Hotels: just for sleeping in? Not quite. The fourth annual Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards proved that, at the world’s best hotels, sleep is often furthest from guests’ minds. This time, the 12 award categories included four new contenders (Hottest Hotel Soundtrack, Coolest Creative Hub, Best Date-Night Bar and Local Hotel Hero). Expert judges including Lauren Laverne, Henry Holland and cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro assisted the boutique hotel experts in their decision-making.
Loosen your collar for the World’s Sexiest Bedroom, work up a hunger for Best Gourmet Getaway and unwind with help from the Most Spoiling Spa. When it came to the big one – Best Smith Hotel 2016 – we let Joe Public decide. Here’s a full list of the winners.
1. Best Smith Hotel 2016
Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach, Australia
Tip: time your poolside sunbathing right, and Halcyon House’s chef might serve you gelato from a vintage ice-cream truck while you’re lounging. Halcyon House – a bohemian beachfront hangout born from a faded surf motel – left a sweet taste in the mouth of the 25,000 voters who voted it Best Smith Hotel 2016 (not bad, given it opened in 2015). Wheel around Cabarita Beach on Halcyon’s retro bikes (or go full throttle in an on-loan Audi).
2. Best-Dressed Hotel
Palazzo Margherita, Basilicata, Italy
Francis Ford Coppola: good at moving pictures; good at dressing hotels, too. His Baroque bolthole in Basilicata is as dapper as Vito Corleone on his wedding day, thanks to ravishing salvaged furnishings – including the Palazzo’s original, 19th-century chandelier and a vintage bar from Turin – and walls dressed in retro Le Manach fabric. Suite 4, designed by Francis’s daughter Sofia, is particularly come-hither: picture pastel-shaded frescoes, chevron floor tiles, lacy wall friezes and a small garden-spying terrace.