From cosy tree houses to opulent adults-only retreats, we pick out the UK’s top five hotels for an intimate escape this Valentines.
By: Helen Warwick, Deputy Editor, National Geographic Traveller (UK)
London’s Hackney is a veritable playground of creative start-ups and this hip waterside hangout has been making waves on the hotel scene. Moored on Regents Canal, the matt black barge oozes a seriously seductive ambience with its almost monochrome interior, plush Scandinavian furnishings, fully fitted kitchen and roof terrace for cosy night caps.
Time to rock the boat? There’s a king-sized bed and a surprisingly roomy bathroom with a walk in shower to set the sexiest of scenes. And there’s no chance of feeling the chill either with its underfloor heating and a wood burning stove. Add the Durex Paradise for Both bundle and bring some spice to your night. Bertsbarges.com
Crazy Bear Beaconsfield
Looking for something as far from wholesome as possible? There’s plenty of quirks to get you in the mood at this outrageously decadent property in Buckinghamshire. Here you’ll discover an eccentric collection of dripping chandeliers, fur-lined ceilings and copper baths – plus plenty of velvet, gold leaf, chiffon and flamboyant beds – all in one of Beaconsfield’s most historic buildings. It’s like the madcap love child of the Moulin Rouge and a burlesque bar, and the ideal spot for a wild fantasy fest. crazybeargroup.co.uk
What better way to fire up the passion than a night behind bars? This former prison block turned luxe hotel is one of Oxford’s finest, with cells converted into guest rooms – yet there’s nothing poky about them (rooms are three cells each) with original iron doors and vaulted ceilings.
Claw foot baths and huge pillowy beds make for a risqué rendezvous, while solid walls will keep your antics hush hush from your neighbours. Turn up the heat over a glass of champagne in the old exercise yard, before strutting along the old walkways of the three-storey atrium – all’s that’s left to decide is who’s playing the cop or the convict. Malmaison.com
Castle Cottage, West Sussex
Get back to nature – without the insect bites – and lock yourself away at this cosy bedroom suite built into a chestnut tree. Propped besides an ancient woodland in the South Downs National Park, it’s perfectly placed for a romantic escape a deux.
Unleash your animalistic side on its leopard print bed and make the most of its large balcony – its ‘swing seats makes for a very special experience’ according to its website. Try and venture into a new world of pleasure and sensations. castlecottage.info
The Scarlet, Cornwall
Smouldering with romantic potential, this place has all the crucial ingredients for a passionate weekend away. Adults only policy? Tick. Outdoor baths overlooking the ocean? Tick. Enormous beds? Tick. The Scarlet’s pulled out all the stops – make sure you do too! Scarlethotel.co.uk
With so many romantic destinations to choose from, you're spoilt for choice. Pack your bags and reignite your sex life in one of the UK's most unusual hotels.