Smith has been travelling the world in search of the best boutique and luxury hotels for the last 10 years, checking in everywhere from big city stays to remote rural guesthouses to bring you our hand-picked collection. To make the grade, a hotel not only has to have an unmatched ambience and hit the right style notes, it has to tick that ‘certain something’ box: the welcome should be warm, without fuss or formality; rooms should be seductive and supplied with thoughtful extras; drinks must be perfectly mixed, dinners delicious, and, crucially, the stay must be memorable for all the right reasons.
A Smith hotel has to be…
• Romantic, cool, sexy and escapist. Our hotels are couples-oriented, and are somewhere you can happily hole up for a few days if you want to get away from it all. They should have a fantastic location or another unique USP, such as fires in the bedrooms, stunning views or an amazing restaurant.
• Unique, insider and true to its destination. It can’t feel like an anonymous, could-be-anywhere shell; it needs to have a special atmosphere that suggests intimacy, regardless of the hotel’s scale.
• Stylish and idiosyncratic. Its decor should be inspiring, design-led and gimmick-free. It should be fashionable but not outlandish; sleek but not spartan; trend-aware but not try-hard; glamorous but not garish.
• Unfussy, informal and welcoming. Even the five-star hotels in our collection should feel relaxed, rather than stuffy or intimidating.
• Friendly, personal and discreet. Service shouldn’t be about the kind of bowing and scraping that makes you feel uncomfortable. There should be lots of attention to detail, which will make the experience out of the ordinary.
• Value for money. If a hotel charges a high price for a room, then we make sure it really is worth it.