1. Mama Shelter
A stone’s throw from the final resting place of Jim Morrison and Frédéric Chopin at the Père-Lachaise cemetery, this cool design hotel is part of a small chain by Philippe Starck — hip and colourful. Chic rooms come with wi-fi and iMacs, plus there’s a restaurant, a pizzeria and a relaxed rooftop bar with umbrellas and city views.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £66 a night (00 33 825 00 62 62, mamashelter.com)
2. Hôtel Arvor
Saint Georges Paris
There’s a refreshing mix of Parisian style, pop art and country retreat at this small hotel a minute’s walk from the Saint-Georges metro station. Bright rooms have feature walls, a smattering of modern and retro furniture and interesting lithographs. You get goodies such as Jean-Paul Hévin chocolates and free wi-fi.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £78 a night (00 33 1 48 78 60 92, hotelarvor.com)
3. Auberge de la Source
Saint Ouen sur Morin, Seine-et-Marne
A short drive from the beaches of the Seine estuary, this charming hotel-restaurant dates back to 1763 and was a favourite haunt of Montmartre artists. Rustic-chic rooms have stark white walls and some have period features such as fireplaces or beamed ceilings. The restaurant serves food with produce from the local market and there’s a good champagne menu, thanks to its proximity to the sparkling wine region. Outside, there’s a pool and a deck with sun loungers, all shaded by a huge chestnut tree.
Details: B&B doubles are from £64 a night (00 331 60 24 80 61,sawdays.co.uk); Brittany Ferries (brittany-ferries.co.uk) has Portsmouth to Le Havre returns for a car and two passengers from £158. It’s about a three-hour drive from Le Havre to the hotel
4. Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc
In the heart of Le Marais is this village-style hotel, a short stroll from Place Bastille and the Seine. The straightforward façade hides a charming, eccentrically designed place with warm-toned rooms, distressed furnishings and eclectic artwork.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £73 a night (00 33 1 48 87 62 11, hoteljeannedarc.com)
5. La Cour de Rémi
Visit this country estate and you’ll never drive off the ferry from Dover and put your foot down again. Centred on a farmhouse built in the French restoration period, hotel rooms in converted stables have a rustic feel with exposed beams and bricks. There’s also a glamping option in a treehouse with a patio. The food’s pretty good, too — the owner Sébastien de la Borde was trained in French cuisine by Stephane Jego of L’Ami Jean in Paris.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £63 a night (lacourderemi.com); DFDS Seaways (dfdsseaways.co.uk) has return voyages for a car and up to nine passengers from about £60. It’s just over an hour’s drive from Calais to the hotel
6. Villa fol Avril
A former 19th-century coaching inn midway between the D-Day landing beaches and the Loire Valley, Villa fol Avril is another bucolic French offering. Its 12 rooms are wonderfully light, and marry natural materials, such as lime-wood and terracotta, with period furnishings picked up at the many antique shops in La Perche. There’s also a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the walled garden, and an open-air heated pool.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £73 a night (00 33 2 33 83 22 67, villafolavril.fr); Brittany Ferries (brittany-ferries.co.uk) has Portsmouth to Le Havre returns for a car and two passengers from £158. It’s a little over a two-hour drive from Le Havre to the hotel
7. Hotel-Restaurant La Grange du Relais
Surrounded by the vineyards of the Champagne region, this quirky hotel’s rooms have rustic-chic styling and exposed brick walls. There’s an on-site curio shop that’s worth a good rummage and a homely restaurant with set menus from £9. The Cross of Lorraine museum and memorial dedicated to Charles de Gaulle, who lived in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, is a few minutes’ walk away.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £58 a night (00 33 25 02 03 89, lagrangedurelais.fr); Eurostar (eurostar.com) has returns to Troyes from about £180. From Troyes it’s a one hour drive to the hotel
8. Le Château d’Etoges en Champagne
You get a lot of bang for your buck at this affordable 15th-century château hotel that was a favourite haunt of Napoleon. There are period character rooms from cosy doubles in the attic to huge tower suites, plus more modern offerings in a converted orangerie. There’s also a gourmet restaurant, vast parklands and even a moat. And if the price isn’t cheap enough, you can score an extra 10 per cent off if you “like” their Facebook page.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £69 a night (00 33 3 26 59 30 08, etoges.com); Eurostar (eurostar.com) has returns to Rheims from about £180. From Rheims it’s a one-hour drive to the hotel
9. Château de Gramazie
From a 9th-century abbey to a 19th-century manor house, this Languedoc château had several uses before being turned into a country hotel. Unlike many of its ilk, though, its rustic stylings have been replaced by modern, monochrome rooms in the main house and a soon-to-open wing. Common areas have hints to the hotel’s past, thanks to super-high painted ceilings, plus there’s a smart restaurant and an orangerie bar.
Details: B&B doubles are from £66 a night (00 33 4 68 31 15 21,chateaudegramazie.com); Ryanair has return flights to Carcassonne from about £40. It’s about a half-hour drive from the airport to the hotel
10. Le Lion d’Or
Built in 1840 and operating as a guesthouse since 1919, this small, family-run hotel in the heart of the Pyrénées is worth its weight in gold. There’s an air of a film set about its shabby-chic rooms. Old sleighs and snowshoes hang from the walls and in the front yard a rusty bike has flowerpots in its basket. There’s also a bar and a patio garden. An on-site ski instructor offers slopeside advice, and thermal spas for post-piste relaxation are a short walk away.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £56 (00 33 5 62 92 52 87,hotel-cauterets.fr); easyJet has return flights to Toulouse from about £60. It’s about a two-hour drive to the hotel from the airport
11. Bois Joli
Built in the mid-19th century as a retreat for those taking the waters in the spa town of Bagnoles-de-l’Orne, this hotel in an Anglo-Norman villa is on the edge of the Andaine forest and close to a large lake. Cosy, colourful rooms have either Regency or Norman decor but with mod-cons, such as flat-screen TVs and free wi-fi. Days can be spent foraging for mushrooms for dinner or boating on the lake, while the town’s spa and casino from its heady days are still open.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £59 a night (00 33 2 33 37 92 77, hotelboisjoli.com); Brittany Ferries (brittany-ferries.com) has Portsmouth to Caen returns for a car and two passengers from £158. It’s a little over an hour’s drive from the ferry to the hotel
12. Hôtel Continental
Although it’s housed in an 18th-century mansion, the rooms at this Bordeaux hotel err towards function over style. What you do get, though, is a fabulous location on a semi-pedestrianised street in the Grand Hommes district, meaning key sights such as the Customs Museum, the National Opera and the banks of the Garonne are all easily reached.
