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It’s always nice to unwrap a present. But this Valentine’s Day, why not give an unforgettable experience, rather than an easily forgotten bauble?

Here are three ideas that will earn you style points for thoughtfulness, while creating lasting memories.

Inn at Pine Terrace Bed & Breakfast

John Gresley, who along with his wife Ruth owns the inn, offers a Valentine’s Day with “Victorian style.”

“We’re very couples-oriented,” said Gresley. “It’s a more adult, quiet environment.”

The inn is just a 10-minute walk from downtown Oconomowoc and a few minutes through the park from Fowler Lake.

Around Valentine’s Day, the inn offers a special chocolate package for couples when they arrive. Gresley said that gift certificates purchased around Feb. 14 would also include the chocolates, regardless of when they are used.

Valentine’s Day also features optional beverages – champagne or wine – for the stay.

The 11 Victorian-styled rooms at the inn are all different, but updated with high-speed internet and private baths. Room rates are $134-$194. Some rooms have whirlpool baths. Each contains either a queen- or king-sized bed.

Gresley is quite particular about the hearty plated breakfasts he serves.

“My goal is that people who stay several days won’t have the same thing twice,” he said.

Breakfast might start with a fruit and granola parfait, followed by entrees such as a waffle plate featuring a date compote with a mascarpone cheese shmear served with sausage. Other breakfast possibilities are egg dishes or quiches followed by a light dessert.

“I might add some fresh mint off the mint plant in the sunroom,” said Gresley.

The inn has two rooms on the first floor, for those who prefer not to climb stairs. The other rooms are on the second and third floors.

Gresley pointed out that those who use their Valentine’s gift certificate in summer weather will not only get the chocolate package, but also will be able to enjoy the outdoor pool.

Craig Berns Salon and Spa

Mary Beth Berns at Craig Berns Salon and Spa in Delafield thinks the cards, chocolates and flowers at Valentine’s Day are old hat.

“These are all sweet gifts, but what makes someone really feel special is the gift of time,” she.

For Valentine’s Day, the salon spa is offering special pricing on two or more spa services.

“A Valentine’s gift card can be customized to your choice of services, such as a massage, facial, spa pedicure,” said Berns.

A $200 Valentine’s gift card, said Berns, would allow the recipient “a 90-minute, perfectly customized massage and a relaxing spa pedicure with the special pricing. Include a shampoo/blowout with your remaining gift card and you are ready for Saturday night out!”

Berns added that all multiple spa services enjoyed Feb. 7-14 will include a complimentary gift of Aveda Love Composition, a certified organic composition oil for your body bath, hair and scalp.

Golden Mast Inn

Lori Weissgerber Marks of the Golden Mast Inn on Okauchee Lake suggests a way to “avoid the hustle and bustle of Valentine’s Day.”

During the week before Valentine’s Day, the inn has its annual Food and Wine Valentine Event. Each evening includes live music, appetizers, plus a four-course food and wine pairing for $75 per person.

The meal includes a choice of several entrees, such as tournedos of beef tenderloin. There will be special Valentine’s martinis and desserts, plus a piano player and vocalist throughout the evening.

Valentine’s Day itself is special. The day’s menu includes appetizer plates for two, including gourmet mushroom caps filled with French brie cheese, bacon chips and a nut mixture served with a cranberry orange sauce.

The entrees and desserts are also spectacular. Among the desserts is The Sweetheart Mousse Cup and a Chambord Alexander ice cream drink.

“Our chefs create duets, gourmet combinations,” said Marks. An example is the two 4-ounce medallions of beef tenderloin topped with two seared sea scallops in a béarnaise sauce.

Reservations are necessary and can be made by calling 262-567-7047.

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