Spa de deux

The Qua Spa at Caesars Atlantic City. (Caesars Hotel, Baltimore Sun / January 26, 2012)

Fancy the notion of being pampered, polished and indulged with your sweetheart at your side this Valentine's Day? Then consider a spa escapade for two.

"In the past, romance was about tales of travel and adventure — the kinds of experiences that help regenerate mind and body," says Dr. Matthew Edlund, director of the Center for Circadian Medicine and author of "The Power of Rest." "Modern ideas of romance focus more on sharing deep experiences with someone you love."

According to discount travel site, a recent online survey of nearly 2,200 adults showed that nearly 70 percent strongly agreed that their romantic relationships would benefit if they embarked on more leisure trips with their significant others.

"Why not combine the old and the new and take a travel adventure together?" says Edlund. "Think of what that can do for your health — and your relationship."

With that in mind, we've scouted several luxury spa destinations at hotels and resorts within a few hours of Baltimore. From chocolate facials and strawberry scrubs, to a deluxe champagne body massage, a bevy of amorous options await you and that special person, your valentine.

Berry Hill Resort, South Boston, Va.

At the 650-acre historic estate in southern Virginia known as Berry Hill, the elegantly appointed spa will certainly beckon. But couples may have trouble finding a reason to leave the room.

Italian handcrafted beds — canopy or sleigh — are perfect for snuggling in the 88 rooms and suites accented by art, antiques and reproductions.

Most rooms open to a spacious veranda complete with views of ponds, rolling hills and trees. The countryside perch is ideal for savoring a romantic sunrise or sunset.

"Berry Hill offers a unique opportunity to really escape and relax," says general manager Martha Borg. "Our spa really gets into Valentine's Day with chocolate massages, rose petals in the pedicures and chocolate-scented candles."

The resort's Blackberry Spa will offer special treatments like a chocolate hot oil massage, strawberries and champagne scrub, and strawberries and champagne massage.

When you're done, diversions on the grounds include three restaurants, plus biking, hiking, tennis, fishing in a stocked pond, billiards, croquet, bocce and swimming.

"The outdoor trails are in good shape since the winter has been so mild, and the pool is nice and warm," says Borg.

The Blackberry Romance Package starts at $299 per couple per night, and includes a pair of 30-minute Swedish massages or a refresher facial. Call 434-517-7000 or go to

Caesars Atlantic City, Atlantic City, N.J.

For the couple willing to "gamble" on romance, Caesars Atlantic City offers nearly 1,200 newly renovated rooms, 10 restaurants and lounges, plus casino tables and a slew of other amenities.

But its piece de resistance is the Qua Baths and Spa, a palace of sensory delights that boasts 14 treatment rooms, a rooftop swimming pool, a tearoom with an "tea sommelier," a new state-of-the-art fitness center, herbal steam rooms, a dry sauna and plunge pools.

Couples can indulge in various treatments, including the Roman Rituals — three pools varying in temperature and size, and the signature "Dieci Mani Ten Hands," so named because of the healing touch of four massage artists and one aesthetician. It includes a full body exfoliation under cascading Vichy showers, an eight-hand classic light touch and hot stone body massage, followed by chakra balancing and foot reflexology. As guests move between rooms, rose petals are underfoot.

For Valentine's Day, spa offerings for couples include the "Chocolate Temptation" package, which begins with a full body exfoliation of sea salts infused with mint. The two of you will then be enveloped in a chocolate wrap, covered in warm linens and given a warm coconut oil scalp massage. The process concludes with an application of chocolate scented lotion, and then, lunch.