Details: B&B doubles are from £65 a night (00 33 5 56 52 66 00,en.hotel-le-continental.com); easyJet has return flights from about £55
13. Hôtel Windsor
You could stay in this hotel for a good couple of weeks and not get bored — especially if you tried a different room each night. Most of them are styled by artists, making each unique. Choose from rooms with cartoons stencilled on the walls, to those with abstract art. There’s also a pretty garden with bamboo, bougainvillea, fruit trees and a pool, as well as a spa and a restaurant.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £60 a night (00 33 4 93 88 59 35, hotelwindsornice.com); easyJet has return flights to Nice from about £60
14. Hôtel Le Canberra
It’s almost impossible to find a decent hotel in Cannes for less than £100 a night but this is the closest you’ll get — even if the price tag comes with a low-season caveat. Just off Rue d’Antibes and a couple of blocks from La Croisette, you’re in the thick of the action in rooms with a nod to 1950s styling that stays on the right side of retro-cool. A highlight of the stay is the 24/7 bar-terrace, perfect for balmy evenings and pretending that you’re in town for the film festival.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £73 a night (00 33 4 97 06 95 00, hotel-cannes-canberra.com); easyJet has flights to Nice from about £60. It’s about a 40-minute drive to Cannes from the airport at Nice
15. Hôtel Mare E Monti
Inspired by the original owner’s trip to Puerto Rico in 1870, this maison Americaine has been converted to a luxurious hotel where stays are a steal. From an elevated location outside an inland village that’s 16km from the beach, it overlooks a national park and has an elegant pool deck of the kind where you’d expect to see celebs. There’s a homely feel to the rooms, and some have period features, such as original fireplaces.
Details: B&B doubles are from £98 a night (01202 703500,justcorsica.co.uk); Skyscanner.net has return flights to Corsica from about £85
Germany and Austria
16. Hotel Hüttenpalast
This quirky hotel tops the lot. Housed in a former factory, it has an inside hall with caravans and wooden huts, and eclectic rooms. The hall is packed with reclaimed furniture and art made from found goods, plus there’s a garden and a sauna. The café-restaurant hosts a number of left-field events.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £55 (00 49 30 3730 5806,huettenpalast.de)
Overlooking the River Spree and in the trendy area between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, this cuboid hotel has pink rooms by New York designer Karim Rashid. All have iPod docks, underfloor heating and posh toiletries while communal areas include Wii consoles, a two-floor gym and a roof bar. Watch out for the open-mikenights.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £67 a night (0870 80 71 235,nh-hotels.com)
18. Michelberger Hotel
There’s a touch of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis about this hotel in a former factory. Its rooms have custom-made furniture, kooky mezzanine features and statement wallpapers. There’s a quirky reception area with cement walls lined with cuckoo clocks, a massage studio, cinema screenings and arts events.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £59 (00 49 302 977859,michelbergerhotel.com)
This small hotel is set back from the docks in the trendy Schanze area so you’re a hop, skip and jump from cool restaurants, hip bars and arty boutiques. Rooms are bright and have dashes of colour. If you can, bag one with a balcony for views over Schanzen Park. Everything else is stripped back and there’s no breakfast, but you do get free coffee, tea and juice.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £69 a night (00 49 408 222283, fritz-im-pyjama.de); easyJet flies to Hamburg from £50 return.
20. Gastwerk Hotel
This chic hotel in a former gasworks, claims to be Hamburg’s first boutique offering. Rooms have huge windows overlooking a central atrium or the city, and most have a loft feel with stylish furnishings and brick walls. There’s a bar and a spa, while key sights such as the Reeperbahn are a short walk away.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £69 a night (00 49 408 90620, gastwerk.com)
21. Hotel Concorde
Opposite the main railway station and close to the Alte Oper concert hall, this hotel is well located and has rooms to match. Simply designed and with luxury touches such as headboards made from black ostrich leather, they have lights that you can change depending on your mood. The only downside is the slightly dreary breakfast room.
Details: B&B doubles are from £42 a night (00 49 69242422,hotelconcorde.de); skyscanner.net has return flights from about £50
22. Nala Hotel
Once a 1960s relic, this hotel has been transformed into a plush, urban escape, which opened with a fanfare in September. Its individually styled and themed rooms are designed to appeal to all sorts, reflected by rooms called Zen (relaxing), Small Beauty (hip) and Climb Up (with a mezzanine). The Cinema room has a massive screen and Snow White is influenced by the fairytale. The contemporary restaurant offers chalk-board specials and Italian-influenced dishes.
Details: B&B doubles are from £72 a night (00 43 512 584444,nala-hotel.at); easyJet flies to Innsbruck from about £60 return
23. The Daniel
Housed in a utilitarian Sixties building, the Daniel offers a fun place to stay in the heart of Vienna. Quirky touches abound: there’s a sculpture of a boat by Erwin Wurm that seems to droop Dalí-style from a roof that is also home to beehives and an apple orchard, while there’s an urban gardening project that provides tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs for use in the Bakery restaurant. Rooms have an urban chic feel while a “motor pool” hires out bikes and scooters.
