Put some romance in your holidays

Give a romantic gift and you might get a little back.

This holiday season, you might want to forego giving a gift of snow tires or a vacuum cleaner and find something more on the romantic side to give your special someone.

Whidbey Island has a lot to offer in that department.

Probably the most obvious choice for a romantic gift is the girl’s best friend. Diamonds, after all, make killer stocking stuffers.

“Jewelry as a whole is romantic,” said Gloria Carothers, owner of the Jewelry Gallery in Oak Harbor, “but diamonds really symbolize romance. ... Someone once told me that a woman will never forget the circumstances under which she gets a piece of diamond jewelry.”

Carothers said she specializes in ideal-cut diamonds, including Hearts On Fire, which is considered “the world’s most perfectly cut diamond.”

There are many jewelry stores to shop on the island. In Oak Harbor, there’s Gerald’s Jewelry, Island Jewelers, the Jewelry Gallery, plus A-Lot-Of Rings and Things north of the city offers estate jewelry. There’s also a few stores in Langley.

Dave Fikse, owner of Gerald’s Jewelry, agrees that a gift of a diamond is one of the best ways to express romantic feelings. He travels to Antwerp, Belgium, each year to purchase high-quality diamonds directly from the stone cutters, cutting the price by cutting out the middleman.

“It doesn’t get a whole lot more romantic than a diamond...” he said. “A diamond is a very personal gift. It was intended strictly for you.”

The act of giving a piece of diamond jewelry can also be a romantic experience. Fikse said a gentleman who recently purchase a diamond ring took his wife for a romantic evening at a fancy restaurant. She was pleasantly shocked when the ring came out on the dessert platter.

Carothers said a particularly popular romantic gift right now is three-stone setting on rings or necklaces. The diamonds represent the past, present and future. She is having her annual holiday sale starting Dec. 1.

A romantic gift can also be an experience. An evening together, for example, at the Captain Whidbey Inn near Coupeville can kindle or rekindle any fire. The inn, after all, was named “best bed and breakfast get-away” in the Northwest by Evening Magazine.

John Stone, proprietor of the Captain Whidbey Inn, suggests that a stay for two at one of the inn’s three cottages could be just the ticket for a romantic gift. Each cottage is in a secluded spot overlooking the cove or lagoon. Each has an outdoor hot tub on the deck and a fireplace inside. All you need is a little champagne for the perfect evening.

“A couple can sit in the hot tub,” he said, “overlooking a lagoon and cove beyond with boats bobbing in the water.”

The fanciest of the three cottages also has a a claw-foot-style Jacuzzi and fireplace adjacent to the master bedroom with its king-sized bed and down comforter.

Stone got the idea for a perfectly romantic 16-hour getaway from guests who live here on Whidbey. The idea is that after a long workday, a couple will leave the kids with relatives and go out to dinner at a nice restaurant — perhaps the Oystercatcher or Christopher’s in Coupeville.

Afterward, they can go just down the road to the Captain Whidbey Inn. They soak in the hot tub, make a fire in the fireplace, pop open a little bubbly and “spend the night gazing in each other’s eyes,” Stone said. In the morning, they can eat a delicious breakfast at the inn and then go back to work.

Surprising a significant other with a 16-hour vacation, Stone said, could be the perfect gift in any season.

Another choice for a special night out is at the Kasteel Franssen at the north end of Oak Harbor. Scott Fraser, head chef and restaurant owner, said the atmosphere is all about romance, with coziness, warmth and candlelight. It’s the high-class joint where Oak Harbor residents go to propose marriage and celebrate anniversaries.

It’s also a place for celebrating the holidays with a romantic flare. Fraser describes the menu as a blend of European cuisine with Northwestern ingredients. It’s the kind of place that serves such luxuries as escargot, lobster, buffalo short ribs and even ostrich.

For a complete romantic experience, Fraser suggests staying a night at the windmill-shaped hotel next door. There are fancy rooms with jacuzzies and fireplaces. He said they offer special “sweetheart package” deals for a meal and night in a special room.

That way, Fraser said, “you don’t have to worry about having too much to drink. You can just walk to the hotel.”

Finally, another popular and romantic gift is a certificate to a spa. In Oak Harbor there’s the Gallery Salon and Day Spa, which offers relaxing experiences in cleanliness. The spa offers manicures, pedicures, hair styling, make-up application, massages, facials — with steam, exfoliation and a face rubdown — and even lunch.

“People are always getting gift certificates for birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day,” said Mistiann Lapo of the Gallery Salon. “It’s a nice, calm atmosphere. It’s definitely a romantic gift to get.”

Editor’s note: An incorrect version of this story appeared in the holiday gift guide included in the Nov. 20 Whidbey News-Times.

You can reach Jessie Stensland at or call 675-6611.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 22
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates