Best Valentine's Breaks

It's not too late to plan a romantic break!

Want to surprise someone special with a Valentine’s Day treat of a lifetime this year? Don’t worry, if like us you’ve only just got over Christmas, there’s still time to turn on the romance. Read on for our top tips on organising a Valentine break hot enough to warm up a cold February night.

Planning the perfect surprise Valentine break

Valentine break, Paris

Classic locations are always a safe option for romantic breaks. Image: Agaw Dilim under Creative Commons licence.

Research is key!

If you’re in a new relationship but want to make a grand gesture, now’s the time to do your research: find out as much as you can about what your beloved wants in a holiday, where they’ve been before (particularly with any old flames in tow!) and how much time they are realistically able to take off work. To maintain the element of surprise, you may need to make this a weekend-only event. Check your partner’s diary and be sure to come up with a water-tight pretext for keeping the dates free.

Tailor your break

What’s romantic to you and your partner? Chocolate boxes and red roses may suit some couples, but you might prefer a more individual touch. Does your special one have an adventurous spirit and love the great outdoors? Are they big on culture and appreciate nothing more than the chance to mooch round an art gallery? Mini-breaks can easily be tailored to hobbies and interests, so make this one all about your partner’s biggest passion. Apart from you, of course.

Choose one of the world’s most romantic destinations

If you’re still stuck for ideas, there are a few locations on Earth where romance is almost guaranteed to blossom, and picking an iconic spot is always a safe option: you really can’t go too far wrong with Paris, Bruges, Venice, Barcelona or Rome for an unforgettable Valentine’s break! Be warned though, these popular destinations are likely to be more expensive at this time of year, and will also book up more quickly. You may also be fighting off other lovebirds when booking restaurants and attractions.

As Valentine’s Day falls during the UK winter, another option is to turn your romantic mini-break into a winter sun holiday. Marrakesh is a great mid-haul option with opportunities for camel rides and other unforgettable experiences, while those with a generous budget may want to consider the delights of the Maldives for a beach holiday to remember. Try The Co-operative Travel for a last minute package deal.

If you’re planning on staying in the UK for your Valentine break, Bath, with its Roman spa, quaint architecture and beautiful scenery is a great destination for couples.

You can also enjoy the fully functional modern Thermae Spa here, with its heated rooftop pool, as well as a wealth of bars and restaurants.

Brighton, Edinburgh and London provide countless activities for couples looking for a lively yet romantic city break in iconic surroundings. Show & Stay offers London theatre breaks with a romantic twist.

Indulge in a Valentine’s spa break

If you’re looking to get your kit off, another popular choice for couples on Valentine’s Day is a spa break. Many of the larger hotel chains have stylish and luxurious spa facilities on site with specially tailored romantic packages at this time of year. If you have a particular venue in mind, it’s worth asking about any Valentines spa packages - they are likely to still have some availability.

One spa we particularly rate is ImagineSpa at the Hilton in Heathrow Terminal 5: the proximity to the airport makes it a great option if you’re planning a weekend getaway and want to unwind in style before the flight. The spa, which is newly-built, luxurious and welcoming, offers special Valentine’s treatments for couples - including the messy but highly enjoyable Serail mud treatment.

Don’t forget to pre-book

Your surprise getaway is going to flop if you can’t get a table for dinner. Make advanced reservations at your chosen restaurant when you are booking your flights and accommodation: missing out on your first choice eatery is a schoolboy error and could be a deal-breaker on Valentine’s Day!

For ideas on how to plan a Valentine's trip without breaking the bank, check out our post on budget city breaks for lovers.

What are your top tips for a fantastic Valentine break? Tell us below, and if you enjoyed this post like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+.

Written by Abi Silvester, a London-based writer and editor with a passion for great food, fine wine, coffee and cats; always planning my next trip! @absinthecity

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