Details: B&B doubles are from £85 a night (hoteldaniel.com)
24. Hotel Petit Palace Art Gallery
Given its neoclassical exterior and location in the Serrano neighbourhood, you might think that the “Art” in the title refers to high-end works by the masters. Behind the façade, though, you’ll find contemporary works with CowParade-style statues, kitsch lamps and flashes of colour. The rooms follow suit, and there are colour-block walls and shower cubicles stencilled with forest scenes. You get the use of an iPad and bike for your stay.
Details: B&B doubles are from £93 a night (020 3499 5871,petitpalaceartgallerymadrid.com)
25. Room Mate Oscar
Room Mate is part of the new breed of hotels offering stripped-back contemporary stays in urban locations at a low price. There are four in Madrid, but Oscar tops the list thanks to its bright, colourful rooms and superb location, on the edge of the Gran Via. A super-cool roof terrace has views over the Spanish capital.
Details: B&B doubles are from £85 a night (00 34 917 011 173,oscar.room-matehotels.com)
26. Hotel Denit
Right in the Gothic Quarter and steps from Las Ramblas and Plaça de Catalunya, Hotel Denit has a great location. Thankfully, it’s matched by stylish-but-functional rooms that are priced on a small, medium or large basis. All come with TVs, iPod docks and powerful showers but there are few other frills aside from a decent continental breakfast rolled into the price.
Details: B&B doubles are from £64 a night (i-escape.com)
27. Hotel España
In 2010 the España was renovated to return it to its modernist 1859 glory, and there are stylish rooms as well as an elegant fine-dining restaurant with double-height ceilings and huge arched windows. A highlight of a stay here is the Balearic-style roof terrace with a pool, white day-beds and views of the surrounding area, including Las Ramblas, the Gran Teatre and La Boqueria market.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £76 a night (00 34 93 550 00 00, hotelespanya.com)
28. Ses Sucreres
This small hotel in the centre of the island breathes art. There are six rooms named after colours and decorated with works by the likes of Jade Jagger’s ex Piers Jackson.There are open-air cinema club nights in summer and year-round talks by artists and writers. Food is made using local produce and there is free bike and beach-umbrella hire.
Details: B&B doubles are from £66 a night (sawdays.co.uk); Monarch (monarch.co.uk) has return flights to Minorca from about £80
29. Hotel Feliz
Just off the busy promenade in Palma, the island’s capital, this hip hotel is perfect for younger couples thanks to a fabulous sun terrace with a pool-bar and great sea views. The colourful rooms are on the small side if you opt for the basic option, but they have large windows and are flooded with light. Superior rooms with sea views are only £15 a night more.
Details: B&B doubles are from £55 a night (00 34 971 28 88 47,hotelfeliz.com); Thomas Cook Airlines (thomascookairlines.com) has return flights to Palma from about £80
30. El Hotel Pacha
It’s true that the concrete exterior of this hotel — part of the Pacha superclub brand— is nothing to write home about. Once you cross the threshold, things change though. Rooms are stylishly minimal with ice-white decor and there’s a decent restaurant and a lounge bar. You also get free entry to the club.
Details: B&B doubles are from £68 a night (00 34 971 31 59 63,elhotelpacha.com); easyJet has return flights to Ibiza from about £70
31. Finca la Ramallosa
This gastro-retreat in a row of old stone houses is so high in the hills that you can see Portugal from the pool. Rooms have country-chic features with beamed ceilings, but it’s the food that stands out. The owners create a different menu each day from ingredients such as home-farmed olive oil and honey from their 200 hives. If you want, you can muck in with olive picking and sheep shearing.
Details: B&B doubles are from £70 a night (00 34 629 085 007,fincalaramallosa.com); Ryanair has return flights to Madrid from about £50. From Madrid it’s a 3 hr 45 m drive
32. El Geco Verde
Castril de la Peña, Granada
From pizza and focaccia-making classes to lessons in jewellery and stargazing, there’s a learning experience for most at this hotel at the base of the Sierra de Castril. Rooms have a farmhouse-chic feel and there’s a pool patio shaded by a huge oak tree. The hotel’s rural location and 900m altitude make it ideal for birders: watch for griffon vultures.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £47 (00 34 647 13 6120,elgecoverde.com); British Airways has return flights to Granada from about £140
33. Aire de Ronda
Ronda is probably the most famous of the white towns of Andalucia, largely because it is on the edge of a canyon and offers vertiginous views. An ideal place to stay is this four-room hotel that contrasts 17th-century features with glass floors by Murano, though there are no TVs. The hotel is centred on a courtyard and the restaurant offers local cuisine.
Details: B&B doubles are from £68 a night (00 34 6 4728 5077,airederonda.com); Opodo.co.uk has return flights to Malaga from about £80. It’s about a 1 hr 15 m drive from Malaga airport to Ronda
34. Hotel Viura
Villabuena de Álava, Basque country
This hotel is an avant-garde dream — a series of bright interlocking cubes against a dramatic backdrop, courtesy of the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with village views and there’s a restaurant with Basque cuisine; wine barrels are suspended from the ceilings.
Details: B&B doubles are from £96 a night (0800 0482 314,slh.com); Skyscanner.net has returns to Bilbao from about £100. From Bilbao it’s about a 1 hr 15 m drive to the hotel
35. Hotel Silken Puerta
Behind a striking façade, this is probably not the kind of hotel you’d write home about, but it is modern, as well as ideally located next to the Arts and Sciences City. What you get is a decent place to stay that’s in the thick of it, with a restaurant and bar, and rooms so cheap you can upgrade to a top suite still remain under £100 a night.
Details: B&B doubles are from £65 a night (00 34 963 936 395,hoteles-silken.com); Ryanair has return flights to Valencia from about £50
36. Avanti Hotel Boutique
Budding mixologists can practise their technique at this chic adults-only hotel in old town Corralejo. Minimalist rooms come with minibars stocked with ice, lemon and cocktail shakers. There’s also a restaurant and a roof-terrace with sea views as well as a whirlpool tub for four.
