We round up the best offers and special packages available this Valentine's Day, both here in Ireland and in suprising international destinations...

Famous food at Viewmount
Why not head on over to Longford, where you can spend a one or two night break in Viemount House. With head chef, and RTÉ star, Gary O’Hanlon at the helm of the atmospheric VM Restaurant within the hotel, no detail is left out, especially not on Valentine’s Day.

Two special packages are available. A Valentine’s night package, costing €295 per couple sharing, includes a suite with champagne and roses on arrival, as well as a sumptuous 5-course dinner.

To make the most of it, stay two nights over Valentine’s weekend for €100 extra for the extra night, with all the same entitlements. To book, call 043 3341919.

Ultra relaxation at Inchydoney
Inchydoney Island lodge and spa have a luxurious Valentine’s package, titled ‘Eat-Play-Love’. Rekindle the flame with a lavish rendezvous amidst the striking backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean in Clonakilty, West Cork.

Enjoy a dip in the heated seawater therapy pool before being spoiled throughout the Couple’s Indulgence Ritual in the Couple’s Suites – consisting of a luxurious chocolate body wrap followed by a champagne oil back massage.

The two-night stay includes a room with a deluxe ocean view, full Irish buffet breakfast each morning and dinner on an evening of the couple’s choice.

The package comes in at €255 per person midweek or €295 on weekends, running throughout the month of February. For more information, visit www.inchydoneyisland.com. To book, call 023 8833143.

Tingling the senses at The Dylan
Spend your Valentine’s Day indulged within the epitome of elegance, as The Dylan Hotel in Dublin’s Ballsbridge offers the change to sample aphrodisiacs. Head chef Glenn Murphy and team are offering an overnight stay in the hotel, sampling a five course menu full of seasonal Irish produce, along with valet parking and free Wi-Fi for €319.

The tasting menu is filled with aphrodisiacs and a style of modern Irish cuisine that Murphy is famed for. The menu kicks off with an oyster beignet, served with Guinness, blackcurrant, watercress and hazelnut, as well as an assiette of beetroot with Ardsallagh goat cheese mousse.

Next up they have a choice of mains, from pan-fried sea bream fillet, served with sweet potato, figs, mushroom and Iberico ham, to seared loin of Wicklow venison, served with parsnip, beluga lentils and a bitter chocolate jus.

Top off the meal with a chocolate and passion fruit dessert - a passion fruit sorbet, milk chocolate cremeux and passion fruit jelly. Your senses will leave tingling! Log on to www.dylan.ie for more information. To book, call 01 6603000.

The heart of Ireland is calling

Re-discover romance or proclaim your love for one another in Ireland’s majestic Marble City, Kilkenny. The city as a whole has designed ‘The Perfect Love Affair Package’ to run throughout February and March.

Enjoy two nights bed and breakfast, with champagne/Prosecco and chocolates on arrival, followed by a candlelit dinner for two on an evening of your choice.

Included is entry to St. Canice’s Cathedral Tower and a private bike ‘n hike tour for two along the Nore included in the cost, as well as a romantic packed picnic lunch filled with local delicacies. Log on to www.kilkennytourism.ie/romance for a full list of participating hotels, with prices starting from €110 per person.

For example, The Kilkenny Pembroke Hotel is running the package, along with a private consultation with famed goldsmith Rudolf Heltzel if desired, for €149 per person sharing mid-week or €179 pps on weekends.

Five-star luxury in Galway

This February, the G Hotel in Galway is offering its Valentine’s guests a chance to indulge their senses in a beautiful sharing menu featuring some of the West of Ireland’s best seasonal produce.

Head chef Pauline Reilly and team will prepare a five course menu as part of a package which includes one night’s accommodation, full Irish breakfast, free parking and Wi-Fi from €240 per person on Valentine’s Day and Valentine's Weekend.

Begin with an antipasti selection for two, followed by a fillet of beef with peppercorn cream or Béarnaise, served with onion rings, sautéed potatoes, green beans and wild mushrooms. Tuck in to a choice-filled fish course next, with Atlantic salmon, grilled turbot, prawns, mussels Meuniere and sea bass on the menu.

Leave room for dessert, where chocolate is king, choosing from a dizzying selection including rich fondant, light mousse, parfait, semifreddo and ice-cream. Bookings are being taken now. To make yours, call 091 865200 or for more information, visit www.theghotel.ie.

Organic indulgence

Down in Macreddin village in Wicklow, Good Food Ireland’s Culinary Hotel of the Year 12/13 has a number of exciting packages for lovers this Valentine’s Day.

Not only will food lovers be in bliss during their stay at The Brook Lodge Hotel & Wells Spa in the lauded food village, you will be instantly greeted with a sharing plate of organic goodies from the Strawberry Tree Restaurant within the hotel, Ireland’s only certified organic restaurant.

Try dinner, bed and breakfast for one night for €135 per person sharing. Add a romantic Serail mud bath for two to that package for merely €165 pps. Extreme indulgence seekers note, their third package - dinner, bed and breakfast plus an hour’s treatment each in the couple’s treatment room - will delight at €190pps.

Act quickly! To reserve call 040 236444 or visit www.brooklodge.com.

Now for something a little different

Paris is a cliché, New York is crowded, Venice is impersonal. These statements are of course completely untrue, but couples are only recently discovering the beauty and hidden romance of escaping to Scotland. Here’s a round up of some exciting Valentine’s packages from our northern neighbour.

The Lovat Loch Ness, situated on the southern tip of the iconic loch, is offering a stay from February 15-17th which includes bed and breakfast, dinner in their brasserie on one night and dinner in the main restaurant on the other night. Greeted with champagne and chocolates on arrival, it costs a cool £79 (€92 approx) per person, per night. Get in touch on 00441456 459250.

Roxburghe Hotel, Kelso, is offering a romantic country escape, complete with traditional country pursuits. You can enjoy a four poster bed, roaring romantic fire and perfect pampering. Available between February 8th and 17th, couples are entitled to two nights B&B (breakfast in bed on the first morning if you don’t mind!), a shooting session or a round of golf, as well as a double pamper session for all-in £797 (€925). To book, or for extra information, call 00441573 450331.

For a more extended break, try the four-night package at The Colliabus Lodges on Islay Island. Take a reflexology session together or maybe enjoy a winter casserole by the fire. Each lodge contains a personal sauna, cedar hot tub and two en suite bedrooms. Prices begin at £750 (€870) for the four nights. Call 00447824 567435.

‘50 Shades of Passion’ is being offered by The George Hotel in Edinburgh, where spice features heavily on the itinerary. Chocolate, strawberries, scattered rose petals and massage oil punctuate a two-night break.

Have a champagne picnic on the first night, with the soundtrack of Fifty Shades of Grey playing in the background. Enjoy breakfast in bed the following morning before a trip to the Edinburgh Dungeon, topped off by an evening meal in the Tempus restaurant with a well-deserved bottle of Chablis.

Within close proximity to the airport, this break is perfect for couples looking to escape and rekindle their spark0. The cost is £599 (€695), to book call 0044131 2551251 or log on to http://www.edinburghgeorgehotel.co.uk.

For information on Valentines activities across Ireland, what to do, where to eat, who to see, visit our Discover Ireland feature on Valentine’s Day. Also, let RTÉ Food sort out your Valentine's food options, with restaurant deals and retailer special offers. If you choose any of the packages above, or have any special plans this Valentine’s Day – let us know on Twitter @RTEtravel.

Patrick Hanlon

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