There’s still time for a perfect Valentine find

by Sylvia Pownall
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Whether you’re doing Valentine’s Day on a shoestring or a luxury no-expense-spared basis, we’ve got all bases covered.

Wellness escapes are all the rage for 2019 and experts Health and Fitness Travel can help whisk the most health-conscious couple to alluring worldwide destinations.


Blow the budget with a holistic retreat for two – from tranquil spas in Italy to unforgettable therapeutic experiences in heavenly Sri Lanka.

Lefay Fusion Fitness is nestled in the countryside in Italy – the land where the word romance was born – and exudes chic Italian charm.

Enjoy an expansive range of fitness activities, from personal training to aqua gym, Tai Chi and yoga.

Work up a sweat together then relax in the spa; where she can have a tension-relieving message, and he can enjoy a rejuvenating facial, specifically tailored for men.

You’ll be sure to return home stronger and more revived in yourselves and your relationship.

For the ultimate in luxury romance, treat yourselves to an unforgettable spa experience along the pristine verdant highlands of Sri Lanka.

The Santani Resort & Spa Re-balancing Bliss package allows guests to indulge with a range of soul-lifting treatments for a reboot which boosts fitness levels.

Reconnect with each other and reach a new level of consciousness for a truly bespoke wellness experience.

Recalibrate from head-to-toe with group yoga, guided hikes and a calming dip in the saltwater pools for the ultimate Valentine’s experience.

They say the couple that travels together, stays together. This year, up your Valentine’s game with a long-haul spa and yoga break to Karkloof Safari Spa in South Africa.

A one-of-a-kind romantic oasis awaits you, with an added adventurous element of astonishing wildlife surrounding the 2,000-hectare reserve.

Relax together at the award-winning spa and indulge in a wide range of exotic spa treatments, from uplifting grapefruit facials to black pepper scrubs.

After a fruitful cleanse, discover the jewels of the African jungle with a fascinating safari game drive and thundering waterfall for memories that will last a lifetime.

Delve into the restaurant’s nutritious and organic cuisine with a backdrop of splendid African sunsets.

• For prices, advice, guidance and booking, visit


If you don’t want to blow the budget, you can stay closer to home and still manage to cast a spell on your Valentine at Clontarf Castle Hotel.

Whisk your other half to the Twelfth Century castle and let the fairytale begin as you wander up the leafy avenue to catch your first glimpse of the impressive building.

Chilled champagne and decadent chocolates await you in your room on arrival.

Afterwards, follow the impressive art trail and discuss your favourite pieces over a glass of wine, or perhaps try the wonderful Fusion Afternoon Tea experience, before a relaxed evening dinner.

The Spellbound Valentine’s package is available from €260PPS (minimum two-night stay required) and includes one dinner, chilled champagne on arrival and chocolates (

Sticking with the castle theme, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is the perfect venue for a romantic escape that gets you out of the city.

Spend two nights in a riverside room with four-poster bed, with champagne and chocolates on arrival, and breakfast in bed both mornings.

Dinner for two will be served on one night in the handsome and atmospheric Owenmore Restaurant, the elegant series of rooms overlooking the river, with a remarkable Connemara marble fireplace where the log fire burns brightly.

Relax over lunch in the characterful Fisherman’s Pub, spend time in the great outdoors and fresh Connemara air and explore the many trails and walks at your own pace.

A two-night When You Love Someone break with dinner on one night, and champagne & chocolates on arrival, costs from €295PP (see, telephone 095 31006).

Dublin’s favourite five-star hotel is offering an irresistible Valentine’s overnight – Couples Concierge at The Shelbourne.

Your concierge will happily arrange any extra treats and surprises – from oysters and champagne to breakfast in bed or chocolate dipped-strawberries, one of the in-house florists’ gorgeous hand-tied bouquets or a dozen red roses, or your choice of romantic movie to watch in your elegant room.

You might choose to arrange for your significant other to have a deliciously relaxing massage or pampering spa treatment, or one of The Salon at The Shelbourne’s renowned Hollywood Legends treatments, signature treatments inspired by legendary style icons.

The hotel concierge himself will share his expertise to arrange show tickets, restaurant bookings, carriage rides or anything else that might be on your list. The only limit to the romantic gestures is your imagination…

Available from February 14 to 17, it costs from €350 B&B per deluxe room, including rose petal turndown, with additional extras at a variety of prices, designed specifically for each couple (see

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