sofia Coppola sparkling wine; catered breakfast from Sweetie Pie¹s Bakery each morning delivered to room; reserved VIP table and complimentary cover charge at SILOŒs Jazz Club; a full-day wineries excursion with transportation and picnic lunch from Platypus Tours; exclusive discounts at Cake Plate clothing boutique with assistance of a personal shopper; and VIP coupon books at the Napa Premium Outlets.  Participants also get 20 percent off at La Pelle Skin Spa  and 15 percent off at Amelia's gift shop<. Indian Springs Resort and Spa Girlfriend¹s Day Away Package is for complete relaxation. For $280.00 per person, you will get a volcanic ash mudbath; full session massage; and an Indian Springs signature half-session facial. Relax in the   mineral pool and lounge in a comfy robe by the Buddha pond for the afternoon.  Additional treatment specials are available, as are cottages and lodge rooms.

Visit Legendary Napa for more packages and details.

Norwegian Cruise Lines logo
Cruise to Your Favorite Destination…
Norwegian Cruise Line is looking for couples who want to “fall in love all over again.”  Couples who book a cruise through March 27th will receive an upgrade of up to four-categories, along with e-coupons in on-board for a savings of up to $400. Add on to that The Romance Package with sparkling wine and strawberries in stateroom; a traditional spa pedicure and manicure for one; two 25-minute half-body Seven Seas Massages; and tea service in stateroom for $249 per stateroom. Other packages are available. Check the website for additional cruise specials on NCL ships or call 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784).

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