Winners announced

8 November 2013

View winners

The Smith Hotel awards:Showcasing the world's
most stylish stays

Best Newcomer

Best Newcomer

Every year, there are a handful of new hotels that make it straight to the top of our to-do list; the ones Mr & Mrs Smith are itching to review, and that our members clamour to book even before the paint has dried and the minibars stocked.

Here's your chance to tell us which hotel had you at 'hello'. Let's give a warm welcome to the Smith Hotel Awards' Best Newcomer…


Winner Fogo Island Inn

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

 Winner Smith Hotel Awards 2013 Fogo Island Inn

If you were seeking the latest sensation to hit the boutique hotel scene, it’s perhaps unlikely you’d look to an island fishing village in northern Newfoundland; but the soul-soothing remoteness of this dramatic edge-of-the-Earth hideaway is what makes it so alluring. Although the bold, Scandinavian-style architecture is as modern as it gets, the inn is inspired by long-standing community tradition. Every detail connects back to the island: local boat-builders were re-trained as furniture makers, a guild of quilters stitched the bespoke bedspreads, the rugs are hand-loomed, and the chef is committed to locally foraged, caught or grown food. Fogo is a heartfelt home-from-home set against a sublime crashing-ocean backdrop – it was a shoo-in for Best Newcomer.


Runner up Kurà

Costa Rica, Costa Rica

 Runner up Smith Hotel Awards 2013 Kurà

'This couple really know what they're doing when it comes to hospitality. Sustainability credentials are an extra plus' 
Henrietta Thompson, Wallpaper*
'Small and special' 
Mary Garvin, Mr & Mrs Smith head of curation


Runner up Das Stue

Berlin, Germany

 Runner up Smith Hotel Awards 2013 Das Stue

'A fine blend of old and new, thoughtfully balanced to create Berlin's coolest luxury hotel – it attracts the hippest crowds'
Serge Dive, Beyond Luxury

Top ten

Best Newcomer Award Criteria


This category is for the best new hotels to open between September 2012 and September 2013.


Was the travel industry and media stirring with excitement at the prospect of this launch? Was it a word-of-mouth surprise that got everyone talking? And has it lived up to the hype?


Has this hotel delivered a consistently great experience since it opened? Has it improved on its launch offering, and gone from strength to strength?


Is the property unique? Does it bring something new to the boutique hotel landscape? We're not looking for yet another link in a big-name chain, but a property that impresses with its take on hospitality. If it is part of a group, does it have a USP worth shouting about?


To truly earn this Smith Hotel Award, the Best Newcomer will be in it for the long haul: it should be style-savvy, but trend-transcending, with enough classic good-looks to stand the test of time – there's no point having fireworks on your opening night if you're looking dated a year or two down the line…

Top ten

Our judges

View all our Judges
  • Henrietta Thompson

    Henrietta Thompson

  • Rob Wood

    Rob Wood

  • Serge Dive

    Serge Dive