Gar-Anat Hotel de Peregrinos, Granada
There aren’t too many lovelier little places to stay anywhere in Europe that come in as cheap as Gar-Anat in Granada. While the smallest of its 15 rooms – all of which are housed within a handsome historic townhouse in the heart of the city – starts at around £59 a night in January, the icing on the cake for anyone looking for a cheap weekend away in southern Spain is the complimentary wine and cheese they put out in the sitting room in the early evening. The perfect warm-up to a night out of charging around from tapas bar to tapas bar.
Read our full review of Gar Anat Hotel de Peregrinos
The Cliff Townhouse, Dublin
If you’re thinking that January's the time for a short hop across to the Emerald Isle, The Cliff Townhouse is one of Dublin's better budget boutique bets. The 18th-century Georgian townhouse is home to 10 suitably well appointed and luxurious bedrooms that, on Sundays, can be booked for as little as £99. Which leaves you with a little extra in your pocket for what the hotel does best: the food. Downstairs, the award-wining restaurant, often lauded as one of Dublin’s finest, serves up exceptional, locally sourced dishes with very well matched wines. That January diet will seem like a distant memory...
Read our full review of The Cliff Townhouse
Riad Ariha, Marrakech
With temperatures currently sitting at a comfortable 20 degrees, Marrakech is the perfect place to experience a little glimpse of winter sun, but without the hefty price tag. And nowhere is that more the case than at the wonderfully atmospheric Riad Ariha, whose room rates in January start at a temptingly low £58. Aside from the handful of inviting rooms (where sumptuous beds clad with crisp white linens and cool stone bathrooms are the order of the day), there’s an outdoor courtyard with a small tranquil pool and an enormous roof terrace strewn with loungers and cushions for lazing about on and soaking up the African sun.
Read our full review of Riad Ariha
Room Mate Oscar, Madrid
With its Bourbon architecture and endless galleries housing works from many of Spain's finest artists, Madrid offers the definitive cultural mini-break. To do it for less (while also being surrounded by some of the best nightlife), one of the city’s coolest hangouts, Room Mate Oscar, are offering room rates of £56 a night in January. With culture by day and partying by night, whichever way you look at it, the Spanish capital is the perfect place for a January pick-me-up.
Read our full review of Room Mate Oscar
The Lugger, Cornwall
Ok, so you probably won’t need a passport for this one, but there was no way we could leave it out. A 17th-century smugglers’ inn located in the tiny Cornish fishing village of Portloe, The Lugger is one of the country's more romantic places to stay. But with overnight stays (with breakfast) coming in under the £100 threshold, though, you should easily be able to persuade your other half to whisk you off for a romantic - and cheap - weekend away by the coast.
Read our full review of The Lugger
Like our pick of the best cheap weekends away, but looking for something a little more indulgent with which to start off 2012? Check out our pick of the best day spa breaks. Or browse our full collection of places to stay.