September 28, 2020

Six romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day

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accueil1By Georgina Cruz, From Orlando Sentinel

Want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with more than candy and flowers this year? You can try a romantic getaway that will have you thinking you and your sweetheart have Cupid himself for a neighbor. Imagine walking hand in hand in a themed Florida resort, or enjoying a sunset at sea, or frolicking on an idyllic beach in the Caribbean or the South Seas. The memories — unlike the candy — are likely to last a lifetime. And with Valentine’s Day falling conveniently on a Saturday this year, arranging a getaway, is easier.

Here are six escapes dripping with romance to consider (rates are the best we found at properties’ websites at time of writing and are subject to change):
·Escape to the Italian Riviera without leaving Florida – Staff greets you with a “buon giorno” and takes leave of you with an “arrivederci” at Loews’ Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. Inspired in the Italian Riviera jewel of Portofino, the hotel looks as if it has been plucked out of Italy and placed in Central Florida — with pastel-colored buildings with green shutters, cobblestone streets, outdoor cafes, a “harbor” dotted with boats, and Italian sports cars parked by the hotel’s entrance. You can play bocce ball or go for a stroll in the harbor plaza, where nightly concerts present Italian musical

styles. Mama Della’s Ristorante at the hotel serves Italian fare to the tune of strolling musicians and Mama herself may come around to check that you and your sweetie have eaten all your dinner. Average rate per night for Saturday, Feb. 14 is $444 for a garden view room with king size bed. Info: www.loewshotels.com

· “Time travel” to a romantic era – Couples who wish to “time-travel” to the romance of the Victorian era, can check out Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The resort’s architecture and its décor are Victorian; the lobby has a birdcage, cage elevator, chandeliers, and a color scheme in soft tones of coral, ecru and mint; the rooms feature lace and floral prints, and the staff sports period dress. The Senses Spa features couple’s massage. Recreational amenities include two pools, white sandy lagoon beach and marina, movies under the stars by the Courtyard pool, jogging path by the lagoon, and boat rentals as well as multiple dining venues including Mediterranean-inspired Citricos and the intimate gourmet restaurant, Victoria & Albert’s. Average rate for a lagoon-view room with king bed is $831 for the night of Feb. 14. Info: www.disneyworld.com.

· Take your dreamboat on a “Love Boat” – Endless horizons, the gentle motion of the ocean and a bounty of delicious food make a cruise a popular romantic escape. Princess Cruises, the premium line of the hit television series of the 1970s and 80s “The Love Boat,” knows a thing or two about romance, presenting a gala champagne waterfall one evening of the voyage and leaving heart-shaped chocolates on pillows. The line’s Royal Princess is doing a 10-day Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 7. The cruise (priced from $1,249 per person, double, in an interior cabin, plus port taxes and fees) visits such idylls as Princess Cays (private beach in the Bahamas), St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Kitts. Prefer a more exotic itinerary? The line’s Ocean Princess features a 10-day voyage to Tahiti (overnights in Papeete at the beginning and end of the voyage) and other isles of French Polynesia visiting romance-dripping Huahine, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora (overnight) and Moorea (priced from $1,699 plus taxes and fees). Info: www.princess.com.

· Enjoy an earthly paradise in the South Seas – Resorts with overwater bungalows are the essence of romance in French Polynesia and beckon lovebirds with thatched-roof accommodations on stilts over aquamarine lagoons. The likes of Carrie Underwood, Christina Applegate, Nicole Kidman, and Eva Longoria are among the celebrities who have chosen the South Seas for romantic escapes in recent years. An overwater bungalow resort option is the Four Seasons Bora Bora. The resort’s yacht picks guests up at the pier in Vaitape, Bora Bora’s main village, and it whisks them away to the resort that is located on a “motu” (islet) with its thatched-roof bungalows extending like streamers strewn over the Bora Bora lagoon. Along the way to the resort, there are vistas of other green-clad “motus” ringed with white sands and of the iconic Mt. Otemanu that looks like it has been sculpted by a gigantic, talented hand. Pastimes at the resort, in addition to swimming and snorkeling, include kayaking and standup paddleboarding. There is a spa where guests can relax and rejuvenate, and a chapel where lovebirds can tie the knot or renew their wedding vows. An overwater bungalow including buffet breakfast is approximately $1,042 the night of Feb. 14. Info: www.fourseasons.com/borabora. Other overwater bungalow resorts in French Polynesia include the Hilton Moorea Lagoon in Moorea (www.hilton.com) and the InterContinental Tahiti in Papeete (www.tahiti.intercontinental.com).

· Celebrate your romance in the Caribbean – Lovers looking for a luxury getaway to the Caribbean may wish to opt for Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Navigator’s 10-day voyage over Valentines’ Day roundtrip from Miami. The ship departs on Feb. 6 and calls at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Gustavia, St. Bart’s; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; La Romana, Dominican Republic and Nassau, Bahamas. Fares begin at $5,299 including shore excursions and a variety of free amenities including wines and spirits –so you can toast to your love to your heart’s content. Info: www.rssc.com.

· Literally going to the ends of the earth for each other – Lovers who would like to go the extra mile for one another may wish to check out Silversea Cruises’ ultra-deluxe Silver Explorer’s expedition programs to Antarctica. On Feb. 6, the Silver Explorer sails roundtrip from Ushuaia, Argentina to the White Continent for a 10-day expedition ($10,950 per person, double). The voyage spends five-days cruising and exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, and Valentines’ Day is spent at sea so lovebirds can shift their focus from icebergs, penguins and other wildlife sightings and give their undivided attention to themselves. Info: www.silversea.com

For more on this story go to: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/os-valentines-day-getaways-20141229-story.html

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