Sun or snow offers right atmosphere

PALM-FRINGED beaches, clear seas and sunsets over the ocean or sitting in front of a roaring fire with snow falling outside your log cabin - what could be more romantic? Tulips Travels specialises in made-to-measure holidays and, if you want to arrange a special surprise, this company can do it for you.

A couple of options stand out for St Valentine's Day. For a quick getaway to Singapore, you can book at the Duxton, a boutique hotel, in an old conserved section of Singapore.

The three-day St Valentine's Day package includes a traditional London taxi cab from the airport to the hotel, champagne on arrival, chocolates, flowers, full breakfast, and one romantic candlelight dinner at the restaurant L'Aigle d'Or.

Flying with Singapore Airlines, the package costs $6,300 per person.

Tulips also offers a special St Valentine's Day package to Phuket in Thailand. Day one comprises a direct flight from Hong Kong, and transfer by taxi from Phuket airport to the luxurious boutique hotel, the Boathouse.

Day two is open, and the choices are endless. There are many tours ranging from island safaris to canoe expeditions to exclusive cruises.

Day three is the return flight to Hong Kong. The package, including air fare, two nights' accommodation, full breakfast and one romantic dinner, costs $6,100 per person.

Farrington Travel specialises in Frequent Independent Travel (FIT) and a company spokesman said her suggestions for a romantic holiday would involve, sun, sea and sand.

''We have packages to Cebu in the Philippines, four days for about $4,000, including flights.

''There is also Badian island in Cebu, where there is nothing to do but lie on the beach, scuba dive and visit the falls. It's a real back-to-nature holiday. The cost is about the same.'' Thailand is another popular destination with romantics. A trip to Koh Samui costs about $5,000, and there is a multitude of other islands to visit.

Malaysia is a little more expensive, but those who visit the duty-free island of Langkawi can make up for the extra costs in savings on duty-free items. A four-day trip to Langkawi, opposite Penang, costs about $6,000.

On the east coast of Malaysia, a trip to Kota Kinabalu costs about $5,000, while one to Bali - one of the most romantic of destinations - costs about $6,000 for five days.

If sun, sea and sand are not your idea of heaven, invigorating skiing holidays are available in Asian resorts. Japan and Korea offer something for everyone, from complete beginners to experienced skiers.

Westminster Travel has a brochure with details of resorts in both countries.

Japanese resorts include Akakura, which boasts an old-world atmosphere dating from the last century when it became a popular mountain resort famous for its hot-spring spas.

Around Akakura are professionally graded and groomed trails for all levels of ability. Fine accommodation is offered at the Akakura Kanko hotel. Six ski lifts and one gondola lift nearby ensures the visitor can ski to and from the hotel doorstep.

Cathay Pacific has a seven-night package which costs around $14,000 for two sharing.

Muju in Korea is in Dukyon National Park, 255 km south of Seoul, and is the largest ski resort in south Korea. A five-night package costs about $8,000.