Dreamstime

Jay Lloyd's Getaway: Extended Valentine's Day weekend

February 01, 2019 - 3:30 am
Categories: 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Timing is everything. 

In case you haven't noticed, Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this year, immediately followed by Presidents Day weekend. Simply take two vacation or comp days and score a five-day couple's getaway. 
The where and how is up to you. But here are a few tried and tested romantic hits.

Warmer climes

When it comes to a spontaneous, romantic getaway, it's hard to beat a palm-fringed island. Splurge by taking off to the Caribbean, or make it a reasonably priced jet-away to off-season Bermuda, where daytime winter temps kiss 70 degrees and a light sweater takes you through the night. 

I lived on this coral island for five years and totally enjoyed winter when everything was in play and prices took a dip. Motorbike to south shore ocean vistas, sail the clear water harbors, and dine on candlelit patios — all without the on-season crowds.  

A ferry in Bermuda
Jay Lloyd/KYW Newsradio

The best deals in recent years have been found at Grotto Bay — all-inclusive package plans.

On our last visit, we skipped the Grotto lunches to eat on the road or in town. A combination of buses and ferries got us from one end of this colorful island to the other. If the temps spike — and they often do — solitary picnics on pink coral beaches are dynamic.

Keep it close

Escape to small-town charm, outdoor winter action, and culinary skills that evolved from the iconic 19th-century Delmonico's restaurant. It all comes together where Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York meet on the Delaware River. 

The town of Milford has been long known as a haven for artists and crafts people. Hotel Fauchere enfolds updated versions of period furnished rooms, including dual showers with heated towel racks. The common space walls are hung with classic Hudson Valley art, and its Bar Louis is dominated by a rare Warhol print of the artist and John Lennon. 

Bar Louis
Jay Lloyd/KYW Newsradio

Since the hotel was crafted by the hand of a famed Delmonico's chef, the dining rooms meet the expectation. A Valentine's Day dinner comes at a price that is often reserved for true love. In other words, "expensive and memorable."

Spend days skiing nearby or exploring the Delaware Water Gap, mingled with nights of luxury.

Avoid flying and driving

If you can't find a perfect Valentine's Day setting in New York City, you'll never find it. 

A main attraction is that you've got the best chance of avoiding snow-covered roads and winter airport delays, coming and going. Take Amtrak to New York or shave dollars off the fare by catching SEPTA to Trenton and connecting with NJT to Gotham. 

My choice of hotels is The Redbury for a reasonable splurge, or the Hampton Inn in Chelsea on a budget.

Find hideaway or top-shelf dining from the Upper East and West sides to Lower Manhattan, from river to river. In New York, it's hard for a restaurant to survive unless it rivals the best in its class. Take in Broadway, opera at the Met, or jazz at my frequent hangout, the casual Cleopatra's Needle.

Skate at Rockefeller Center, and if the weather is mild, take a romantic carriage ride in Central Park or cruise on a ferry to Brooklyn. You'll be telling your grandkids about it.

Tips

There are some things that do put the cherry on top of a Valentine's getaway. The most difficult thing is finding an accommodating restaurant that will, on a busy night, craft a dish that is part of your lives together. 

It helps if the special request is something that parallels the eatery's regular menu, and you discuss it in advance when making a reservation.

Then, choose gifts that reflect the location and the attraction that brought you there. Finally, to top off the evening, scout out a lounge at or near your hotel that is known for desserts and nightcaps. 
After that, it's mellow time.