Charmingly offbeat UK bolthole The Pig – on the Beach, which overlooks Studland Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic coast, has been named Best Smith Hotel 2015.The picturesque manor house – with its enchanting mix of jumbled turrets, gabled windows and chic interiors – scooped the award at Mr & Mrs Smith’s third annual Smith Hotel Awards party, held this evening at Bankside Vaults in London.
The Pig – on the Beach was up against a strong set of competitors, just edging runners-up Halcyon House – a bright, bold and brilliant surf-motel makeover on Australia’s east coast – and Soneva Fushi, a laid-back eco-chic playground of desert-island indulgence in the Maldives.
As well as taking second place in Best Smith Hotel, Halcyon House was a runner-up in the Best Newcomer category, and Australian properties were named runners-up in two further categories: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Best for Families and Southern Ocean Lodge in Above and Beyond.
Designers Charlotte Dellal and Henry Holland, Australian expat and renowned fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell and BBC Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney joined Smith co-founders James and Tamara Lohan, founding editor Juliet Kinsman, hundreds of hoteliers and an audience of travel-lovers to celebrate the crème de la crème of boutique hotels from around the world.
‘The boutique hotel industry is at the cutting edge of hospitality. That’s what we want to celebrate with the Smith Hotel Awards – the places that do things differently, where you come back with stories of chefs creating impromptu dishes tailored just for you, or where the general manager personally drives you the scenic route to the airport.
‘From fledgling new arrivals like the Battery San Francisco – this year’s winner of Best Newcomer – to established beauties that remain at the top of their game (such as Bellevue Syrene on the Amalfi Coast, where the Roccia Suite was voted the Sexiest Bedroom) there’s a host of incredible places out there. We hope this year’s hotlist of 12 winners inspires people to make 2016 the year they go out and find them.’
– James Lohan Co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith
More than 1,000 hotels in the Smith collection battled for a place in the 12 specially selected categories, including Best Pool, Best Hotel Restaurant and Hottest Hotel Bar. More than 22,000 hotel-loving members of the public had their say, voting for their favourite stays during the month of September, after which shortlists were put to panels of expert judges. The judging panel this year included English restaurant impresario Jeremy King, chef Sophie Michell, eco ambassador Livia Firth, presenter and Instagram phenomenon Courtney Adamo and singer Jessie Ware.