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Travel treats for your Valentine

Jane Bills, Travel & Leisure magazine
Jane Bills, Travel & Leisure magazine

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(CNN) -- Looking to say "I love you" with something more than red roses and chocolates? Consider planning a romantic getaway with your sweetheart.

With February 14 fast approaching, CNN anchor Daryn Kagan asked Travel & Leisure magazine's Jane Bills for tips on some of the most romantic hotels.

KAGAN: Apparently we're blowing the budget, we're forgetting about just flowers and going to some pretty nice places.

BILLS: That's right. Let's get romantic this season.

KAGAN: Let's start in Hawaii -- Oahu. Let me see if I can get this right. Halekulani?

BILLS: That actually means "house befitting heaven," and you really couldn't describe it much better. It's this beautiful calm oasis in the middle of Waikiki. Start off watching the sunset while listening to traditional Hawaiian music. They've got an amazing French restaurant with views over the water. You've got views of Diamond Head in the back.

So you just have this amazing backdrop. You're eating things like truffled scallops, lobster and avocado. And for the bride to be, of course, Hawaii is a big destination for weddings and they've got a special ...

KAGAN: I've got to say if I'm going all the way to Hawaii, I'm not stopping in Waikiki. I'm going farther than that.

BILLS: That's true. A lot of people like to go to Waikiki, though. It's a big stopover. You might stop there first and then go to a smaller island.

KAGAN: Let's head north to Canada. Not the Ice Hotel, we had those folks on last week. Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac.

Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac offers a romantic getaway in the heart of Quebec City.
Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac offers a romantic getaway in the heart of Quebec City.

BILLS: This is in Quebec City. This is like going to Europe without having to enjoy that nine-hour flight. You've got this fairy tale castle from 1893 over the St. Lawrence River. You're in the middle of Old Quebec, which has over 400 years of history. And it's just absolutely gorgeous.

They even have people dressing up in period costume in their restaurants, so you really get into the mood. And they have a great romantic package going on for the month of February called Love is in the Air. You get two nights' stay at the Churchill suite, you have your own private elevator, massages in room, a carriage ride through old Quebec. You have dinner at their restaurant, champagne, strawberries dipped in chocolate. You name it, they've got it.

KAGAN: That works. But if we want to go a little bit warmer, how about Puerto Rico and Hotel el Convento? I don't think a convent sounds very romantic.

BILLS: This place is gorgeous. It's a 17th-century former convent. You know, it's a historical landmark. It's actually the official guest house of the government of Puerto Rico. So all visiting heads of state stay here.

You're going to be treated like absolute royalty. And, you know, you've got a rooftop pool, and you've got a couple of different tapas menus. And [the hotel is located] in the area of old San Juan which has these amazing cobblestone streets. The culinary scene has really taken off there. You've got great seafood.

And they have a romantic package as well that runs all year. So you get three nights' stay, champagne, wine and hors d'oeuvres. And it's just a great way to get away. Rates only start at $295. The package is $435. But that's a great rate for getting away to the Caribbean right now.

KAGAN: And we only have a minute left. I want to skip ahead to Lizard Island because I've got to tell you, that also is not sounding too romantic.

BILLS: No, Lizard Island is absolutely gorgeous. I know the name might be deceiving, but this is in a secluded area of the Great Barrier Reef, and it's absolutely gorgeous. If you've ever wanted your own private island, this is the play place to go.

It's a private island retreat with 24 secluded beaches, and they have 40 rooms so you're not going to have too many people. And they do this great thing where they will whisk you away with your picnic basket, drop you off at one of these beaches, and guarantee you'll be the only two people there all day.

So you just can't get more romantic than that. And they have of course the reef there. So you're going to do snorkeling and diving. It's just absolutely breathtaking.

I want to go. I've been to the reef, but if I could get the chance to go to Lizard Island I'd take it in a heartbeat.


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