Whether it makes your heart sing or forces you into the fetal position in a very dark room, Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
Whilst we're all for romance, we prefer doing something a little different from wistfully gazing at each other across a candlelit table, so we've drawn up a list of quirky Valentine's Day options.
Escape to a private island
Just imagine it – the perfect spot for romance and not a Hallmark card in sight. Escape to Cayo Espanto off the coast of Belize for a luxurious and private Valentine's Day. Explore the world’s second-largest barrier-reef system, languish on a private dock, cool off in an alfresco shower or in your very own plunge pool. All this and panoramic views of the Caribbean too, could you ask for anything more?
Cayo Espanto’s is currently offering an Ultimate Romance package priced at USD 4,995 per couple for Valentine’s Day.
Surf lessons and a bonfire on a Californian beach
For outdoors types a day in the surf followed by a bonfire on Huntington Beach, California could be the perfect alternative to flowers and a card.
The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach as teamed up with surf company, Toes on the Nose, to provide a variety of adventure packages for couples. You can indulge in a 2 hour private surfing lesson followed by a sunset bonfire with s'mores. Learn how to ride the perfect wave and then cuddle up on the beach a deux.
A piste of the action at Whistler / Blackcomb
A little birdie told us that since opening its new PEAK 2 PEAK gondola in December 2008, Whistler / Blackcomb has witnessed numerous engagements, two weddings and countless stolen kisses in the gondola as it traverses the 2.73 mile span between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.
Romance is clearly in British Columbia's fresh, clean air, so why not whisk your beloved away for a weekend break packed with skiing, log fires, quaint cabins and, of course, the gondola.
Go Wild out West
Saddle up and get your spurs on... How about a trip to Hidden Meadow Ranch, a luxury retreat surrounded by national forest in Arizona's picturesque White Mountains? It's 20 miles to the nearest village and there are no TVs in the log cabins, so you're guaranteed quality one-on-one time.
Each of the 12 log cabins features a wood-burning fireplace, bathrooms with oversized soaking tubs (enough room for two); a covered porch overlooking the meadow; bedrooms outfitted with fine linens; and locally hand-carved wood furniture.
Gee up for romantic horseback rides, hiking, sledging and cuddling up on your own horse-drawn sleigh.
Pricing for overnight guests is an all-inclusive $565 and includes three gourmet meals per day (including a four course prix fix dinner on February 14), a special in-cabin Valentine’s Day surprise, as well as many Ranch-sponsored activities.
...at the Terra Cotta Inn, a clothing optional resort and spa in Palm Springs, California. There's a no kids allowed policy so couples can relax by the pool without distraction, sipping a cold drink as the warm sun caresses parts that may never before have seen the light of day.
If you're new to nudism, don't panic, CBSmarketwatch.com called the Terra Cotta Inn the most mainstream of all nudist resorts in America and perfect for couples sunbathing in their birthday suits for the first time.
The resort averages a 75% repeat guests rate, perhaps once you start you just can't stop...
Website: http://sunnyfun.com; Tel: 1-800-786-6938.
Dinner in the Sky
It might be the most expensive Valentine's Day dinner you've ever planned, but you will be eating at a table suspended at a height of 50 metres, which definitely makes for a quirky experience.
You can arrange for your dinner in the sky to take place wherever you choose – from your own garden to a vineyard to a castle to the races - as long as there is a 500 m² surface that can be secured. The service operates in 30 countries worldwide, so if you already have a mini-break planned you could add a whole new element of surprise to it.
For more information contact http://www.dinnerinthesky.com/dits_dinner/dinner.php