Five Spanish coastal retreats

Feel the sand between your toes at these chic beachside beauties.

Hotel Neptuno, Valencia

An understated grey building, the Neptuno opens on to a palm-lined boardwalk and a long, sandy beach. Rooms are smart but simple, with oak floors and plasma-screen televisions; suites have sea views and patios. The restaurant serves Valencian cuisine such as fish and paella.

Hotel Neptuno, Paseo de Neptuno, Valencia (00 34 963 567 777; ). Doubles start at €148 including breakfast.

Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa, Catalonia

Le Meridian overlooks a long stretch of the Costa Daurada. Although uncompromisingly contemporary inside, it is a restored Moorish-style monastery, which has seen more modern additions since it became a hotel five years ago. A short drive from the pretty town of El Vendrell, the hotel is also in the heart of the Penedes wine-growing region, which is best known for producing cava.

Le Meridien Ra, 1 Avinguda Sanatori, El Vendrell, Catalonia (00 34 977 694 200; ). Doubles start at €182, including breakfast.

Arte Hotel, Asturias

On the top of a cliff overlooking corn fields and the rugged Asturian coastline is the Arte. The ambience of this hotel-cum-gallery is homely, with book-filled shelves, a telescope, guitars, and comfortable sofas dotted about the place, plus a resident cat. The eight individual rooms come in eye-catching colours, with magnified prints of leaves and other artworks on the walls. If the atmosphere heightens your creativity, there is a fully equipped art studio. Secluded coves are only a 10-minute walk away.

Arte Hotel, Ballota, Cudillero, Asturias (00 34 985 598 111; ). High-season doubles start at €86, room only.

The Town House, Andalucia

This chic hotel in Marbella's old town feels a world away from the Costa del Sol. A terrace looks over the red-tiled roofs of the town. The nine guest rooms offer a mix of antique and modern design. The boardwalk, which extends down to the beach clubs of Puerto Banus, is 300m away.

The Town House, Calle Alderete 7, Plaza Tetuan, Marbella, Andalucia (00 34 952 901 791; ). Doubles start at €110, including breakfast.

El Cancho, Andalucia

These two beach houses in Los Alcornocales Natural Park have views of the Costa de la Luz and are only 250m from a sandy beach. The Wallpaper House was designed by a Swedish architect and is a study in chic, contemporary design. The Boston Beach House has a deck, complete with hammock and cushions.

Tarifa Beach Houses, Costa de la Luz, Cadiz, Andalucia (00 34 660 863 437; ). Boston Beach House starts at €120 per night, Wallpaper House at €145.