Last-Minute Valentine's Escapes Under $400

by  Christine Dayao | Feb 6, 2015
Borgata Hotel AC
Borgata Hotel AC / Photo courtesy of the property

We’re just days away from what some may call the most romantic day of the year, but if you’ve yet to solidify your Valentine’s Day plans, don’t fret. Here’s a look at some special promotions being offered by properties both home and abroad that you can still book.

Hotel Albuquerque (New Mexico)
Located in the heart of Old Town, this property's I Love Science Valentine's Day package starts from $189 per night -- and includes a whole bunch of perks. In addition to complimentary WiFi, parking, and a 15 percent coupon for shops, restaurants, and attractions that's always offered to guests, love birds who book the package will also enjoy two tickets to Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum ($16), a mixology class at the hotel’s QBar, late 2 p.m. check-out, and $30 for an appetizer, one drink, and samplings of six craft cocktails. While a stay without the offer is a bit less at $169 for just the room, purchasing all the extras included in the package would put you well over $200.

Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center (Massachusetts)
If you love a snow-y backdrop for a romantic getaway, head to Massachusetts -- which has had its share of snowfall as of late. Southbridge Hotel's Valentine’s Romance package starts from $149.89 per night and treats guests to chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling wine, breakfast, and 2 p.m. check-out. Again, the value of the perks check out here. A one-night stay on February 14 starts at $109 for just the room, and the strawberries and breakfast alone are $30,. Add in the bubbly and a few additional hours to linger, and you're saving a notable amount.

The Borgata (Atlantic City)
Is Lady Luck on your side? Try your hand at one of Atlantic City’s most popular properties with its Together Forever package. For $329, a stay in a classic room comes with a 375 mL bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne, a 50-minute couples massage, and complimentary WiFi. We love this deal because the package starting rate is already less than the non-package room rate of $499 for the same day. And the cost of the champagne, massages, and WiFi have a value of at least $200.

Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort (Mexico)
This resort offers a ton for its all-inclusive experience, like all meals, unlimited domestic drinks, WiFi, tennis, water sports, snorkeling, kayaking, daily activities, and entertainment. A standard room on February 14 goes for a best available rate of $325.45. We’ll admit this is slightly more expensive compared to stays later in the year, but here's one perk: it doesn't come with a five-night minimum that's required other times of the year, for those who don't want to be away for too long. And considering all that's included in the stay, it's still a vacation option with good value.

Sea Change Villas (Cook Islands)
If you're looking for a true escape, try this South Pacific property. Its five-night Romance package starts from $2,150 and includes a bottle of bubbly, couples massage, and three day car rental -- an estimated $250 value. Compare that to a regular rate of $565 in a lagoon view villa with a private pool, which comes out to roughly $2,825 -- nearly a $700 difference! To sweeten the pot, consider the amenities that all guests usually enjoy here: complimentary use of kayaks, snorkeling equipment, stand-up paddleboards, bicycles, and more.

Costa Rica Marriott San Jose Hotel (Costa Rica)
Don't have five days? A long weekend is a perfect amount of time to hit Costa Rica. This Marriott property is set on a 30-acre coffee plantation and will give you a taste of the country's bounty even if you don't venture too far out. And while only executive rooms are available over Valentine's Day for $229, compared to standard rooms priced at $144, there are several reasons why it's still a smart splurge. Flights here are quick and cheap, and access to the executive lounge means daily hot breakfast, mid-day snacks, hors d'oevres, and drinks. Plus, the hotel's happy hour and complimentary WiFi aren't anything to complain about.

Rocco Forte Hotels (UK and Europe)
There's nothing that says "grand gesture" like whisking someone away to Europe, and the nine Rocco Forte hotels across the pond are offering two discounts right now, including a February deal for three-night bookings with complimentary breakfast and WiFi. At the time of publishing, there was only availability over Valentine's Day weekend at St. Petersburg's Hotel Astoria, Brussel's Hotel Amigo, and Munich's Charles Hotel -- but you can always check back in case more rooms become available. We found rates that came out to around $182, $231, and $308 respectively.

Koro Sun Resort (Fiji)
For another unbeatable warm-weather celebration, how about Fiji (one of our top destinations of 2015)? At Koro Sun Resort, a current 30 percent discount on accommodations in a garden bure knocks the price down to $315 a night. And in honor of Valentine’s Day, you can purchase a $280 Romance add-on that comes with private candlelight dinner with bottle of wine, one breakfast, and couples massage at the spa. Even though we found slightly cheaper rates on third-party booking sites for just the bure, the add-on package -- which we estimate saves about $100 if you were booking all the services separately -- still makes booking directly with the resort the most budget-savvy option. And remember, all guests are treated to activities like kayaking, snorkeling, golf, fishing, cooking classes, and more. Use booking code KS305HP for the add-on.

Bonus: VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations (National & International)
Don't think you can swing a last-minute getaway? We like the idea of surprising your special someone with a booking for a future departure date, and VBT delivers when it comes to active and culturally immersive experiences that give you the chance to interact with the locals. The packages always include guided tours, accommodations, meals, and water and healthy snacks on the road -- not to mention special access to various institutions and even private homes that the typical traveler doesn't. You might stay overnight on a century-old working farm in Italy, for example, or take cooking classes in the personal home of a culinary school founder. Even better, VBT is offering up to $400 off cycling and walking vacations, both at home and abroad. The sale includes nine nights of biking and tasting wine through idyllic Tuscan towns in Italy, going for just $3,345 with airfare (less than $373 per night) or $2,095 for just the land tour. If you love being on the water, try the bike and barge tour in Holland, now $3,645 for 10 nights with air. Other specials include tours in Peru, Spain, and more.

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