Details: B&B doubles are from £93 a night (00 34 928 867 523,avantihotelboutique.com); Monarch (monarch.co.uk) has return flights to Fuerteventura from about £120
37. Hotel El Mondalón
Discover another side to Gran Canaria at this charming hotel in a converted 1800s buildings in the Monumento Natural de Bandama park. Rustic bedrooms have exposed beams and brickwork, matched with modern furnishings, plus there’s a pool and a decent restaurant. Activities include hiking and mountain biking.
Details: B&B doubles are from £73 a night (00 34 928 35 57 58,hotelruralmondalon.es); Ryanair has return flights to Gran Canaria from £75
38. La Casona de Yaiza
Owned by the people behind nearby Casa de Hilario that has featured in The Times in the past, this converted country house on the edge of the whitewashed village of Yaiza, is an even better choice than its stablemate. The ten rooms and suites have ceiling frescos and Italian renaissance art, and there’s a grotto-like lounge in the cellar. Activities include horse riding, diving and sailing.
Details: B&B doubles are from €86 a night (i-escape.com); Ryanair has flights to Lanzarote from about £75
You probably don’t get more “Roman” than the Modigliani. Down a side street close to the Spanish Steps and Via Veneto, its terracotta façade with wooden shutters hides a small courtyard with plants, flowers and hand-decorated tables. Rooms are light and colourful, and there’s a rooftop bar with city views.
Details: B&B doubles are from £68 a night (00 39 06 42815226,hotelmodigliani.com)
40. Park Hotel Villa Grazioli
Head out of Rome to find this 16th-century villa retreat perched on a hill and with incredible views over the Eternal City. Set in parkland with a huge terrace, it has spiral staircases and panelled wooden ceilings, while works of art line the walls. Bag a room in the main house if possible, as the ones in two adjoining buildings are more functional. Then relax by the pool or head to neighbouring woods and nature parks for hiking and mountain biking.
Details: B&B doubles are from £80 a night (0800 0482 314,slh.com); the hotel is a half-hour drive from Rome’s international airport
41. Locanda Senio
Palazzuolo sul Senio, Tuscany
In the Tuscan heartlands an hour or so from Florence, this inn spreads across several buildings in a quiet village dating from 1373. Rooms are furnished with period furniture and some have open fires; even mod cons are disguised (check out the vintage telephones). Meals, prepared by the owner’s wife, draw on local ingredients and there’s a railway station nearby that can have you in Florence and Pisa in a jiffy.
Details: B&B doubles are from £68 a night (00 39 055 804 6019,locandasenio.com); British Airways has return flights to Bologna from about £160. It’s about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from the airport to the hotel
42. A Palazzo Busdraghi
The walled city of Lucca — birthplace of Puccini — makes an interesting alternative to Florence and Pisa, and this small, luxurious hotel is a perfect place to stay. Country-chic rooms come with spa bathtubs to soothe limbs after an afternoon exploring the town’s 99 churches or its monthly antiques market. There are also regular wine-tasting sessions.
Details: B&B doubles are from £75 a night (00 39 0583 950856,sawdays.co.uk); easyJet has return flights to Pisa from £115. It’s about a half-hour drive from the airport to the hotel
43. Bloom & Settimo Cielo
Venice can be expensive, so it’s nice to find relatively cheap accommodation that matches the beauty of some of the sights such as Saint Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. This recently opened hotel in an 18th-century townhouse has six rooms with baroque styling — brocaded fabrics and parquet floors — and a roof terrace with city views.
Details: B&B doubles are from £98 a night (020 7666 1234,westernoriental.com)
44. Borgo della Marmotta
Voted in the top ten best budget boutique hotels by users of Mr & Mrs Smith, this bolt hole, previously a farm and set among 12,000 olive trees, has views of the Spoleto Valley. Its rooms come with watercolours on the walls, private patios and stone fireplaces. Yoga and Pilates classes add to an already tranquil atmosphere.
Details: B&B doubles are from £85 a night (0330 100 3180,mrandmrssmith.com); Ryanair has return flights to Perugia from about £40. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Perugia airport to the hotel
45. Hotel Le Nuvole
In Genoa’s old town, this elegant hotel takes up the fourth floor of the 16th-century Lamba Doria Palace. There are 12 rooms which have a modern, pared-back style contrasting with the building’s 18th-century frescos, marble floors and wooden shutters. The Basilica delle Vigne is across the street and the port — recently redesigned by Shard architect Renzo Piano — a short walk away.
Details: B&B doubles are from £70 a night (00 39 010 2510018,www.hotellenuvole.it); Ryanair has return flights to Genoa from about £40
46. La Dimora di Piazza Carmine
Behind the baroque exterior of a restored 19th-century building in the historic centre, this charming hotel offers nine modern rooms and suites named after local places of interest. The Santuario del Carmine basilica and three Michelin-starred restaurants are a few minutes’ walk away.
Details: B&B doubles are from £71 a night (01202 489040,justsicily.co.uk); Ryanair has return flights to Comiso from about £50. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Comiso’s airport to the hotel
The Sicilian capital Palermo remains one of Italy’s most underrated cities. This B&B hotel is an ideal place to soak it up: exposed stone walls, an intimate atmosphere (just seven rooms) and a mixture of antique and modern furniture. There are few frills but that all adds to its charm.
Details: B&B doubles are from £80 a night (01223 460100,essentialitaly.co.uk); easyJet has flights to Palermo from about £80 return
48. Naturhotel Miravel
Alta Badia, Dolomites
With skiing in the Dolomites on the doorstep, this new boutique hotel is an ideal place to retreat with cheeks aglow at the end of the day. There’s a lounge with mountain views and a fireplace, as well as a sauna and outdoor hot tub. Rooms come with a modern take on ski-lodge decor and there are the usual mountain amenities such as ski storage.
Details: B&B doubles are from £62 a night (00 39 0471 84 40 55,naturhotelmiraval.com); fly to Venice, then it’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive
49. Hotel Balocco
Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda is known as a tycoon’s playground thanks to the yacht-filled port at Porto Cervo and Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire nightclub — but you can still lord it up for less than £100 a night for a room at this breezy hotel. On a hill overlooking the harbour, it has 40 plush rooms, a restaurant, two pools, and a bar with an outdoor terrace.
