At Mr & Mrs Smith, we have a serious love affair with Italy: the history, the food, the architecture, the lifestyle, the food. Thankfully, the Italian Film Festival has hit Australian shores, with screenings at Palace Cinemas across the country. Whether you want to catch a movie in Melbourne, Canberra, Byron Bay, Brisbane or Sydney, we’ve matched a cinematic Smith hotel to a film festival must-see. You’ll be booking these luxury stays faster than you can say ciao bella…
Style Shockingly chic
Setting Prahran precision
Movie match A Five Star Life
Why? In A Five Star Life, Irene spends her days jet-setting between luxury boutique hotels and meticulously judging them, from the temperature of their soup to the quality of service. Cool enough to impress even the most hardened of mystery guests, we think The Cullen would knock her socks off. Artworks by Australian artist Adam Cullen are the star of the Cullen’s design; rooms are backdropped in Melbourne’s favourite monochromatic colour palette to draw focus to the colour-splash prints that adorn the walls. Gramercy Bistro, one of two tenant eateries on the Cullen’s ground floor, has a covered streetside deck and serves New York-inspired fare. Or, if you’re down for juicy dumplings and delicious duck after a day of hitting the Prahran pavements, neighbouring Hutong is calling your name.
Style Adult playground
Setting Buzzing Sydney CBD
Movie match A Special Day
Why? The heroine of A Special Day, Gina, is dreaming of stardom and willing to spend an afternoon entertaining a sordid senator on his infamous casting couch to climb her way to the top. To get her big break, Gina should sashay into Establishment Hotel, where the famous and almost-famous head to play. Luring in glamour-pusses and the style-savvy faster than a front row seat at fashion week, Establishment is cleverly designed as an all-in-one destination with spaces to drink, dine, dance and doze into the wee hours. Peter Doyle’s est. serves a smattering of his trademark contemporary cuisine, including caramelised pork belly with pickled cucumber, bug tail and buckwheat. Strut up to Hemmesphere for a cocktail crafted by expert mixologists and recline in the comfortable lounges or linger in the lobby – looking effortlessly fabulous of course – for a glimpse of a celeb or industry power-house.
DIAMANT HOTEL, CANBERRA
Style Heritage-meets-modern design den
Setting Lakeside urban village
Movie match Long Live Freedom
Why? Pulling a runner in the middle of an election, political heavy-weight Olivieri needs some down-time to soul search. Luckily for him, his twin brother is on hand to step into the limelight. Olivieri should retreat to Diamant Hotel Canberra. Blending a revamped Twenties building with cutting-edge looks and contemporary panache, the hotel is sprinkled with commissioned works of art that inject vibrant pops of colour and quirky personality into the sleek interior. Brush up on your political wisdom in the Library Bar, conveniently adjoining the lounge bar so a glass of wine is always within reach. Diamant’s Bicicletta Restaurant focuses on seasonal ingredients to create authentic Italian flavours and specalises in gourmet pizza, pasta and gelati. Burn off calories from any over-indulgence by hiring one of Diamant’s push bikes to explore the parliamentary triangle, lake and local sights.
Style Tropical Tuscan
Setting Barefoot Byron Bay
Movie match The Ideal City
Why? After his move from Palermo to Siena, The Ideal City follows Michele’s attempt to function for a year without running water or electricity. We think he’d love Victoria’s at Wategos, nestled in laidback Byron Bay – an experimental haven for those who enjoy an alternative lifestyle. Firmly stamping a taste of Tuscany on the Australian coast, rooms in Victoria’s at Wategos have a relaxed and feminine feel, with four-poster beds, antique French-style dressing tables, chaise longues and luxe marble bathrooms. Two kilometers east of town and perched just below the Cape Byron lighthouse, New Age converts can salute the sun before easing into downward dog and then feasting on a full breakfast served on the poolside terrace. Gourmet picnic hampers can be picked up for a sophisticated seaside snack and in the evenings, canapés, a seafood platter or barbecue hamper can be made to order.
Style Urban jungle escape
Setting New Farm fresh
Movie match The Interval
Why? Forcefully coerced to babysit a mouthy wild child, in trouble with a Neapolitan crime mob, Salvatore and Veronica soon discover a long-forgotten oasis in the centre of frenetic Naples. To escape the urban grind of Brisbane, we would direct them to Spicers Balfour Hotel – a classic Queenslander with a surprising and stylish interior. An untapped retreat ideal for shedding stress, the soaking tub, mammoth bed piled with cushions and gourmet offerings will cause your worries to evaporate the moment you step into the lobby – mafia boss or otherwise. Following a day of exploration, the open-air rooftop bar is calling; pull up a pew on a stool overlooking the Story Bridge and tuck in to the sunset canapés, washed down with a cocktail or glass of bubbles.
Style Rustic innovation
Setting Industrial heritage
Movie match There Will Come A Day
Why? When Augusta tires of chugging up and down the Amazon and her houseboat digs in There Will Come A Day, but can’t give up the waterside location, we suggest she checks out 1888 Hotel. Among its neighbours are Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay, and Sydney’s CBD and Haymarket are only a short stroll away. Each room has an exposed brick wall, original iron bark beams and recycled timber work stations in a nod to the building’s history. But the mod-con mad needn’t make a dash to frantically pack your iPads – 1888 is one step ahead and supplies every room with their own. After a night dreaming of a watery escape, you can take breakfast in-room or add fuel to your tank with the continental or à la carte offerings displayed temptingly in the Eatery downstairs.
For full film listings, have a peek at the Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2013. Ready to leave for your own Italian adventure? Here’s Mr & Mrs Smith’s collection of boutique Italian hotels…