Mr & Mrs Smith is a hand-picked collection of the world's finest boutique hotels, the definitive guide to special places to stay. We spoke to founders Tamara and James Lohan, about their favourite global retreats and discussed their tips for channelling hotel style at home.
From Morocco to LA, London to Stockholm, these four exemplary retreats from the Mr & Mrs Smith collection offer a wealth of interiors ideas to steal. Which will inspire you to rethink your scheme?
Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles (above and left) opened in early 2012 in the historic former United Artists building. The iconic Spanish Gothic tower, once the tallest in the city, was built in 1927 to enable Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith to screen their maverick studio's films. The Ace Hotel has similar indie origins and retains that nonconformist attitude. The eclectic interiors combine raw and salvaged materials with modern finishing touches. There is a surprising juxtaposition of utilitarian and opulent, reverent and irreverent. The once richly ornate interiors have largely been stripped back to reveal a brutalist concrete structure beneath. But this raw industrial backdrop is offset with nods to Hollywood in the roaring twenties. There are frequent visual references to the movies, such as film scripts cleverly repurposed as wallpaper.
The impressively preserved United Artists Theatre is the perfect place to take in a show, although suites with turntables and acoustic guitars offer the opportunity for private parties too. The mezzanine bar, overlooking the restaurant, is the perfect place to unwind in the afternoon. But cocktails are best enjoyed at sunset beside the rooftop pool with far-reaching views Downtown and the City of Angels.
The first UK outpost for the American Ace Hotel group (below) arrived in London in 2013. Sited in the heart of London's creative hub and a stone's throw from Silicon Roundabout, it's the place to be seen. Grab your morning coffee fix in the cafe, detox at the juice bar, or mingle with students and start-ups in the lobby.
The interiors have been given a stripped-back warehouse style and the ultra fashionable Converse-wearing staff look like they've just arrived for a loft party. In the Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby designed guest rooms, industrial decor and Bohemian details create a relaxed and comfortable ambiance reminiscent of a trendy friend's apartment. Patchwork indigo bedspreads complement raw denim headboards while perforated metal storage is offset by charcoal coloured ceilings.
The radios are programmed with Ace-curated stations and deluxe rooms and suites include turntables and vinyl libraries. A delicious dinner at the stylish Hoi Polloi restaurant is followed by dancing to a DJ set in the bar. 'Bedtime stories' recorded by famous authors will help you wind down after all the excitement.
(Below) Fellah Hotel serves up contemporary style in a Berber abode. Far from the bustle of the medina, and with just ten perfectly appointed villas, this boutique lodge offers pure escapism. The unique hideaway's contemporary interiors combine Moroccan arts and modern installations from car chassis, although the panoramic views of the Atlas mountains will continually draw you outside. Book a Hammam treatment or visit the inspiring library which doubles as a language research centre and is worth investigating.
(Bottom) A former girls' school renovated by celebrated architect Gert Wingardh, Miss Clara is a boutique bolthole on a bustling Stockholm boulevard. Here, old school charm meets modern chic. The building was constructed in 1910 and the hallmarks of its original Art Nouveau design remain intact. In a nod to the past, parquet features extensively throughout. And with their elegant marble bathrooms, understated decor, and retractable workspaces, the rooms are in best class at this Stockholm retreat.