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Planning early can get you a great Valentine’s getaway

SmarterTravel

Many find Valentine’s Day a perfect reason to take a romantic escape. Two to four days away in the bleak midwinter gives couples an opportunity to relax and reconnect.

However, oftentimes Valentine’s Day is plagued with disappointments—it’s a holiday of rushed gifts purchased at the last minute, “romantic” dinners at crowded restaurants, or uninspired flowers and chocolates.

Smart travelers know that by planning early, you can look forward to a special holiday. Here are some new deals for affordable yet indulgent getaways for sweethearts.

New York City

  • The Embassy Suites Hotel New York’s “Discover Downtown” package enables couples to see many of the city’s popular cultural attractions without having to book everything separately. Advertised per-night rates start at $249, but you may be able to find cheaper prices (from $209) for February stays. Packages include gift cards, dining and admission coupons, an audio CD walking tour, and a complimentary Champagne toast. This promotion is available through June 30.
  • The “Ballroom Fever Weekend Package” at the Hotel Giraffe includes two private dance lessons over the course of a weekend, an instructional dance DVD to bring home, and complimentary tapas and a pitcher of sangria. In addition to accommodations, guests also receive daily breakfast, evening wine and hors d’oeuvres, free DVD rentals from the hotel’s Ballroom Dance Collection, and passes to a local day spa. Prices range from $365 to $575 per night based on room class; this two-night minimum package is available for Friday-, Saturday-, and Sunday-night stays through February.
  • For an extended getaway, the Colonial House Inn in Chelsea is offering special winter rates: 15 percent off four-night minimum stays through February 28. Room rates range from $85 to $150 and include daily continental breakfast.
  • To splurge, consider the “Dinner Cruise Package” at the Lucerne Hotel. Starting at $520, the package includes one night’s accommodations, evening turndown service, and a three-hour dinner cruise along the Hudson River with a multi-course dinner, music, and taxes.

Chicago

  • With its annual “Winter Delights” program, Chicago’s participating hotels have partnered with major cultural institutions for custom getaways. More than 75 promotional packages are available; themes include “Embrace Opera,” “Chicago Blues,” and “Absolutely Chicago—A Visit to Chicago’s Fab Five.” Prices start at $95.
  • The Sofitel Chicago Water Tower is offering a “Do Not Disturb” package from $295 per night, including accommodations, turndown service with truffles and liqueurs, a CD, valet parking, and a late checkout. This package is available from February 1 through 28.

Greater Miami/Ft. Lauderdale

  • The Newport Beachside Hotel in northern Miami Beach has a “Romance Package” including a two-night stay in a suite with a balcony, Champagne and strawberries, breakfast daily, dinner for two, and all taxes and gratuities. This package costs $589 for stays through April 8.
  • The Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Center & Spa in Weston has a “Sweethearts Package” available from $276 per night, including accommodations, Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, buffet breakfast or room service each morning, and a late checkout.
  • For an extended beach escape, the Sea View Hotel in Bal Harbour is offering “Passport” rates from $270 per night based on a four-night minimum stay. Rates include accommodations, two breakfasts, two welcome cocktails, turndown service, complimentary high-speed Internet access, and early check-in or late checkout. This promotion is available through April 30.
  • The “Romance Package” at the Winter Haven South Beach hotel in Miami Beach includes accommodations, Champagne upon arrival, continental breakfast daily, and dinner for two. Rates are $359 for winter travel.

Montreal

Montreal’s “Sweet Deal” promotion offers a second night at half price when you book a consecutive two-night stay. First-night rates start at $109 U.S. Depending on the hotel, guests may also receive a late checkout, welcome gift, room upgrade, breakfast, casino vouchers, and shopping coupons. More than 20 hotels are participating; stays are valid through May 31.

San Francisco

  • The Chancellor Hotel is offering a “Romance on the Square” package from $185 per night, including accommodations, Champagne and truffles, room-service breakfast for two, two cable car tickets, and a CD of romantic music.
  • The White Swan Inn’s “Pure Romance Package” includes dinner for two at a local restaurant, Champagne, chocolates, a teddy bear, and breakfast and newspaper delivered to your room. This package is available for $99 added to your room rate; rooms start at $159 per night.
  • The “Experience the Taste of Luxury at the Palace Package,” available at The Palace Hotel, includes three nights’ accommodations and daily breakfast. Advertised rates start at $269 per night, but you may be able to find cheaper rates (from $253) for stays in February.

Boston

The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau is sponsoring “Warm Winter Specials,” a region-wide promotion featuring accommodations and breakfast for two at more than 35 properties in the metropolitan area. Properties range from budget to luxury, historic inns to modern resorts. Prices range from $79 to $229 per night and are available for stays through March 31.

Washington, D.C.

The Potomac Hotel Group is offering a variety of Valentine’s Day and romance packages at its D.C.-area properties. Available escapes include:

  • The River Inn’s “Single Rose” package includes accommodations, valet parking, a long-stemmed rose, chocolates, and daily breakfast from $169 per night. This promotion can be requested from February 9 through 18.
  • The Quincy Hotel has a “Cupid’s Retreat” getaway featuring accommodations, a $75 gift certificate to Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, Champagne, and chocolates. Available the entire month of February, this package costs $199 per night for Friday through Sunday stays, and $259 per night for stays Monday through Thursday.
  • The “Valentine’s Day” package at the George Washington University Inn offers suite accommodations, Champagne, turndown service, and continental breakfast with a complimentary mimosa. This package costs $259 and is available February 9 through 14.

Major brands

Didn’t see a city that interests you? Consider the following possibilities at major hotel brands throughout the country.

  • Omni Hotels is offering multiple romance packages; most include accommodations, Champagne and strawberries, and turndown service. Sample prices are $199 in Boston, $274 in Chicago, and $199 in Washington, D.C. Most packages are available through late February.
  • Book your hotel in advance on Hotels.com to save for your Valentine’s getaway. Those staying two to three nights get $25 off, $50 off is available for four- to six-night bookings, and a $100 rebate is given for vacations of seven nights or more. Book by January 31 for travel through March 31.
  • BedandBreakfast.com has compiled a listing of Valentine’s Day specials at participating B&Bs throughout the U.S. and Canada. At press time, listed prices started around $155 per night; extras include items such as breakfast in bed, wine or sparkling cider, roses, and more.

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