Wouldn’t it be great if a super-stylish crack team of travel experts scoured the globe and tracked down the best boutique hotels for you to choose from for your honeymoon? The best that is, according to the really important stuff, for this most romantic holiday of your life. How about the hotel with the most extravagant view from the pool or the most indulgent spa, the sexiest bedroom, the most intimate bar or those places that simply go above and beyond anyone’s expectations?
Well that’s what’s happening right now in the gorgeous, totally dreamy world of Mr & Mrs Smith. Believe me, they are your secret honeymoon weapon.
For those who haven’t yet heard me extol the many virtues of this extraordinary boutique hotel finding and booking site, let me fill you in here.
Mr & Mrs Smith Awards 2016
Ok, so they’re not technically looking for honeymoon destinations in this current global search but, Mr & Mrs Smith are running their annual awards to identify and reward the boutique hotels in their outrageously impressive portfolio – that create THE most special stays. They are singling out those utterly unique, personality-packed places that raise the bar in terms of design, food, service and all- round wow factor.
So that’s great news for us as we get to take a peek at those choice contenders – the best boutique hotels in the world in the most desirable destinations. This has to be the hottest shortlist in travel right now!
And the award goes to…
The awards are being judged on 12 different categories. Namely: Pool with a View, World’s Sexiest Bedroom, Best Dressed Hotel, Best Date-Night Bar, Best Gourmet Getaway, Most Spoiling Spa, Local Hotel Hero, Best Family Hotel, Above and Beyond, Coolest Creative Hub, Hottest Hotel Soundtrack, Best Smith Hotel 2016.
And reassuringly the top ten hotels in each category have been selected by none other that the King and Queen of Mr & Mrs Smith themselves — company founders James and Tamara Lohan, along with the amazing founding editor Juliet Kinsman. They know, live and breathe their stuff. So any hotel worthy enough to make their short list is good enough for me.
As you can see by the colourful categories of awards — this is a cool company that understands the changing boutique-hotel scene around the world.
There is a new order in what people are looking for and it’s moved on considerably from “how far to the beach?” and “is breakfast included?’. Mr & Mrs Smith recognise those unique aspects for the hotel experience that have particular resonance to today’s traveller. Be that acting as a hub for the neighbourhood creative scene; having the perfect date night bar; being a destination foodie spot or of course setting the stage for an out of this world, memory-making honeymoon.
Do Judge me
The chosen hotels will be put to a panel of three specialist judges in each category.
And the judging panel? It’s basically across the board cool — a network of travel experts from the fashion, music, food industries, including chef and author Tom Aitken, writer and broadcaster Lauren Laverne, singer Jessie Ware, legendary restaurateur Jeremy King, cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro … take a look here at the impressive line up.
Above and Beyond
For Smashing The Glass, I really wanted to feature a list of the best of the best — essentially the Above and Beyond category. These are Smith stays that are made even more special by seamless service and generosity of spirit — where going the extra mile is the starting point. Is there nothing this hotel won’t do?
They boast dedicated, flexible and helpful staff who totally rock at enhancing your stay, or maybe the hotel goes above and beyond in terms of products or services — full-size bathroom products, free laundry, transfers by speedboat?
Sometimes, it’s one individual who makes the biggest impact. The sommelier who helps you discover a new favourite wine; the concierge with an unbeatable book of contacts; the chef who keeps the kitchen open a little longer because your flight was delayed.
The Above and Beyond category is by far my favourite, and that’s what you really want for a honeymoon. Natural hosts who instinctively know how to spoil you, anticipate your every need and upgrade your trip beyond measure. Oh yes and it so happens that all the hotels are in sublime and wildly different locations.
A trad twenties hunting lodge on the banks of Waikato, New Zealand to the thoroughly modern English countryside manor with just a sprinkling of rock star style to a remote ecolodge on the rainforest clad coast of Nicaragua. Where would you even start to choose between them?