By Michelyn Camen

Flowers, chocolates, perfume, champagne? Thank you very much, but you BOTH deserve a break from the same old clichéd Valentine’s Day. We’re thinking someplace tropical, warm …and only three hours away from LaGuardia Airport.

Pack your matching luggage and book a stay at the newest Golden Door Spa (the first ever on the East Coast) located at the luxurious Naples Grande Resort & Club which recently completed a $50 million dollar renovation. Naples is on Florida’s “other coast”; the lush and tropical Gulf of Mexico side. The upscale, but easy pace is a nice change from the trendy “scene” of South Beach or Miami.

The newest Golden Door Spa is a 16,000 square-foot indoor and outdoor contemporary spa village, encompassing four linked pavilions and featuring elements of traditional Japanese architecture. Its serene sand gardens are awe inspiring, and the gentle environment is perfect to unwind and experience true tranquility. Indoors, there are 12 spacious treatment rooms including one spectacular “Couples Spa Villa“, which you can reserve for an hour or a day. Treatments are designed specifically for bonding and romantic experiences…a private whirlpool, vanity, bath, and deck.

Unlike many Golden Door Spas, the atmosphere is Zen but uber-luxe (no 5:45 am mountain hikes required). There is a hair and nail spa that appears to “float” on the water surrounding it, offering a “buff bar”, a pedicure banquette, and a master hairstyling station overlooking the spa’s pool and water features.

The outdoor amenities are just as relaxing: whirlpools, sauna and steam chambers, rain showers and the signature Golden Door meditation labyrinth that is a “must” walk at twilight. There are outdoor sundecks and meditation lounges equipped with chaise lounges that have individual iPods programmed with personal music selections. There are also fresh fruit tea infusions and the famous Golden Door Spa high-energy potassium drinks to encourage relaxation and rejuvenation both inside and out.

The ultimate way to bond in bliss is with the Spa Villa Retreat package, where both of you experience four hours of personal pampering that includes customized facials, therapeutic massages and body treatments; your choice of four 50-minute treatments. Refreshing beverages and spa snacks are on hand as well as the entire Golden Door suite of amenities, including Phytomer products.

He loves golf and you love the beach? Have it all. For you, enjoy the three-mile stretch of powdery sand stretching from the mangroves at Clam Pass Park to the tranquil waters of the Gulf, while he tees off for a day of golf at the resort’s Naples Grande Golf Club, an extraordinary 18-hole, par-72 course. Meet up later and enjoy the Four Hands & Two Hearts package, where you share a relaxing Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy or Reflexology massage with your spouse or partner.

After dark, try the pomegranate martini at the Aura Bar at the Naples Resort & Club. After all the pampering and peace, retire to the hotel’s newest addition- The Bungalows – room suites that offer a living and dining area, flat screen television, sleek furnishings, sleeper sofa and modern design touches throughout. Are you ready for another day of heaven?

The Golden Door at The Naples Resort & Club
475 Seagate Drive
Naples, Florida 34103
239 594 6321

Originally published February 2007
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