Details: B&B doubles are from £84 a night (01202 484858,justsardinia.co.uk); easyJet has returns to Olbia from about £65. It’s a 40-minute drive from Olbia airport to the hotel
50. Hotel Marulivo Pisciotta
The Marulivo is the kind of place that made the Amalfi Coast into a tourist destination. Housed in a former medieval monastery, it has viewswhere sea and sky seem to meld into one. Cosy rooms have exposed walls and period details and there are two on-site cottages for those seeking more privacy.
Details: B&B doubles are from £59 a night (00 39 0974 973792,www.marulivohotel.it); easyJet has returns to Naples from about £60. It’s just under a three-hour drive from Naples airport to the hotel
51. Galata Antique Hotel
Built by French-Ottoman architect Alexandre Vallaury, this chic hotel in a 19th-century neo-renaissance mansion is in the bustling Tunel Meydani bohemian quarter. Despite the hotel’s name, its rooms have timeless decor and are packed with the usual mod cons, such as flat-screen TVs and wi-fi. There’s a lobby bar and restaurant, as well as a fabulous roof terrace with city views.
Details: B&B doubles are from £59 a night (00 90 212 2455944,galataantiquehotel.com)
52. Lush Hotel
This hip hotel is well located for shops, bars and restaurants in bustling Beyoglu. No two rooms are the same, but expect high ceilings, parquet floors and flashes of colour or oversized pictures on feature walls. An internal terrace has brightly coloured tables and there’s a pop-art feel to the busy bar.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £89 a night (00 90 212 2439595, lushhotel.com)
53. Grand Hotel de Londres
Redolent of the days when the Orient Express would pull, steam a-blowing, into Constantinople station, this 1892 hotel can feel like stepping into a time capsule. There’s a grand lobby, period furniture and old-fashioned cash registers. Today, rooms range from tiny (and plain) “economy” offerings to an opulent Agatha Christie suite. The decor won’t appeal to all, but arty types love it.
Details: B&B doubles are from £52 a night (00 90 212 2450670,londrahotel.net)
54. Yacht Classic Hotel
A ten-minute walk from Fethiye town centre and overlooking its own harbour, this hotel has a terraced pool area with Balinese-style day beds. Luckily, it’s pretty good inside too with modern rooms, a restaurant and Turkish baths. The hotel also has its own yacht for excursions to surrounding unspoilt bays.
Details: B&B doubles are from £91 a night (booking.com); Monarch (monarch.co.uk) has returns to Dalaman from about £100. It’s about an hour’s drive from Dalaman’s airport to the hotel
55. Deniz Feneri Lighthouse
Kas Peninsula, Antalya
This boutique seafront hotel owned by an Anglo-Turkish couple claims to have some of the best sunsets on the Lycian coast. Rooms are split between those in the old lighthouse (which have more character) and offerings in more modern buildings — and there’s a pool deck with stunning views by day that turns into an intimate dining spot by night. There’s also a regular shuttle to Kas for exploring its cobbled streets, cafés and boutiques.
Details: B&B doubles are from £99 a night, as part of a seven-night stay including flights from £662pp per person (020 8605 3500,exclusiveescapes.co.uk); Monarch (monarch.co.uk) has returns to Dalaman from about £100. It’s about a two-hour drive from Dalaman airport to the hotel
56. The Muses House
Handy for the ancient ruins of Ephesus and the busy seaside town of Kusadasi, this small hotel in the village of Kirazli is surrounded by orchards, vineyards and olive groves. The five elegant rooms are inspired by the muses of Greek legend and come with high ceilings and a mixture of Turkish and international design. There are two courtyards (one with a pool), a living room with a piano, and a library.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £63 a night (00 90 256 6671125, museshouse.com); Thomas Cook Airlines (thomascookairlines.co.uk) has return flights to Izmir from about £100. It’s about a one-hour drive from Izmir airport to the hotel.
57. Kayakapi Premium Caves
Part of the Goreme National Park, this hotel is set in a series of troglodyte houses that were abandoned in 1984. Rooms retain thecave structure with stone or carved walls. Heated floors were added in the restoration, while the decor mixes chunky furnishings with high-tech gear including Nespresso machines and iPod docks. The hotel also has a spa.
Details: B&B doubles are from £89 a night (00 90 384 3418877,kayakapi.com); Skyscanner.net has return flights to Kayseri from about £190. It’s about an hour’s drive from the airport
58. Azur Hotel
On a three-mile stretch of beach on the Lycian Way, this delightful retreat is an excellent alternative to mass-market beach offerings. You stay in rustic bungalows or log cabins, all hidden in tropical gardens that are dotted with hammocks. There are excursions to the nearby ancient city of Olympos.
Details: B&B doubles are from £57 a night (00 90 242 8257072,azurhotelcirali.com); easyJet has returns to Antalya from about £125. It’s a 1½ hr drive from the airport to the hotel
59. Amalia Hotel
Across the street from the National Gardens and right by the guards with their pom-pom shoes outside the Greek parliament, this hotel is in a great location. The outside is utilitarian but rooms are modern and some have great city views.
Details: B&B doubles are from £66 a night (00 30 210 3237300,amaliahotelathens.gr)
60. A for Athens
For coffee by day and drinks by night, the roof terrace of this central hotel is the place for views of the Parthenon. Rooms have large picture windows that look out on to Monastiraki Square, home of Athens’ bustling flea market, which is still an ideal place to pick up cheap Levi’s, souvenirs and curios such as bundles of drachma notes from the Second World War.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £72 a night (00 30 210 32 44244, aforathens.com)
61. Fresh Hotel
If you can brave Athens’ slightly erratic drivers, exploring by bike is a great way to see the sights; this hotel offers free cycle use and suggests safe routes that take in the Acropolis and the newly trendified areas of Psiri and Gazi. Rooms here are modern, with splashes of colour on cushions or bedspreads, and there’s a rooftop bar-bistro offering Mediterranean cuisine.
