The Ampersand Hotel – London, UK
Best for: Sightseeing and stellar shopping
Style: Musing on museums
Setting: Cultured Kensington
The Ampersand Hotel is in the thick of all that’s happening in London, with museums a short stroll away and high-end shopping a little too close for your wallet’s comfort. Nibble on mini sandwiches and petit fours at the hotel’s classic afternoon tea, or experiment with the science-themed afternoon tea that features a chocolate dinosaur and pipettes filled with cherry sauce poking out of macarons. The hallways leading to the modern rooms reference the museums that surround the hotel: each level is influenced by a different theme, from botany to ornithology.
Suites will afford you views of the London skyline from their balcony in the eaves. The bathrooms even have in-built televisions so you can catch up on your soaps while being a tad sudsy yourself! Make sure you book a street-facing room, as break-time at the primary school next door can get a little noisy. You’ll get three nights for the price of two if you book Mr & Mrs Smith’s current offer with the Ampersand Hotel. Steal!
Hôtel de Nell – Paris, France
Best for: Authentic cafés and historic architecture
Style: Minimalist masterpiece
Setting: Typically Parisian, sans tourists
Romantic strolls along the river Seine, crossaints and coffee in a café… ooh la la, the thought of Paris is enough to fill anyone with wanderlust. And if you can’t get enough of this chic city, you’ll be pleased to hear that if you book a stay of two nights or more with Mr & Mrs Smith’s offer, you’ll also get an extra night free at Hôtel de Nell! Perfect, one more decadently frivolous day to spend in Paris. Smith members are also treated to a free bottle of wine and some just-baked cookies (could it get any better?).
The hotel’s restaurant, La Régalade Conservatoire, is a favourite among the locals; with a prix fixe menu for €37, you may find yourself gravitating there for a lesson in bistronomy.
This hotel takes chic minimalism to a whole new level in its rooms, which sport crisp white linens, curvy bathroom mirrors and enticing Japanese baths made from solid marble. Retreat to the library at the back of the hotel’s restaurant, where a glass-enclosed wine cellar separates you from diners and you can explore classic tomes hand-picked by the owners. Alternatively, take a stroll around the 9th arrondissement, pick up some patisserie and invest in some pretty fripperies from Passage Jouffroy, which is packed with authentic cafés, fabric shops and boutiques (Boulevard Montmartre to Rue de la Grange-Batelière; +33 (0)1 48 24 03 83; passagejouffroy.com).
ME Madrid – Madrid, Spain
Best for: Tapas, tempranillo and trips to the Prado
Style: Imposing Iberian icon
Setting: City-centre squares
Stay in style at ME Madrid, a hotel that has attracted aristocrats, bullfighters and rock stars since its opening in 1919. An urban hotspot, the hotel has maintained its majestic historical architecture and added to it with laidback contemporary decor. The moody and intimate lobby leads to cheerful hotel rooms highlighted with wooden accents and splashes of purple from the retro in-room fridges. Book one of the suites for the added luxury of a Nespresso machine and Nintendo Wii: you’ll even be able to have your favourite music to be loaded onto the room’s audio system in time for your arrival! All guests get free access to the nearby Club Metropolitan Palacio, where you can be pampered with hydrotherapy or spend a day in the Turkish baths.
Don’t miss the traditional tapas at the hotel’s restaurant, Ana la Santa, which has distinctly Scandinavian furnishings and a courtyard decorated with pot plants. Summertime sees the rooftop bar in full swing: the cocktails flow and guests can take in sweeping views of Madrid’s skyline. Take advantage of 25% off stays of two nights or more when you book with Mr & Mrs Smith before 31 December 2014.