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

Archive for the 'Independent reviews' Category

After the last champagne cork pops on New Year’s Eve, we’ll want a winter break in a cosy boutique hotel where we can pig out on estate-to-plate cuisine and work off our Christmas excesses rambling o’er the Yorkshire Dales – bundled up in thermals, of course. And afterwards, we’d like to snuggle up in a room […]

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His was the Virgin complaint letter heard around the world: when ad man Oli Beale penned his distaste for Richard Branson’s in-flight cuisine, his ire earned him internet glory. Smith saw potential in this part-time karaoke critic, creative who worked on the Kaiser Chiefs’ album launch (with fellow anonymous hotel reviewer Ricky Wilson) and frustrated commuter, so we […]

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Ancient outcrops of the Flinders Ranges, ordered rows of ripening grapes on vines and rolling pastoral hills are what you’ll find in the surrounds of opulently restored homestead, North Bundaleer. Just 30 minutes from the Clare Valley in South Australia, this property will have you resting on the verandah, sipping on riesling and fondly watching […]

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Marylebone Village, just north of Oxford Street, is turning into one of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods for aesthetes, eaters and amblers. A whirl at a family-owned boutique hotel fashioned from seven Grade II-listed townhouses and two mews homes showed us it has a lot more to it than an impressive address and notable neighbours… Where we stayed…  […]

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Sunsets, happening creative hangouts, independent boutique boltholes, a Bohemian vibe (literally) and sweet sweet booze (literally)… it’s a hackneyed meme, sure, but: what’s not to like about Budapest? Don’t just take our word for it: check out this city-guide-cum-diary from roving reporter Robin Reetz. This travel-lovin’ Atlanta gal is a London-based lifestyle and fashion writer who has […]

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Postcard from Devon: unwinding at Weeke Barton

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Set on pony-roamed Dartmoor, Weeke Barton is an historic 500-year-old West Country guesthouse – the ideal country retreat for a romantic weekend. Seeking stately homes and scenic rambles, Keith Oswin (from Smith’s member relations team) checked in…  Finding Weeke Barton required some Sherlock Holmes-level hotel hunting: my SatNav was 200 miles away in London, the mobile signal was kaput and the roads […]

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Member relations’ maestro Keith Oswin visited romantic Regency city Bath, where he stayed at the Queensberry Hotel – a genteel Georgian townhouse within walking distance of thermal spas, fine dining and bijou boutiques… It’s always nice to be shown to your room when you check in but few hotels provide an entourage. The two staff members who accompany […]

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If you’ve a must-eat-at restaurant wish list (and let’s face it, you have), chances are Le Manoir au Quat’Saisons is close to the top. The Oxfordshire flagship of Raymond Blanc’s gastronomic empire has been luring in hungry guests since it opened in 1984, but it’s more than just one of the best  French fine-dining restaurants […]

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This week we searched for the White Rabbit in Andaz hotel – an intriguing luxury hotel in Amsterdam with one hell of an imagination. Keith Oswin (our Member Relations maestro) swapped Smith central for Wonderland, as he discovered this surreally chic boutique retreat. After exploring iconic attractions and gazing at Amsterdam’s canals through the looking-glass (well, the hotel’s […]

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This week we were exclaiming ‘Lord love a duck!’ as we marvelled at The Muddy Duck – a cosy pub turned luxury hotel near Bath – formerly known as the Kings Arms. Our Smith spy (Keith Oswin, a Wiltshire native from our Member Relations Team) propped up the bar with a whisky, put away a gourmet […]

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