Details: B&B doubles are from £67 a night (00 30 210 5248511,freshhotel.gr)
62. Met Hotel
The Greeks love a rooftop bar, and the pool at this plush hotel overlooking the harbour gets our vote as one of the best in Greece’s second city. The Met bills itself as an “art hotel” and its rooms have a chic, minimalist feel. Dining options include an Asian restaurant, inspired by the Irish restaurateur Oliver Peyton.
Details: B&B doubles are from £81 a night (00 30 2310 017000,chandris.gr)
63. Daios Hotel
There are sea views — and then there’s the one you get from this luxury hotel next to the White Tower, a former Ottoman fort that is the symbol of Thessaloniki. Turn your back from the deep blue of the Med for digs that are light and airy. The restaurant fuses Greek and Italian cuisine.
Details: B&B doubles are from £77 a night (00 30 2310 250200,daioshotels.com)
64. Rimondi Boutique Hotel
If you imagine every Greek island to be covered in whitewashed cubic houses, this will be a surprise. Rethymnos, with its old town of pastel-coloured homes, is a perfect example of architecture from Venetian rule, from the 13th to the 17th centuries. This boutique hotel has a delightful pool as well as a hammam steam bath, a remnant of the subsequent Ottoman occupation.
Details: B&B doubles are from £74 a night (00 30 283 1051001,hotelsrimondi.com)
65. Myconian Imperial Resort
Much like Ibiza, Mykonos is a beautiful place to visit in the shoulder seasons. Not only can you get around in peace but the weather is still warm enough to swim in the sea. The under-£100 rate at this hotel is only available on selected dates. The rooms are stylish, have great sea views and cost one third of the price they do when the thermometer is at its highest.
Details: B&B doubles are from £88 a night (00 30 228 9079500,myconianimperial.gr); British Airways has flights from about £170 return from May to September
66. Rena’s Suites
You can pay hundreds of pounds a night for hotels in Santorini’s capital Fira thanks to the jaw-dropping vistas some have over the island’s volcanic caldera. These smart rooms offervertiginous views at a fraction of the price, thanks to it being on the edge of town and looking out over the island’s opposite coast.
Details: B&B doubles are from £48 a night (00 30 228 6028130,renasuites.com); British Airways has return flights from £260 from May to September
67. Nissia Apartments
Head for the east side of Santorini, and this small sugar-cube hotel overlooking the volcanic black-sand beach of Kamari. Studios and apartments have a kitsch 1970s feel with bright touches such as brilliant orange chairs and aqua-blue shutters and doors. A pool bar has a walkway leading right to the sand.
Details: Room-only studios are from £41 a night (00 30 22860 33276, nissiasantorini.com)
68. Bella Venezia
This 19th-century neoclassical building has been a manor house, consulate, girls’ school and a branch of the National Bank of Greece. Now its bedrooms and salons have a timeless elegance, with the air of an English colonial club. Breakfast is served alfresco under a gazebo. Sadly, there’s no pool.
Details: B&B doubles are from £74 a night (00 30 266 1046500,bellaveneziahotel.com)
69. Kivo Art & Gourmet Hotel
This smart hotel has an art gallery hosting talks with authors such as Victoria Hislop; there are tasting sessions with producers of wine and the local firewater tsipouro, and it even produces a magazine, Skiathos Traveller,. It helps, of course, that the hotel is magical too, with artist-designed rooms and two restaurants, including one by Greek celebrity chef Giannis Baxevanis.
Details: B&B doubles are from £58 a night in May if you book before April 30 (00 30 242 7022407, kivohotel.com); Thomas Cook Airlines (thomascookairlines.com) has return flights from £90 from May to September.
This family-run hotel takes it name from the windmill that was once perched on cliff of Hora, the main town of Folegandros, which isn’t far from the island of Santorini. The views are amazing, and all studio apartments, which can sleep up to five people, have balconies or terraces. There’s a restaurant by the pool and the peaceful island is great to get away from it all.
Details: B&B doubles are from £87 in May and late September (00 30 22860 41309, anemomilosapartments.com). BA and easyJet fly to Santorini, a one-hour ferry trip away
71. York House
Once a monastery and a refuge for Jews fleeing persecution, this 17th-century hotel close to the Ancient Art National Museum has 32 rooms and suites that team antique floors with statement wallpapers. Its terrace is shaded by palm trees.
Details: B&B doubles are from £94 a night (00 351 213 962435,yorkhouselisboa.com)
72. Memmo Alfama
Hidden among narrow streets and with views over the Tagus, this hotel has a touch of Shoreditch about it with its stay-and-get-tattooed packages and tuk-tuk tours. It offers contemporary digs with quirky touches: an eaved ceiling here, a vintage Smeg fridge there. Its bar-restaurant on a first-floor terrace has a pool and overlooks the river.
Details: B&B doubles are from £80 a night (00 351 210 495660,memmoalfama.com)
This guesthouse-hotel hides behind a blue door in the slightly run-down Batalha area. Its young owners bought the 19th-century building and bike shop and have restored it to a high standard with bright rooms retainingoriginal features such as high ceilings and cornicing. It has a courtyard garden and the city’s famed port houses are close by.
Details: B&B doubles are from £44 a night (00 351 926 885187,6only.pt); easyJet has return flights from £75
74. Surfers Lodge
Don’t let the name fool you into thinking this is a hippy hangout. Peniche has excellent surfing and this laid-back hotel is a grand place to stay. It has shabby-chic rooms and a sun terrace, as well as a massage room and a hot tub. The associated surf school is top-notch too.
Details: B&B doubles are from £55 a night (00 351 262 700030,surferslodgepeniche.com); fly to Lisbon, then catch the hourly train to Peniche, which takes 1 hr 25 m
75. Quinta da Casa Branca
Many of Madeira’s former quinta manor houses are now hotels, but this one on a banana plantation has a twist. The main building has become the hotel restaurant, with a sleek award-winning boutique building providing the accommodation. All the rooms have terraces with garden and pool access, plus there’s a courtyard, a massage room and a library.
