#5 - FOX HILL BED & BREAFAST SUITES, LEXINGTON, VIRGINIA - Yes, you read it right...every room is a suite at this 38-acre piece of paradise in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Here, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, you can relax with your spouse/significant other in front of a glowing fireplace on Valentine's Day, or, if it's warm enough, take a walk on one of the beautiful country roads or walking paths. There's a refrigerator in every suite, so you can bring in your own special Valentine's Day goodies. This year, the B&B is featuring a special array of romantic Valentine's treats, among them couples' massages, chocolates, and flowers. If you hate to leave Fido in a doggie hotel, bring him with you...dogs are welcome here! And the beautiful winter silence and serenity of this lost-in-time place...well, you can't put a price on that.
#4 - CHAMBERLIN INN, CODY, WYOMING - Wyoming, with its endless "Big Sky" and glistening snowfields and icy mountain peaks and picturesque old towns, is a romantic place to begin with. And it's even more so at the Chamberlin Inn. This historic inn is named for a young woman named Agnes Chamberlin. While working on Buffalo Bill's "Cody Enterprise" newspaper in 1900, she saw the vacant lot across the street as a perfect place for an inn. So, in 1903, Agnes opened a boarding house there. (Her husband Mark then proclaimed himself a dentist, put up a phony dental license in an adjacent building, and began pulling teeth there.) The inviting red-brick inn is known for its charming glass conservatory, its elegant cocktail concoctions, its period furnishings and interiors, and its guest register, which lists, among those of numerous other celebrities, the name of Ernest Hemingway in 1932. The rooms are elegant, and each one is different. And Cody's winter streets are reminiscent of a Currier & Ives illustration.
#3 - DEVIL'S THUMB RANCH RESORT & SPA, TABERNASH, COLORADO - Talk about splendid isolation! This ranch is located an hour west of Denver, in Grand County, pop. 6,000, and accessed by one of the most spectacular mountain roads in America. On this 6,000-acre ranch, you can partake of great Western experiences like horseback riding in winter, or classic winter experiences like cross-country skiing...while the kids are at Cowpoke Camp. Ranch accommodations range from the authentic Western Lodge to rustic, beautifully furnished Cabins In the Woods. The setting couldn't be more appropriate for Valentine's Day...magnificent mountain spires covered with snow, piercing the bluest skies you've ever seen. There's a special Valentine's Day dinner at the Ranch House Restaurant, and special massages planned at the spa. When you're enjoying your dinner, and looking outside at the swirls of stars and the land blanketed in snow, you'll feel you're at the most romantic place on Earth!
#2 - THE COEUR D'ALENE RESORT, COEUR D'ALENE, IDAHO - Imagine a wonderful, full-service resort, with several excellent - and romantic - restaurants and every conceivable amenity you'd expect. (And some you wouldn't expect, like its own lake-cruise boat and its own floatplane that takes off and lands in the water!) Then imagine that this resort is at the foot of one of the most charming little towns in the Pacific Northwest, with streets lined with Turn-of-the Century wooden Victorian houses and funky little galleries and restaurants. Then, imagine that this beautiful resort in this charming town sits at the foot of a lake with 109 miles of shoreline, and surrounded by forested mountains. Oh, and then picture this place with a fresh snowfall that turns it into a winter wonderland. What do you have when you combine all these elements? The Coeur d'Alene Resort. And a very romantic setting in which to spend Valentine's Day!
#1 - BUCKHORN INN, GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE - Buckhorn Inn has been providing hospitality in the Great Smoky Mountains since 1938. Located in the colorful town of Gatlinburg, this bed-and breakfast is less than a mile from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Beauty, peace, and solitude (along with fresh air and woodsy aromas) emanate from the pine and hemlock forest surrounding Buckhorn Inn, and the walking paths on property. And the surrounding mountains - which get their name from the early-morning, foggy haze enshrouding them - provide spectacular views as their colors change with the sun moving across the sky. The inn sits on 25 acres of forest and meadows, and offers a wide variety of accommodations, ranging from private guesthouses to private cottages to traditional inn rooms...all beautifully furnished with antiques and artwork. Thanks to this natural setting, Buckhorn is a romantic inn all year long. And the packages it offers - perfect for Valentine's Day - include champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and spa baskets.
Well, these are my special places for Valentine's Day. What are yours? We look forward to hearing from you!