We’re coming up on our favorite time of year — Valentine’s — because it combines two of our favorite things, love, and the chance to celebrate said love at luxury resorts offering great packages.
We have three to tell you about right now (all three we’ve written about here, previously):
1) The historic Carolina Inn just up the road in beautiful Chapel Hill has these “Month of Love” offerings: Dining with your sweetheart or friends, Carolina Crossroads Restaurant is the perfect place to be pampered and experience exceptional cuisine. For Valentine’s Day, a special four-course dinner will be offered for $75 per person that includes champagne and a rose for your sweetheart. If you can’t join then for Valentine’s Day, don’t worry; they’ll also have a special four-course dinner and champagne available for $65 per person February 11th-13th. For reservations, call 919.918.2735.
For more on their romance packages, click here:
By the way, this just in: a little later next month, othe Carolina Inn is hosting what sounds like a tres cool event, their First Ever Shrimp and Grits Throwdown.
Seven local star chefs from renowned restaurants will compete for the title and bragging rights of Shrimp and Grits Champion at the inaugural event, Saturday, February 25, from 1-4 p.m.
Tickets, $15, can be purchased online at www.CarolinaInnThrowdown.com. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to TABLE, serving Chapel Hill-Carrboro children at risk for hunger.
Patrons are also asked to bring canned food and nonperishable items to donate at the event.
The competing chefs (as of now) are Jeremy Blankenship, Chef of Tyler’s Tap Room; Trey Cleveland, Executive Chef of Top of the Hill; Adam Cobb, Executive Chef of Glasshalfull; Bret Jennings, Executive Chef and Owner of Elaine’s on Franklin; Vimala Rajendran, Executive Chef and Owner of Vimala’s Curry Blossom Café; Jimmy Reale, Executive Chef of Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar; and Adam Rose, Executive Chef of Il Palio.
Now, back to Valentine’s romance.
2) The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, has announced a new 14-Carat Chocolate Package highlighting the wonder, drama and romance that is chocolate – and more. Yes, the price is ritzy, but when else will you splurge on your true love if not for Valentine’s.
The 14-Carat Chocolate Package at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is designed to provide private access to the hotel’s popular Bar Cocoa all-dessert dining and culinary school experience, and to feature two treasured keepsakes, including a Le Vian® Chocolate Diamond with 14-carat white gold necklace, and a chocolate-hued fine writing instrument from Montblanc®.
Culinary highlights of the February culinary experience include a five-course all-dessert Champagne and Chocolate Dinner, featuring such pairings as Caramelized Lemon Chiboust and Berry Consommé served with Perrier-Jouët Grand Brüt, or Chocolate Pistachio & Raspberry Macaron with Moët & Chandon Nectar Rosé Imperial.
The 14-Carat Chocolate Package at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is priced at $14,000, (hey, at least it includes tax and gratuity) and features the following, offered not just on February 14th but on weekends throughout February, 2012:
· Two Nights in The Ritz-Carlton Suite, featuring a spectacular sound system and floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of Charlotte (read about our stay there);
· Private Dessert Cooking Class for Two at Bar Cocoa’s Cocoa Lab Kitchen, including instruction in replicating beloved Southern desserts from the award-winning movie The Help
· Champagne & Chocolate All-Dessert Dinner for Two at Bar Cocoa
· A Le Vian 14K White Gold and Chocolate Diamond Pendant Necklace
· A Montblanc Chocolate Brown Bohème Fountain Pen
· Weekend Brunch for Two at Bar Cocoa
· Honey Detox and Chocolate Truffle Body Treatment and Massage for Two at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Charlotte
· A dedicated private car and driver throughout the stay
· Limousine service to/from the hotel and a local address or to/from the hotel and Charlotte Douglas International Airport
For personalized reservations assistance, contact Ashley Branch at 704-549-4735. Seven days’ advance notice is required to finalize all reservations for this limited-access romance travel experience.
3) If you love old Southern elegance, you may want to check out the romantic offerings the entire month of February at Berry Hill Inn in South Boston, VA.
Berry Hill Resort, a former antebellum plantation estate (the home is a National Historic Landmark), is embracing Valentine’s with a month of romance packages, chocolate, strawberries and champagne spa treatments and a special Valentine’s Dinner and Dance February 11 with a Virginia-based band in the resort ballroom.
Guests purchasing the hotel packages receive house-made, chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne with complementary Berry Hill glasses. Plus, says a spokesperson, “the outdoor trails are in good shape since the winter has been so mild and the pool is nice and warm.”
From February 5-14, The Blackberry Spa offers special treatments like a Chocolate Hot Oil Massage, Strawberries & Champagne Scrub and Strawberries & Champagne Massage. There’s also rose-petal pedicures and even chocolate-scented candles.
The February 11 event, starting at $225 per couple, features overnight accommodations, dinner and dancing. Dinner is served in the Grand Ballroom starting at 7 p.m., and the John Winntet Band provides live entertainment 8 p.m. through Midnight. Dinner and dancing packages are also available for $55 per person, and dancing-only packages are priced at $25 per person.
The remainder of the month (except February 12-14), guests can enjoy the Romance Package starting at $219 per couple per night and featuring deluxe overnight accommodations at the Inn at Berry Hill, dinner for two at Carrington’s Restaurant, a complimentary flute of champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries and champagne in the room. The Blackberry Romance Package starts at $299 per couple per night and features all of the amenities listed, plus a pair of 30-minute Swedish massages or a refresher facial.
If You’re Going: All packages can be booked by calling 434-517-7000 or online at www.BerryHillOnline.com.
About the resort: Each of Berry Hill’s 88 rooms is furnished with Italian, handcrafted beds – four-poster canopied queen beds or sleigh beds — as well as antiques and reproductions. Most rooms open to a spacious veranda offering sweeping views of Berry Hill’s 650-acre estate.
In addition to the guestrooms in the hotel complex, Berry Hill also offers a pair of modern, renovated, historic cottages on the grounds as well as two suites located within the Mansion.
Guests can stroll the park-like setting, enjoying the gardens and landscaping, while on the periphery are stone ruins and historic 200-year old cemeteries.
Amenities include the Blackberry Spa, indoor swimming pool, men’s and women’s sauna, fitness center, tennis courts, biking on five miles of trails, fishing in a stocked pond, horseshoes, croquet, bocce, petanque, soccer, football, volleyball and nearby golf. There’s also billiards, a library in the mansion, plus a lounge and terrace for casual conversation and favorite beverages.