Mr & Mrs Smith scoop Condé Nast Traveller Award

Some belated news, but news that I am really pleased to cover.  One of my all time favourite travel brands Mr & Mrs Smith won another well deserved award, being voted Favourite Travel Website in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards – for the second year in a row!
 “It was amazing enough to hear our name called out last year, but to have it happen again nearly made us fall off our chairs. So, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Traveller readers for voting for us, and to new editor Melinda Stevens for astonishing us all over again”.
Since James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy set out hotel hunting nearly 10 years ago, Mr & Mrs Smith have strived to unearth the most stylish, unique and heartfelt hotels, places where a couple could run away to for a weekend and be confident they’d still be talking about their trip years later.  They’ve gone from a handful of boutique retreats in the UK to a worldwide collection of around 1,000 hotels and moved from being a guidebook publisher to being a hotel booking site and travel club – and they have ambitious plans beyond this too.
I really love this company.  They are incredibly passionate about what they do, and they do it very well.  Hotel Insight will be speaking with Mr & Mrs Smith very soon to find our more about their brand and the secret to their successes.
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Hotel Websites: Best Western Competition

An imaginative and interactive competition is being run on the Best Western website.  It all seems to be part of the new look and getting the brand out there.  Ok, so I’m not saying Best Western have what I’ve been posting as “Top Hotel Websites”, but it’s an interesting talking point.  Best Western were guilty for some time of letting the competition force their way to the top in the UK market.  The likes of Premier Inn and Travelodge haven’t been out the newspapers and have had continued television campaigns relentlessly over the last few years.  Best Western have started to fight back though and I like the competition they currently have online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The game makes the user interact and think of the qualities they want in a hotel, which of course Best Western could offer them.  The user then enters their details to be in with a chance of winning the prize.  Nice idea.

Top Hotel Websites: Mr & Mrs Smith

In a new series of posts, I will talk about some of the best hospitality websites out there, and this time it’s the turn of Mr & Mrs Smith.  This is a great company who are extremely passionate about what they do, and the product they deliver and if you’re not familiar with them, then I urge you to check out their website.  By means of some background, Mr & Mrs Smith are luxury boutique hotel specialists, created by James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy.  As they detail on their website, their brand name was created long before the famous Brad Bit and Angelina Jolie movie, and the name came to represent what the company’s product was all about – romantic escapes with your other half.  It really is a fantastic collection of luxury and very unique hotels and in my opinion, the product stands out head and shoulders above other businesses operating in the same arena.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, to focus back to the website – why do I rate it so highly?  Well, it keeps you coming back.  Of course, the wonderful hotel content plays its responsiblity in that, but the website truly drives people to explore, not only the hotels on offer, but the Mr & Mrs Smith brand and philosophy.  What is really important, and so many hotels and hotel operators miss out on, is interacting with potential guests and making them feel valued (and keeping returning guests coming back time and time again).  Mr & Mrs Smith do this in a number of ways, and extremely well too.  From their Twitter account (with over 10,000 followers) to their very well written blog, all aspects of interaction are covered to promote their content and customer commitment.

 

 

 

 

They also have a great new application where customers can view video’s of the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel collection before they book.  We say it all the time, but video is by far the most powerful media to promote hotel content.  And let’s face it, in the market Mr &  Mrs Smith operate in, the hotel product sells itself, so adding video only further captures people’s imaginations and credit cards!

The way the hotels are presented is also very well thought out, together with a good quality booking engine to enable online bookings to be captured.  The site also has a members only area and an interactive map search facility too, so customers don;t always have to look specifically for something – they can be inspired (which is what travels about). In summary, the social media channels do exactly what they should – push the brand message to the consumer and direct them back to the website.  The website is wells structured, interactive, and lets the customer become truly lost in the holiday planning.  Great work Mr & Mrs Smith!