Rufus Hound: funny man, stand-up guy and sporter of a mighty fine moustache. And now (drum roll, please) Smith hotel spy, too.
In the time-honoured tradition of a monthly blog post revealing our secret hotel reviewers (don’t be checking that monthly thing, now), we’d like you to meet another alumnus; this time, from the reviewer panel of our brand new Italy hotel guide. Tasked with the onerous job of checking into a luxury boutique hotel in Italy in order to test the sparkliness of the prosecco, bounciness of the oversize bed and awesomeness of the view, our spies are further press-ganged into producing a full written report. Along the lines of ‘What I did in my summer holidays’, but with more, y’know, panache.
So, let’s get to it: we kick off with a brief blography of Mr Hound, and move on to relish a snippet of his review of Lagació Mountain Residence in South Tyrol – a chalet-chic escape deep in the Dolomites. (C’mon, we weren’t gonna waste comedy gold on totally obvious, cushy gigs like Tuscany or Rome. Sheesh!).
Declaring himself the sort of chap who ‘smells pleasant and often wears a suit, but is happier not to’, this moustachio’d chancer has stayed at some of the planet’s finest hotels. Hound has tried most things, including getting married to his Mrs Smith in the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, but he claims perennial joy is found in dark rum and dark rooms. A Smith hotel, claims the titular mutt, is like Aladdin’s lamp: ‘Unique, exquisitely crafted and inhabited by those whose job, seemingly, is to grant your every wish.’
Being rubbed, buffed and scrubbed is another feature of a Lagació stay, thanks to spa La Palsa. Mrs Smith opts for a Dr Hauschka facial and shouty-looking Relaxing Full Body Massage, whereas I, being a terribly manly sort, have a Full Body Sports Massage in an attempt to put right some of my self-inflicted snowboarding damage.
And the saunas! They are, well, saunas (you know the sort of thing: tongue-and-groove, hotter than hot), but these bad boys border on preternatural, location-wise. Huge slices of rock act as modesty screens, and ice cascades into a stone font for therapeutic rubbing. A dark slate steam room feels very grown-up and, dare I say it, sexy. Next-door, a relaxation lounge with ergonomic eco-furniture and a surfeit of herbal infusions leads to a second outdoor sauna and a giant water-filled barrel for that all-important pore-closing sub-zero dip. Just thinking ‘I’ve never jumped into a big barrel of cold water before’ is enough to make you want to try it. A word of advice: allow extra time after your sauna for your internal and external organs to return to their usual locations. More…
Order your copy of the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: Italy guide, our hot-off-the-presses, hand-picked selection of the best boutique and luxury hotels in Italy. (We’re not saying it’s the perfect Christmas gift, or anything. But it is).