Keemala, Phuket wins sexiest bedroom award

(Telegraph) – Luxury hotel booking website Mr & Mrs Smith has announced the winners of its annual Smith Hotel Awards. Quirky categories ranged from the ‘hottest hotel soundtrack’ to the ‘local hotel hero’ of 2016 and the ‘coolest creative hub’. Here are the 12 winners.

 keemala-phuket-bedroom-largeWorld’s Sexiest Bedroom

 Keemala, Phuket, Thailand

 Telegraph Travel’s verdict: “Keemala is pure fantasy. A retreat draped on a pretty hillside above Kamala beach where palm-fringed paths lead to a Hobbit-inspired collection of mushroom-shaped thatched roof huts, dangling tree houses, and a sensational spa. Each villa is appointed with a host who delivers a tailored intuitive service. Elsewhere, you’ll find a lagoon-like swimming pool complete with waterfall and swim-up bar, a fully-equipped fitness studio offering daily complimentary classes – yoga, Muay Thai boxing, Tai Chi on the beach – and a breezy bar and restaurant.”


Inset: Keemala is pure fantasy. Photo: Telegraph

Best Smith Hotel

Halcyon-House-Cabarita-Beach-Boutique-Hotel-3Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach, Australia

 James Lohan, the co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith said: “As the only category voted for by the public (over 25,000 people this year), Best Smith Hotel is a serious accolade. Halcyon House burst on to the scene as a new opening last year, and has since become one of the most impressive boltholes on our books. With it’s good looks and down to earth charm, it’s a well-deserved winner.”


Inset: Halcyon House burst on to the scene as a new opening last year. Photo: Halcyon House

Best-Dressed Hotel

palazzo-margherita-italy-largePalazzo Margherita, Basilicata, Italy

Telegraph Travel’s verdict:  “This beautiful 19th-century Italian palazzo, set in the hometown of the grandfather of Francis Ford Coppola, the Godfather director, offers a laid-back but luxurious stay. It also still serves as a holiday home for the Coppolas. Interiors are elegant and sophisticated with a vintage style, featuring lantern-lit archways, wisteria-draped walkways, a small courtyard and a herb and citrus tree garden with a Baroque fountain. The Italian- and French-inspired décor in the six suites lends a palatial feel.”


Inset: Palazzo Margherita is set in the hometown of the grandfather of Francis Ford Coppola. Photo: ©Gundolf Pfotenhauer/GUNDOLF PFOTENHAUER via Telegraph  

Best Date-Night Bar

 punch-room_3London EDITION, England

Telegraph Travel’s verdict: ” A reservations-only bar, all Sherlock-buttoned velvet sofas and fumed-oak walls. It’s celebrated for its craft punch cocktails. Think house-infused gin with jasmine tea and oak moss. The bar also does a Scandal Water experience: five courses pairing teas with snacks and tea-focused alcoholic tipples. There’s normally music playing, from blues and ska to vintage soul, and luckily the acoustics work. Bedrooms are successful, with wonderful beds and the softest towels and bathrobes, plus artfully strewn faux fur throws, and there’s also a winning restaurant”


Inset: The Punch Room at London EDITION is all Sherlock-buttoned velvet sofas and fumed-oak walls. Photo: London EDITION

Best Gourmet Getaway

 Old Clare restaurantThe Old Clare, Sydney, Australia

 Telegraph Travel’s verdict: “The hotel is home to three outstanding restaurants: Automata, Silvereye and Jason Atherton’s Kensington St Social. With his first restaurant to open in Australia, Atherton takes full advantage of the local produce available to him in a new country to create dishes that taste uniquely Australian. For dinner, try the marron tail with curry butter and burnt lime. Perfection. Try the Hipster’s Breakfast if you’re game: banana bread-infused rum and salt buttermilk syrup with cold-drip coffee.


Inset: The Old Clare is home to three outstanding restaurants. Photo: The Old Clare

 Most Spoiling Spa

 amanemu-japan-p-largeAmanemu, Mie, Japan

 Telegraph Travel’s verdict: “This resort, set in the forested hills of southern Mie Prefecture, hosts an expansive and serene spa. While outdoor hot spring onsen baths take centre stage, there’s an airy yoga studio, a watsu water therapy pool and four treatment rooms with forest views. Rooms have oversized bamboo lanterns, and walls of Japanese hinoki cypress wood. The scene-stealer in the bathrooms is the deep, square bath of dark basalt stone with three taps: for hot, cold and onsen, enabling guests to enjoy indoor hot spring bathing. In the restaurant there’s a rotating menu of seasonal Japanese delights – from lunchtime bento boxes of sashimi, tempura and spiny lobster curries to mouth-meltingly perfect slivers of wagyu beef.”


