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Valentine's Splurge

Cindy Loose

Hotels all over the country have been pitching special deals for Valentine's Day. But really, how far are you going to go for a Hallmark holiday? Still, given these gloomy winter days, your romantic impulse might need a jolt. Here's some ideas not far from home:

* If you have small children and can pawn them off on someone for a night, you might not need anyplace special to improve your romantic life -- any room that's not in your own home should do just fine. I'd check out any brand-name hotel within a 20-mile radius: If they cater to people on business, they probably have surprisingly good deals on weekends, assuming you need to wait until the weekend to celebrate Feb. 14, which this year falls on a Thursday.

* If you're looking for more than a night without juice boxes underfoot and can afford a spluge, three nearby places come immediately to mind. In D.C., for a historic kind of romantic flavor, the Hay-Adams. For a more chic but romantic selection, Penn Quarter's Hotel Monaco. In Old Town Alexandria, Morrison House, where rooms run about $249 a night and up. Its "Cupid's Valentine Caper" package, including breakfast in bed, champagne and "a poem written especially for your love story" (you fill out a questionnaire and they do the rest; 72 hours' notice required), is $379.

* Farther afield, I'd find it rather romantic to sit around the fire pit with wine at central Pennsylvania's Bedford Springs Hotel. See my recent story here. Rooms start at $224 a night, plus an $18 resort fee.

Other well-known luxury-romance choices: the Inn at Perry Cabin along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va. -- both very pricey options, but tried and true.

The Annapolis area has some great and romantic B&Bs (find a bunch at www.visitannapolis.org). If the B&B style doesn't offer the degree of privacy you might wish, the Web site also shows inns and hotels that look pretty romantic to me.

Other ideas, especially cheaper ones?

By Cindy Loose |  January 16, 2008; 7:58 AM ET  | Category:  Cindy Loose , Deals , Hotels
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Posted by: Washington, DC | January 16, 2008 9:01 AM

Whoops,make that Annapolis site .org, not .com.

Posted by: cindy loose | January 16, 2008 10:26 AM

If you have the time and are not afraid of Lake Effect snow, I highly recommend NY's Finger Lakes region.

It's about a 5 hour road trip to the general area, and there are many fabulous B&B's. On our honeymoon, we stayed at the Filigree Inn in the Canandaigua area - the suites are fabulous because they include a fully stocked kitchen - you make your own breakfast and don't have to get dressed to do so. (And you can also stock up at the nearby Wegman's.)

They have packages http://www.filigreeinn.com/packages.html - some just for romance, some that are good for the Bristol Mountain Ski Resort just down the street.

But it's a really nice area, that B&B is fabulous for being snowed in (rooms have gas fireplaces and satellite TV), and if you can get around, nearby Keuka Lake has kick-butt wineries. It made a great early summer honeymoon for us...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | January 16, 2008 5:05 PM

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