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This year, give her more than flowers

Published May 7, 2006

Does brunch or dinner just not capture how much you appreciate everything your poor, sacrificing mother has done for you? With Mother's Day next Sunday (and coming again next year in case you blow this one), why not give her the getaway she deserves - an escape from reality to pursue that which she loves most (besides you, of course).

She loves: The Beach

If mom is a sun worshiper and nature lover, Mexico's Esperanza Resort & Spa offers sun, surf and sybaritic pleasures. Perched on bluffs overlooking the Sea of Cortez, this Cabo San Lucas property features private casitas (all with ocean views), whale watching, snorkeling, diving, shopping excursions in town and gourmet Mexican fare, including one of the best guacamole recipes in Baja. Viva Mexico! From $425; toll-free 1-866-311-2226 or

She loves: Cooking

For the mother itching to be the next Food Channel star, send her to Villa San Michele in the heart of Tuscany. Nestled into the hills above Florence in Fiesole, the façade of this posh property, once a monastery, is attributed to Michelangelo. The current School of Cookery offers a range of courses from April through October where famous chefs instruct 5-10 students in the art of gastronomy. There's even a course for kids if you want to bring them along. From about $1,100 and up, depending on course and length of stay; +39 055 567 8200 or

She loves: The Spa

For pure relaxation and indulgence, opt for Miraval, Life in Balance. This Tucson, Ariz., spa is offering a mother/daughter package with 50 percent off the daily rate for the second person inclusive of room, meals, spa treatments and activities. Try the rock climbing wall, the equine experience or just chilling out at the pool surrounded by desert flora and fauna. From approximately $575 per person; toll-free 1-800-232-3969 or

She loves: Cruising

Ship mom off on a cruise where she won't have to lift a finger. An all-inclusive venture on the mother of all luxury liners, the Queen Mary 2, offers sailing options from the conservative (small yet cozy inside staterooms) to the sublime (a 2,250-square-foot grand duplex). Gourmet meals, fitness facilities, the Canyon Ranch spa, and a planetarium are just a few of the indulgences she can experience on board. From approximately $1,500 depending on sailing and accommodations;

She loves: History

If mom is a history buff, send her back in time to follow the well-worn paths along Rome's ancient Forum, Coliseum and catacombs. For traditional upscale accommodations, send her to Rome's St. Regis Grand, a historical hotel and the first in the city to offer butler service. For something more contemporary, go with Hotel Hassler, a family-owned luxury property at the top of the Spanish Steps, overlooking the entire city. St. Regis Grand, starting at $425; +39 06 47091; Hotel Hassler, from about $450; +39 06 699 34 613;

Wendy O'Dea is a freelance writer based in Santa Monica, Calif. Fab Five is an occasional feature that spotlights five fabulous destinations around the world.

[Last modified May 7, 2006, 10:49:19]

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