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Treat your Valentine to some bounty for being in love

Email|Print| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Staff / January 16, 2005

Hold that pucker. Nowadays all of February, not just the 14th, is reserved for Valentines, with offers that may not all be bargains but may turn a flicker of romance into a blaze.

If you treat your beloved to a New York weekend, you can express your intentions in writing -- skywriting, that is. Metro-Home has a New York Love Affair. The weekend includes a choice of luxury studio apartment accommodations in neighborhoods including Greenwich Village, SoHo, Midtown, and the Upper West Side. Many apartments have doormen and nice views, and all will be stocked with his-and-her toiletries, robes and slippers to take home, champagne and crystal flutes, and chocolates. The basic package starts at $199 a couple per night, with a two-night minimum. But it's the extras that may dazzle your loved one: For a price (and with advance notice), you can have his or her name in lights on Times Square or on a Broadway theater marquee. Or you could have something skywritten . . . a proposal perhaps? Costs vary.

Call 800-987-1235 or visit www.metro-home.com.

Or is an English castle, complete with ghost, more your style? Amberley Castle, just over an hour from London, is offering an overnight rate of about $195 per room to guests attending its pre-Valentine's Day ''Love Songs Through the Ages" dinner on Feb. 6. The four-course dinner costs about $135 per person, including a champagne reception. For sweethearts staying a few days, the castle offers a midweek Winter Warmer rate, also about $195 a night, on selected rooms, Monday-Thursday, until March. There is no minimum stay, but guests must dine at the castle. Doubles are normally about $300-$350. Guests also receive a complimentary book, ''Amberley Castle: A Celebration of 900 Years," worth $38.

Visit www.amberleycastle.com or call 011-44-1-79-883-1992.

Perhaps chocolate is the love of your life. This year, Hershey, Pa., will inaugurate Chocolate Covered February, with chocolate cooking demonstrations, chocolate art exhibits, chocolate feasts, even chocolate spa treatments. Deluxe rooms start at $139 per person double occupancy at the Hershey Lodge and $189 at the Hotel Hershey. Activities are additional.

Visit www.hersheypa.com or call 800-HERSHEY.

Looking for a Valentine? Singles Travel International is participating in a Caribbean cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2 Feb. 12-19. Among the features will be a welcome-aboard cocktail party and singles seating at dinner. Fares start at $1,399 plus tax and air fare. The price is per person, double occupancy, but Singles International does have a roommate guarantee program.

Call 877-765-6874 or visit www.singlestravelintl.com.

Or perhaps you'll find your Romeo or Juliet on horseback. Cross Country International is hosting a romantic new riding vacation in Italy Feb. 13-19. Guests stay in Tuscia, between Rome and Tuscany, in a four-star hotel that is part of a 400-acre estate situated between two lakes. The program includes six nights' hotel, daily breakfast and dinner, four days of riding, and horses and tack. There will be a St. Valentine's Day Ball on Feb. 14, and on the last day participants will ride in a drag hunt with lunch, followed by a massage, and dinner featuring Tuscan specialties. The cost is $1,930 per person, with no single supplement; that price is $720 lower than the regular rate for the trip.

Call 800-828-8768 or visit www.equestrianvacations.com.

In Boston, XV Beacon's Valentine's Getaway for two features a night in studio accommodations, a bottle of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, flowers in your room, and continental breakfast in bed. The romance continues at the hotel's Federalist Restaurant with a six-course tasting menu for two, paired with vintage champagnes. The getaway is available Feb. 11-15 for $825 with dinner, $675 without.

Call 877-982-3226 or visit www.xvbeacon.com.

The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, calls its offering a Breathtakingly Romantic Getaway. Lovers get two nights' luxury accommodations, including fireplace, champagne, chocolate-dipped strawberries . . . meanwhile, the inn's renowned restaurant will have a four-course Valentine menu with piano accompaniment. If you're planning a diamond surprise, the restaurant will make you a chocolate box with the sparkler inside. Prices for the getaway, available Feb. 11-14, begin at $296 a person.

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

Cambridge Beaches, a cottage colony in Bermuda, is honoring Valentine's Month by offering any guests booking a three-night stay or longer, a free vow renewal service. Rates for February start at $335 per couple, per day, and include breakfast, dinner, and afternoon tea.

Visit www.cambridgebeaches.com or phone 800-468-7300.

For the big spenders, The Atlantic, a luxury oceanfront resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is offering a Penthouse Passion Valentine's Day Package, with one night in a two- or three-bedroom penthouse or one-bedroom suite, plus a limo ride from the airport or within 20 miles of the hotel; butler service; a couples massage at Spa Atlantic; a candlelight dinner for two at the hotel's Trina Restaurant, in your private dining room, or on your oceanfront balcony; a Tiffany Floating Heart pendant for her; and roses, champagne, and chocolates at turndown. Rates start at $2,999 for the one-bedroom suite; $3,999 for the two-bedroom penthouse, and $4,999 for the three-bedroom Presidential Penthouse. Steep as those prices may seem, they reflect a 20 percent savings on buying the items la carte. The offer is good Feb 1-28.

Call 888-625-4988 or visit www.luxurycollection.com/atlantic.

Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at travel@globe.com.

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