Barry Oliver presents a range of ro­man­tic Valen­tine’s Day deals de­signed to win hearts

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Australia -

DEC­LA­RA­TIONS of love can take many forms. A can­dle­light cruise on the Seine in Paris seems a per­fect time for a pro­posal but a French com­pany will, for a price, go one bet­ter and project a gi­ant photo of the magic mo­ment on to the Eif­fel Tower as the happy cou­ple drifts by.

If that doesn’t im­press, you could try a ro­man­tic din­ner with a dif­fer­ence: you re­turn to your ho­tel room to find it has been taken over by 150 cute lit­tle teddy bears all dressed in per­son­alised I love you’’ T-shirts.

Or how about a joy flight over the French cap­i­tal where a sec­ond plane ap­pears along­side with your dec­la­ra­tion of love em­bla­zoned on its wings?

Apo­teoSur­prise of­fers 40 such ex­pe­ri­ences de­signed with love in mind. www.apo­teosur­­dexEN.htm. Fan­tasy land: The NSW Blue Moun­tains, west of Syd­ney, has ro­man­tic hide­aways ga­lore, all tai­lor-made for a Valen­tine’s Day es­cape. The Car­ring­ton Ho­tel and Yindi Day Spa at Ka­toomba has a Choco­late Fan­tasy pack­age for cou­ples. It in­cludes overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion in a pre­mier-view spa room, break­fasts, co­coa and co­conut milk spa with choco­late straw­ber­ries and or­ganic honey and co­coa mud wrap with mas­sage and mois­turise. From $600 mid­week. The ho­tel is also run­ning a Fe­bru­ary 14 Valen­tine’s Day din­ner un­der the vaulted ceil­ings of its clas­sic din­ing room (in the com­pany of two gi­ant Ming vases) for $65 a per­son. In­cludes a three-course menu and glass of sparkling wine. www.the­car­ring­ Great es­cape: Still in the Blue Moun­tains, the York Fair­mont Re­sort at Leura has a Valen­tine’s es­cape from $495 mid­week ($916 week­ends). The two-night week­end stay comes with break­fasts and din­ner. Mid­week, Sun­day to Thurs­day, in­cludes overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion, break­fasts and din­ner. www.fair­mon­tre­ Love fest: Never mind the 14th, Metro Ho­tels has de­clared all of Fe­bru­ary the month of love, with ro­man­tic pack­ages at a num­ber of its prop­er­ties. At Syd­ney’s Metro Ho­tel on Pitt, a week­end overnight stay (from $289) comes with a king spa room, break­fasts, bot­tle of sparkling wine and choco­lates on ar­rival, bath bombs and noon check­out. A stay in a one-bed­room apart­ment at the Metro Apart­ments in Melbourne is $160 and in­cludes a bot­tle of sparkling wine and choco­lates on ar­rival and 11am check­out. At Perth’s Metro Ho­tel on Can­ning, an overnight pack­age in a riverview room with din­ner for two on a private bal­cony, a bot­tle of sparkling wine and choco­lates on ar­rival, 11am check­out and park­ing starts at $175. The deal is valid un­til Fe­bru­ary 28. www.metro­ho­ Chocs and views: Syd­ney’s Shangri-La Ho­tel’s Valen­tine’s Day pack­age comes with har­bour views, overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion for two, break­fasts, a bot­tle of Moet & Chan­don cham­pagne, straw­ber­ries and hand­made choco­lates on ar­rival, 4pm check­out and park­ing. The so-called Oc­ca­sions Pack­age, which starts at $398, is valid to De­cem­ber 30.