With Valentine's Day just around the corner, why not pamper yourself and your sweetheart by taking a romantic vacation somewhere around the world?
Here are some fascinating Valentine's getaways that offer something more than your typical romantic vacation for two.
Hotel Fouquet's Barriere in Paris (http://www.fouquets-barriere.com/) The hotel — at the corner of Avenue George V and the Champs Elysees — opened in November and is the first "Palace Hotel" to open in Paris in 80 years. Here are the details:2 nights minimum stayBreakfastsWelcoming caviar and champagne in the room. Champagne dinner at the hotel's Le Diane restaurant. One-hour photo session in the streets of Paris with a professional, old-time black-and-white photographer à la Robert Doisneau. One make-up treatment for Madame and one skin treatment for Monsieur before the photo session. A souvenir album with the best 10 photos. A romantic Paris-by-night tour in a chauffeur-driven 2CV convertible or a Peugeot C6 (President Chirac's vehicle). Transport to and from the airport.Cost: 1,599 Euros ($2,070 U.S.)/night for 2 in a superior room
"Love is in the Air" for Eos Airlines
Eos promises to be "the world's most romantic airline" (for one night at least) with special Valentine's Day flights from New York to London. Couples get to dine face to face. During their meal, they will enjoy special amenities including Godiva chocolate, Tattinger champagne and even a book of love poems. They are encouraged to check their box of Godiva chocolates carefully, as one box on each flight includes a Valentine's Day gift certificate awarding complimentary roundtrip tickets for a future Eos flight. A honeymoon, perhaps?
After dinner, Eos' attendants provide turndown service, as couples settle in to sleep side by side in adjacent suites, each featuring a 6-foot-6-inch fully horizontal beds, full-size pillows, down comforters/duvets and Bose noise-canceling headsets. Each suite offers 21 square feet of personal space, and individual aisle access. Plenty of room for a man to kneel on bended knee, if there was a certain question he had been meaning to ask!
Eos' Valentine's Day flights depart from New York's JFK Airport to London's Stansted Airport at 7:15 p.m. and 8:55 p.m. on February 14th.
For more information, visit eosairlines.com or call (800) 598-2169.
Discovery Cove (Orlando, Fla.) - "Swim with Dolphins"
Couples looking for a one-of-a-kind experience to express their love can escape to the tropical hideaway of Discovery Cove in Orlando. From celebrating Valentine's Day in the lap of luxury, swimming with dolphins and snorkeling with rays, to relaxing on pristine beaches and drifting along the crystal clear tropical river, there are an array of romance packages available throughout February.
Valentine's Value Package - $74.95 Package includes a buoy with personalized message delivered by a dolphin, 6x8 photo, souvenir frame and boxed chocolates.
Valentine's Sweetheart Package - $149.95Package includes a buoy with personalized message delivered by a dolphin, 6x8 photo and souvenir frame, boxed chocolates, champagne and two souvenir toasting flutes.
Valentine's Romance Package - $299.95Package includes a buoy with personalized message delivered by a dolphin, 6x8 photo, souvenir frame and video, boxed chocolates, a dozen roses, champagne, two souvenir toasting flutes, champagne chiller and private cabana for the day.
The Inn of the Five Graces (Santa Fe, N.M.) - "Leap to Elopement"
This is for couples who want to be married on the spot, with all the spontaneous romance of an elopement. The hotel general manager acquired a certification online as an ordained priest from the Universal Life Church of Love, approved as a legal endorsement by the County Clerk of Santa Fe.
The Five Senses — A ceremony catering to all the senses at the outset of your journey together. Sight: a long lingering eyeful of each other, your first mutual gaze as husband and wife; smell: fragrant local piñon wood incense burners scenting the courtyard; sound: Native American wind chimes lend a natural accompaniment to the ceremony; taste: a sangria toast for the bride and groom; touch: the soft velvety sensation of the sage bouquets holding each of your rings.
The Dowry — Elements of an ancient wedding ceremony enrich this event, during which 13 gold coins (representing the groom's dowry to his bride) are blessed by the officiator and passed between the hands of the newlyweds several times. A large rosary or lasso is wound around the couple's shoulders in a figure-8 during the wedding ceremony to symbolize their union.
Beginnings: African American Custom — The old slave tradition of jumping over a broomstick together to start a new married life is sometimes traced to a much older African tribal marriage ritual of placing sticks on the ground to represent the couple's new home. Today, the jumping of the sticks is a symbol of sweeping away of the old, and welcoming the new.
