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Luxuria Awards 2009Bolly corks are flying around Smith HQ like Wimbledon tennis balls today, and the level of group-hugging going on is almost sinister. Why such festivity? No, it’s not just Prince William’s right royal name-thievery earlier this week, we’re as pleased as Punch, as happy as Larry and as, er, delighted as Delia because the Smith Travel Blog can now add the prefix ‘award-winning’ to its name.

Because we won an award.

The annual Luxuria Awards are intended to celebrate excellence in the European luxury sector, and are awarded by a highbrow panel of judges, which this year included bigwigs from the likes of Alessi, Vanity Fair, Berry Bros, Conran & Partners and the Orient Express. At the ceremony at The Orangery Gallery in Holland Park on Monday night, the illustrious panel picked out this blog for the Best Use of New Media award, and have given us a gorgeous watercolour certificate and a chunky marble ‘L’ plaque to mark the accolade.

We’re especially pleased because, if you’ve followed us from the early days when we started posting here, you’ll know that our first stumbling steps into the blogosphere weren’t exactly shining examples of web-savvy wonderfulness (‘We need pictures? Really?’ ‘What’s “pingback” again’?). Over the last year, we’ve tried our hardest to keep producing a regular stream of interesting, engaging content – not just about boutique hotels, but about everything that touches on our travel adventures – and also to open up a new channel of communication with our members, fans of our boutique hotels, and anyone out there who’s interested in life, Smith-style. As the lovely Heather from Heather on her travels put it the other day, we’re ‘like a slightly eccentric friend you can gossip with over a few cocktails.’ (Thanks, Heather, you’re not so bad yourself). And for Luxuria to decide that we’re worth a very heavy hunk of marble really is an honour.GoldSmith membership card

So what? We’re gloating.

But, the back-slapping doesn’t end quite yet. We also came home with the Luxuria award for Best Customer Care Programme – in reference to our GoldSmith travel concierge service, which takes care of any travel whims or requirements our members might have, from booking hotels, flights, restaurants and events to getting you onto the most pernickety guest lists in clubland, or even feeding your goldfish while you’re away. GoldSmith membership also comes with automatic room upgrades, VIP airport lounge access, luxury brand discounts and oooh, about a million other special extras that earned us another nod from Luxuria.

So, two awards. Not bad. Not bad at all.

We’ll stop being so smug about it soon. Normal service will resume on Monday. On the award-winning Smith Travel Blog.

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