­ney. Go­ing up: Queens­land’s Wal­laby Ridge Re­treat near Tam­borine Moun­tain has an overnight deal that in­cludes a bal­loon flight with cham­pagne break­fast, cham­pagne and straw­ber­ries on ar­rival, roses and a ro­man­tic two-course din­ner for $635 a cou­ple. Valen­tines-Day. In the pink: An­nes­ley House at the Bay in Queens­land’s Her­vey Bay is of­fer­ing straw­ber­ries, wine and pink choco­lates on ar­rival and a three-course can­dlelit din­ner. For added ro­mance, even the bed­sheets will be pink. Priced at $880 for two from Fe­bru­ary 9 to 16. www.take­tines-Day. Suite deal: Syd­ney’s Ur­ban St Leonards Ho­tel, part of the Ac­cor group, has come up with a Suite Ur­ban Love pack­age for those look­ing to en­joy some Valen­tine’s Day pri­vacy. It in­cludes ac­com­mo­da­tion for two with spa bath and wa­ter-view ter­race, bot­tle of sparkling wine, slip­pers, an Aveda sen­sory pack, late check­out and park­ing. There’s also a food and bev­er­age dis­count book, val­ued at up to $100, to use at the ho­tel. From $249 a cou­ple, the pack­age is valid Fri­day and Satur­day nights un­til the end of Fe­bru­ary. www.ur­ Petal power: A bot­tle of cham­pagne and rosepetals on the bed is the prom­ise at Bel­lachara Bou­tique Ho­tel in the coastal NSW town of Ger­ringong, 90 min­utes south of Syd­ney. A stay in a king gar­den room is $250 a night with break­fast. An ex­tra $69 a per­son buys a three-course din­ner with a red rose on ar­rival, cock­tail, straw­ber­ries dipped in choco­late and live pi­ano en­ter­tain­ment. The deal is avail­able only on Fe­bru­ary 14. www.bel­ To the beach: Still on the NSW south coast, Wol­lon­gong’s ocean­front Novo­tel North­beach Ho­tel is also giv­ing cou­ples a rea­son to cel­e­brate, with a lovers’ pack­age that in­cludes overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion from $209 a room with a bot­tle of sparkling wine and choco­lates on ar­rival. Avail­able only on Fe­bru­ary 14. www.novotel­north­ High life: Q1 Re­sort & Spa on the Gold Coast, in the world’s tallest res­i­den­tial tower, is tak­ing ro­mance to new heights with a pack­age that in­cludes ac­com­mo­da­tion in a one-bed­room apart­ment, two tick­ets to its Q Deck ob­ser­va­tory with a sou­venir photo and a bot­tle of sparkling wine. Valid to March 30. Port of call: Pep­pers Bale Re­sort in north­ern Queens­land’s Port Douglas, which of­fers free­stand­ing pavil­ion-style ac­com­mo­da­tion with private pools, has a Valen­tine’s Day pack­age in a onebed­room pavil­ion, break­fast and bot­tle of Moet & Chan­don cham­pagne with straw­ber­ries from $795 a night. Be warned: to add to the mood there’s a ro­man­tic rose-petal dec­o­ra­tion on ar­rival. Valid from Fe­bru­ary 7 to 21. www.pep­ .au/Bale-Re­sort. Hunter gath­erer: Pep­pers Con­vent in the NSW Hunter Val­ley is cel­e­brat­ing the big day with a pack­age that in­cludes overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion, break­fast, pre-din­ner drinks and canapes, din­ner, cham­pagne and a one-hour mas­sage or fa­cial for two. From $836 a cou­ple. www.pep­ Wild side: For those with a taste for ad­ven­ture, Phil James, found­ing di­rec­tor of, has come up with his top Valen­tine’s Day gifts for him or her. They in­clude a fly­ing trapeze les­son, fighter jet flight, jet boat ride and tan­dem para­sail­ing. There are more than 400 ad­ven­tures from which to choose. Some­thing dif­fer­ent: Tired of roses, choco­lates and ro­man­tic din­ners? Karma Cur­rency, Aus­tralia’s first char­ity gift voucher, of­fers some­thing dif­fer­ent. Log on to its web­site, buy a voucher with a Valen­tine’s mes­sage, and Karma Cur­rency does the rest. In­stead of get­ting roses, your near­est and dear­est can choose to do­nate the value of the voucher to one of more than 100 char­i­ties. Choices range from buy­ing a fruit tree for a poor fam­ily in Brazil to cook­ing uten­sils to feed the home­less in Melbourne. www.kar­ma­cur­

More Valen­tine’s Day deals on­line: www.theaus­

Love in strange places: From left, Apo­teoSur­prise spe­cialises in unique Valen­tine’s Day pack­ages from mes­sages in the sky above Paris to an im­age pro­jected on the Eif­fel Tower; the Car­ring­ton Ho­tel at Ka­toomba in the NSW Blue Moun­tains; Q1 lux­ury re­sort and spa on Queens­land’s Gold Coast

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