Tarot readings and caviar facials: 9 quirky Valentine’s Day ideas

Rancho Valencia & Spa

The yoga area at Rancho Valencia & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

(Rancho Valencia & Spa)

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the same old, same old. For those who want to travel and crave something different, you’re in luck.

Maybe this is the year you go to an evening of racy literature in San Francisco or indulge in a caviar facial at an Orange County resort spa.

Here are nine hotels that change it up this year -- just don’t wait too long to book!

Laguna Beach House
The Laguna Beach House (formerly the Laguna Cliffs Inn) has 36 rooms and is close to the beach.
(Mark Epstein / Laguna Beach House)

1. The Inn at Laguna Beach and Laguna Beach House: If you’re craving a no-boys-allowed sleepover, check out the GALentine’s Day package at these two Orange County boutique hotels.

You’ll get a bottle of Champagne, in-room massages, blow-outs for a perfect do and a $40 Uber ride (watch that surge pricing) for wherever you want to go.

Guests must stay a minimum of two nights. Prices for two nights based on double occupancy start at $1,289 for the Inn and $1,157 for the House. Only available during Valentine’s Day weekend. Call to make reservations.

Info: The Inn at Laguna Beach, 211 N. Pacific Coast Highway, (800) 544-4479; Laguna Beach House, 475 N. Pacific Coast Highway, (800) 297-0007


Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., opened in 1989. It received a $30-million upgrade five years ago when it changed hands.
(Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa)

2. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa: For those who think romance means practicing their backhand, you can add a Sweethearts Tennis Tutorial to this San Diego resort’s Your’s & Mine Valentine’s Day package.

It includes a casita for two, sparkling wine, dinner for two at on-site Veladora (or $190 dining credit) and two 60-minute spa treatments. Your’s & Mine is available the whole month of February starting at $793 a night.

You’re bound to have a fabulous Valentine stay even if you just explore the resort’s 45 acres. Rancho Valencia always receives top marks, like the 2015 best luxury hotel in the country ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

Info: Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

The Garland

The living room of the James Suite at the Garland Hotel.

(The Garland)

3. The Garland: The North Hollywood hotel offers a package called Bohemian Love Story that’s all about the James Suite. You can stay in the 1,000-square-foot suite and have access to the in-room James Bond Bar. 

You’ll also get a five-course meal prepared just for you, a three-hour acoustic concert, $200 hotel credit, transportation to and from the hotel (within 30 miles), breakfast in bed, in-room couples massage, robes and swag bag.


Prices for two start at $9,500 a night; call to book.

Info: The Garland, 4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood; (800) 238-3759

The Spa Montage Laguna Beach

The Spa Montage Laguna Beach offers a menu of pampering options, including a Deluxe Caviar Facial.

(The Spa Montage Laguna Beach)

4. Spa Montage Laguna Beach: A caviar facial sounds oh so ... fishy, which doesn’t exactly scream romance. But it promises to leave you (or your Valentine) with a romantic glow.

The Deluxe Caviar Facial at this Orange County spa uses a formula in which protein-rich raw caviar combines with antioxidants in green tea extract to protect and revitalize your skin, says Janet Denyer, regional director for spa operations for Montage Hotels and Resorts.

And there’s no fishy smell. Honest. It costs $250 for 60 minutes, $340 for 90 minutes.

Info: Spa Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach; (866) 271-6953

5. Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco: All of Beyonce’s single ladies, listen up. This luxe hotel offers a special VIP tasting experience for one.


At the hotel’s newish JCB Tasting Lounge, you can sip different types of bubbly -- and have a Tarot card reading too. Who knows what love and fortune awaits?

The Single Ladies VIP bubbly tasting costs $50 and is available Feb. 14 only.

Info: Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, 600 Stockton St.; (415) 296-7465

The Keating

The Keating hotel in San Diego.

(The Keating )

6. The Keating: When only an over-the-top experience will do, consider this excessive offer from the San Diego hotel.

The Red Carpet package includes:

--a private day and night yacht excursion on the San Diego Harbor;
--three-course meal created by a personal chef;
--chauffeur-driven car service in a Maserati service;
--two nights in the hotel’s Macallan Suite, which is a one-bedroom penthouse;
--and more (think rain showers, Jacuzzi tub, in-room desserts).

Prices start at $25,000 a night (two-night minimum too).

Info: The Keating, 432 F St., San Diego; (619) 814-5700


Fire pit overlooking the swimming pool and ocean at sunset at the spa at Terranea resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

7. Terranea: To heck with a rose petal turndown or too much bubbly, maybe you want some time on the dance floor and a chance to dress up.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula hotel is hosting its first Valentine’s Ball on Feb. 13 in its Marineland Ballroom. It’s black-tie only, with a roaring ‘20s vibe (maybe channel your inner “Downton Abbey”?).

The 10-piece swing band Mitch Franco and Project M will perform, and you’ll enjoy a three-course dinner too (dessert and truffle buffet promised as well as an open bar). 

There will be two dinner seatings -- 7:30 and 8 p.m. -- and the party continues on until midnight. Tickets cost $140 each, plus tax and service charge.

Info: Terranea, 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes; (866) 547-3066

8.  Clift HotelThis San Francisco hotel hosts something for bookish types: an event called Red Light Lit. It’s in the Velvet Room and will focus on an in-the-moment literary journal that “explores love, lust and sexuality,” according to a hotel statement.

The readings are accompanied by music too. It’s free and one night only: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14.

Info: Clift Hotel, 495 Geary St., San Francisco; (415) 775-4700

Canary Hotel

The Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara.

(Herve Grison )

9. Canary Hotel: The downtown Santa Barbara hotel wants to make your Valentine’s Day wine-centric. Syrah & Suites is a chance to stay in a suite at the 97-room boutique hotel and try its namesake 2013 Estate Syrah.

After that, it’s off to tasting for two at Carhartt Winery’s tasting room in Los Olivos in the area’s wine country.

The package is available Feb. 12 and 14 (according to the hotel’s website) starting at $590 a night. The better news: You may take advantage of this offer into spring -- perfect for a Valentine’s Day IOU.

Info: Canary Hotel, 31 W. Carrillo, Santa Barbara; (866) 999-5401


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