Inset: The real draw of Amanemu is the collection of outdoor hot spring onsen baths. Photo: Nacasa & Partners inc via Telegraph

 Hottest Hotel Soundtrack

 fazenda-nova-algarve-pool2-largeFazenda Nova, Algarve, Portugal

 Speaking to Mr & Mrs Smith, Lauren Laverne, DJ and broadcaster called it “a laid-back soundtrack that is as chic, timeless and classy as the hotel itself”.

 Telegraph Travel’s verdict: “A small and very charming hotel, run by a British couple in a 19th-century Portuguese house, set amid gardens of olives, almonds and pomegranates on the east coast. This place is the preserve of walkers and those seeking the authentic Portugal, away from the crowds. With a philosophy of local eating, the Portuguese chef draws on garden produce and regional markets to deliver her interpretation of Algarvian cuisine in the cosy restaurant: try the Seafood Cataplana.”


Inset: Fazenda Nova is a charming hotel run by a British couple in a 19th-century Portuguese house. Photo: Telegraph

Pool with a View

 grand-hotel-tremezzo-lake-como-pool-view-largeGrand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy

 Telegraph Travel’s verdict: “This five-star Art Nouveau hotel a stone’s throw away from Villa Carlotta has a stylish floating pool on the lake. There’s also a more secluded swimming pool at the back of the building, surrounded by private gardens, and a third infinity pool in the T Spa; the panoramic relaxation lounge in the latter has floor-to-ceiling windows commanding lovely lake views. Inside, the hotel is decorated with lavishly appointed fabrics, period furniture and antique paintings. Lush gardens at the back of the hotel occupy an area of five acres.”


Inset: Grand Hotel Tremezzo has a stylish floating pool on the lake. Photo: Telegraph


 Above & Beyond

 villas-exteriors-awasi-patagonia-18.jpg.1340x0_defaultAwasi, Patagonia, Chile

 Television presenter Anita Kapoor, who was also involved in the judging, said “[Awasi has] secluded cabins amidst Patagonian triple peaks, eco-awareness, and they’ve bothered to make their villas and bathrooms wheelchair accessible; location, privacy and inclusivity wins hands down.” 


Inset: The location, privacy and inclusivity of Awasi wins hands down. Photo: Awasi


Best Family Hotel

mirror-cube-treehotel-harads-sweden-p-largeTreehotel, Sweden

 Telegraph Travel’s verdict: “This famous collection of imaginative treehouses inspired by the film ‘The Tree Lover’ by Jonas Selberg Augustsen offers guests the chance to experience tree life at its most discreet. From a bird’s nest to a mirriored cube, these habitats are designed to blend in with their surroundings and give guests a unique and stylish stay in the forest of Harads.”


Inset: This famous collection of imaginative treehouses in Sweden is inspired by a film. Photo: Telegraph

Coolest Creative Hub

 fogo-island-inn-newfoundland-bedroom-largeFogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada

 Telegraph Travel’s verdict: “A slice of urban cool in the wilderness of Atlantic Canada. The Fogo Island Inn is a striking design concept inspired by local traditions, from the furniture and textiles that were made on the island, to pieces by top designers in Canada and Europe who were in turn inspired by local traditions. The result is a contemporary take on the outport aesthetic of Newfoundland fishing villages: uncluttered, understated and very cool. Each suite has floor-to-ceiling ocean views and most have wood burning stoves.”


Inset: Fogo Island Inn is a slice of urban cool in the wilderness of Atlantic Canada. Photo: Picasa  via Telegraph

Local Hotel Hero

 11 Howard, NYC11 Howard, New York

 Telegraph Travel’s verdict: “The funky hotel housed in an erstwhile post office building is contributing a percentage of its room rates to the GlobalPovertyProject. It is also working alongside other not-for-profit organisations such as Conscious Commerce. Expect a Scandinavian lean on its aesthetic, with Seventies accents (credenzas in rooms, boudoir seating in the bar), plus in-vogue furniture pieces by Rick Owens and Gio Ponti. Facilities include a restaurant by Stephen Starr, the moody Blond bar, plus a co-working area and electric skateboards for guests to use to explore the area.”


Inset: 11 Howard is contributing a percentage of its room rates to the GlobalPovertyProject.  Photo:


Above: Keemala is a retreat draped on a pretty hillside above Kamala beach in Phuket. Photo: Keemala













 SOURCE: Telegraph’s travel writer Sherelle Jacobs


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