February heralds a move away from the restraint of January towards the decadent fun of Valentine’s Day. Even if embroidered teddy bears and heart-shaped chocolates aren’t your thing, an impromptu romantic break will have you and your other half happily swapping carrot juice for champagne in no time.
No need to thank us; all you all you have to do is book*. Secure your accommodation through i-escape, then follow our recommendations for travel, and voila! It’s time to start packing.
The Grosvenor Arms – £133 per person (2 nights, 20-22 February 2015)
Keep it low-key on Valentine’s weekend with a celebration at home, then slip away to Dorset for the culmination of medieval Shaftesbury’s Snowdrop Festival a few days later. Thousands of bulbs have been planted around the town ready to ring in the spring – perfect for rural walks followed by warming suppers.
Stay: in the heart of the town at The Grosvenor Arms, a funky and welcoming coaching inn with peaceful rooms above a cool cocktail bar and buzzy restaurant. A 2-night stay in a Deluxe Room comes to £133 per person, including all taxes, when booking the best non-refundable rate.
La Maison des Remparts – £277.02 per person (3 nights, 13-16 February 2015)
What could be more romantic than a French minibreak? Instead of the clichéd Parisian weekend, we suggest taking inspiration from classic film Chocolat and heading to a beautiful historic Provençal town like Beaumes-de-Venise. While the movie’s villagers indulged in decadent chocolates, here the speciality is Muscat sweet wine – oh, go on then!
Stay: at spoiling La Maison des Remparts, an impressively restored and exquisitely decorated 5-bedroom B&B hidden within the town’s fortified walls. Owner Ludivine is happy to arrange cellar tours and wine tastings, as well as bike hire, massages and dinner reservations. Under the current 3-nights-for-2-offer, a 3-night stay in the Légende d’Orient room comes to just £119 per person, including all taxes.
Fly: direct from London Stansted to Marseille with Ryanair for £142 per person, departing Friday 13 February and returning Monday 16 February.
From the airport: Public transport is limited and it’s a 90-minute drive from the airport to the hotel, so hiring a car is the easiest option. Car hire through Rhino starts from £32.04.
Total cost: £277.02 per person, including all taxes.
SALA Phuket – £1,435 per person (7 nights, 7-14 February 2015)
Thailand’s biggest island may not be known for peace and tranquillity, but Phuket’s north is much quieter than its throbbing south. Head for protected Mai Khao beach (golden and almost deserted), then explore the historic roads by bicycle and take leisurely boat tours of nearby Phang Nga bay’s towering limestone karsts.
Stay: at SALA Phuket, a stylish, secluded beachfront villa resort with a great restaurant and restful spa. A 6-night stay in a Garden Pool Villa (yes, you’ll have a private pool!) comes to £912 per person, including taxes. If you book under the current ‘Free Perks’ offer, you’ll also get free airport transfers, a Thai set dinner for 2, and a half-day island tour or 60-minute massage per person.
Fly: direct from London Gatwick to Phuket with Thomson Airways for £523 per person, departing Friday 6 February (overnight flight arriving Saturday 7 February) and returning Saturday 14 February.
From the airport: The hotel provides airport transfers free of charge when booking with the ‘Free Perks’ offer.
Total cost: £1,435 per person, including all taxes.
*Please note that only the accommodation may be booked through i-escape.com. The information on travel is provided as a service to you, and must be booked through other websites, as indicated. All prices and availability are correct at the time of publishing. The per person prices are based on 2 people in a double/twin room or an apartment for 2. Published on 28th January 2014.