6 romantic hotel conversions

6 romantic hotel conversions

With the release of Steve Dobson’s Unique Hotels of the World book, we look at six historic buildings that have been transformed into romantic abodes

Sala Silvermine Underground Suite, Sweden

Take your love to new depths in the historic Sala Silvermine. The Mine Suite (pictured) is 155m below the surface of Sweden, surrounded by vast lake-filled caves and winding galleries. It may be cold (a chilly 2ºC!) and dark, but it is also a beautiful, memorable spot for a romantic break.

Guests will receive a tour of the level before and a hamper of cheese, biscuits, fruits, sparkling wine and chocolate. The stay costs from 4,290 SEK (£388) for two people.

Spitbank Fort, England

Reckon staying in a former naval fort is going a bit overboard? You might be right. But if it's likely to float your boat, read on…

Flung out into the heart of the Portsmouth Solent, Spitsbank Fort has been transformed from wartime stronghold to floating luxury retreat, fit for the most demanding of honeymooners. Built in the Victorian era to repel attacks from the French, it was retired by the MoD in the sixties. Its once-historic rooms - formerly home to hundreds of soldiers and stockpiled ammo - are now the epitome of extravagance. The fort is only accessible by boat and offers nine suites, games rooms, a sauna, and a hot tub that looks across to the Isle of Wight. The price? From £495p/n.

El Cosmico, USA

Trailer trash is a thing of the past. A stay in one of El Cosmico's restored caravans is iconic - especially if you and your belle or beau love all things American. According to founder Liz Lambert, El Cosmico is "part vintage trailer, safari tent, teepee hotel and campground, part creative lab, greenhouse and amphitheatre". For lovers of wide-open spaces and a dark sky bursting with stars, this is the honeymoon spot for you. If you're into mysteries, the site is in Marfa too, the town famous for the ghostly Marfa Lights…

Each of the seven renovated trailers offers a stove, fridge, fan, floor heating and hot water. Prices start from $110p/n (£65). There are also eight safari tents and several Sioux teepees for rent.

Quinta Real Zacatecas, Mexico

Think Mexico, and bullrings will often spring to mind. And while Plaza de Toros San Pedro no longer showcases the skills of the matador, this historic monument - built in 1866 - can still be enjoyed. Transformed into a hotel in 1989, the newly-dubbed Quinta Real Zacatecas encircles the 17th-century bullring, overlooking a stadium that was once filled with cheering crowds.

The main highlight is the memorable and intimate wining and dining experience. The bar is nestled in one of the former bullpens, while the restaurant exists in tiered, private alcoves above the bullring. After dinner, head back to the bedroom - each one a blend of opulence and modernity, set against the original, colonial architecture. Doubles from $400p/n (£235).

Kruisherenhotel, Netherlands

Bed down in a 15th-century monastery for your honeymoon. Since falling into disrepair in the 1980s, the building and adjoining gothic church have been converted into a contemporary 60-bed lodge: the Kruisherenhotel. But while spacious lounges, elegant rooms and wine bars have replaced most of the old fixtures, the high-vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows and intricate stonework of the original monastery remain. Old interweaves with the new, oozing romance. Overnight stays with a three-course dinner start from €147.50p/p (£121).

The Aberporth Express or 'Wendy', Wales

For an idyllic beachside retreat that showcases the best Wales has to offer, head to the converted clifftop carriage known as 'Wendy' (named after the character in Peter Pan). Once an Edwardian Great Western Railway sleeper coach, the Aberporth Express is positioned on the coastal path between the sands of Aberporth and Tresaith. It's a great location for you and your partner to explore the West Wales coastline, as well as immerse yourself in nature. A coastal stroll may even reveal a glimpse of Europe's largest colony of bottlenose dolphins…

The carriage sleeps up to five people and offers oak-lined rooms with pieces of the original 1930s furniture. Prices start from £216 for a two-night stay.

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For more quirky stays, pick up a copy of Unusual Hotels of the World by Steve Dobson (JonGlez Publishing, £29.99) out now. Image courtesy of Sala Silvermine and Pappilabild.

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