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Romantic MacArthur Place

By Robert Farmer

couple_spa.jpgI must admit that I have long resisted the concept of Valentine's Day, firmly rooted in the belief that it's a marketing hoax perpetrated on countless hapless romantics. But it can still be fun to indulge it. So whether you are romantic once a year, or year round, at least the special February day gives pause to consider your romantic feelings for another. So I'll throw some ideas here and in entries to follow that you can use however you see fit. Dare I say, they've worked for me. Of course Wine Country drips with romance all the time. But for Valentine's Day, many already-romantic places turn up the heat with special themes.

One that caught my eye is at MacArthur Place (www.macarthurplace.com), near the Plaza in quixotic Sonoma. Already one of my fave locales for a secluded getaway for two, the elegant and tucked-away inn is serving up an red-themed "ultimate" Valentine's Day package, which includes a stay in a garden spa suite - one of the best room-types in the county - with a private outdoor patio and shower, and a huge outdoor tub made from teak and meant for two. On Valentine's Day, the room comes with a bottle of rare estate red wine from Benziger, as well as four-course dinner at Saddle's, the property's excellent steak house. The dinner is paired with red wines, of course, and is followed by red grape seed bath and scrub in the tub. Sounds juicy, right?  I have to admit even my marketing misgivings about the Special Day would soak away with such a weekend.

MacArthur Place is obviously not the only inn catering to Love for the weekend. But it's definitely one of the most indulgent I've heard about. Let me know what you think when you get back and get the grape seeds washed off…

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