Native American Tradition — The Blanket ritual is a beloved part of Native American culture. The Inn of the Five Graces makes it a memorable part of your Santa Fe elopement: Two blue blankets are wrapped around the shoulders of both bride and groom, symbolizing the separateness of their past lives.
Candlelight and Butterflies — In this symbolic ceremony, the bride and groom light their own small candles, representing their distinct backgrounds and values. Then together, the couple lights a large single candle symbolizing the union of their lives. At the ceremony's end, 100 butterflies will be released from the courtyard in a literally uplifting and colorful expression of joy and hope.
Little Palm Island Resort and Spa (Little Torch Key, Fla.) - "The Ultimate Engagement Package"
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in Little Torch Key, Fla., has the $35,000 Ultimate Engagement Package that offers the best of on-island proposals. The wedding coordinator, the island "Romance Angel" Mary, has been with the resort for nearly a dozen years and specializes in making these intimate moments unforgettable. The package includes: — Charter air transfers to/from the Island from Miami International Airport— 4 night's accommodations in the Island Grand Suite— Appointment with resort's Diamond Concierge and $10,000 toward the ring of your choice!— Welcome bottle of champagne with two crystal champagne flutes— Romantic drawing/watercolor painting of the couple at Little Palm Island, done by a local artist in advance upon receiving a photo from the groom-to-be, displayed in the couple's bungalow upon check-in or presented upon the engagement— $500 credit per person in SpaTerre to relax before the big moment— Private sunset cruise to set the mood— Three meals each day including a private Palapa Point Dinner for two with private server and harpist serenade— Photographer to snap pictures throughout the night with souvenir photo album— "All You Have To Do Is Ask" turndown service - anything you wish, including rose petals throughout the room and more— Two plush bathrobes
If she says yes, a wedding ceremony on the Island will be free!
Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Pillow Top PicnicTuesday, Feb. 13 through Thursday, Feb. 15. For couples desiring a more intimate and private dining experience, a three-course prix fixe dinner for two is delivered directly to the guests' room. Designed to be shared and eaten in bed, the Pillow Top Picnic menu includes rose petals, a box of gourmet truffles and specially-printed menu. $90 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Twenty-four hour advance reservations and overnight stay required; please call 650-712-7657 for reservations.
Pillow Top Picnic MenuHomemade Foie Gras Terrine with Toasted Brioche Mount Tam Cowgirl Creamery Cheese Seasonal Fruit Basket Shrimp Cocktail ~ Lobster Cannelloni with Black Truffles ~ Valentine Celebration Cheesecake
The Romance Blend — In-Room, Butler-Drawn Bath Set the stage for romance with an immersion in a luxurious bath filled with rose and lavender scented bubbles and fresh rose petals. The glow of candle light and romantic music will surely enhance this sensual soak. Candle and CD are complimentary. $65 per room. Chilled split of Champagne, $42, bottle, $58. Available to overnight guests only. Please call 650-712-7040 for reservations and further information.
Fire and Wine PackageIdeal for a romantic Winter getaway on the coast, this package includes Terrace Fire Pit Room accommodations; a bottle of wine; a s'mores kit for two, perfect for roasting in front of the patio fireplace; rose petal turndown; deluxe candle; resort fee; and overnight parking for one car. This package begins at $629, single or double occupancy, exclusive of tax and gratuities. For reservations, please call 800-241-3333.
Chocolate Ring BoxWhy not give your engagement ring to your future fiancé in a handmade, chocolate ring box? Pastry Chef William Werner and his team have created a small ring box, made entirely of chocolate. Guests who wish to order the box are requested to do so at least 48 hours in advance, and each box costs $35.
A Sanctuary of Love — International House (New Orleans)
This New Orleans boutique hotel serves as a gatekeeper between the spirits of love and more earthbound beings. International House invites lovers to perform their own special ceremony for the most personal of occasions: Valentine's Day or any day you desire, the hotel offers the opportunity to discover the power of a romantic guest experience, a Voodoo Sanctuary of Love, infused with loa, the divine spirits of Voodoo.
