Even last-minute Valentines can be well thought out
By Amy Weirick
We’ve all done it: put off nailing down a Valentine’s Day gift until the 11th hour. February 14th approaches and the anxiety mounts. The procrastinator’s search for that perfect present turned up fruitless. Now you’re left waiting for divine inspiration or for the “just right” gift to drop in your lap. But it never does.
The answer is easy, however, when you consider that for most couples, quality time together is their greatest luxury. Thus, the best gift you can give may be the opportunity to truly relax as a couple, away from the demands of everyday life. Add in a little pampering, some fine dining and experiences that are a diversion from the daily grind, and you have the perfect valentine – one that has the power to bring you closer as a couple.
Select Registry is a listing of the finest inns and B&B’s in the U.S. and Canada. With nearly 400 Select Registry Inns, each listing is a reflection of the unique personality of its individual innkeeper-owner. Offering a break from chains and the normal packages, these carefully selected and inspected inns let travelers sift through the more than 20,000 country inns and B&Bs in the United States and Canada, by highlighting the best there is. Couples can select the experience that fits their own personal style and taste, while sparking that much-needed romance.
ROMANCE PRO KNOW-HOW
Despite their individual character and charm, every one of the nearly 400 Select Registry Inns expertly caters to couples and specializes in setting the stage for memorable romantic getaways.
Ballastone Inn in Savannah, Georgia, for example, offers a package where couples enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through historic Savannah, couples massage, chocolate covered strawberries and rose-petal turndown.
At The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls in Ohio’s Hocking Hills, romance is rekindled with a cozy cottage picnic, elegant stationery for writing love letters to one another, breakfast in bed, a massage lesson and a professional photo portrait of the two of you.
The seaside Old Monterey Inn in Monterey, California offers a beach bonfire package with extra wood, matches, a flashlight, comfy beach blanket, a dozen ribbon-tied roses, chocolate s'more fixings, gourmet picnic and a book of poetry. Hundreds more inns offering equally enchanting romance packages are found at SelectRegistry.com.
HOW TO GUIDE
To create the perfect last-minute Valentine, consider these tips for booking an unforgettable couples getaway:
- Surf around SelectRegistry.com to find an inn that fits your style and is located in an area you and your sweetheart want to visit.
- Visit specific inn websites and check out romance packages, seeking out special touches that will appeal to both you and your beloved.
- Call the inn and talk through your reservation. Because Select Registry Inns are independent and most are directly managed by their owners, they specialize in building the most memorable experiences and are often happy to create something special just for you.
- Ask to add special, personal touches like your loved one’s favorite bubble bath, wine or dessert. Maybe there’s a favorite CD of music the inn could have playing when you arrive.
- Too last minute to schedule a trip before February 14th? No problem! Simply book your romance for a convenient upcoming week, then print off some images from the inn’s website, wrap up for giving or pop into a Valentine’s Day card.
- If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the distinctive choices, you can visit the Select Registry online Gift Shop to purchase a gift certificate. It’s good at any of the Select Registry inns. Print out a few pages from inns that appeal to you, roll them up and tie with a red silk ribbon. Then, you and your sweetie can spend time together pouring over the many choices, picking one that’s perfect for your special getaway.
- When you embark on your escape, remember your camera; and don’t be shy about asking inn staff to snap a few photos of the two of you. When you return home, frame your favorites for display in your home and office.
ENHANCE THE ROMANCE
Regardless of whether you’re able to make your Valentine’s Day getaway on February 14th or you’re planning a future romantic trip, be sure to stick to your departure date and make that time away a priority. All Select Registry members feature the Select Registry guidebook. Use the guide to plan a visit to a different Select Registry Inn again next year -- giving you even more time together. The entire experience will pay off for years to come. There’s really no better gift to give each other than the chance to enhance your relationship with time alone together and special shared memories.
A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Amy Weirick is an Ohio-based freelance writer specializing in travel, inns and culinary writing.