If you want to surprise someone this Valentine’s Day in the most extravagant way possible, Ciara McDonnell has done the homework for you — from a quick trip to Paris to a few nights in Las Vegas.

Here Comes The Sun

If sun, sea and sand are what you require for your romantic getaway then there are plenty of luxurious getaways on offer this month.

Falcon has February departures from Cork to Gran Canaria, staying at the Hotel Riu Stratosphere Hotel Maspalomas.

This super fancy hotel is separated from the sea by the famous Maspalomas sand dunes — a 10-minute walk will bring you directly to the beach.

As well as two large pools, this resort has a range of dining options, great Wi-Fi and spacious rooms that overlook the sea.

A week at the Riu Palace comes in at €1,178 per person on a half board basis.

Sunway fly to Cyprus throughout February, staying at the Capo Bay Hotel in Protaras.

This modern hotel has all the features that romantic couples require, from canopied day beds around the pool to full service sun loungers on its beachfront.

It has a spa and scuba school for those of us who need action while on holiday and is a short walk from the centre of Protaras, which boasts a huge range of fantastic restaurants.

A week at Capo Bay with Sunway on a bed and breakfast basis costs from €849 per person sharing.

Tenerife offers year-round sunshine with a welcome sea breeze and the Hotel Barceló Santiago is ideally situated fifteen minutes from Playa de Arena and a five-minute stroll to the beach.

Built into a cliff, the resort affords panoramic views over the ocean, as well as three pools and enough dining options to keep a couple on a love trip satisfied.

Book into a superior room and enjoy the added space and a guaranteed balcony or terrace that takes in the incredible view.

Sunway flies to Tenerife in February for €629 per person, on a half board basis.

Love Is In The (Mountain) Air

Should action be the fruit of love for you and yours, then consider a ski trip to celebrate Valentine’s this year.

There are still a few great deals to be had, and Topflight have two trips departing just after Valentine’s Day that are guaranteed to fan the flames of romance. 

Hotel Austria in Soll offers fantastic value for money in a lively location.

The hotel is situated just off the main thoroughfare, a short walk to the many shops and restaurants in the resort and a 10-minute walk to the nearest gondola.

Hotel rooms are spacious and offer mountain views, and the cosy hotel bar has a fire lighting for those who need a warming après ski drink.

Topflight depart on February 18 for Austria staying at Hotel Austria for one week on a half board basis for €899 per person.

Hotel Euro Ski in Andorra sits at the shores of Gran Valira and is only a stone’s throw away from the ski slope.

Ideal for those of us who take skiing very seriously, the hotel has an extensive spa area which features a beautiful indoor heated swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a sauna and a Turkish bath — perfect for resting wearing muscles after a hard day on the slopes.

Topflight depart on February 19 for a seven night stay at the Hotel Euro Ski on a half board basis, at €719 per person sharing.

City Romance

Paris is the obvious choice when it comes to a mini break, and it’s easy to see why, it truly is the last word in romance.

Cork airport offers direct flights to lots of Europe’s most romantic cities, so why not book a last minute flight and check into hotels to whom love is always the answer?

Paris is the obvious choice when it comes to a mini break, and it’s easy to see why. From enjoying a glass of wine and a steak-frites to wandering around after dark, it truly is the last word in romance.

Book into Hotel Raphael, a hotel built in 1925 for travellers who were coming to Paris for the season, rather than a mini break.

It is super discreet, has a rooftop terrace from which to take in the city lights and rooms have rooms with claw-foot baths and deep pile rugs.


With a mild climate and a city centre that is exceptionally easy to navigate on foot, Amsterdam is a fantastic mini-break destination for those in love.

With a mild climate and a city centre that is exceptionally easy to navigate on foot, Amsterdam is a fantastic mini-break destination for those in love.

The Dylan hotel combines luxury with location, situated right on the canal.

With a Michelin-starred restaurant and individually designed rooms, it would be entirely possible to spend your entire stay within the walls of The Dylan, but be sure to make time for an afternoon stroll through the winding streets of this wonderful city.


Short Hop

Brexit notwithstanding, the UK offers a huge amount to love birds who want to get on a plane, but not necessarily go very far.

Aer Lingus will be launching twice-weekly flights from Cork to Newquay in early May, so if you want to get your Valentine a gift of a future trip, this might be just the ticket.

With flights costing from €34.99 each way, put your money towards a fabulous hotel in nearby Cornwall and embrace some of the most epic scenery this area has to offer. 

A trip to Cornwall is not complete without an homage to Rick Stein, we believe, so we would book into The Seafood Restaurant, Stein’s flagship restaurant that also offers accommodation.


Flybe operate flights from Cork to Cardiff year round, and The St Davids Hotel & Spa is the height of luxury, situated right on Cardiff Bay.

Modern and fancy, this hotel boasts all the mod cons city slickers need when travelling, as well as a location that lends itself to sampling all the dining and nightlife that Cardiff has to offer. 

Be sure to book a treatment in the Marine Spa, which is regularly voted one of the top spas in the UK.


America Calling

Sunway depart the whole of February on a four-night break to Vegas, staying at the Stratosphere Hotel, which is situated right on the main drag.

For some, there is nothing as romantic like seeing the bright lights of New York or Las Vegas, and Sunway has come up trumps with short trips departing during February.

Should you wish to combine your Valentine’s getaway with a trip to the Little Chapel Of Love, then look to Las Vegas for your break.

Sunway depart the whole of February on a four-night break, staying at the Stratosphere Hotel, which is situated right on the main drag. 

Use this as your base to take in some of the best shows in the world (Britney Spears notwithstanding) and make your millions on the slot machines.

This break will cost from €645 per person.

New York truly is the city of dreams, and if you want to make yours a reality, you can, this month.

Staying at The Beacon Hotel, which is situated on the Upper West Side and boasts the ultimate in New York hotel requirements — soundproof windows.

Rooms are slightly bigger than the average NY hotel room — that is, slightly bigger than a walk-in wardrobe, but The Beacon is super luxe, and comes with the service to show it.

Sunway travel depart during February on a three-night jaunt to New York from €682 per person.


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