As February rolls around our attention always turns to the realm of red heart-shaped boxes and declarations of love in the name on Valentine’s Day.

While chocolates are a nice gesture and a dozen red roses are the ultimate traditional gift of the season (though very hard to come by in Eeyou Istchee), there is no better way to celebrate your love than to book some special couples’ time away from the rest of the world.

Whether you are looking to getaway for V Day or present your special someone with a sweet retreat package for a later date, the Nation has already gone through the trouble for our readers of tracking down Cupid to get his picks for romantic hotspots.

From sexy ski retreats to lush urban love nests, downtime at a spa or dining out in style; if you are looking for a couple’s getaway, read through our getaway guide.


While most Crees have stayed in Val-d’Or for one reason or another, it most likely wasn’t because it was the first place that came to mind when planning out a romantic weekend.

But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. If you plan it out right, Val-d’Or could be just the ticket for a loving weekend for two as the city now offers a lot when it comes to celebrating romance.

For styling accommodations, look no further than Val-d’Or’s latest hotel edition – the Cree-owned Quality Inn and Suites. This spanking-new hotel’s lush suites feature king-size beds with pillow tops and flat-screen HD TVs.

According to hotel manager Michael Prince, if you are looking to set the mood for love, the hotel can easily accommodate a request to cover the bed in rose petals or have roses in the room upon arrival.

The hotel will soon be offering a spa-weekend package in conjunction with Spa Bella Donna that will feature a luxurious room, a 60-minute massage, Scandinavian baths and a fruit cocktail served at the spa. Transportation to and from the spa can be arranged by the hotel, if desired.

While staying in Val-d’Or with your sweetheart, the hotel recommends a stop by Choco-Mango, the city’s new artisanal chocolate shop, to purchase some exquisite handmade chocolates to stimulate your senses.

If you are looking for a sophisticated night on the town, the hottest place to go in Val-d’Or is Bar Bistro l’Entracte, the only place to offer high-end, Montreal-style bistro dining in the north.

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Located between Ottawa and Montreal, the historic Château Montebello is one of Quebec’s finest destination resorts as it offers a bevy of seasonal attractions in a luxurious historic log-cabin-motif-chateau setting.

Once the private Seigniory Club, since it was opened to the public in 1970 this chateau has been host to a wide variety of celebrities, royalty, prime ministers and world leaders – having been host to a recent G8 summit.

While there is nothing more romantic than whisking away your lover to a chateau for a weekend, this particular one offers an ambiance like no other, with its dramatic high ceilings, rustic log cabin motif throughout the hotel and alluring central fireplace.

A Fairmont-owned resort, the Château Montebello offers romance packages for a one- or two-night stay that feature a 60-minute romantic massage for two at their brand-new spa, incredible table d’hôte dining at Aux Chantignoles Restaurant in the hotel, breakfast either in your room or at the buffet in the hotel as well as fancy perks such as chocolate-covered strawberries in your room.

If luxuriating in bed with your sweetheart isn’t enough, while staying at Montebello guests can also engage in a wide variety of playful activities offered either at the resort or nearby, such as curling, tube sliding, snowmobiling, skating, going for a sleigh ride, ice fishing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, skeet shooting, cross-country skiing and indoor tennis.

For those looking to explore the town of Montebello, the community is renowned for its top-notch French chefs, galleries, museums and historical tours.

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First Nations Hotel in Wendake

If your idea of romance is fine dining and comfort amidst traditional skins and furs, look no further than the Huron Wendake First Nation Reserve. Just minutes away from Quebec City, the First Nations Hotel is its own sensation as a combined four-star boutique hotel, museum and spa that celebrates Aboriginal culture in every way possible.

Opened in 2008, the hotel has had four years to refine its services down to perfection. Once more, spending your hard-earned dollars at this establishment is something that you can walk away from feeling good as the establishment employs over 300 local Aboriginals, from the front desk to those that tan the hides for the products in the gift shop.

More than just a gimmick, this destination offers a unique experience when it comes to ambiance as the hotel’s rooms and suites feature Aboriginal elegance, such as hides on the beds, dream catchers, views of the surrounding lush forest and a top-notch restaurant that celebrates Aboriginal cuisine with a one-of-a-kind menu.

This is a place that those of Aboriginal descent can revel in as a Native success story and for those of other cultures to learn about Canada’s first peoples while they luxuriate in the spa, tour the museum, shop for handicrafts or pause to enjoy such a unique experience.

In terms of romance packages, the hotel offers a special that features accommodation for one night, four-service dinner at the restaurant La Traite as well as breakfast the following morning, a visit to the Huron-Wendat museum, a bottle of sparkling wine, a “sweet surprise” in the room compliments of the hotel and parking.

New as of this January, guests can take advantage of the hotel’s Centre Nation Santé Spa, a first-of-its-kind as what is most likely Quebec’s only Aboriginal-themed spa, complete with a yurt and Native-inspired spa treatments.