Details: B&B doubles are from £99 a night as part of a seven-night package from £599pp, including flights (0844 2733586,anatoliansky.co.uk); Monarch (monarch.co.uk) has returns to Funchal, Madeira’s capital, from about £80
76. Estalagem Ponta do Sol
This hotel is not for vertigo sufferers. Perched ona cliff, it has a terrace with infinity pool, and hot tubs with incredible views over the Atlantic. Modern, minimalist rooms have panoramic windows that open on to courtyards and there’s a Mediterranean restaurant which overlooks the village of Ponta do Sol.
Details: B&B doubles are from £50 a night (00 351 291 970200,pontadosol.com)
77. Quinta Bonita Lagos
British-owned and recently enlarged, this all-suite hotel on a hill in Matos Morenos makes it feel like you’ve been swept back to colonial times. Swanky suites have terracotta-tiled floors, granite bathrooms and doors that open on to a terrace or balcony. The grounds are huge, with a pool, a barbecue deck and fountains. In poor weather(a rare occurrence), you can head indoors to laze by the lounge fire.
Details: B&B doubles are from £78 a night (00 351 282 762135,boutiquehotelalgarve.com); flights to Faro are from £65 return with easyJet, which also offers hire cars from £22 a day
78. Companhia das Culturas
Set in 100 acres of stone pines, cork oaks, carob trees and figs in the southeastern Algarve, this agrotourism hotel has nine whitewashed rooms in former farm buildings. There’s a yoga/dance studio made of cork wood, and you can buy artisan products including locally made jam and trinkets created from reclaimed junk.
Details: B&B doubles are from £70 a night (00 351 281 957062,companhiadasculturas.com)
79. Casa da Ermida de Santa Catarina
Santa Eulalia, Alentejo
On an estate on a peninsula that juts into the Caia reservoir, this chic hotel could host a magazine photoshoot. It has pastel colours, eaved ceilings, four-poster beds and scrubbed wooden floors. There’s fishing, canoeing and windsurfing on offer, and day beds on a beachif you want to laze. The fact that you can stay here for less than £70 a night can only be because of the remote location.
Details: B&B doubles are from £67 a night (00 351 917 214380,casadaermidadesantacatarina.com)
80. Ha Mar ao Luar
Setubal is a great place to stay when visiting Lisbon. It lies on the coast between a national park and a nature reserve, and this elevated guesthouse overlooks both. The ochre-coloured building with a tiled roof has just four elegant country-chic rooms, and offers activities from Jeep tours on nearby dunes to canoeing to dolphin safaris.
Details: B&B doubles are from £48 a night (00 351 265 220901,hamaraoluar.com)
81. Hotel V Frederiksplein
With a tram stop right outside, and close to major museums and shopping, the V is well placed for a low-cost city break. Inside, there’s an impressive lobby with curved chocolate-leather sofas, a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows. Rooms are modern and clutter-free.
Details: B&B doubles are from £49 a night (i-escape.com)
82. Seven Bridges Hotel
In a 300-year-old canal house on the Reguliersgracht waterway, this hotel has a touch of decadent opulence. Wooden floors are covered in oriental carpets, furniture is hand-crafted and the place is dripping with antiques, including baroque, Louis XV and art deco items . It has no public rooms, so breakfast is served on fine china in your room.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £70 a night (00 31 206 231329, sevenbridgeshotel.nl)
There are a few citizenMsnow, but this Amsterdam original is still one of the best. The hotels run on a simple concept — they’re built like a home. In recognition of the fact that bedrooms are for sleeping, the bed takes up most of the space; there’s a telly, a bathroom and . . . that’s about it. The lobby is designed to look like a living room and there’s a cool canteen/bar.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £55 a night (citizenm.com)
The nhow is the first hotel designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Opened a year ago, it is set in a striking 23-storey building overlooking the Nieuwe Maas river and has rolling video walls and displays by local artists. The rooms have a minimalist feel, and there’s a cool sky bar on the top floor. The surrounding area, known as “Manhattan along the Maas”, is hip, with museums, restaurants and the Luxor Theatre.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £73 a night (0870 8071359,nh-hotels.com); British Airways has returns to Rotterdam from about £150
85. Izmailovo Hotel
Budget hotels in Moscow are rare , especially if you want decent digs in a central spot. This pair of Soviet-era towers, Hotels Gamma and Delta, were built for the 1980 Olympics and have been renovated to a good standard. Basic rooms are just that, so for more space opt for one of the suites. The city’s famed Izmailovsky flea market, for waving Lenin watches and Russian army hats, is a walk away.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £48 a night and suites from £75 a night (007 495 7377070, izmailovo.ru); return flights with British Airways are from £194 booked through Trailfinders (020 7937 1234, trailfinders.com)
86. Petrovka Loft
For a glimpse of what Moscow life was like 30 years ago, this hotel is ideal — it is in a Soviet era apartment block. Decor is modern — white walls, solid wood fixtures and exposed brick — but the rooms are tiny. The cheaper ones don’t even have windows — but you do get a good location with Red Square a 15-minute walk away.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £22 a night (007 495 6262210,petrovkalofthotelmoscow.com)
87. Vesta Hotel
On central Nevsky Prospect and close to the Summer Garden, the Hermitage Museum and the Neva River, this charming hotel in a 19th-century building has a serene courtyard allowing respite from the city . As with the Izmailovo in Moscow, it’s worth super-sizing here. Apartments from £45 a night also have a kitchenette/living room, which is a steal in this part of town.
Details: B&B doubles are from £35 a night (007 812 2721322, vesta-hotel.com); Aeroflot (aeroflot.com) has returns to St Petersburg from about £165
Best of the rest
88. Excelsior Hotel & Spa
Overlooking the Adriatic and a five-minute walk from the gates of the old town, the Excelsior remains an incredibly affordable option given that it has hosted two famous Elizabeths (the Queen and Taylor). Refurbished in 2008, its rooms have a warm, modern feel with many having views of the water or the city walls. The restaurant terrace has even better vistas and food to match.
