x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day, for Dh100,000

Limousine rides, photo shoots, and a butler service dubbed 'cupid's little helper' are just some the lavish offerings.

Dh100,000 can buy you the diamond package at Rixos, The Palm, which offers a two-night stay in the hotel’s grand king suite, with limousine pick-up, chocolates and rose petals on the pillows. Christopher Pike / The National
Dh100,000 can buy you the diamond package at Rixos, The Palm, which offers a two-night stay in the hotel’s grand king suite, with limousine pick-up, chocolates and rose petals on the pillows. Christopher Pike / The National

ABU DHABI // How far would you go to prove your love this Valentine’s Day?

Limousine rides, photo shoots, red-carpeted beachside meals and private butlers dubbed “cupid’s little helper” are just some of the lavish ways – with one hotel’s package costing a whopping Dh100,000.

While most of the offers had not been booked as of Wednesday, hotels were going all out with the most expensive rooms, meals and spa treatments.

“This is really exclusive at a really high level, so there is a lot of attention to detail,” said Dirk Bansemer, executive assistant manager of food and beverage at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm.

For his hotel’s Dh40,000 package, a limousine is sent to pick the couple up for a one-night stay in a five-bedroom villa with a private butler and swimming pool, then have a spa treatment and a makeover.

They can follow a red carpet from the villa to a private table in a gazebo on the beach to have a five-course meal with champagne. The next morning, breakfast is served in the villa garden, and then the couple can take a private cooking class at the hotel’s Voi restaurant.

If Dh40,000 is small change, then Dh100,000 can buy you the diamond package at Rixos, The Palm, which offers a two-night stay in the hotel’s grand king suite, with limousine pick-up, chocolates, rose petals on the pillows, a photo shoot and breakfast served in the room with champagne.

It also includes a “romantic candlelight exclusive” dinner with live music and a sultan’s therapy spa treatment – sauna, steam bath, jacuzzi and a Turkish hammam.

Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates has put together a Dh50,000 package that includes a shopping voucher for Dh10,000, as well as a five-course rooftop meal and a night in its royal suite.

Also included is a couple’s massage, in-room breakfast and “customised amenities upon arrival”.

The Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah, which opened about six months ago, has its own offering that guests can customise and that is “really more an ideas piece than a set package”, said Katie Hollamby, a hotel representative.

“This is really just for one couple who would want to take over the imperial suite,” Ms Hollamby said.

If coming from Abu Dhabi or Dubai, the couple could travel to RAK by seaplane or helicopter and have tea and a private dinner in the suite with a balcony and grand piano and advertised as “an extravagant and unparalleled address suitable for only the most discerning guests”.

Such guests may also be interested in the diamond shop that has just opened in the hotel, Ms Hollamby said.

A personal concierge – “cupid’s little helper” – is included in the package, as well as a personal space on the beach where lunch can be served.

At Jumeirah Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, the highlight of its Dh30,000 offer is a “romance at the towers” special dinner at Scott’s Terrace that includes oysters, octopus carpaccio, shellfish bisque and seared scallops with butternut squash puree.

A limousine transports the couple to the hotel for dinner and a couple’s spa treatment, one-night stay in a club suite and breakfast served by a butler on the beach.

“Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest calendar days here at Jumeirah, Etihad Towers restaurants,” said Nandana Wirasinha, director of food and beverage at the hotel.

He said the hotel has received enquiries about the special, offered only to one couple, but it has not been booked.

“Probably tomorrow or the day after, we expect it to be booked out,” he said, adding that it could be an “opportunity to propose”.

Mr Bansemer said Valentine’s Day was more popular in the UAE than in his native country, and one of the more well-booked holidays at his hotel, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

“When I was in Germany, I didn’t even know it was Valentine’s. It was not so much of a ritual,” he said.

Guests used to seeing the crimsons and pinks that are common on Valentine’s Day would be surprised to see that the Ottoman-style hotel has drawn lessons from Turkish history for its floral arrangements, Mr Bansemer said.

“We have decided for the first time that we are not giving our lady red roses – we are giving her yellow tulips,” he said. “In Ottoman times, that is what the men gave the women to express their love.”

lcarroll@thenational.ae