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If your sweetheart is looking for the style and sophistication of the big city to glam up a weekend of love, with its Old World architectural charm, high-end hotels and world-class restaurants, Old Montreal is the place to stay!

Known for its luxurious contemporary rooms, sophisticated nightlife and fine Provencal restaurant, the Hotel Intercontinental is a divine spot for a romantic getaway.

Located between the Old Port and the downtown area, this hotel is just minutes (by car) away from Montreal’s casino.

In terms of specials for romantic weekends, this hotel is offering two different specials: one for Valentine’s Day that features a special which includes dinner at the hotel’s Osco Restaurant and sparkling wine to get the romantic juices flowing; and then another package with discounts for a series of cultural activities and a special rate on a second night.

While staying in Old Montreal there is a variety of activities for couples to engage in that are bound to bring you and your sweetheart closer together. Try skating in the evening to music on the quays of the Old Port in front of Marché Bonsecours, take a horse-drawn carriage ride under a snuggly warm blanket or enjoy a play at the Centaur Theatre, only minutes away from the hotel.

If you are looking for a lovey-dovey dinner away from the hotel and are craving a steak, check out Gibby’s, an old-school steakhouse with a classic menu that’s located in a historical building, giving you that authentic Old Montreal experience.

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Spa Eastman

If you and your love are all about pampering and being good to your own bodies, your ideal getaway might just be an amorous weekend for two at the Spa Eastman in the Eastern Townships.

Indulge in a wide variety of massages, facials, hydrotherapy, body treatments, aromatherapy, hair-care treatments, natural-health cures and fantastic fitness programs at Quebec’s ultimate spa resort. There are so many different ways to pamper yourself at this destination that it would most likely take a few weeks at the spa to try out every service that Eastman offers.

While you are being good to your outsides, you can take good care of your insides at this picturesque vacation resort as the spa offers a variety of healthy haute cuisine made from top-quality products – fresh organic produce, complete stone-ground flours, maple syrup and honey as sweeteners

Special for Valentine’s Day, running from February 10-19, the spa is offering a special romantic getaway that includes free ski passes at Mont Orford as part of a one-night stay at the resort or a guided tour and lunch at the vineyard Orpailleur in Dunham with a two-night stay.

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Just an hour north of Montreal, Saint-Sauveur plays host to a fantastic rendezvous for couples to getaway and enjoy cool days on the slopes and sizzling nights on the town.

Luxurious and centrally located, the Hotel Manoir Saint-Sauveur is an ideal spot to stay if you want to take advantage of the many hills that the Laurentians have to offer to skiers.

If you are not in the mood to ski, you and your darling could instead go dog sledding, cross-country skiing, skating, snowmobiling, horseback riding, on a helicopter tour or for a good, old-fashioned sleigh ride.

Or, if you find yourself achy after a day of exertion, pamper yourself with one of the hotel’s many deluxe spa treatments.

Once the day is done you can kick back beside the hotel’s outdoor bonfire located on the terrace where you have a view of the surrounding, illuminated ski hills as they twinkle in the night.

In the evening, you can enjoy one of the hotel’s three fabulous restaurants or go out on the town for a chic and sophisticated gourmet experience at one of Saint-Sauveur’s many incredible restaurants.

Depending on your pleasure, you can then retire to your room for the night or party it up with your sweetheart at one of the town’s many nightclubs or bars.

Whatever your desire, this Laurentian hub has a lot to offer for couples looking to spice up their romantic weekend with a bit of adrenaline and outdoor fun.

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The Hilton Lac-Leamy Hotel

If the urban resort experience is just the thing for you and your sweetheart, Gatineau’s Lac-Leamy hotel and casino has a lot to offer when it comes to Vegas-style entertainment, exquisite accommodations, fine dining and casino excitement.

Featuring lush classic rooms that are upgradable all the way to over-the-top executive floors, this casino hotel will have you and your darling living in the lap of luxury should you choose to getaway to this establishment.

A romance package at this resort includes a bottle of sparkling wine, sensuous chocolate-covered strawberries in the room and buffet breakfast for two at Arôme Seafood and Grill or American-style breakfast for two, served in the room.

To get your adrenaline pumping, try your hand at some games at the casino. Featuring slot machines, poker, keno and a variety of table games, the Lac-Leamy has a game for just about everyone’s taste.

While staying at the Hilton, be sure to dine in style at the hotel’s Arôme Seafood and Grill restaurant and then take in one of the many incredible spectacles at the Théâtre du Casino.

With Ottawa just moments away from the hotel, there is just so much to do with getting out and about with your sweetheart. The two of you can skate down the Rideau Canal, hit the shops or check out O-Town’s wild nightlife to party the night away!

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Whatever your pleasure, whether you choose to whisk your honey away for a wild weekend of love or cook them a simple romantic meal to show them your undying affection, it is the fact that you are celebrating your love that matters most, not how you do it.

On behalf of the Nation, Happy Valentine’s Day!