It may be a Hallmark holiday, but Valentine’s Day is also a fine excuse to use that get-out-of-town-free-card. Well, maybe not free. But these hotels do feature fabulous packages at a variety of price points that are sure to help cupid shoot his arrow.
Here are five unique and relaxing hotel options for a romantic getaway near New York City that all have one beautiful thing in common—they are accessible without a car. (Your shmoopie will think it’s hot you care about the environment, trust us.)
Where: Widow McCrea House Bed & Breakfast | Frenchtown | New Jersey | 908.996.4999
Why: This peaceful Delaware River Village’s quaint cobblestoned streets are brimming with cafes, art galleries, and bed and breakfast’s housed in Victorian homes, located walking distance from the bus stop. Romantic accommodations can be found in one of the Widow McCrea House’s six rooms, suites and cottages, distinctly furnished with period antiques, queen-sized featherbeds, and in-room fireplaces.
The Package: The Romantic Getaway Package includes a bottle of wine and a daily three-course candlelit breakfast served in the Victorian dining room, starting at $135 per night, two night minimum stay.
How to get there: Trans-Bridge Bus Lines from Port Authority gets you to the center of Frenchtown in less than two hours.
Where: The Delamar | Greenwich Harbor | Connecticut | 203.661.9800
Why: For the right blend of romantic relaxation and a location that is more interesting then you might think, try the luxurious Delamar. Greenwich is a lot more than the McMansions and Stepford wives it is infamous for. It is home to the Bruce Museum, whose collection blends art, science, and anthropology. Shopping and strolling on Greenwich Avenue has a gracious yet relaxed feel. The Delamar’s spa, harbor side location, and discreet elegance are an elixir from fast paced living.
The Package: The Valentine’s on the Harbor package starts at $309 and includes a glass of port or sherry at check-in, Friday and Saturday evenings’ wine and cheese reception with a live pianist to entertain you, a bottle of champagne on ice, scattered rose-petal turndown, a single long stem red rose, a box of chocolate truffles, continental breakfast and a host of other goodies. (The Delamar also offers several well-priced weekend specials throughout the year, many of which will reimburse your train fare to Greenwich.) For dinner, explore the many restaurants that line Greenwich Avenue, or treat yourself to the hotel’s elegant waterfront showpiece with a Mediterranean inspired menu, L’Escale.
How to get there: Take Metro North New Haven line to Greenwich. It is a three-minute walk to the hotel, or call for the free hotel van to give you a lift (203.661.9800). The van will be happy to drive you anywhere within a three-mile radius of the hotel during your stay.
Where: The Nassau Inn | Princeton | New Jersey | 609.921.7500
Why: If you are yearning for an ivy-covered setting, Princeton is a fine destination, just an hour-long train ride from Penn Station. The town has a good balance of cultural offerings coupled with small town charm. Visit The Princeton University Art Museum, whose collection includes works by Monet, Picasso, and Andy Warhol. Peruse the area’s eclectic shops like the Princeton Record Exchange, which boasts a massive selection of music and vinyl. The stately Nassau Inn offers luxury accommodations with an old-world flavor walking distance from everything.
The Package: The hotel’s Escape to Romance package starts at $310,and includes gourmet chocolates and a four-course, champagne dinner for two at its restaurant, where you’ll dine on delicious seasonal cuisine next to a Norman Rockwell mural.
How to get there: NJ Transit from Penn Station stops in Princeton Junction, where you catch the “dinky” shuttle train to Princeton. The train station is right in town.
Where: Tarrytown House | Tarrytown | New York | 800.553.8118
Why: If you have seen the Tim Burton retrospective at the MoMA, and caught the recent screening of Sleepy Hollow, then you might have a hankering to visit Tarrytown, Ichabod Crane’s stomping ground, where you can trace his literary footsteps.
The Tarrytown House’s 212 rooms, rambling grounds, and 19th- century stone buildings have a surprisingly intimate feel, complete with cozy fires to keep you warm. Enjoy the indoor pool, racquetball court with free loaner equipment, and a bar that is sure to entertain with tabletop shuffleboard, snooker, and foosball.
The Package: The hotel’s Romantic Valentine’s Escape package includes in-room bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate truffles, breakfast and dinner for two with unlimited wine by the glass, starting at $339 nightly.
How to get there: Take Metro North Hudson line for the less than 40-minute journey to the Irvington or Tarrytown train stations where waiting taxis will bring you to the hotel, a five minute ride from either station.
Where: The Ritz-Carlton | White Plains | New York | 914.946.5500
Why: If you want to spend your holiday frolicking with your sweetheart in the hotel’s stunning rooftop indoor pool, followed by an indulgent massage at the hotel’s spa, this is your ticket.
The Package: The hotel offers a quick romantic retreat close to home with the Bed & Breakfast package, including deluxe accommodations, a fresh Farmers Market feast, and unlimited access to the fitness center. Rates starting at $299. If you choose to leave the nurturing cocoon of Ritz-Carlton luxury, The Westchester Mall, with its 150 high-end shops, is only a short walk.
How to get there: Take Metro North Harlem line to White Plains, a 32-minute ride from Grand Central. Head up Martine Avenue to Renaissance Square and make a left.
Photo: Courtesy Tarrytown House
Allison is a native New Yorker, who has lived in Rome, Tuscany, Melbourne, Toronto and Los Angeles. She frequently contributes travel pieces to Family Travel Forum, using her own children as guinea pigs as they travel the globe. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish and laughably adequate in French. Her background as an Early Childhood Educator gives her an added understanding of what it takes to travel with kids in tow. She firmly believes that the most important part of education takes place outside of the classroom, on the road, around the world. She never misses a chance to sample local delicacies, as her love for travel goes hand-in-hand with her love for food and wine. Follow Allison at @gourmetrav.