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Sweet getaways for Valentine's Day

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Staff / January 11, 2004

It's never too early to start thinking about your valentine. Nowadays sweethearts celebrate any time in February, and trips to faraway places require planning. So here is a sampling of romance-drenched getaways, complete with cutesy titles:

Three inns in northeast Connecticut -- an area known as the Quiet Corner -- are presenting Cupid's Weekend Serenade packages beginning at $250 per person for two nights, with the option of a third night at 25 percent savings. The establishments are Friendship Valley Inn in Brooklyn and Celebrations Inn and Tyrone Farm, both in Pomfret, and the offer includes daily breakfast, a multi-course dinner at Tyrone Farm Saturday night, with wine and live music, no matter which of the three inns you are staying in; a framed and matted 5 x 7 photo of the two of you; other sweetheart treats; and all taxes and tips.

Call Celebrations Inn, which is coordinating the packages, at 877-928-5492 or 860-928-5492 or visit www.celebrationsinn.com.

One statistic has it that 10 percent of the 2.3 million weddings in the United States each year involve couples who got engaged on Valentine's Day. If you're going to be one of them, Sandals Royal Caribbean resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, is again offering its Test Drive Your Honeymoon experience on March 10. For $159 a person, including an Air Jamaica flight from Boston (or several other cities), couples receive planning advice by wedding specialists as they spend the day on a private island and join in a beach party that includes lunch and drinks. Sandals, of course, wants you to come back on your actual honeymoon, so if you book six days or more at one of the company's 11 Caribbean resorts, the $159 cost of the preview will be applied to your honeymoon booking. Other Test Drive dates will be April 28, June 2, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, and Nov. 9. And if you get engaged on a day other than Valentine's, you won't be turned away.

Call 800-SANDALS or visit www.sandals.com.

The International Inn in Hyannis has been luring lovers for years with its Cuddle & Bubble package, featuring an in-room Jacuzzi. Its Gala Valentine Sweethearts Package includes one, two, or three nights' lodging, one four-course dinner for two, a breakfast buffet daily, chocolates, champagne, a red rose, a spa gift bag, Cuddle & Bubble T-shirts and mugs, one pair of silk pajamas (to share, if you wish), a Valentine balloon, and a surprise gift. Rates are $251-$581 per person. .

Call 877-5-CUDDLES.

If you want to spend Valentine's Day in Paris, a Vermont-based service will customize a romantic itinerary. Paris by Design normally charges $300 for the service but is discounting the price 10-30 percent this month, depending when the itinerary is booked. Karen Kane, who lived in Paris, can arrange itineraries of various prices that include everything from airline tickets to aperitifs.

Call 800-430-5436 or visit www.parisbydesign.com.

The Riverbend Inn Bed & Breakfast in Chocorua, N.H., amid the White Mountains, has a Be My Valentine Romance Package Feb. 13-15 that features two nights' lodging (Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday) and breakfasts. Upon arrival you will find in your room a bottle of Dom Perignon on ice, a flower arrangement, and a plate of homemade cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries. Prices are $329-$549 or, for a standard package with Veuve Clicquot or something similar instead of Dom Perignon, $259-$479.

Call 800-628-6944 or visit www.riverbendinn.com.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park is celebrating Valentine's Day every weekend in February with a Fly Me to the Moon package highlighted by a helicopter ride over Manhattan. For $596 a couple, you get a night's accommodations in a city-view room, a 15-minute helicopter ride that includes luxury transportation to and from the heliport, and a CD titled ''Fly Me to the Moon." If you want a harbor-view room, it's $40 extra. If you want to indulge in the hotel's Chocolare Bar, it's $90 per couple. And if you want the hotel's ultra-luxurious ''Can't Buy Me Love . . . But You Can Try" package that even includes a fireworks display, it's $35,000 per couple.

Call 800-241-3333 or 212-344-0800 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, has a Breathtakingly Romantic Getaway for Valentine's Day weekend, with a fire burning and a bottle of champagne chilling in your suite or cottage upon arrival, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and ''your song" on the stereo at tuck-in time, plus a four-course Valentine menu at the award-winning White Barn Inn Restaurant. Prices are from $442 a person for two nights' lodging, including continental breakfast and afternoon tea.

Call 207-967-2321 or visit www.whitebarninn.com.

The Morrison-Clark Inn in Washington D.C., has a package titled -- are you ready? -- Goodnighty, Aphrodite. Included are Kir Royales for two upon arrival; his-and-her silk bathrobes; a gift basket with massage oils, lotions, bubble baths , and chocolate body paint; and a book of erotic poetry. Also part of the package is an aphrodisiac dinner for two at the Morrison-Clark Restaurant, capped with Lady Godiva martinis at turndown. The package is $295 for one night or $395 for two, and is available Feb. 14-17.

The Orlando (Fla.) World Center Marriott, which is so elaborate that it is almost a destination in itself, calls its offering the VIP Romance Package. Prices start at $259 per room per night Feb. 13-16 for pool-view accommodations, a buffet breakfast, for two, a $100 food and beverage credit, a bottle of wine, Godiva chocolates, complimentary valet parking, and a 2 p.m. late checkout.

Call 800-621-0638 and ask for rate code VADD or visit www.marriottworldcenter.com.

From Feb. 8-14, Cross Country International, which specializes in equestrian vacations, is offering a four-day ride in Ireland plus an Irish escort to the St. Valentine's Bachelor's Ball. Riders stay six nights at the 11th-century Kinnitty Castle in County Offaly, where the ball will be held, and will ride Irish sport horses along the Bosna River, through forests of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, and on to another castle. Anyone who meets and falls in love at the ball, meanwhile, will get a free wedding and reception at the castle. The trip also includes breakfast and lunch on riding days and a champagne introductions party. The cost is $1,595 plus air fare.

Call 800-828-8768 or 845-635-2200 or visit www.equestrianvacations.com.

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