Belfast Telegraph

The price of true love... so, would you fork out £800 for a night of romance with your Valentine?

By Claire McNeilly

They say you can't put a price on love...but that isn't the case for some of Northern Ireland's hotels this Valentine's Day.

Indeed, the cost of a romantic meal and a room at one of our most high-end establishments could leave you with little change from £800 - for one night.

Following a straw poll of local hostelries, however, the Belfast Telegraph found a range of options to suit the budgets of most loved-up couples.

At the break-the-bank end of a dreamy date, an overnight stay in a Victorian suite in The Merchant Hotel in Belfast will set you back a whopping £598 - before you've even had a bite to eat.

The deal, billed on its website as 'the ultimate Valentine's experience', includes a romantic rose petal turn-down, in-room breakfast and leisurely check-out until 2pm for February 14 only.

For dinner on top of that, the Valentine's Day menu in the Great Room Restaurant, comprising six courses (without wine), comes in at a further £139 per couple.

Opt for the comparatively more low-key Berts Jazz Bar, however, and you'll pay a decidely more palatable sum of £99.90 for "a delectable four course dinner and a glass of fizz on arrival".

Add a bottle of bubbly - Taittinger Brut Reserve is £80; Cristal, Louis Roederer costs £360; or Ruinart Brut at £65 - or perhaps just a couple of glasses of champers at £14 each.

A magnum of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1er Cru Classe, meanwhile, is the wine list's most expensive offering, coming in at an eye-watering £1,100.

Choose the Culloden Estate and Spa as a symbol of your love and, for £300 per couple, you'll get an "indulgent overnight package" that includes dinner in the prestigious Mitre restaurant and a Champagne cocktail.

Pay extra for a garden view (£20), late check-out at 2pm (£20), full cooked breakfast (£25 each), a bottle of prosecco (£32) and throw in a dozen red roses (£90) and your bill for the Co Down hideaway will hit £512.

At the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast city centre, it's £204 per room for a Valentine's package that boasts a personal escort to bring you to your room, a four-course meal, full Irish breakfast, turndown service, one red rose, luxury chocolates and a bottle of bubbles.

Meanwhile, just outside Ballymena, at the Galgorm resort and Spa, a one night Valentine's escape is £280, including a night in a superior room, a three-course meal in one of two on-site restaurants (Gillies or Fratelli Ristorante), a full Irish breakfast, a rose petal turndown and a half bottle of Champagne and chocolates in your room on arrival.

In Londonderry's Bishop's Gate Hotel, you can bag a one night break for between £149 (deluxe room) and £179 (luxury king).

The Valentine's deal comes with breakfast, a four course meal, cocktail on arrival and a chocolate platter in your room.

Corick House Hotel and Spa in Clogher, Co Tyrone, has a £198 package deal per couple for February 14, promising prosecco, a bouquet or roses, four course meal and breakfast the following morning.

But if you fancy going a little further afield for a relatively cheap Valentine's treat, there's always Newcastle in England where a branch of McDonald's has revealed lovebirds can enjoy a sit-down meal for just £20.

Couples there can enjoy cheddar bites, nuggets or carrot sticks for starters, followed by a main course of bur gers and a McFlurry or apple pie for dessert.

Belfast Telegraph

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