The Best Budget Boutique Hotels tell the story of Mr & Mrs Smith's first forays, searching for those under-the-radar gems that you only find by word of mouth, and in many instances typify our favourite kind of stays: independent passion projects with exceptional character and refreshing price tags.
1888 Hotel champions old and new Australia, with reclaimed Ironbark beams and period windows in rooms, and a smart bar menu. Each room comes with its own iPad, and there’s a designated ‘selfie spot’ in the lobby. But those all-important boutique-hotel basics aren’t forgotten: the food is delicious, and the bedrooms stylish and cosy.
‘Last year, Brody House was a deserving winner of Best Smith Hotel: it is generous in so many ways, and very tastefully done’
Wayne Hemingway, designer
‘Not only is this a stylish resort in a beautiful part of Greece, it’s nice to see an affordable offering that suits young families, too’
James Lohan, Mr & Mrs Smith co-founder
It's not about 'cheapest' – you get what you pay for – and since our collection includes hotels in the world's busiest cities and on the planet's most remote beaches, setting a price is tricky. But to qualify as luxe-for-less, we think you should be able to book a sizeable double room for around £150 – as you can at all the Smith hotels nominated for the Best Budget Boutique Hotel award.
Inexpensive should never become uninteresting: budget boutique stays should still have the stylish look and feel you've come to expect from Smith-selected stays, brimming with individuality and charisma.
There shouldn't be a step-down in quality just because you're not paying a premium – all the usual Best of the Best rules apply, so the bed must be dreamy, the decor desirable, and the facilities and service up to par.
Are there surprise treats? Extras that you might normally expect to pay for? We're often most impressed by the smallest details: fresh flowers, the choice of bedlinen, some home-made bread at breakfast, a well-stocked honesty bar.
BEST OF THE REST The Reading Rooms, Kent, United Kingdom Mia Resort, Nha Trang, Viet Nam The Cullen, Melbourne, Australia Borgo della Marmotta, Umbria, Italy The Wheatsheaf Inn, Cotswolds, United Kingdom Chapman House, Nantucket, United States Baudon de Mauny, Languedoc-Roussillon, France