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The results are in: Smith celebrates world’s best boutique hotels

November 11, 2013 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith last night (Thursday 7 November) announced the winners of their first ever hotel awards – a celebration of the world’s best boltholes and a marker of the evolution of the boutique hotel industry over the last decade. 

Hundreds of people gathered in London for the landmark event where winners in 12 categories, including Sexiest BedroomHottest Hotel Bar and – the big one – the Best Smith Hotel 2013 were unveiled.

After the public vote, shortlists of the top 10 hotels in each category were put to a panel of 36 specialist judges, including journalist and presenter Neale Whitaker, chef Marcus Wareing and design guru Ilse Crawford.

The judges cast their votes, and the 12 winning hotels were named as follows (drumroll please…)

1. Best-Dressed Hotel

WINNER: Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali, Indonesia – Staking a stylish claim on Bali’s rugged Bukit Peninsula, this is a cool, contemporary cliffhanger of a resort which delivers dramatic eco-friendly design in a jaw-dropping setting.

SECOND:  Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, Bahia, Brazil

THIRD:  JK Place Capri Hotel, Capri, Italy

2. Sexiest Bedroom in the World

WINNER:  Blakes Hotel London, UK – Arguably the original boutique hotel, Anouska Hempel’s wickedly opulent Kensington hideaway has been discreetly looking after lovebirds for over 25 years. It’s hard to imagine a more alluring setting for seduction than the honeymoon-perfect, white-on-white Corfu Suite.

SECOND:  Ca Maria Adele, Venice, Italy

THIRD:  Secret Bay, Dominica, Dominica 

3. Hottest Hotel Bar

WINNER:  Ace Hotel New York New York, USA – Hip, quirky and brimming with confidence, the Ace’s bar channels the spirit of its home city perfectly, and bustles with moving, shaking New Yorkers both day and night. They come for the cocktails, ingeniously crafted by Milk & Honey’s Sasha Petraske, they stay for the electric ambience.

SECOND:  The Zetter Townhouse, London, UK

THIRD:  Fasano Rio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

4. Best Hotel Restaurant

WINNER:  Bastide de Moustiers Provence, France – Alain Ducasse’s Provençal hideaway is a love poem to the surrounding area, a gastronome’s daydream that showcases the finest local produce in a daily changing menu of delectably inventive dishes. There’s no frippery or unnecessary extras; just simple, seasonal ingredients, intelligently prepared and served in a truly beautiful place.

SECOND:  Lake House, Daylesford, Australia

THIRD:  Bells at Killcare, Central Coast, Australia

5. Best Spa Hotel

WINNER:  Como Shambhala Estate Bali, Indonesia – Como’s flagship retreat in Ubud renowned for its holistic back-to-nature approach, and promises to soothe, relax, cosset and revivify – while surrounding you in totally tropical, thatched-pavilion, wall-to-wall waterfall luxury.

SECOND:  Lime Wood, Hampshire, UK

THIRD:  Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

6. The Eco Award

WINNER:  Sextantio Albergo Diffuso Abruzzo, Italy – Albergo Diffuso is more than a hotel, it’s a whole new accommodation concept built around restoration and sustainability. Spread around the buildings of what was an abandoned village high in the Italian Apennines, the project hasn’t just created an utterly unique place to stay, it has reinvigorated an entire mountain village that would otherwise have been lost to history.

SECOND:  Song Saa Private Island Hotel, Koh Rong Islands, Cambodia

THIRD:  Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Blue Mountains, Australia

7. Best for Families

WINNER:  Soneva Kiri Koh Kood, Thailand – With a breathtaking jungle-meets-ocean setting, switched-on service and fun-loving attitude, eco-friendly Soneva Kiri takes luxury family holidays to a new level. The free kids’ club the Den is beyond impressive: Dutch eco-architect Olav Bruin asked groups of children to design their dream play area – and then built on that.

SECOND:  Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy

THIRD:  Martinal Beach Resort, Algarve, Spain

8. Best Budget Hotel

WINNER:  Brody House Budapest, Hungary – More than just a boutique bolthole, Brody House is also a members’ club with a stylish bar, a sometime film and fashion-shoot set, and a hub of local creativity with a calendar crammed full of art events and book readings. The very reasonable room rate gives you honorary membership to Brody’s members’ club rooms and events.

SECOND:  Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs, USA

THIRD:  Home Hotel, Buenos Aires, Argentina

9. The Greatest Outdoors

WINNER:  Dunton Hot Springs Colorado, United States – This unique mountain hideaway takes you straight back into the big-sky wilderness of the Old West, complete with log cabins, snow-capped peaks, not-so-lonesome pines and a perch on the porch to admire it all from. And, of course, there are the hot springs, which ensure that Dunton is a year-round alfresco spa haven.

SECOND :  Huka Lodge, Lake Taupo, New Zealand

THIRD:  Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef, Australia

10. Above & Beyond

WINNER:  The Upper House Hong Kong – The Upper House may be in the heart of the city, but you’ll feel a tranquil world away from the moment you’re met in the lobby by your personal ‘guest experience manager’. This hotel prides itself on making stays simple, sedate and hassle free.

SECOND:  Riad Farnatchi, Marrakech, Morocco

THIRD:  Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia

11. Best Newcomer

WINNER:  Fogo Island Inn Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada – This Todd Saunders-designed beauty is a heartfelt home-from-home set against a sublime crashing-ocean backdrop. Although the bold, Scandinavian-style architecture is as modern as it gets, the inn is inspired by long-standing community tradition. Every detail – from the eco-conscious practices right down to the hand-loomed rugs – connects back to the island and its end-of-the-Earth remoteness only adds to the allure.

SECOND:  Kurà, Costa Rica

THIRD:  Das Stue, Berlin, Germany

12. Best Smith Hotel 2013

WINNER:  Post Ranch Inn California, USA – Clinging to a clifftop along California’s wild west coast, this big-name Big Sur sanctuary manages to melt into the dramatic surrounds while showcasing dreamy design within. Cabins and cottages hover at the rocky edge (or teeter among the trees), each offering an eyeful of Pacific Ocean 1,200 feet below. The setting alone would put this hotel on most travellers’ wish lists, but combined with the luxury of a fireside massage, three infinity pools, clifftop hot tubs and a one-of-a-kind restaurant, it offers, quite simply, one of the world’s very best places to stay.

SECOND:  Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

THIRD:  Babington House, Cotswolds, UK

“When we started Smith in 2003, I never imagined we’d one day be announcing the world’s best boutique hotels” said Mr & Mrs Smith co-founder James Lohan. “But for our 10th birthday, we felt that launching our first awards would be the perfect way to celebrate how far boutique hotels have come over the years. We were overwhelmed by the response – nearly 50,000 people from all over the world voted for their favourite Smith hotels – and I’m thrilled with the eventual roster of winners: it’s a rock-solid hot-list of the world’s most desirable hotels.”

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