5 unique getaways for under £100

5 unique getaways for under £100

Liz Simpson, editor of hip hideaways site www.i-escape.com, picks stays that will linger in your memory but not on your bank statement.

The full version of this article features in the 2013 edition of Unique Honeymoons magazine - here's all the details of where you can get hold of a copy.

1. Hotel Shreenath Palace

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India


Price per night: from £40 (incl breakfast and taxes)

Why here?  This 450-year-old, family-run haveli  (private mansion) lies deep inside Jaisalmer's unique 'living' Fort and is steeped in history, from its ornately carved stone and winding steps to the delicate alcoves, gorgeous archways and faded ancestors' photos on the walls. The bigger bedrooms are pillared and balconied, and adorned with beautiful old stone, wood carvings and jewel-coloured silks and velvets.

What's nearby? Jaisalmer Fort is a maze of narrow lanes; inside are Jain temples and the City Palace. Take a jeep into the Khuri Dunes to ride camels and climb the sandy slopes.

When to go:  High season is October-February - it's cooler and less humid. February's Desert Festival combines dance, camel races and turban-tying contests.

2. Casa do Rio Vez

The Minho, Portugal


Price per night:  from £54 (incl breakfast and taxes)

Why here? If you're looking for chic on the cheap, Portugal (quietly) boasts this ancient millhouse, hidden-away beside the crystalline waters of the Vez River. Bedrooms have a fresh, light and cared-for vibe, there's a leafy garden with a pool to laze in and - best of all - you can swim in the river, where several natural jacuzzis have been hollowed out of the riverbed.

What's nearby? Hikers will be in their element: you're on the doorstep of the pristine Peneda-Gerês NP and the less-travelled Soajo Mountains. Trout fishing in the River Vez is some of the best in the country, and there are beaches a short drive away. There's also a lot of pleasure to be had in doing very little: kicking back with a pile of books is a restorative joy.

When to go:  May-September is best. North Portugal is a bit cooler and wetter than Mediterranean Portugal, but still generally warm in summer and mild in winter.

3. L'Hort de Sant Cebriá

Catalonia, Spain


Price per night: from £76 (incl breakfast and taxes)

Why here? This classy hotel in a medieval village near the Costa Brava has just five exquisitely decorated rooms and a suite-apartment. The garden houses a saltwater pool and wisteria-covered terrace, and you're just 4km from dipping your toes in the sea.

What's nearby?  Dolphin-spotting, windsurfing, diving and hot-air ballooning are all available nearby. You can hire a bike from the hotel to explore nearby villages or cycle to the unspoilt sands at Sant Martí d'Empúries. The Dalí triangle is always worth exploring - you're 50 minutes from Figueres, where you can ogle the surreal spectacles housed in the Dalí Museum.

When to go: The best months to visit are May, June and September when it's warm but not too hot.

4. Le Trésor


Near Carcassonne, France

Price per night: from £60 (incl tax)

Why here? This quintessentially French maison de maître's original features - an elegant staircase, panelling and marble fireplaces - are still in place, but they've been pepped up with a racy cocktail of contemporary prints and fabrics, jazzy chandeliers and angular lamps. See more...

What's nearby? The Pyrenees are on your doorstep for hiking (the owners will suggest routes and provide a packed lunch. 'Welcoming' doesn't cover it…). Or explore local villages on two wheels. Carcassonne's UNESCO-listed and walled Cité offers fairytale drawbridges and cobbled streets.

When to go: For wildflowers, May-June; for skiing, December-April; for autumn colour, September-October.

5. Riad Dar More

Marrakech, Morocco


Price per night: from £71 (incl breakfast and taxes)

Why here?  There are literally hundreds of riads in Marrakech, so choosing one can feel a little overwhelming. You can count on Riad Dar More to tick all your boxes though: it's an intimate haven with elegant interiors and only five-minutes' walk from Marrakech's ever-frenetic nerve centre, the Djemaa el-Fna.

What's nearby?  Souks, musicians and the Djemaa el-Fna's inimitable buzzing atmosphere; riad-owner Dominique and her staff can advise you on the best spots to visit, or arrange guided tours - including treks out to the Atlas Mountains, trips to Essaouira or forays into the desert.

When to go:  The best time to visit is November-March. June-August is likely to be pretty sizzling. 

Want more? 

Check out the Hotels Under £100 and Breaks For All Budgets features in the 2013 issue of Unique Honeymoons magazine, on sale 10 Jan 2013. Get your copy for £4.99 from WHSmiths or from our online shop - or download a digital editon from the app store. Check out all the details right here.

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