Woo – or wow – your loved one this Valentine’s Day

Some UAE hotels, including Abu Dhabi's Shangri-La, are offering out-of-this-world packages for a special day.

BBQ for Valentines Day at Emirates Palace. Courtesy Emirates Palace
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ABU DHABI // Another year, another Valentine’s Day. The question is: how do you plan to top last year?

A bigger bouquet? Fancier chocolates? It’s all been done before.

What has not, however, is dishing out Dh400,000 for a night at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri that the hotel has promised will be unforgettable.

The package begins when a limousine picks you up at a location of your choice. You are then taken to Al Bateen Executive Airport for a helicopter ride around the capital.

After that, your carriage awaits to bring you to the exclusive Presidential Suite.

Just as you settle into your room, prepare to be visited by a personal shopper who will let your lady – or your gentleman – pick a couture Dior garment to wear at your private sunroof dinner.

You can also add round-the-clock room service, spa treatments, and a violinist to provide personalised entertainment.

If that is not enough, the hotel can arrange a package to ensure your stay is special.

“We are creating a once-in-a-lifetime, amazingly romantic set-up,” said Melissa Garvinen, director of communications. “Beautifully tailored into a magical evening.” Even though the price tag may be a bit more than the usual one-night hotel stay – or even a year’s rent – Ms Garvinen said the price was similar to events in the UK.

There have been no takers yet, but several couples have been in contact and are negotiating a deal, she said.

Fear not, though. If you’re a little short on cash this year another option is to go to Rixos The Palm, for a Diamond Package, at a cost of Dh42,000 – a bargain at less than half of last year’s price – with a promise from the hotel to make you “fall in love all over again”.

The package offers one night in the Grand King Suite, a private chef and butler services, private dining with entertainment, an hour at the spa and a photo shoot.

Both hotels will also offer more affordable packages for lovebirds.

The Shangri-La offer has dinner, breakfast and a late checkout for Dh1,599. Rixos The Palm is offering gold and silver packages priced at Dh5,400 and Dh2,820 respectively. It does not come with a photo shoot, but chocolates and roses are included.

Emirates Palace is offering one night in its Coral Suite for Dh2,350.

As Valentine’s Day competition is fierce this year, with hotels vying for the affection of couples, some have shifted their focus to dinner packages or couples’ spa treatments rather than overnight stays.

Last year Jumeirah Zabeel Saray offered a Dh40,000 package that included limousine pick-up and a one-night stay in a five-bedroom villa with a butler, spa treatment and a makeover. This year it is offering extravagant dinners and spa packages.

“We have an array of exciting culinary offering for Valentine’s Day at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, ranging from romantic private beach dinners under the stars, or luxury set menus such as that in our newly opened Rib Room restaurant,” said Nandana Wirasinha, executive assistant manager of food and beverages.

“The restaurants are proving extremely popular but there are still a few spaces available for those looking for last-minute reservations.”

osalem@thenational.ae