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Outside Smith’s London HQ, the Great Snowpocalypse of 2010 may have brought travel misery to thousands, due to the fact that Britain’s ability to deal with extreme weather is on a level with the Titanic’s ability to deal with icebergs. Inside, however, our cockles are nicely toasty and we’re brimming with festive cheer – largely thanks to a lovely email that just landed from prize-winners Bobby and Ulrika. They have spent two weeks sunning themselves in Australia – the result of the competition we held to mark the launch of the rather special Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: Australia/New Zealand.

They’ve been swanning around Sydney, staying at  Establishment Hotel, hanging out on the Queensland beaches at Qualia, mooching around Melbourne at Lyall Hotel and Spa, finishing up at The Islington Hotel in Hobart. Here’s what they said:

‘Dear Mr & Mrs Smith,

We would like to send a postcard from Australia. You called our trip ‘a trip of a lifetime’, which it certainly was. Cool cities and hot beaches paired with fabulous food and memories for life. We can’t thank you enough and the organisation of the trip was amazing from start to finish.

Warm regards from a very happy couple and future Mr & Mrs Smith clients,

Bobby and Ulrika

And, as you can see from this post, they also sent us some rather spectacular holiday snaps  – thanks both, and congratulations again.

Since we’re on the subject, congratulations should also go to John and Bernadette, who won a similarly spectacular four-hotel Australia tour (taking in The Prince, Royal Mail Hotel, Limes Hotel and Victoria’s at Ewingsdale), courtesy of Etihad Airways and Waterstones.

Last month’s Movember competition, to win a stay at Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk, was won by Andrew Spiers, who told us the most heart-warming moustache-based story set in a public toilet that we’ve ever heard. We’ll publish his winning entry – along with his account of his hotel stay – on the Smith Travel Blog in due course.

Finally, a quick report on Passports with Purpose, the travel blogger-organised charity auction raising money to build a village in India. In brief, thousands of people bid, more than $58,000 was raised for Lafti, and Peter from Traveller’s Point won himself a $100 hotel gift voucher (which, if you’ll pardon the plug, would be just the ticket if you need a last-minute Christmas present).

Lots of lucky people there – if you fancy joining their ranks, make sure you pay regular visits to the hotel competition pages – more often than not, we’ll have a stylish Smith getaway up for grabs…

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