Be Their Valentine and You'll Find a Great Deal
Prepared by Harold Stephens
Travel Correspondent for Thai Airways International
What comes to mind with the very mention of St. Valentine’s Day? Most likely it’s one of the traditional symbols of Valentine's Day that includes hearts, doves, Cupid, and love notes and cards. It’s our chance to show our affection to those we care about with Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery, without being accused of being mawkish.
It’s also the time for some great bargains that include travel, accommodations, restaurants and so much more. Take a look at some of these.
Centara Hotels and Resorts has a Spa treatment and breakfast in bed as part of Centara’s Valentine package. How can you beat this: Accommodation in a luxury suite or villa, spa treatment for two, and breakfast in bed are being offered by Centara Hotels & Resorts under a Valentine package available at selected beach resort hotels.
The package is available for a minimum of three nights during the period of 10-21 February at hotels in Phuket, Krabi, Samui and Hua Hin (Kui Buri). Imagine honeymoon spa suites and pool suites, and deluxe pool villas, and you don’t have to be on a honeymoon. Daily breakfast, with breakfast served in bed once during your stay, and fruit, flowers and a Valentine cake are all included.
There’s more. There’s a bottle of sparkling wine served poolside with canapés on the first night, and a one-hour luxury treatment for couples to be provided in a suite at the resort’s spa.
The rates vary according to the property but begin at 5500 baht per night. Bookings for less than three nights receive the same rate but not the extra benefits.
Here’s another deal called “Experience the ROMANCE JOURNEY” and this time we go to the Anantara Seminyak on Bali. Their ad tells us we can lose ourselves in elegant luxury, unrivalled hospitality and perfect serenity. If you have ever visited the resort in Bali you would have to agree. This three-night experience comes complete with a range of romantic additions that guests won’t want to leave.
You arrive at your suite to discover strewn rose petals and flowers adorning your bed and bathtub. After holding hands in an early-morning walk amidst landscaped gardens, surrounded by the natural beauty of Bali’s pristine Seminyak beach, your romantic journey is continued with an intimate Jacuzzi experience for two overlooking the Indian Ocean. Indulge in an invigorating 90-minute spa treatment at Bali’s first Anantara Spa to rejuvenate your body and soul.
Celebrate the night by discovering their Dining by Design. The laid back spirit of Bali creates an idyllic setting for an unforgettable romantic dining experience, tailor made exclusively for you and your loved one.
The price for romance at Anantara Seminyak Bali starts from US$528 per night for a minimum of three consecutive nights over Valentine’s Day, which includes daily breakfast and round trip airport transfer.
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas initially opened in the Thai seaside town of Hua Hin in 2001. It has since been followed by six other Thai resorts: Anantara Bophut and Anantara Lawana in Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand; Anantara Golden Triangle in the country’s north; Anantara Si Kao which lies on the secluded Changlang Beach area south of Krabi; Anantara Phuket, situated in the serenity of Mai Khao Beach; and Anantara Baan Rajprasong in Bangkok – the first serviced suites property for the Anantara group.
In the world-renowned destination of the Maldives, Anantara Dhigu and Anantara Veli are a 30-minute boat ride from the capital Male. Anantara Kihavah Villas, in the Baa Atoll, is poised for its grand opening in January 2011.
Anantara Seminyak debuted in April 2008 in the most fashionable district of Bali – the Island of the Gods. Late 2008 also saw the opening of Desert Islands on Sir Bani Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, while Qasr Al Sarab opened in November 2009 in the legendary Liwa desert near Abu Dhabi.
If price is no objective, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel has an offer that tops them all. It’s the ultimate Valentine package and it is indeed the absolute in decadence and storybook romance that awaits special couples on 14 February 2011. But hold on. You might say it a bit pricy at 399,000 baht, or US$13,300 per night. If it makes you feel any better, the price is for a couple.
And here is what The Ultimate Valentine Package will get: roundtrip transfers in a chauffeured Maserati within the Bangkok metropolitan area; one night accommodation in the Royal Oriental Suite including breakfast; special Valentine’s Day spa treatment at the Oriental Spa or in the Suite; exclusive 6-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Norbert Kostner inclusive of wine pairing and one bottle of Roederer Cristal Vintage Champagne, all served within the Suite by two personal butlers; classical string quartet to provide musical entertainment throughout the evening; personalized fireworks display; one pair of gold rings from Bvlgari for the couple; and late check-out at 6pm. Of course, reservations are needed.
Thai Airways wants to do its bit too for St. Val’s Day. The airline celebrates both Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day with special dishes served on certain inbound and outbound routes during the month of February 2011. Exclusive dishes for Chinese New Year will be served as of 3 February, such as Steamed Savoury Glutinous Rice with Diced Chicken and Shrimp Wrapped in Lotus Leaves, Braised Pork Meat Balls and Tendons with Silken Tofu in Superior Sauce, served with Steamed Rice. Desserts include Crystal Mould Cake with Sweet Red Mung Bean.
A special Valentine’s Day menu has been created to mark the occasion, among which are Fried Fish, Strawberry Parmesan Cheese Sauce and Fettuccine Beetroot. Desserts include Thai Layer Cake (Kanom Chan) and Strawberry Anglaise Sauce as well as Chocolate Tiramisu Heart.
While we are on the subject of St. Valentine’s Day, what actually is St. Valentine’s Day? In other words, how did it get started?
The celebration is often considered to be Christian and relates to a Christian-influenced culture, but it has come to be recognized around the world as a non-secular celebration. It is fascinating how the spirit of Valentine's Day, or Saint Valentine's Day, caught on. It actually began as a pagan holiday.
We may know which day belongs to St. Valentine, but we may not know which St. Valentine we're celebrating. Old official texts list seven Valentines whose feast days occurred on February 14. The St. Valentine popularly believed to be the true patron saint of lovers and help of those unhappy in love was a young Roman priest in the days of the Emperor Claudius. Finding it difficult to induce married men into the military, Claudius passed a law against marriage. Valentine performed marriages in secret, was caught, and beheaded on February 14, 269 (or 270) A.D.
The new Christian holiday evolved, especially in England, into a time for exchanging love messages and tokens. Samuel Pepys commented in his diary on Valentine's Day, 1667, that his wife had had a fine ring made for him. The first commercial valentines came out around 1800. Esther Howland of Massachusetts in the USA was making valentines of Imported laces and fine papers around
1830, a business said to have made for her $100,000 per year. (In 1830, $100,000 would be worth about $2,000,000 today.)
Ever since, it has become a holiday celebrated on February 14, the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. In Asia we look for hotel and resort special offers. Not a bad tradition.
E-mail: ROH Weekly Travel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note: The article is the personal view of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the view of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited.