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


Take a peek at the people behind the posts on the Smith Travel Blog…


Mr & Mrs Smith\'s deputy editor Lucy Fennings

What do you do at Smith? Online rambling and offline roaming; destination detective work; blog editing; textual pedantry and other bookish pursuits
Favourite hotels Noir d’Ivoire in Marrakech for a glam getaway; Les Sardines aux Yeux Bleus for low-key rural relaxation in the South of France. Top of my ‘must-go-next’ list is Blackberry Farm
Favourite destinations Tuscany, Paris, the Cotswolds, Languedoc/Vaucluse, Dubai, the Smoky Mountains
Best ever holidays Across Goa on an Enfield; over the pre-Pyrenees on a horse; tracking tigers in Kerala; temple-spotting in Cambodia
Essential travel kit Notebook, camera, Steve, sarongs that double as scarves, naughty knickers and impractical shoes
I wish I was… better at answering questions like this
Love… whiffy cheeses; hearty Rhône reds
Hate… rubbish coffee; badly made martinis; the Creation Museum; turbulence

Pssst… read an anonymous hotel review by Lucy…



Anthony in Bali, Indonesia

What do you do at Smith? Online tinkering; offline tea-making
Favourite hotel
Amankora in Bhutan – never been, probably never will, but I love the five-lodge mountain-pilgrimage concept
Favourite destinations
New York, Florence, New Zealand, Valencia, Edinburgh
Best ever holiday?
Fiji: utterly relaxing, the best (and cheapest) steak in the world, and a national drink that makes your mouth numb (in the best possible way)
Essential travel kit Smartphone with a proper qwerty keyboard – none of this fancy-schmancy touch-screen nonsense
I wish I was…
a little bit taller
unnecessarily complicated food
Hate… ungrammatical signage

Pssst… read an anonymous hotel review by Anthony



Mr & Mrs Smith marketing director Tamara Heber-Percy

What do you do at Smith? Online skivvy
Favourite hotel Ca’s Xorc in Mallorca – it’s where I got married
Favourite destinations New York, Ibiza, Florence, Dordogne, Las Vegas
Best ever holiday? Driving down the coast road from San Fran to LA in a golden open-top Trans Am
Essential travel kit BlackBerry
I wish I was… drinking chilled rosé in the sun by the beach in Ibiza
Love… wine
Hate… the Tube

Pssst… read an anonymous hotel review by Tamara



Mr & Mrs Smith editor-in-chief Juliet KinsmanWhat do you do at Smith? Send our naughty reviews straight to their rooms, curate our Smith & Friend’s self-catering collection, and wax lyrical about what gives great hotels their wow factor
Favourite hotels
For romance: Dar Ahlam, or, with a baby in tow, Chewton Glen. City stay: for cutting-edge cool, the Drake; for classic chic, JK Place
Favourite destinations
Essaouira, Wales, Cape Town
Best ever holiday
It was actually work, but staying at Gossel Ridding with my friend and our babies was pretty special. And I always have great times with friends and family in New York.
Essential travel kit
Travel-sized Ren products; great dresses as they’re an instant outfit, and easy to dress up or down
I wish I was…
allowed to drive those golf-buggy-style cars with flashing lights in airports. I love that ‘meep meep’ noise they make
surprises – from finding treats in your room (candy at the Greenwich Hotel) to stumbling across bohemian hangouts such as Tulip Café in Prague
shops that leave their doors wide open with the air-con/heating on full blast

Pssst… read an anonymous hotel review by Juliet



Caroline in Devon

What do you do at Smith? Wide-ranging editorial assisting
Favourite hotel Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos for its white-and-blue Greek supremacy.
Favourite destinations Anywhere in the US, especially San Francisco/California generally; the Lake District – the UK’s finest; and Brazil
Best ever holiday? Spending the summer in Rome with my sister, staying in an apartment on the Spanish Steps in the building where John Keats died
Essential travel kit A blanket, Eight Hour Cream, sunglasses and some classical literature
I wish I was… Princess Jasmine
Love… afternoon tea (preferably taken on the lawn of a stately home), gelato, mascara, goose-down duvets, the sun, the sea and silly designer handbags I can’t afford
Hate… hill starts and oversized dogs




