Budget boutique breaks – the best hotel offers

Given the current storm in our collective piggy banks, we thought now might be an opportune moment to shamelessly plug politely draw attention to a few of the fantabulous boutique hotel offers that are currently glittering away enticingly on the main Smith site.

Every month Mr & Mrs Smith’s hotel guru, the lovely Peggy, puts on her wangling hat and goes head to head with a selection of the finest boutique hotels in the Smith collection, coming out of the fray with a suitcase-load of exclusive special offers, cut-price deals, free nights, and delicious extras exclusively for Smith members, potentially saving hundreds – sometimes thousands – of pounds on hotel bookings.

This month, our Pegs has worked even more miraculous miracles than she normally does, with heaps of three-nights-for-the-price-of-two bargains, some hotels offering BOGOF deals, and a swathe of heavily slashed room rates. It’s like the January sales, but without the rain, the elbows and the anger.

Here’s a soupcon sampling of some of the more eyebrow-raising, wallet-stroking hotel offers we have this month:

Snow business: five things to do in Adelboden

Engstligenalp, Adelboden, SwitzerlandNot long before Christmas, me and my soon-to-be-Mrs-Smith found ourselves touching down in the heart of the Swiss Alps, for a weekend reconnaissance mission at Solis Cambrian Hotel & Spa – one of the latest additions to the Smith boutique hotel collection. We visited Adelboden in the Bernese Oberland, a village-sized cluster of gingerbread-house wooden chalets surrounded by pine trees and flanked by snow-capped peaks. Switzerland’s scenery doesn’t get more craggily dramatic – plunging valleys, dizzying heights and snow thick enough to lose children in. Criss-crossed by cable cars and ski lifts, the picturesque resort town is a haven for snowsports fanatics and Alpine adventurers, and in summer, when a carpet of greenery covers the slopes, Adelboden becomes the destination of choice for hilltop hikers, spa-seekers and lonely goatherds alike.

Meet Richard Sitomer, CEO of private-jet stars Blue Star Jets

Former Wall Street stockbroker Ricky Sitomer (below) is CEO of Blue Star Jets, which claims to be the world’s most comprehensive and efficient private-jet brokerage company. Soon to open its first London office, and with access to more than 4,000 executive private jets, the US-based firm arranges charter of private aircraft for flights to any destination in the world at a moment’s notice.


Richard Sitomer, CEO of Blue Star Jets

Tell us about Blue Star Jets – what are the ideas behind it and what inspired you to get it started?

Blue Star Jets is one of the largest private-jet brokers in the world. The main idea behind the company is to offer clients the flexibility to fly on whatever aircraft they need for a specific trip. This ultimately leads to tremendous savings of around 40 to 50 per cent, compared to the other fractional ownership and card programmes out there.

What do you think sets you apart from other private-jet companies?

It’s our customer service. Each client is assigned a personal Blue Star Jets representative, who looks after their every onboard need. This could be anything from lobster and caviar to flowers for their wife.

A to Z of excellent travel accessories

Vintage travel luggageAllow us to bring you a compendium of convenience, a cornucopia of chic – an A to Z of the very best and most desirable luxury travel accessories, as tried, tested and loved by the hardworking travel community. We quizzed them all on what their essential travel accessories were; the little luxuries they won’t leave home without. Their answers will make your journey just that little bit better. However did you manage without them?


‘My Acorn slippers: sheepskin uppers with memory-foam midsoles. Luxurious-feeling but not luxury-priced, and they beat any slippers provided at hotels.’ – Rodrigo Calvo, Mr & Mrs Smith

Inside NYC #12: the Dumbo flea

Shopping in New York – the Dumbo fleamarketShopping in New York, anyone? Attention, all lovers of vintage clothes, second-hand finds, thrift stores, fleamarkets, retro furniture, antiques fairs and rummaging through any or all of the above (especially those based in the Big Apple or planning to stay in New York anytime soon): the excellent Brooklyn blogspot Brownstoner has reminded us that Brooklyn Flea’s annual winter pop-up market is back!

… and, as the saying goes, this time it’s bigger and better than ever. As a Brit, I love the fact that it’s referred to as the Dumbo Flea, however, more sophisticated readers will know that this actually signifies a specific location in New York, near the Brooklyn Bridge, and is not a reference to what we in the UK might call a ‘white elephant’ stall (Bring and Buy ring any bells, anyone?).

Brooklyn Flea at Dumbo, NY

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