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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

INTRODUCING… MR & MRS SMITH

Mr & Mrs Smith

Definition:
Proper Noun

1. The world's leading boutique accommodation experts.  
2. A common pseudonym often used by couples checking into a hotel for a romantic (and sometimes clandestine) weekend away.

No, not Brad and Angelina.  

We're talking about Mr & Mrs Smith, the world's leading boutique hotel experts, who'll be bringing their irresistible cocktail of style-spotting and service to would-be-Mr & Mrs Smiths across Australia, New Zealand and Asia from April 2009.

Part travel-guide, part holiday-booking-service, part travel-club for those in the know, Mr & Mrs Smith is all about making sure every weekend (or week) away is an unforgettable experience.  

The website, www.mrandmrssmith.com, offers the discerning traveller more than 500 recommendations for smaller, sexier hotels and properties from Australia and around the world that stuffy luxury guides and run-of-the-mill directory sites so often overlook.  

Every boutique hotel in the Mr & Mrs Smith collection has been hand-picked by the Mr & Mrs Smith team and anonymously reviewed by a handful of "tastemakers" from the worlds of music, fashion, theatre, publishing, architecture, food and wine who's brief is to provide you with the low-down on each property's perks and quirks, Including Insider tips on the best rooms in the house.

Designer Stella McCartney, chef Raymond Blanc and burlesque artist Dita Von Teese are among Mr & Mrs Smith's existing reviewers, and they'll be joined by local tastemakers such as actress Sigrid Thornton, TV personality Chris Brown, celebrity restaurateur Christine Manfield and others soon to be revealed when Mr & Mrs Smith opens for business on this side of the world later in 2009.

The Mr & Mrs Smith concept was born in the UK in 2003 when founders James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy had the unfortunate experience of staying in a bad hotel. Determined that no-one should ever have to share their bad luck they launched the first Mr & Mrs Smith Guide, a beautiful book of boutique properties guaranteed to provide their guests with a memorable stay, this time for all the right reasons.

The Smiths went online in 2005 and www.mrandmrssmith.com is now one of the most trafficked boutique hotel sites in Europe, with more than 250,000 visitors each month. Sassy destination profiles supplement hotel information with insider tips on places to eat (including the best tables), drink, dance, shop and get active nearby.  

The Asia-Pacific arm of Mr & Mrs Smith (which includes Australia and New Zealand) is being established in partnership with Simon Westcott, former  
 

Global Publisher of Lonely Planet, regular travel writer and blogger and a boutique hotel connoisseur in his own right.

Simon and his crack local team are working hard to expand Mr & Mrs Smith's Asia-Pacific collection online to include an unrivalled selection of up to 200 boutique hotels in Australia and abroad by the end of the year.  

A brand new Mr & Mrs Smith Australia and New Zealand book is also planned to hit the shelves in October 2009, with a Mr & Mrs Smith Asia planned to follow in March 2010.

But Mr & Mrs Smith is about more than just hot tips for great weekends away.  Mr & Mrs Smith offers a premium travel booking service and can arrange everything for the boutique traveller either online, or through our local travel team who can be contacted anytime via a  free local call.   

All Smith customers are guaranteed the best available rates, but it's Mr & Mrs Smith members who really get to feel special.  Every hotel has an exclusive Smith member offer redeemable during the stay – a free bottle of bubbles, a complimentary massage, a bespoke gift – and five per cent of the value of every stay is locked away in the Mr &Mrs Smith Vault for members to use against later bookings or on a range of boutique and luxury products and services from Mr & Mrs Smith partners.   

Membership is available in three tiers – BlackSmith, SilverSmith and GoldSmith – and the benefits vary accordingly, from access to exclusive content and promotions at BlackSmith level through to complimentary airline lounge membership and travel concierge for GoldSmiths.

It's a big year ahead and Mr & Mrs Smith are looking forward to getting to know you. Here's a taste of what's in store in 2009:   

    * Mr & Mrs Smith (Asia Pacific) will launch in Australia in April 2009 and will include a 24-hour telephone booking service, available via a free 1800 number.
    * The website will be fully customised, with prices quoted in local currencies, a regional home page and other exclusive content for Australian and other regional customers  
    * The Mr & Mrs Smith European Cities Guide will be on sale in selected Australian book stores from mid-April 2009.
    * Mr & Mrs Smith will be partnering with appropriate local and regional boutique travel  and lifestyle brands
    * Mr & Mrs Smith founders James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy will visit Australia in April 2009 and will be available for interview

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