We’re only six days in and it’s already been an exciting month indeed. Not only did we manage to amuse/confuse/annoy hundreds of people with our boutique bendy bus April Fool ruse, but we’ve also just introduced some of the most exciting hotels and self-catering stays in the world to our hand-picked selection.
Our Smith & Friends selection of luxurious holiday homes and group escapes is expanding apace; we’ve now almost 100 stylish properties in the collection. This month sees two new arrivals in Norfolk – the bucolic and bohemian Chaucer Barn and the colourful and cool Carrington House – and a gorgeous gamekeeper’s cottage on the border of Dorset and Wiltshire.
Hotel-wise, we’re squealingly proud to announce the launch of legendary LA hotel Chateau Marmont. André Balasz’s spectacular Art and Crafts ‘castle’ has been the site of salacious showbiz shenanigans since Hollywood was in its infancy, and its roster of star stayers is longer and more impressive than Spielberg’s Christmas card list. An absolute must for louche lounge lizards and pampered playboys.
Fresh from a dramatic revamp, courtesy of Philippe Starck, Clift is the epitome of San Francisco decadence – from the high drama of the huge lobby to the soft lilac welcome of the pared-down bedrooms.
On the other side of the States, we have two of the Chateau’s Manhattan-dwelling siblings – the landmark boutique hotel veteran, The Mercer, and the all-new, all-view Standard NY, which has brought a glamorous sheen to the bustling Meatpacking district. Another new opener, the book-lined Cooper Square Hotel, is a picture of Italianate minimalism (see its Milanese sister-hotel, Bulgari) housed in a glimmering glass tower. And, up in midtown New York, the smart and sultry Royalton makes the perfect base for a star-quality Broadway stay.
Continuing the theme of untrammelled indulgence, we’ve also introduced two Miami marvels for the SoBe socialites out there – Mondrian Miami and Delano form a luxurious seaside double act, allowing you to soak up the Florida sunshine in some of the most shamelessly stylish surroundings on the strip.
As we occasionally have to remind ourselves, though, it ain’t all about America. Mr & Mrs S have also sniffed out a pair of ideal weekend escapes from our London stomping grounds. Ilse Crawford’s The Crown Inn (the Olde Bell‘s opposite number, where we were lucky enough to sample Rosie Sykes’ divine duck not so long ago) is on the capital’s well-coiffed fringe in Amersham, and, a little further out in the Cotswolds countryside, Lower End House farm-stay is a gift to gastronomes, as the acclaimed Eckington Manor Cookery School shares the site.
Finally, we’re checking into Hôtel Duo, a historic Parisian hideaway in the heart of the Marais, and – after months of getting jittery with excitement about its private infinity pools, startling architecture, and shimmering ocean views from the open-to-the-elements suites – we’re finally able to offer you a glimpse inside Jade Mountain – the most jaw-plummetingly fantabulous boutique hotel in St Lucia. We only say it when we mean it – wow. Just wow.