It’s not too late to book a romantic Valentine’s escape. Stylish hotels website Mr & Mrs Smith picks 12 great European hotels, with rooms available for under £140 a night
Hospes Palacio de los Patos, Granada, Spain
Whimsically yoking together a 19th-century palace with an in-your-face new annexe, this glamorous hotel is a short stroll from Granada’s cathedral. Elegant salons in white leather and steel, a grand marble staircases and low lighting create a heady ambience, and you can tuck in to fine Andalucian cuisine at the highly regarded Senzone restaurant. Minimalist rooms in the contemporary wing lack the period charm of the palace’s characterful suites, but do have hard-to-leave beds and sexy glass-enclosed bathrooms. The spa has a tranquil little pool – you’ll appreciate a dip after a day wandering the Alhambra.
• From £119 a night, room only
Inn on the Lake, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
As you’ll have guessed, this guesthouse sits by a lake in romantically named Broek in Waterland. A 20-minute taxi hop from the centre of Amsterdam, it’s in a pastoral spot with easy access to the city. The former vicarage is now run as a four-room B&B (with dinner on request) by hosts Pamela and Karel van der Schaar. Pretty contemporary chandeliers hang from beamed ceilings, and there are Frette linens on the beds. Hire bicycles to ride through quiet villages or, if there’s a big freeze, watch skaters on the lake from the Inn’s cosy breakfast room.
• Doubles for Valentine’s weekend from £139 a night B&B
Memmo Baleeira, Sagres, Portugal
There’s a windswept other-worldliness to this exposed edge-of-Europe destination, at the quiet end of the Algarve. Perched on a clifftop overlooking the Atlantic and Sagres’s little port, Memmo Baleeira offers a minimalist hangout inside a clean-lined 1960s concrete shell. Sleek, all-white rooms are not obvious contenders for romance, but regular pop-up events with local artists, mid-century styling and a cool little bar lend the hotel a low-key buzz. Plus, if your idea of true romance is crashing waves (or colossal, record-smashing surf breaks), long walks along miles of deserted beach or through national parkland, great sunsets and hearty local seafood, this is a fantastic spot.
• From £51 a night B&B
Heritage Avenida Liberdade, Lisbon, Portugal
To be confident that other folks’ offspring aren’t going to dampen your ardour, book into this adult-only retreat in Lisbon’s historic centre. An award-winning renovation in an 18th-century townhouse on a tree-lined avenue, Heritage Avenida Liberdade balances period details with laid-back style. The muted, spicy colours recall Lisbon’s Moorish past, and fuss-free bathrooms with pewter sinks and Portuguese azulejo tiling tilt the decor towards traditional. As a final flourish, there’s a jet pool in the basement with a mural of 1920s Riviera bathers.
• From £112 a night, room only
Weeke Barton, Devon
In the Teign valley near Exeter, this Devonshire longhouse conversion was made with country-craving city-dwellers in mind. London escapees Jo and Sam have brought the traditional beamed building to life with an eye for detail: five-finger parquet and massive stone fireplaces are matched with edgy details. Fill your bellies with Jo’s farm-fresh breakfast, ruddy your cheeks on a coast or country walk, then head for the canoodle-friendly corners of the lounge and snug honesty bar. Rustic rooms are cosy and comfortable.
• From £110 a night B&B
Le Lodge Kerisper, Brittany, France
This farmhouse on the Brittany coast is like an oversize boathouse that’s been given a talking-to by a preppy New Englander. Its decking and floorboards are scrubbed, gardens, with a pool, are prettily planted, and light-flooded interiors are harmonised with driftwood this and upcycled that. Potter to the port at La Trinité-sur-Mer for yachtie bars and seafood bistros; take blustery beach walks before returning to a crackling fire; or prop up the bar with glass of champagne. Clawfoot roll-tops in bathrooms and stacks of dreamy white linen knock the Breton stripes off the competition.
• From £74 a night, room only
Baudon de Mauny, Montpellier, France
It may be an heirloom, but there’s nothing hand-me-down about this Languedoc guesthouse: the seventh-generation owners have added plenty of 21st-century design elements to the restored Louis XVI features, creating alluring period accommodation in the heart of Montpellier. Neck-craning ceilings, elegant panelling, delicate plasterwork and oversized marble fireplaces are bolstered with eccentric wallpapers, including a parade of pink flamingos in one of the doubles. Walk-in rain showers are cleverly built into rooms, modern lamps guard doorways, and mid-century-style furnishings add an edgy touch.
• From £128 a night, room only
Arguibel, near Biarritz, France
If this beguiling bolthole were a fantasy design couple, it would be Philippe Starck and Vivienne Westwood: bold, unique, perhaps to some de trop, but ageing well, practical and a pleasure to be around. Behind the timbered facade of a Basque farmhouse, Arguibel hides a jewel-box interior: eye-popping contrasts such as striped carpet alongside chequerboard flooring typify owners Mariannick and François Brasserre’s fearless approach. Verner Panton tables, lighting by Mat & Jewski and contemporary artworks reflect the couple’s passion for avant-garde design. Outside, lawns slope down to sheep-dotted countryside.
• From £124 a night, room only
Château Les Merles, Dordogne, France
Impress a foodie partner at this honey-stone neoclassical château and winery on Bergerac’s Route des Vins. The high-ceilinged restaurant, La Bruyère Blanche, serves nouvelle Périgourdine cuisine such as lacquered duck breast with brussels sprout compote (many ingredients come from the chateau’s kitchen garden), paired with regional wines. Swing your club at the on-site golf course, stroll the nearby forest trails, or have an indulgent massage.
• From £132 a night, room only
Floroom, Florence, Italy
Relatively low prices and the thrill of having a private Florentine pad aren’t the only pulse-quickening attractions of a stay at one of Floroom’s cosy apartments. Period photos, parquet floors, glossy black Smeg fridges and a smattering of antiques up the ante, seduction-wise. The two second-floor flats – one in the Oltr’Arno near the Pitti Palace, the other near Piazza Santa Maria Novella – have simple en suite rooms, plus a communal lounge and small dining area.
• From £115 a night B&B
Be Manos, Brussels, Belgium
Behind the conservative image of Brussels is a liberal Euro-hottie waiting to be discovered. The good-looking and central Be Manos hotel is a great launch pad for a few days’ dallying. Black leather and suede are cheerfully countered with 1960s-style plastic and polychrome op art; spacious monochrome bedrooms feature black-and-white photos of women in various stages of déshabillé. There’s a 360-degree view from the roof terrace, and a hammam offers (the other kind of) steamy pleasure.
• From £106 a night, room only
Hotel Yasmin, Prague, Czech Republic
Prague’s ready supply of culture and fun makes it ideal for courting couples. But stylish digs are still thin on the ground. Enter Hotel Yasmin, a stumble from Wenceslas Square. Interiors teeter between fantastical chic and loopy kitsch, with oversized cat’s tails springing from the floor, and a cosmos of dazzling Tom Dixon orb lights over the noodle bar. Mixed with restfully plain guest rooms (you don’t want that crazy conceptual stuff interfering with your bedtime), it makes a delightfully daring destination.
• From £67 a night B&B
Book by ringing Mr & Mrs Smith on 0845 034 0700, or online at mrandmrssmith.com. All hotels had availability at the time of going to press