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By Michelle da Silva Richmond

As people around the world know, February spells “Romance,” and it’s traditionally the month for lovers – highlighted by Valentine’s Day on February 14.

And while there are many interesting legends about how this special holiday came about, most are linked to one of the Christian Church’s saints named Valentine.

One of the theories has to do with an early Christian who made friends with many neighborhood children.  When the Romans imprisoned him because he refused to worship their gods, the children missed him so much that they tossed loving notes between the bars of his cell window. This may explain the modern-day tradition of exchanging messages on Valentine’s Day.

According to another legend, sometime in the 200s A.D. Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry because he thought that single men made better soldiers. Allegedly, an Italian bishop named Valentine disobeyed the emperor’s order and performed secret marriages. When he was discovered, he was said to have been burned at the stake.

At some point, Pope Gelasius I designated February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day.

No matter how the holiday began, the modern world has frenetically embraced the it and designated it a special day for love and friendship. In keeping with that theme, we’re offering a touch of romance for our guests.

Gem Spa Valentine Special

Our award-winning, 40,000 square-foot Gem Spa is also offering guests a special treat for Valentine’s Day. When you book a minimum of four nights with us, you and a partner will be treated to a 50-minute massage, preceded by our renowned hydrotherapy ritual.

The soothing, 10-step process includes an aromatherapy steam room, clay steam room, ice room, polar plunge and pebble walkway, ending up in the “pool of sensations,” for the “grand finale.”

The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on the “thermal effects” they have. Generally, heat quiets and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of internal organs. Cold, in contrast, stimulates and invigorates, increasing internal activity. The combination guarantees a feeling of well-being overall.

Our healing ritual begins with a “guided circuit,” starting with the aromatherapy steam room, where a sea of warm aromatic steam envelops you. Following, step into a multi-jet cold water shower to awaken your senses and close your pores before you’re led into a clay steam room, where you’ll start feeling your exhaustion peel away. When you’re done, rinse off under the water jets of a tepid rain shower, before stepping into the warm embrace of a hot sauna.

A hot sauna and frosty ice room follow – to close your pores and accelerate your metabolism. The final steps take you to a bubbling hot Jacuzzi, followed by a brief ice water plunge and ending in a pebble walk with soft warm water jets caressing your calves and toes.

The “grand finale,” lands you in the Pool of Sensations, where you get to soak in a large pool filled with bubbles, geysers, waterfalls and cervical water jets, designed to massage your body in four different stages.

Certain restrictions apply for this promotion so be sure to inquire when you make your reservation.

Le Basilic Poetic Menu

Le Basilic, our French-Mediterranean specialty restaurant – which has been the recipient of the prestigious AAA Five Diamond designation since 2007 – will be hosting a special, “Little Prince” dining experience on February 14.

Drawn from the name of southern France’s delicate basil plant, Le Basilic offers an elegant avant-garde ambiance enhanced by soft piano music, attentive service and “haute cuisine.”

It’s the perfect setting for this romantic occasion and the unique menu is sure to please every palate. Based on the fabled novella, “The Little Prince,” penned by French aristocrat, writer and military aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in 1943, it promises a memorable, romantic date night.

A six-course menu – titled: “A Dinner, A Prince, One Love,” will be accompanied by a phrase from the book and as each course is served, the story will be explained by the waiter.

The unusual pairing will combine a variety of meat and seafood offerings and tasty desserts with memorable excerpts from the book sure to pique your interest and whet your appetite such as:

“You will have stars like no one else has.”

“Nothing goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”

Cost of this unusual dining event is $2000 MP and includes a bottle of champagne.

Happy Valentine’s Day!