This month, the intrepid Smith team of style-seeking hotel hunters began its global trek in canal-crossed Amsterdam, home to a trio of reinvented Dutch stunners: a modern aristocrat named Sir Albert (originally a diamond factory), the fantastical Andaz Amsterdam (formerly a library) and modernist masterpiece Conservatorium (the one-time Sweelinck Conservatory of Music). Then, we headed south to Sicily to eco-friendly Monaci delle Terre Nere, a 19th-century villa on the sea-facing slopes below Mount Etna.
Up in the UK, we added three quite different hotels to our hand-picked collection. The grand, heart-of-the-action Corinthia Hotel London overlooks the Thames, the tourists and Trafalgar Square from its unbeatable spot in the centre of the city; the 500-year-old Crown boutique hotel in Amersham has undergone a modern-rustic makeover at the hands of style guru Ilse Crawford; and The Pig in the Wall is a cosy Southampton stay.
Next, we flew into the Windy City to meet the mid-century modern James Chicago and the lake-view Hotel Lincoln. Way out west in Hawaii, we watched the Pacific lap at Maui’s shores while we sipped our Mai Tais at The Residences at Kapalua Bay. Once we finally pried ourselves from our hammocks, we crossed the ocean and made our way to lively Kowloon, where Hotel Icon has sweeping views of Hong Kong’s harbour, excellent restaurants and enough Chinese art to fill a gallery. Then, we ventured into Vietnam, where Mia Resort in Nha Trang has a private beach and rooms set on the sand and the cliffs, and the An Lam Saigon River hotel is a peaceful Ho Chi Minh City hideaway by the water.
Check back with us (same time, same place) next month to see how many new stamps we’ve added to our well-used passports…