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Valentine's Day Getaway Ideas

It's not too late to book a fantastic romantic getaway for Valentine's Day, even though it's a mere three weeks away.

Travel journalist Valarie D'Elia, whose family has been in the travel business since 1902, has suggestions for trips that won't cost and arm and a leg, and some that will cost a whole lot more than that.

Among them: an affordable skiing package, cheap getaways to Europe, a chocolate-themed package at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, an island splurge at gorgeous Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys, and a whopping $850,000 package at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park that includes transportation on a private jet and a 10-carat diamond from Tiffany and Co.
As for specifics:

SKIING IN WINTER PARK, COLORADO

  • $99 per person per night
  • Includes two nights lodging an a two-day lift ticket
  • Valid through next month
  • Rates are per person based on double occupancy in a hotel, in-town.
  • skiwinterpark.com

    Airfare to Colorado is very affordable right now. There are plenty of deals out there. A roundtrip flight from New York to Denver runs as low as $150. Fares are similar from Florida and Chicago.

    EUROPE
    Steal someone's heart this Valentine's Day with a fling for two to Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, or any of 15 romantic international destinations on specially-priced departures from Gate 1 Travel.

  • Packages range from six to nine days and may be extended up to a month.
  • They start at $399 plus tax for a six-day getaway to Paris, with airfare from New York.
  • Prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and include roundtrip airfare, accommodations, and daily breakfast.
  • Low-cost add-on air fares are available from cities nationwide.
  • Packages can be customized with a wide selection of moderately-priced sightseeing excursions.
  • Gate 1 Travel offers other Valentine specials to London, Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Barcelona, Florence, Athens, Rio and Dublin, and many other destinations. Amsterdam starts at $599, and Brussels starts at $499.
  • gate1travl.com

    CHOCOLATE IN NEW YORK
    The "Sugar & Spice Romance Package" at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park includes a chocolate buffet. Sugar & Spice provides a lovers' escape, complete with a passport to indulgence.

    The package includes:

  • One night luxury accommodations in a city-view room
  • Entry to "The Chocolate Bar" in the 14th floor award-winning Rise bar. It has an all-you-can-eat gourmet buffet showcasing the most unforgettable chocolate desserts. Indulge in this sinful selection while experiencing the most breathtaking views in Manhattan.
  • Relaxing hour-long massages for two
  • The rate for weekends in February 2006 start at $699 per couple.

    But you don't have to spend the night to indulge in the amazing chocolate. The chocolate buffet alone is $75 per person.

  • LITTLE PALM ISLAND
    If you're looking for a fabulous splurge, the "Islander Package" may be just for you:
  • Four nights on a private island in the Florida Keys.
  • Upon arriving you will be shown to your private Bungalow Suite, where a bottle of chilled champagne awaits.
  • Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
  • A $150 spa credit at Spa Terre, for each person.
  • Romantic turndown service can include dozens of red roses, champagne and rose petals in your bed and bath for extra charge.
  • Packages rates are per couple and include tax and service charges.
  • Available through May 31, 2006; the price for this package is $6,550.

    THE ULTIMATE SPLURGE
    The "Love On The Rocks" package at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park costs a whopping $850,000. It includes:

  • Private jet roundtrip transportation in a Hawker 800 XP private jet for guests within the continental U.S.
  • Three-night luxury accommodations in The Ritz-Carlton's Royal Suite overlooking Central Park
  • A 10.14 round brilliant cut, "F"-color, internally flawless diamond
  • The diamond includes a consultation with a Tiffany & Co. master designer, personalized renderings, and a select amount of accent stones to complement the diamond, thus creating a masterpiece that defines your personal style
  • Meet directly with Tiffany & Co. chief gemologist
  • Exclusive opportunity to join Tiffany & Co. master craftsman for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Jewelry Manufacturing Workshop
  • Your Tiffany & Co. custom-designed diamond piece will be hand delivered to your home. Delivery is available in the continental U.S. only.
  • Personal 72-hour white-gloved Ritz-Carlton butler
  • Luxurious, limited-edition Bentley Spur with chauffeur at the guest's disposal throughout the stay; includes roundtrip airport transfers
  • Candlelit dinner for two served in The Royal Suite: specially prepared and personalized menu by the hotel's executive chef. Each course is accompanied by wines selected by the hotel's Wine Sommelier
  • Bottle of Cristal Champagne and a generous Beluga caviar service
  • Suite filled with romantic floral arrangements by celebrity florist Jane Packer
  • Breakfast for two in suite each morning
  • Two La Prairie Spa Diamond Perfection Treatments
  • Two La Prairie Spa Diamond Perfection Eye Treatments
  • Two 90-minute couples massages in suite
  • Rose Petal turndown
  • Embroidered his and her signature Ritz-Carlton Robes
  • Package pricing starts at $850,000 and excludes taxes and gratuities. A non-refundable 14-day advanced payment is required.
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