Lovers can find Voodoo to be a mysterious passageway through which they can invoke the cool and sweet spirits known as Rada. To assist in this bonding, International House has assembled ritual objects and recipes to secure the everlasting commitment and enhance the evening courtship. One of Voodoo's hallmarks for love and happiness is the orris root, a natural delicacy that is placed under the tongue while kissing so as to ensure the eternal joining of two souls. Other locally handmade offerings in the basket given to Sanctuary of Love guests on arrival include aromatic bath salts in a box tied with white lace ribbons, and massage oils in a bottle adorned with feathers, beads, rhinestones, and semi-precious stones. Incense and an essential oil candle in a glass votive holder are also tucked into the basket of Voodoo ritual items.
Each element plays a vital role in Voodoo, and calligraphic descriptions and instructions are provided, as are instructions to assist in the private ceremony. Customarily performed outdoors, the details are only suggested, not dictated, allowing couples to create their own symbolic ritual.
For those seeking the exotic, International House brings to you (by 30-day advance appointment and at an additional cost of $250) the local matriarch of Mambo. The Voodoo priestess will restyle your guestroom with beautiful sacred objects and create for you a personal altar. Intimacy is reinforced with a delicate transitory design that captures the moment, and a "gris gris" bag, or lucky charm, is created for the couple during the ceremony.
International House offers a Sanctuary of Love experience for a value of $549 for the first evening and $319 for a second night (based on a two-night stay, double occupancy — tax and gratuity excluded). One need not wait for a wedding, anniversary, or birthday to celebrate love. There is always an occasion, especially when International House is itself a sanctuary filled with romance, timelessly beautiful design, soothing light, and colorful symbolism. Create and discover your own desires.
Mile High Atlanta
()Located at West Georgia Regional Airport near Carrollton, a short drive from the metropolitan Atlanta area in rural Georgia, the company takes clients up to over 5,280 feet so they have the opportunity to join the "Mile High Club." For $299, the clients will have an hour flight in a Piper Cherokee Six. For Valentine's Day, the company offers a "romance" flight that includes a bottle of champagne and flowers during a sunset flight. At the flight's end, the clients get to keep the sheets as a souvenir of this special event.This company can specially organize unique ways to propose while in flight. For example, corporate pilot Bill Smith helped a client orchestrate a really unusual proposal. The client bought about 40 bags of flour and spelled out "MARRY ME" behind his house. Bill flew the client and his fiancé over the house and, needless to say, she was really surprised. He then gave her the ring and, according to Bill, "As far as I know they have lived happily ever after."
(www.gozerog.com/home_full1.aspx)$3,097.50 (includes tax)Propose on Mars, the Moon, or way out in outer space! Board a plane at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Fly, float and flip through the cabin.
The first stop is "Mars" for a taste of one-third gravity. Next, clients travel to the "Moon" and experience lunar gravity parabolas. In lunar gravity, a person weighs one-sixth what you do on Earth. Finally, clients arrive in "outer space" and an encounter with zero-gravity. You'll be bouncing uncontrollably about the cabin like human popcorn. Soon, you'll master the fine art of moving in zero-gravity and feel like an astronaut as you perform out of this world maneuvers.
Astronauts and cosmonauts prepare for space missions by training in a special aircraft designed to simulate the weightlessness of outer space. Pilots perform a series of parabolic flight maneuvers that counter the forces of gravity and allow the astronauts and cosmonauts to learn how to accomplish tasks with no gravity. NASA's KC-135 aircraft was used to film weightless scenes in the Tom Hanks movie Apollo 13. Incredible Adventures offers weightless flights alongside cosmonauts on Russia's IL-76 MDK.
Weightless flights are offered in cooperation with ZeroG Corp and take place aboard a specially-modified and FAA certified Boeing 727 christened GForce One. During take-off and landings, clients are safely strapped into standard airline seats and hear the standard airline flight safety briefings from the flight crew.
And finally, for the “losers” and “loners” out there...
Arawak Beach Inn (Anguilla) - "Me, Myself & I"
For those forced to spend the "Day of Love" solo, Arawak Beach Inn on the Caribbean island of Anguilla is offering a "Me, Myself & I" package, starting at $699 — single occupancy, of course. This includes three-night accommodations in an oceanfront room, daily breakfast, lobster dinner for one and roundtrip airport transfers. Guests will enjoy the choice of spending the day solo on a nearby uninhabited island with packed lunch, or a Discovery Swim with the Dolphins at Dolphin Discovery. Singles who have a little more than R&R on the agenda can consult Maria, the innkeeper and a single woman herself, who will provide a list of local hotspots ideal for island fun (twist her arm and she may come along!).