Incredible hotels around the world
These places, crowned by travel club Mr & Mrs Smith, are among the best in the world
It is time for hotel lovers the world over to raise their glasses to the winners of the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards 2018.
The first to be popping corks will be art-packed Villa La Coste in Provence, France, named Best Smith Hotel 2018. The judges and public alike were swayed by its elegant design, artistic endeavours, first-class fare and creative cache.
The panel of travel-savvy judges included British fashion designer Jenny Packham and Singaporean celebrity chef Willin Low.
They have also crowned another 11 boutique beauties in a range of other categories, from World's Sexiest Bedroom to Best Date-Night Bar and, for the first time, Best Smith Villa to show off an ever-growing collection of private group getaways.
With winners dotted around the world - from the Chilean desert and Japanese mountains to Icelandic backwaters and Manhattan avenues - it is a holiday hotlist for the new year.
Mr James Lohan, co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith, said: "As a travel club, we like to do things a little differently. Our awards are a chance to champion those one-of-a-kind places that have made a real impact on us.
"This year we are celebrating 12 of the world's best stays with incredible stories to tell. If you have ever asked us for travel tips, consider this our ultimate must-visit list for 2018. We hope it inspires a memorable year of adventures."
Mr & Mrs Smith is the travel club for hotel lovers - an award-winning boutique-hotel booking service specialising in the world's most seductive stays.
It was founded in 2003, and there are now more than 1,000 boutique and luxury hotels in its collection, all hand-picked and anonymously reviewed.
Here are the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards 2018 winners:
BEST SMITH HOTEL
Villa La Coste, Provence
"Villa La Coste is new on the boutique-hotel circuit but has since become a firm favourite. With its cutting-edge design, arresting architecture and amazing art collection, it is a well-deserved winner - one of the most impressive boltholes in our books." - Mr Lohan
Le Roch Hotel & Spa, Paris
"Having spent nine straight nights in this hotel during Paris Fashion Week, I must say I wanted to stay nine more.
"Its location is perfect, the decor is elegant. It is chic yet cosy, and the service was perfect." - Coveteur co-founder Jake Rosenberg
WORLD'S SEXIEST BEDROOM
Soneva Jani, Maldives
"One button for the retractable roof stands between you and post-coital stargazing. Did I mention you are lying on a bed in the middle of the ocean? If that is not sexy, I do not know what is." - Fashion designer Olivia von Halle
BEST DATE-NIGHT BAR
Roxy Hotel, New York City
"The cocktail list is impressive - the perfect harmony of cool and laid-back.
"The lounge area makes you feel like you are in someone's living room, yet when the jazz starts playing you feel like you have been transported back in time." - Presenter and author Laura Jackson
BEST GOURMET GETAWAY
Zaborin, Niseko, Japan
"The food from chef Yoshihiro Seno is as pure and well thought out as the hotel. He draws from his own experience of kaiseki and washoku techniques and makes good use of local produce, including his own grown ingredients. Guests are in for a delightful journey in taste." - Chef and author Tom Aikens
MOST SPOILING SPA
Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France
"As if having developed an exceptional product range was not enough, this spa nails a holistic approach with treatments that really deliver." - Broadsheet Media founder Nick Shelton
BEST SMITH VILLA
Annandale Scrubby Bay, Pigeon Bay, New Zealand
"Seclusion is the new opulence, and this remote villa - situated on a lake in an extinct volcano and with a working farm and superb eco credentials - is truly off the grid. It is the ultimate good-for-the-soul retreat. Plus: Cashmere pyjamas!" - Vogue Living travel editor Lee Tulloch
BEST POOL WITH A VIEW
Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Atacama Desert, Chile
"This really is an escape from it all. The mountainous landscape looks almost lunar, and is so peaceful you could be forgiven for imagining yourself on another planet altogether.
"The natural wood and furniture design sits in harmony beautifully with the landscape around you - it embraces it rather than trying to fight it. Fab." - Broadcaster and The Pool founder Lauren Laverne
ABOVE & BEYOND
Chamba Camp Thiksey, Ladakh, India
"Absolutely magical eco-friendly glamping in palatial tents with panoramic vistas of mountain-top monasteries by the foothills of the Himalayas in Ladakh." - Travel writer Johannes Pong
BEST FAMILY HOTEL
Taylor River Lodge, Crested Butte, Colorado
"If you are an adventurous family that loves the outdoors but wants to experience a holiday where you also feel looked after and have a non-existent workload, this is the place.
"An incredible location, this is truly the perfect scenario for the whole family to connect with one another and the unparalleled landscape that is Colorado." - Captain & The Gypsy Kid founder Sheree Commerford
COOLEST CREATIVE HUB
Public, New York City
"The clue is in the name: Public is truly a hotel for the people. It dispenses with the hotel frills to focus on the communal - the co-working lobby space, city-spying rooftop bar, multicultural kitchen, local-loving boutique and basement nightclub - and has rightly become a honeypot for creative types as a result." - Mr & Mrs Smith editor Richard MacKichan
LOCAL HOTEL HERO
Dedon Island Resort, Siargao, Philippines
"Not only is this place perfect for completely unwinding in paradise, the resort also takes great care in making sure its carbon footprint is minimal by using solar power, composting, growing its own produce and reducing the use of plastic materials.
"Additionally, the owner of the hotel has a foundation to support local community projects. Therefore, everything on the hotel property is crafted by locals - how cool is that?" - Faircloth + Supply founder and chief executive officer Phoebe Dahl