Written by Guest Blogger: Amanda Burrill, Travel Channel host, chef, athlete and freelance writer and copyeditor.
Five near-NYC weekend ideas, and a pet care solution that will change your life.
Flowers, chocolate and a dinner reservation on Valentine’s Day? Yawn. You’re better than that! This year Cupid’s bow strikes on a Saturday; the perfect opportunity to indulge in an entire weekend of kissy-face with your significant other. Before you start making excuses, I’ve dug up five great options that still have vacancy.
1. Rustic Getaway
Just 75 miles from NYC, the Malibu Dude Ranch in the Pocono Mountains has been a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner three years running; a perfect getaway from the city grind with scenic horse-riding trails over 800 acres. There are dozens of (complimentary) activities to keep you busy and cozy options like board games, stargazing and nuzzling by the fireplace.
The main lodge features western decor and houses the dining hall, indoor heated swimming pool, game room, gift shop and saloon with entertainment each weekend. Guess rooms are on the second floor, or opt for a private cabin among the trees or boat house on the lake.
The Valentine’s Day Romantic Escape package is Friday, February 13th through Sunday, February 15th and costs $325 per person. Another perk: kids stay free! Malibu Dude Ranch has a no-pet policy (with the exception of service pets) but no worries, because below, as promised, I discuss your pet care savior.
http://www.malibududeranch.com/winter-specials.html, reservations: (570) 296-7281
2. Sporty Getaway
Nestled in the northern Catskills is Windham Mountain Resort, which just underwent $11million in capital improvements. Just two hours away from NYC you’ll find the resort’s 1600 vertical feet of skiing, served by twelve lifts, including two high speed detachable quads. The central base lodge offers nourishing fare between slope runs. A spa and three restaurants will keep you busy when you’ve hung up your skis for the day.
You can book a room at the Winwood Inn and ski/ride Friday – Sunday starting at $120 per night, per person. The same deal at the Winwood Condos starts at $148 per night, per person and includes lift ticket, lodging, complimentary breakfast and free shuttles to and from the mountain. http://www.windhammountain.com/destination-guide/ski-stay-packages/
3. Romantic Getaway
Gideon Putnam Resort, just over three hours north of Manhattan, offers a secluded getaway in the foothills of the Adirondacks. The resort, situated on 2,200 acres among the pines and oaks of Saratoga Spa State Park, boasts historic charm and elegant features.
Book services at the legendary Roosevelt Baths, cross-country ski or snowshoe the trails (snowshoes are complimentary) or check out the local cuisine and micro-brews of Saratoga Springs.
Ask for the Romantic Weekend Package or Valentine’s Day Getaway Package.
http://www.gideonputnam.com/Valentines.aspx, reservations: (866) 890-1171
4. NYC Luxury Stay-cation
Both Manhattan Gansevoort locations are synonymous with urban oasis. A place to see and be seen that caters to your every luxurious need.
The Park Avenue property is home to Ristorante Asellina, a 10,000-sq-ft traditional-meets-modern Italian trattoria. The trendy Gansevoort Park Rooftop offers six venues with unparalleled views of the Empire State Building.
The Meatpacking location offers downtown bustle but the feel of uptown luxury. A great launching pad for club hopping, this hotel is the hub of the NYC nightlife scene. Catch a beautiful Hudson River sunset from your room, grab a bite at inspired American eatery The Chester, and then hit the dance floor.
Both NYC Gansevoort locations offer the “Get Intimate” package which includes, champagne, roses, and much more. http://www.gansevoorthotelgroup.com/offers/get-intimate
5. NYC Budget Stay-cation
The Pod Hotel, with two budget-friendly Manhattan locations, offers minimalist comfort starting at $89 per night. The rooms are bright, modern and completely connected. Shack up, stream some movies and then explore the neighborhood, all without breaking the bank. http://www.thepodhotel.com/
So what do I do with my dog?
Pets; we love them, but they can really get in the way of romance. Pet care logistics and costs are one of the primary reasons couples forego weekend getaways. I have the perfect solution for Fido.
New app DoggyBnB allows you to utilize your social network, i.e. people you actually know, to find reliable pet care. Build a network by adding and organizing the people you would turn to naturally, your friends. Send pet care requests to your entire network in a matter of seconds and contacts can choose to “fetch” your request. No more leaving your best friend with someone you don’t know or even worse, in a kennel. This is the future of pet care! http://doggybnb.com/
With five varied choices and a doggie plan you now have zero excuses. Have a private, worry-free weekend with your special someone.
Keep up with Amanda’s culinary and fitness adventures at http://apronsandsneakers.com/ and follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/Amanda_Burrill