Here’s a thought: Get away from it all for a romantic weekend – right here, where others pay major money to come in the wintertime. You’ll save on travel costs and can use the extra cash for a dinner or shopping splurge instead.
Our suggestions include the historic and recently renovated Colony Hotel and Cabana Club in Delray Beach, the stately Breakers in Palm Beach, with concierge treatment that will make you want to move in permanently, and the Old Florida oceanside charmer, Wright-by-the-Sea in Delray Beach.
The Colony Hotel and Cabana Club
Opt for a corner Queen or King room in this 1926 hotel, though any of the 70 rooms or two-bedroom suites would be ideal. All are individually decorated and recently renovated, all featuring tasteful tropical touches. Skylights illuminate the lobby, filled with vintage wicker furniture.
Only two miles and a bike-ride away is the Cabana Club on the ocean, which sports a saltwater pool, lushly landscaped private gardens, and a “serenity circle” for meditation or just getting lost in the quiet.
Situated on Atlantic Avenue, there are plenty of opportunities for guests to stroll and browse a plethora of shops, many offering one-off Florida gifts or art. Dining choices range from quick pizza slices, Thai, a steakhouse, and several sandwich shops. The Green Owl – a classic mid-century diner nearby, sits across from Mercer-Wentzel, a landmark department store.
The friendly staff can help you make dinner plans in advance (do this the day you make reservations) and set up other activities in the area.
Eco-friendly guests will be happy to know the hotel was certified a Florida Green Lodge in 2006 and practices conservation daily.
The luxury of luxury – it’s all about service at this unique Italian Renaissance resort. You get it with the lowest-end rooms at this grand seaside hotel with more history than most others in South Florida.
For romance, you just can’t beat it. The works of art, grand lobby and loggias – all the public spaces speak to romanticism. With its spas and now, the completely renovated beachfront, regroomed landscaping and natural habitats – all work to complete a honeymoon-like experience for couples. The staff mantra, “Friendliness with respect” is a welcome, less-formal approach than the stiffness and formality that can make guests uncomfortable.
There’s no end to activities available through the concierges who can book dinners, plays, eco-tours and other events if you choose. On site, there’s a relaxation pool overlooking the ocean, with two whirlpools, an oceanfront spa where you can get a couples massage, and the star attraction, private bungalows that sport their own “bungalow concierge.”
The Breakers is an all-in-one shopping event, too. A new jewelry boutique called Mix features one-of-a-kind jewelry, while clothing, gourmet food and wine and accessories are available at others on the property. There’s plenty to do recreation-wise on the grounds – golf, croquet, basketball and more. It boasts a number of fine restaurants to choose from -- L’escalier would have the most romantic tables for Valentine’s Day.
Choose from 540 rooms and suites
It’s pricey, but for romance, or just to be able to say you’ve stayed where royalty and notables have stayed – this is “The One.”
We are enchanted by Old Florida, and the epitome of beachfront hotels from the ‘50s is at Wright-by-the-Sea in Delray Beach. We even love their web site, which posts the weather right up front.
Each one of the 28 suites here has an ocean view – not even The Breakers can boast this. The cozy rooms and studio apartments are individually decorated with a beachy-cottage theme, and have comfy appointments like lounge-worthy chairs with ottomans and efficient kitchenettes. We favor the studio apartments for coziness, but a luxury suite with two baths and separate living room is available.
There’s a cute little palm-shaded heated pool overlooking the dunes, and private cabanas for sun worshipping or keeping the sand from ruffling your book pages.
De rigeur is the shuffleboard court – no ‘50s hotel or motel in Florida was without them – croquet, basketball, and Ping Pong tables for recreation.
For wooing, we’d take a bottle of wine, a couple of glasses and a blanket, and sit on the ocean observation deck to watch the shore.
It’s near everything in downtown Delray, but with its little kitchen, you wouldn’t have to leave the grounds.
If you go:
The Colony Hotel and Cabana Club
525 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
(561) 276-4123; www.thecolonyhotel.com/florida/
Rates: Two-night stay minimum for Valentine’s Day weekend; $259 per night, king room.
1901 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach
(561) 278-3355; www.wbts.com
Rates: From $255 for a studio, to $495 for a 1000-sq.-ft. suite.
1 S. County Road, Palm Beach
(561) 655-6611; www.thebreakers.com
Rates: $630-$690 for king rooms; up to a $200 credit toward amenities is available on their web site.
Note: All prices quo