A chocolate? A copter ride? C'mon, cheer up!
If you have the winter blues, a getaway can be the cure. You needn't go far or stay long. Even planning a trip can do you good. As Scott Booker of hotels.com puts it, "Having something to look forward to . . . can lift your spirits considerably." So let us examine some mood-elevating possibilities:
Chocolate almost always makes people feel better. In Rockland, Maine, March 7-9 is the weekend for the Annual Inn to Inn Chocolate March. The event features two days of samplings and demonstrations throughout the Historic Inns of Rockland and the Rockland community, including a wine and chocolate pairing and, if you pay extra, hot chocolate massages. The Chocolate March Package features a two-night stay at Berry Manor Inn, LimeRock Inn, or Captain Lindsey House on March 7 and 8; an international chocolate tasting reception; breakfast for two with chocolate entrees and accompaniments; a gift bag of chocolate samples; dessert at a local restaurant; demonstrations on how to decorate, mold, and entertain with chocolate plus wine and chocolate pairings; Sunday brunch with a chocolate theme but other dishes as well; and a copy of the Historic Inns of Rockland's cookbook, "INNdulgences," with many chocolate recipes. The package starts at $295 per couple, although prices vary by inn. Add a third night for 25 percent off.
Visit historicinnsofrockland.com or call 877-762-4667.
The 16 Bed & Breakfasts of Historic Cape Cod Bay are plotting a three-day murder mystery extravaganza, March 14-16, titled "Who Took Out O'Toole?" Things begin with an Irish wake Friday night at Anthony's Cummaquid Inn in Yarmouth Port for a prominent tavern owner. Guests get a three-course dinner, followed by a brief prayer service led by a local "priest." They will then be asked to help constables solve the mystery surrounding the tavernkeeper's death. An inn-to-inn search for clues will ensue on Saturday, and all will be resolved Sunday at a gourmet brunch at the Sandwich Hollows Golf Club. Prices, including two nights' accommodations, range from $460-$575.
Visit historiccapecodbay.com to learn about the inns and find contact information to make reservations.
The newly renovated Whitney's Inn in Jackson, N.H., calls its offer February Frenzy, even though it is valid through March. The promotion consists of two packages that are good weekdays, weekends, or during the holiday vacation weeks. One offer is for families, who can rent a two-room suite or cottage for two nights or more and get a free Black Mountain Passport Pass. The passport includes two adult tickets and two junior lift tickets for one day and has a $99 value. The other offer is for couples renting a room in the main inn for two nights or more. They will receive two free lift tickets to Black Mountain (a $78 value), or four tickets to Jackson Ski Touring (worth $68). February Frenzy deals start at $359.
Visit whitneysinn.com or call 800-677-5737 or 603-383-8916.
The Renaissance Providence Hotel in Providence offers an Escape! Romance Package starting at $195 per night through April 27. Couples get champagne upon arrival, breakfast for two, late checkout, and 20 percent off flowers and other gifts at FTD.com. Guests who pay for their stay with any
Visit renaissanceprovidence.com or call 800-468-3571 or 401-919-5000.
There's nothing like a marriage proposal to jolt you out of the doldrums. This being a leap year, the old Sadie Hawkins tradition holds that women do the proposing as the month ends. Accordingly, the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge has a Sadie, Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady package valid Feb. 28-March 2. The tradition has it that women propose to men during this time, and the hotel will congratulate the couple with one complimentary night's stay when another night's accommodations are purchased, as well as presenting the twosome with a bottle of champagne, a bouquet of roses, and breakfast en suite. Prices start at $349.
Visit hotelmarlowe.com or call 800-825-7040. Mention rate code PLPY.
You can help Habitat for Humanity and at the same time stay in a Maine inn, hotel, or B&B at significant savings. Participating members of the Maine Innkeepers Association will cut rates in half May 1-23 if guests make a $35 donation to Habitat for Humanity.
Visit maineinns.com and click on the Hospitality for Habitat logo for a list of properties and links that will provide information on room rates, availability, and restrictions.
A helicopter flight would surely get spirits soaring. The Fly Above Boston package, available at five Hilton Family hotels, is highlighted by a flight above Boston that takes in 11 lighthouses. The flight is followed by dinner at a hilltop golf club overlooking the city. With a night's accommodation, prices start at $1,600 per couple.
You must call one of the hotels directly: Hilton Boston Back Bay, 617-236-1100; mention code NE; Hilton Boston Logan Airport, 617-568-6700, code NE; Doubletree Guest Suites Boston, 617-783-0090, code FO; the Doubletree Hotel Boston-Downtown, 617-956-7900, code FLY; and the Doubletree Guest Suites Boston/Waltham, 781-890-6767, code FAB. For more information, visit hiltonfamilyboston.com/fly.
If, however, you are seeking a quick getaway farther away than all these offers,
Kids fly free
Children ages 11 and younger fly free to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui's New York and Los Angeles flights through May 31, and again Nov. 1-Dec. 10. Two paying adults receive two free child tickets (except for taxes) on flights from JFK, and one free child ticket on flights from LAX. Air for mom and dad starts at $1,423 per person from New York and $1,161 per person from Los Angeles. All tickets must be booked by May 1. Money-saving family land-and-air packages are also available.
Visit airtahitinui-usa.com or call 877-824-4846.
Children rule Waterville Valley's slopes over school vacation, Feb. 24-28. A Kids Ski Free package includes lodging and daily skiing as well as access to the White Mountain Athletic Club and a shuttle bus. Guests also get 50 percent off rental equipment, group lessons, and all-day Kids Venture Kamps and Childcare. The package includes one free child ticket (ages 12 and under) per adult ticket. Prices start at $43 per person per night, quad occupancy.
For this and several other offers, go to visitwatervillevalley.com or call 800-GO-VALLEY.
See North Korea
North Korea has issued fewer than 1,000 visas to Americans since the signing of the armistice ending the Korean War almost 55 years ago. But a US adventure outfitter, Snow Lion Expeditions, has gained permission to obtain visas for its travelers. Guests will visit Pyongyang, the capital, and get a rare glimpse from the north into the demilitarized zone. The 11-day journey features luxury hotels (including the 40-story Yanggakdo in Pyongyang) and departs Sept. 19 and Oct. 3. Prices start at $5,895, including one night in Beijing, three nights in Pyongyang, and six nights in South Korea.
Visit snowlion.com or call 800-525-8735.
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.