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Beyond champagne and strawberries: Romance packages for every budget

SmarterTravel

It isn’t hard to find a romance package for a weekend getaway. Many hotels put together “special offers” that include champagne, strawberries, chocolates, and bubble bath, with prices varying by city, property, and room class. While these elements can certainly be romantic, they often lack originality; you could probably put such a package together [% 277413 | | on your own for less %], too.

Here are five packages that go beyond the standard champagne and strawberries. Our choices focus on elements unique to a given city or region, highlight a variety of activities, and showcase several different types of accommodations, from boutique hotels to B&Bs. Better yet, they offer value to all budgets, and can be tailored to those wishing to save or to splurge.

A romantic escape in the Sequoias from $79

If you find wintry weekends romantic, and enjoy cuddling by a fireplace or exploring snow-covered trails, consider a getaway at the Wuksachi Lodge at Sequoia National Park in California. The lodge features panoramic views of Mount Silliman and Silver Peak, Mission-style decor, a full-service restaurant and cocktail lounge, and access to all the attractions of the park.

Currently, the lodge is offering two specials. Visitors can take advantage of discounted per-night rates from $79 midweek or $99 for weekend stays. The “Winter Recreation Package” offers overnight accommodations and the choice of snowshoe or cross-country ski equipment for two people from $99 a night Sundays through Thursdays or $119 for Friday and Saturday nights. Both promotions are available through March 31. To book, call 888-252-5757.

Ice skating in Providence, Rhode Island, from $179

Skating hand in hand, hot chocolate, a stroll down twinkling city streets—it’s a classic winter date. The historic Providence Biltmore hotel, built in 1922 in homage to the Vanderbilt Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, offers guests an ice skating promotion and a stay at a luxurious property for their weekend getaway. The hotel also has a fine restaurant and a full-service spa.

The “Skate and Stay Package,” available through March 31, includes accommodations, admission to the Bank of America outdoor skating rink, skate rental, and a Starbucks coupon. Rates are $179 for a traditional room, $199 for a junior suite, or $219 for a premium suite. For reservations, call 800-678-8946.

Spa and dining in New York City

New York City is one of the country’s most romantic destinations. Metro-Home, a provider of guest apartment accommodations scattered throughout the city, is offering a “Spa Valentine” getaway that offers excellent value for those able to plan a quick mid-February trip.

The package is available for $209 per night for studio accommodations or $259 for one-bedroom apartments, and is valid for stays from February 10 through 20. Couples receive a bottle of champagne, a $20 to $25 gift certificate for dinner at a nearby restaurant, continental breakfast daily, and a $100 gift certificate for use at the Avon Spa in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. To book, call 800-987-1235.

Red rocks for red hots in Sedona, Arizona

Sometimes, all you need is a dramatic backdrop to foster a romantic getaway. The Penrose Inn in Sedona, Arizona, offers 360-degree views of Sedona’s red rock formations, and was recently voted one of the country’s most romantic B&Bs by BedandBreakfast.com. Amenities include double showers or Jacuzzi tubs, plush robes in each guestroom, and a telescope for stargazing.

The Penrose’s “Romantic Package” for two includes two nights’ accommodations in any room, a $100 gift certificate for dinner at a local restaurant, gourmet breakfast each day, and your choice of one of the following:

  • Jeep tour
  • Airplane ride
  • Horseback ride
  • Golf
  • Mountain biking
  • Train trip along the Verde River
  • Jeep rental
  • Visit to the African Wildlife Park

The package is available for $600 year-round. For reservations, call 888-678-3030.

Nighttime monument tours by limo in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., can be quite a romantic city, especially when viewing the monuments at night, having a gourmet meal at a local bistro, or taking in a world-class theater or live music performance. The Hotel Monaco, itself a historic city landmark with an all-marble facade, fosters romantic getaways with luxury accommodations (some rooms have spa tubs), plush robes in each room, a complimentary evening wine hour, and an intimate restaurant.

The “Monuments by Moonlight Package” includes deluxe accommodations, a private evening limousine tour of Washington’s monuments, a bottle of champagne, and his-and-hers cashmere scarves. The package costs $599 per night; call 877-202-5411 for reservations.

These are just a few of the many possible romantic getaways across the country. Do some research to see what’s unique in the destination you wish to visit, and contact the CVB to see if any related packages are available to fit your price range. And perhaps save the champagne and strawberries for when you get home.

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