The hotel awards with a difference
What makes the perfect hotel break? A relaxing day at the spa, a stylish bar with a delicious meal plus some top-class drinks, or a bedroom laid out for the gods? How about the view from the swimming pool or the background music?
Finding a location to tick these boxes might seem an impossible task but thanks to the Mr. and Mrs. Smith Hotel Awards, which review “stylish boutique hotels and hip holiday stays,” you can discover the winning entries in these beyond ordinary categories.
- Sexiest bedroom
- Best bar for a date
- Pool with a view
- Hottest hotel soundtrack
- Most spoiling spa
Nothing will help you woo the object of your affection quite like a surprising bedroom with a romantic atmosphere, stunning views and a little something extra, especially if you plan on staying the whole of the next day under the sheets.
Winner: Keemala - Phuket, Thailand
Why? The Keemala is itself a work of art with private villas nestled in the Thai rainforest. But the “Bird’s Nest” is something entirely different. From here, you can look out on the mountains and the Andaman Sea from a wonderful four-poster bed in this wooden cocoon.
Tester’s review: “Nestled in the canopy of the rainforest with a private pool, outdoor bath and a four-poster bed - this is truly heavenly.”
Choosing this special London venue is sure to impress your date. You’ll find a bar where the food is delicious and the drinks perfectly meet your taste. And the boutique hotel where it’s located offers stylish rooms if the evening should head that way.
Winner: The London Edition - London, England
Why? Whether seated in the semi-circular booths or at the gold-lit bar, the casual Berners Tavern in the London Edition hotel combines the finest cocktails and a high-class menu with a casual, stylish atmosphere. You’re bound to feel smooth between paintings, stucco style and the cosy light of the chandelier.
Tester’s review: “The Edition hits the nail on the head when it comes to killer food and drink combos…for classic cocktails and bygone era bar culture, this one’s a top contender.”
The hotel pool is the perfect place to unwind. Apart from the usual square and practical variety, there’s something more relaxing about a location that not only provides the right level of comfort, but also something for the eye.
Winner: Grand Hotel Tremezzo - Lake Como, Italy
Why? The Grand Hotel Tremezzo has three splendid swimming pools. The idyllic flower-pool is surrounded by a 100-year-old garden. The indoor infinity pool is directly connected to the spa and has a cosy relaxation lounge with views over the lake. But the best is clearly the heated pool at the champagne bar right on Lake Como itself.
Tester’s review: “Water, water and more water - plus pasta - that’s almost my idea of heaven”
Indulge in a loosening massage, relax in the hot tub or sweat in the sauna. Where do you think you can find the most relaxing spa in the world?
Winner: Amanemu - Ise-Shima National Park, Japan
Why? The wonderful Amanemu spa covers an area of 2,000 square metres and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. It includes two private pavilions, a Watsu pool and four treatment suites, and was built around a hot spring. You can spoil yourself with a variety of massages, facial and body scrubs and hot stone treatments.
Tester’s review: “Amanemu has incorporated the Japanese bathing tradition of onsen, making it a very authentic and overly Zen spa experience; the watsu pool is definitely a highlight.”
The right soundtrack can play a greater role in a hotel than you might think. Lame sounds in the lobby or the bar can actually spoil the holiday mood pretty quickly. But in this establishment, you’ll have the perfect backing track to your vacation.
Winner of the heart: Geejam - Jamaica
Why? We confess we’ve nominated the runner-up as the winner here. Music is the heart and soul of Jamaican hotel Geejam. Founded by a former record label boss, stars such as Grace Jones, Florence and the Machine, and Amy Winehouse have recorded in the on-site studio. Relaxed reggae and lively dancehall music fill the bar while the house band is the mento folk music pioneers The Jolly Boys.
Grace Jones’s review: “I came. I saw. You conquered me.”