Smith Travel BlogTravel tales and hotel news from the boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith

Crème de la Mer UK brand manager Taj GilesCrème de la Mer has become a beauty icon: editors rave about the skin-plumping, glow-enhancing properties of the original Moisturizing Cream, even coining the phrase ‘Crème de la Mer skin’ to describe a flawless complexion. So legendary is its efficacy, staff at certain glossy magazines have even been known to remove their heels to sprint for review samples.

Luckily, Smith members won’t have to resort to such unseemly tactics, because we have teamed up to bring you an exclusive Crème de la Mer offer. In the spirit of sharing, we persuaded globe-hopping UK brand manager Taj Giles (above) to reveal her insider travel and beauty secrets…

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What’s the secret of your success, Taj?
Since its launch in the UK, Crème de la Mer has developed a hugely loyal following. The Moisturizing Cream remains a favourite amongst our clients today. Why? Quite simply – it works!

La Réserve Ramatuelle, St TropezYour job involves a lot of travelling; favourite trip?
I’ve been very lucky to visit a number of incredible places with Crème de la Mer, but one that particularly stands out is La Réserve Ramatuelle in the south of France. La Réserve Ramatuelle offers exclusive Crème de la Mer treatments in their beautiful spa, and we are always looking for ways to enhance our spa experience in Urban Retreat at Harrods. The hotel was one of the most tranquil and luxurious places I have experienced – a very inspiring stay!

Crème de la Mer kelp ingredientsMr & Mrs Smith endured a dreadful hotel stay before writing their guide; Elizabeth Arden created Eight Hour Cream to soothe her favourite thoroughbreds’ throbbing tendons; and Coco Chanel designed her first tweed suit after visiting her lover’s Scottish fabric factory. We love passion brands (like ours) that start with a great story. Tell us yours…
The story of Crème de la Mer and the Miracle Broth is one of hope and perseverance: half a century ago, aerospace physicist Dr Max Huber suffered burns in a laboratory accident and began a personal quest to transform the look of his skin. He believed the sea was a miraculous resource and turned his attention in particular to sea kelp. Dr Huber hand-harvested kelp and fermented it gently with the simplest and purest ingredients; 12 years and 6,000 experiments later, he perfected the nutrient-rich Miracle Broth – the source of Crème de la Mer’s transformative properties.

Travel essentials: Tom Ford lipstickWe want to know all your secret beauty weapons…
Being a mum with two children, I have quite a busy work/life schedule, so products to keep me feeling refreshed and hydrated are good to have to hand. The Crème de la Mer Lip Balm is always in my bag, as well as The Mist – a great revitaliser after travelling. I also love Tom Ford lipsticks: the shades are so vibrant and perfect for quickly adding a splash of colour.

Travel essentials: Crème de la Mer The MistFirst thing you do when you’ve checked into a hotel?
When I arrive at a hotel, I tend to get things in order first!  I like to lay out all my toiletries in the bathroom ready for the morning – it makes me feel a little more organised knowing I can just get up and go, and not have to rummage through my suitcase.

What’s your favourite place to stay, and what makes it so great?
Lime Wood hotel in the New Forest is one of my favourites. The surroundings are just stunning, the food delicious, and the spa is incredible. There is a really welcoming feel about the hotel – it epitomises understated luxury.

Share some secrets from your international travel address book with us
Capri; Sevva in Hong KongLast year, we visited Capri (right) and had lunch at a gorgeous seaside restaurant called Il Riccio. The dining room is on the cliffside, so you eat overlooking the bay. Leave room for pudding: they have a whole room dedicated to desserts to choose from! One of the best restaurants I’ve been to is Sevva in Hong Kong (below right). As well as the food, the panoramic view from the terrace makes this restaurant especially memorable. I grew up in LA so when I go back I always head to the beach, and stop by Fred Segal for shopping and lunch.

Where’s the most romantic place you’ve ever been?
Hiking through waterfalls on my honeymoon in Kauai is one of my most romantic memories.

Where’s next on your holiday wish-list?
Sri Lanka and Seychelles are definitely next on my list! Being half Sri Lankan, I feel it’s important to share my heritage with my family. Any travel tips Mr & Mrs Smith?!

Find out more about Mr & Mrs Smith’s Crème de la Mer member offer; or get some travel inspiration of your own…

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