by Candyce Stapen, USA TODAY 7:59 a.m. February 7, 2014
Admire sweeping city views from a private helicopter ride. Dance in a ballroom staged for two. Indulge in a hotel room fragrant with hundreds of roses. Or thrill to fireworks fashioned just for you. Even if you and your sweetie can’t experience these over-the-top Valentine’s Day options, they’re fun fantasies. Here are five sumptuous getaways:
Real bling in Miami
Heart-throbbing highlights: Gift each other with glittery diamonds. Dance in a private ballroom.
Indulgent details: Serious diamonds — 15.4-carat hoop earrings ($50,000 value) for her and 4.34-carat cuff links ($10,000 value) for him — plus dancing in a ballroom staged just for the two of you make this pas de deux sweet. The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach choreographs this “Dazzle You in Diamonds” overnight package around the couple, starting with a personalized dinner from Bistro One LR’s chef de cuisine Gihen Zitouni served outdoors on a cabana bed on the pool deck. Then slow-dance or swirl through the 10,000-square-foot ballroom to favorite tunes requested from your own DJ. Afterward, retreat to your oceanfront suite, perfumed with 100 red roses. Before departure, get that special glow from 110-minute facials using products infused with diamond dust.
Price tag: $100,000 per couple, ritzcarlton.com/en/properties/southbeach, 786-276-4000. Cupid Concierge: 786-276-4006
Epicurean delights in Paris
Heart-throbbing highlights: Sip vintage Champagne in a historic wine cellar. Savor dinner prepared by a two-star Michelin chef.
Indulgent details: The luxury for this overnight package begins when you step into your Hermès Rolls Royce Phantom for your chauffeured drive to the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. At the iconic property, steps from the Champs-Elysées, relax in your flower-adorned Penthouse Suite until it’s time for your aperitif served in the wine cellar. Nearly 46 feet underground, the cellar contains 50,000 bottles, hand-picked by award-winning sommelier Eric Beaumard. Sip your Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1998 Champagne (a bottle sells for about $9,347) in the glow of the candle-lit cave. Back at your suite, with its 360-degree view of Paris and the spires of Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower, tuck into your sumptuous meal prepared by Eric Briffard, the hotel’s two-star Michelin chef. Before departing the next morning, enjoy Champagne breakfast in your suite.
Price tag: About $40,515 per couple, fourseasons.com/paris/
Royal treatment in Edinburgh
Heart-throbbing highlights: Dine like a queen and king aboard a royal yacht. Watch fireworks created just for you.
Indulgent details: Celebrate like nobility with a private meal aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. “The UltimateValentine’s Experience” begins with you being welcomed aboard by a piper. Then stroll the moon-lit decks, walking in the footsteps Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Winston Churchill, as well as Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who honeymooned on the vessel. Enjoy drinks in the State Drawing Room prior to a five-course meal accompanied by a classical string duo. The pièce de résistance: fireworks exploding just for you. Consider extending the lord-and-lady experience by over-nighting at a partner property such as the manor-like Gleneagles Hotel set on 850 acres in Perthshire. How do you get there? A chauffeur drives you, of course.
Price tag: About $8,300 for Royal Yacht Britannia meal for two, royalyachtbritannia.co.uk. About $2,280 a night for Gleneagles Hotel, gleneagles.com,866-881-9525
Sky-high in Los Angeles
Heart-throbbing highlights:Fly over the city on a private helicopter tour. Dine atop the hotel’s helipad.
Indulgent details: The “Hearts on the Helipad” two-day package from the InterContinental Los Angeles is all about views — from your 30-minute private sweep of the city in a twin-engine helicopter, to your dinner on the 18-story-high helipad at sunset, to panoramas of the Hollywood Hills, the Pacific Ocean and downtown Los Angeles from the wrap-around balcony of the Presidential Suite. In between, relax with a body polish, massage and bathing ritual for two in a couple’s spa villa while refreshing yourselves with strawberries and Champagne. The next morning, linger over breakfast in bed.
Price tag: $11,000 ($8,000 without the helicopter ride) per couple, intercontinentallosangeles.com, 310-284-6500
Sensuous rhythms of Buenos Aires
Heart-throbbing highlights:Dance the tango at local clubs. Horseback ride across a ranch in the pampas.
Indulgent details: Move to the beat of Buenos Aires on this four-day/three-night package offered by TravelSommelier. Melt away jet lag during your couples’ spa experience at the boutique Faena Hotel, your Buenos Aires base. The next day tune up with morning meditation and yoga at the hotel then take a private, guided tour through the city that includes strolls through the trendy neighborhood of Palermo Soho and the cobblestone streets of San Telmo with its antique shops, cafes and plaza. That evening join in the national dance by club-hopping to milongas, venues where locals tango away the night, partnering with each other and with tourists. Then horseback ride across a ranch and feast on a barbecue lunch prepared by gauchos — Argentinean cowboys — who grill your steaks and ribs, pairing them with local wines.
Price tag: $5,669 per couple, travelsommelier.com, 203-286-8338
For help planning a Valentine’s getaway, contact a travel agent specialist at Tripology.com.