Details: B&B doubles are from £85 a night as part of a three-night package from £265pp, including flights (01204 821419,destinology.co.uk); Monarch (monarch.co.uk) has returns from about £100 from May to September
There’s a glamorous feel to this hotel overlooking Hvar’s harbour, from the images of Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn adorning the rooms, to the likes of Jay Z and Beyoncé who’ve graced the hotel bar. Highlights of a stay include dining at the Italian restaurant and hanging out at the BB Club, a vast laid-back terrace by day and buzzing bistro by night.
Details: B&B doubles are from €130 a night (00 385 217 50555,suncanihvar.com); Wizz Air has return flights to Split from about £120 (wizzair.com), from Split the ferry to Hvar takes about one hour
90. Corinthia Hotel
Prague, Czech Republic
With views over the Czech capital’s fairytale skyline, the Corinthia has boutique-style rooms with a timeless feel. They come with flat-screen TVs, free wifi, and posh coffeemakers. But it’s the top-floor spa that really appeals, thanks to a pool with panoramic vistas of the city.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £63 a night until the end of February (lastminute.com)
91. Motel One
Prague, Czech Republic
In a listed early 20th-century building in the first district, this latest addition to the chic urban Motel One brand just opened in December. Czech influences can be seen in its One lounge, which features hand-crafted marionettes and chandeliers made from Bohemian crystal. Rooms are less distinctive, but no less stylish, with dark wood furniture, stark white walls and granite bathroom surfaces.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £54 a night (00 420 222 334 500, motel-one.com)
92. Grand Hotel Reykjavik
The Grand’s towering glass exterior looks incongruous with the rest of low-rise Reykjavik — and it’s not the only thing that stands out. Bright rooms have modern design, there’s a striking indoor atrium that floods the building with light (when the seasons allow at least), plus a fine-dining restaurant, and a spa with geothermal baths.
Details: Room-only doubles are from €91 a night (00 354 514 8000,en.grand.is); Wow Air (wowair.co.uk) has return flights to Reykjavik from about £100
This design hotel, part of the Park Plaza group, has a prime location right on the Danube overlooking the Hungarian Parliament. The art comes from 600 original works displayed around the hotel by artist Donald Sultan, as well as the fact that it’s surrounded by a plethora of museums and galleries. There’s also a stylish restaurant, a leafy inner courtyard and colourful, modern bedrooms.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £58 a night (00 800 814 70000, artotels.com/budapest)
94. Brody House
This decidedly decadent boutique hotel-cum-guesthouse is like nowhere else in Budapest. Rooms with Bohemian shabby-chic decor have stripped parquet flooring and distressed furniture. Each is unique, in that in one you might find a freestanding bath, in another, there’ll be a ladder propped against a wall. Throughout, chipped walls and peeling paper have been turned into design accents. There are also a number of apartments in surrounding buildings available for those wanting more space.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £58 a night (00 36 1266 1211,brodyhouse.com)
95. NH Brugge
Overlooking Koning Albert I park, this cosy hotel is within strolling distance of Bruges city centre with its cobbled streets, medieval churches, canals and famed chocolatiers. Formerly a 17th-century monastery, it has simple, modern rooms and a French-Belgian restaurant with beamed ceilings and a fireplace.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £65 a night (lastminute.com); Eurostar (eurostar.com) has returns to Bruges from about £140, the journey time is about 3 hr 30 m
96. Brussels Welcome Hotel
Head to Bali, Zanzibar, Tibet or Tahiti, all themed rooms at this hotel just a hop across the Channel in the Belgian capital. Originally built in the 19th century in the Saint Catherine district, it was converted to a restaurant in 1896 before becoming a hotel in 1988. What could be a tacky affair actually turns out to be quite stylish, and its central location is excellent for sightseeing.
Details: B&B doubles from £70 (00 32 2 2199546,hotelwelcome.com)
97. Wakeup Hotel Carsten Niebuhrs Gade
This hotel overlooking the city port is everything you need for a city break: clean, contemporary rooms with few frills and compact showers, a chilled sitting area with computers and stripped-back service. Breakfast is a buffet offering, and beers and snacks are available later from reception. It’s a 10-minute walk to the city centre but Tivoli Gardens are just around the corner.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £37 a night (00 45 4480 0000, wakeupcopenhagen.com)
98. Hotel Danmark
Between City Hall Square and the National Museum, this small hotel is a cosy affair with classic rooms and a homely atmosphere. There’s a pleasant patio and a Danish restaurant, Tivolihallen, offering light meals such as traditional open sandwiches. Best of all, finish a day’s sightseeing with a free glass of wine or two in the bar between 5 and 6pm.
Details: Room-only doubles from £60 a night (00 45 33 133000,brochner-hotels.dk)
99. Hotel Scheuble
It makes a change to find a decent hotel in Zurich for under £100. Despite the (relatively) rock-bottom price, rooms are modern with stripped wooden floors and contemporary art, plus there’s a restaurant and a pleasant little patio with tables and chairs.
Details: Room-only doubles are from £100 a night (00 41 44 268 48 00, scheuble.ch); British Airways has return flights to Zurich from about £170
100. Hotel Jungfrau
Check out the views of the Bernese Alps, including the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, from some of the rooms at this ski-in/ski-out lodge in the mountain resort of Mürren. Rooms have basic decor with pale-wood furniture, and attic rooms have sloped ceilings. Public areas, including a dining room with particularly good vistas, are more modern in design, and there’s a unique bar in an old gondola. Summer prices in economy rooms come in at just under £50, but even in winter, you don’t pay much more than that.
Details: B&B doubles are from £50 in summer (00 41 33 8566464,hoteljungfrau.ch); SWISS (swiss.com) has return flights to Bern from about £160, then catch the train to Murren, which takes about two hours