Sarah in France

What do you do at Smith? Nurture wanderlust by writing about the world’s most beguiling hotels and destinations.
Favourite hotel I once stayed in a beautiful San Francisco hotel which had creamy hot chocolate on tap and a supply of cookies in the lobby. I’ll do anything for cookies
Favourite destinations Sardinia, Copenhagen, New York, Ibiza, Greece. Anywhere I’m guaranteed delicious eats, quality shopping, red wine and relaxation
Best ever holiday? Travelling around Europe with my best friend. We spent all our money on Italian underwear and then lived off baguettes and tomatoes, with a few cocktails in between
Essential travel kit A like-minded soul, some classic reads, clothes that wear their creases well, flat shoes, perfume and a coral lip gloss to add zing to a sleep-deprived, sun-tanned face.
I wish I was… One of those girls who can leave the house with a bag the size of a banana. I could fit one of our hotels in my handbag
Love… The smell of sea salt and sun lotion on tanned holiday skin, foraging for fashion in vintage markets, sipping chilled wine from a carafe
Hate… Organised tours, unsatisfactory restaurant dinners, severe sunburn, boarding the homeward-bound plane

Pssst… read an anonymous hotel review by Sarah




Smith Asia Pacific managing director, Simon Westcott

What do you do at Smith? Run the new Asia-Pacific office based in Melbourne. AKA a little bit of everything, only down under
Favourite hotel The Prince in St Kilda – top restaurant, great bars, cool spa, on the beach 
Favourite destinations
The Top End, Paris, Burma, New York, Lebanon, Shanghai, Venice
Best-ever holiday
Cambodia in 1997. Only eight of us at Angkor Wat
Essential travel kit
My tan leather Gurkha holdall. All I ever take
I wish I was…
on horseback on the pampas of Argentina
the Australian sky
automated call centres. Go Smith Travel Team!

Pssst… read an anonymous hotel review by Simon



Mr & Mrs Smith hotel collections manager Mary Garvin

What do you do at Smith? Race around the world, giving boutique hotels the official thumbs-up or thumbs-down
Favourite hotel
Condesa DF in Mexico City – so stylish, even the resident dog matches the decor – and Mandranova Farmhouse for Sylvia and Giuseppe’s generosity and infectious enthusiasm
Favourite destinations
South coast of Sicily, Istanbul, Paris, NYC, London, Pacific coast of Mexico… God I’m such a commitment-phobe…
Best ever holiday?
Without a doubt, the ones I’ve taken with silly friends – most recently crashing bikes on the Isle of Mull, hanging ten in Malibu, and getting hopelessly lost in Barbados
Essential travel kit
A black fold-up tote-bag thingy called Baggalini – saves my life when I over-shop on the road
I wish I was…
fluently multi-lingual
sampling local beers around the world and sharing them with people who love what they do
bits in my orange juice and airport security



What do you do at Smith? Online/offline word polishing and not a little truffling for travel tweets
Favourite hotels I aspire to staying at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in South Africa or Rayavadee in Thailand – in the wilds but never far from civilisation is how I like it
Favourite destinations Canada (the mountains); Cote d’Azur (the Med); Stockholm (the men)
Best ever holiday? Vietnam – it’s ridiculously photogenic
Essential travel kit Dermalogica sun cream and a pack of cards
I wish I was… starring in a musical
Love… good hotel breakfasts: a laid-back affair with fresh everything
Hate… aeroplane ankles



Smith contributor Sophie Dening

What do you do at Smith? Aid and abet the editorial team on occasion, and Juliet’s original co-editor
And elsewhere? I’m restaurants editor for the Harper’s Bazaar Going Out Guide
Favourite hotel West Stoke House in West Sussex. I love the Bridge room, and the cooking is both impressive and darned good to eat. I haven’t been to The Olde Bell Inn in Berkshire yet, but I know I’d love it
Favourite destinations Norfolk, Yorkshire, Cornwall
Best ever holiday? The best is always the last, so my spring visits to San Francisco and Valencia, with a diversion to Ibiza on a whim. I went running in Golden Gate Park and the Turia Gardens; when I wasn’t running, I was eating
Essential travel kit Birkenstocks/walking boots, money, and string – I never use it at home but always seem to need it up a hill
I wish I was… a few muscle-straining steps from the top of a mountain
Love… brasseries, tapas bars, pubs, beach shacks, independent bookshops
Hate… breakfast in bed

Pssst… read an anonymous hotel review by Sophie…



Smith Ski specialist Jim Whyte

What do you do at Smith? Anything above 1,000 metres or below freezing: at room temperature or sea level, I start to melt
Favourite hotels
My favourite places to stay are all luxury rental properties and ski lodges, including Chalets de Philippe in Chamonix, Chalet Eugenia in Klosters, and Pencalenick House in Cornwall
Favourite destinations
Osaka in spring, Stockholm in summer, Chamonix in autumn and St Petersburg in winter
Best ever holiday?
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Essential travel kit
A keen sense of direction and a vague sense of time
I wish I was…
Sir Francis Younghusband
Swiss Airlines; the ice-cool 1965 Citroën DS; the Northern Lights; willow-flavoured vodka
Britain’s exclusion from the fantastic network of pan-European sleeper trains

Pssst… read an anonymous hotel review by Jim…