I’d heard about Mr & Mrs Smith before, but I didn’t know much about them until I met their founders for drinks at one of their swanky LA hotels. Naturally, when I heard the name—Mr & Mrs Smith—I thought of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, as they starred in the film with the same name, but there’s no connection. The real life founders of Mr & Mrs Smith are James and Tamara Lohan.
It turns out that the reason I didn’t know too much about this hotel-booking site is that they haven’t been actively promoting it in the US. The stylish couple behind Mr & Mrs Smith is based in Britain, where the site is very popular. I’m guessing that once more Americans learn of it, it will be very popular here, too.
James and Tamara created Mr & Mrs Smith after their guidebooks to boutique travel experiences caught on back in 2003. The site isn’t for everyone, but I know a lot of friends and readers who would love it—or really anyone looking for truly exceptional places to stay. All of the hotels in their portfolio are luxurious, none of them are…stuffy, and none are part of big chains like Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton. It’s more about individual, unique boutique hotels.
Mr & Mrs Smith takes users on a tour of the world’s most stylish and unique hotels, from London to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. The hotels aren’t owned by the couple. They just work with the Lohans, ensuring that people who book through Mr & Mrs Smith get a discounted rate, a space available upgrade and/or a welcome gift.
Since someone from the Smith team handpicks the hotels in the collection (they stay at each property anonymously and review it thoroughly), they know which rooms or suites to ask for, where to head for the tastiest lunch in the area or where to go for a nearby picnic. Essentially what they do is put users on the inside track.
I’ve stayed at a couple of their hotels, including the QT Sydney and The Ham Yard London (the latter stay was sponsored by Mr & Mrs Smith). And I can tell you that both of these hotels are like few others I’ve ever stayed in, and the experiences there simply can’t be replicated. Each has its own distinct and incredible personality.
The QT Sydney is located in two of Sydney’s grandest and most prominent historical buildings, set side by side. Years ago, the State Theatre and Gowings building were refurbished and turned into a bold and unique hotel experience now shared between the two. The Gowings building was a famed department store called…what else…Gowings. And I actually remember buying a painting there on my first visit to Australia in 1995, which still sits in my bathroom. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Gowings went out of business in 2006.
The Ham Yard Hotel has 91 rooms and suites designed by Kit Kemp in her award-winning modern British style. It’s in Soho and it has a drawing room, library, spa and gym, theater, private event rooms, and 1950s-style bowling alley. The hotel didn’t disappoint and my mother-in-law was particularly fond of the Frette linens, deep soaking bath tub and the lovely box of chocolates that was sent up to the room since we’d booked via Mr & Mrs Smith.
Check out my wife’s review of the Ham Yard Hotel where you’ll find lots of photos for a virtual tour of this beautiful hotel!
What I love about Mr. & Mrs. Smith is that they have a best price guarantee, their booking agents are available 24/7 and their clients always get free extras on arrival. They also have a very interesting, free rewards program called the BlackSmith travel club. Premium memberships cost money but come with cash-back options.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.