Valentine's Day is approaching, which reminds of us two things: It's time to be romantic, and winter is half over. There are a number of places, far and near, to warm up to the romantic cause with Valentine packages, and here are some:
The White Barn Inn up in Kennebunk Beach, Maine, is running a romance package for the romantic month of February, which includes a night's stay in a deluxe room adorned with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne to wash them down with. Included is continental breakfast, afternoon tea and a romantic dinner for two. Rates are $600 for one night, dropping to $565 if staying more than one night. Check it out at http://www.whitebarninn.com/ or call 207-967-2321.
The Opus Vancouver has a "Cupid Concierge" deal for $295 a night, getting you a room, sparkling wine at check-in, a half-dozen roses or orchids delivered to your room before arrival, a half-bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a framed photo of your choice and a handwritten message from you delivered to your room before arrival, breakfast in bed and late check out. Upgrade to a suite for $100 more. See more at http://www.opushotel.com/vancouver.html
Also in Canada, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal has a "Bare Your Heart Package" for the romantic in you, which includes a one-night stay and breakfast in bed, with rates from $219 in Canadian dollars (the exchange rate is nearly even these days), available throughout February (except Feb. 24 and 25). A $10 donation per package sold will be made to Fondation En Coeur, a Quebec-based agency that helps kids with heart disease and their families with support services and information, and helping improve medical services in pediatric cardiology and adult congenital heart disease. Visit http://www.fairmont.com/queenelizabeth for more information.
Go west and get warmer with the "Back in the Saddle Package" at the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Ariz., which offers 20 percent off room nights (their rates are all inclusive, with meals and activities) for anyone booking three or more nights from Feb. 10-19. Rates start at $225 per night, not counting the discount. The resort is a working horse ranch with 180 horses on 60,000 acres of desert landscape between the Rincon Mountains, Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest, where couples can horseback ride, hike, mountain bike, swim, fish, enjoy the spa and relax in a room - that has no television. This is about romance, not what's on cable. Visit http://www.tanqueverderanch.com/
Wine is romantic, and the Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa in Sonoma, Calif., unwraps its "Romance in Wine Country Package," with a room, two one-hour spa treatments, sparkling wine and a chocolate strawberry amenity, rose-petal turndown and sparkling wine tasting passes at Gloria Ferrer Winery. Packages are priced from $429 per night, and the special runs Feb. 10-19. The hotel serves what it calls a food lover's "aphrodisiac menu" for $125 per person. Check it out at http://www.fairmont.com/sonoma
Another Arizona resort, L'Auberge de Sedona, offers its "Sedona Snowmance" package for two that highlights skiing and getting warm and cozy later in new guest rooms with mountain views. The package includes two nights, two lift tickets to Flagstaff Snowbowl per day booked, a $75 food and beverage or spa credit per day booked and free winter drinks by the fire, ciders, teas and cocoas (the hard stuff is available but not free). Package savings are 40 percent with rates starting at $265 for guest rooms and $320 for cottages. The deal is valid through March 15. Check it out at http://www.lauberge.com/
Sunsets on the Pacific are pretty romantic, and the "Stay, Spa & Splashes" packages at Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, Calif., allow you to enjoy them. The deals, with 30 percent off rates starting at $625 a night, include a one-night stay, spa treatment for two, three-course dinner for two at the resort's signature Splashes restaurant, and gourmet breakfast in room (or the restaurant). Check it out at http://www.surfandsandresort.com/