Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Mr & Mrs Smith's new arrival: Smith & Family.

Amirandes, Crete, Greece
There are some travel companies who do things just right. Mr & Mrs Smith have been specialists in boutique holiday stays over the last 10 years. They know what their discerning customers want and they provide all the essential information on their website plus those extra little details which can make all the difference to the final decision.

The company has always given information about the suitability of their hotels for children so it's no surprise to discover they have now branched out into selecting family-friendly accommodation as a stand-alone website: Smith & Family. The new site, which officially launches in April, signposts you to a collection of parent-approved properties which don't just tolerate children but actively encourage them.

I've often said to my husband that if I could have a dream job it would be to review hotels for Mr and Mrs Smith. I have spent years trawling the internet searching for hotel accommodation and while some sites are hard to navigate and sparing with useful detail, I can always rely on Mr & Mrs Smith's website for the clear information and witty reviews which go further than most to paint a comprehensive picture of a hotel.

What's the next best thing to being a Mr & Mrs Smith hotel tester? A Smith & Family website examiner. I have browsed their new site this weekend and am happy to give it the Mum's Gone To seal of approval. Each property has clear information about whether it is suitable for certain age groups of children from babies through to teens. The room layout is clearly described. Hoorah! How many hours have I spent trying to find out the room configuration of, say, a Junior Suite? I know it is a room with a sitting area which may, or may not, have a sofa bed. It isn't a suite, which usually (though not always) has a separate bedroom. However, there are some junior suites which have a cheeky little sliding door between the double bed and the sitting area; perfect if you'd like to wake up and not have the faces of your offspring gurning up at you from the bottom of the bed. Smith & Family thankfully tell you if there is a sliding door. They also tell you when you can book interconnecting rooms, information which is so often hidden under the long list of 'amenities', wedged somewhere between ironing board and trouser press. The availability of cots, foldaway beds, age limit of children for those beds: all these details, which differ from one hotel to another, are given proper attention.

Facilities for children such as high-chairs, baby monitors and kids' clubs are listed. Restaurants and dining arrangements are described plus location details, including a map and 'how to get there' information. Details are also provided about activities in the local area suitable for families.  There are plenty of parent tips to help  in your decision-making and they are honest too, telling customers if a place isn't ideal for toddlers or whether a hotel is likely to be quiet or lively.

James and Tamara Lohan, Mr & Mrs Smith's co-founders said:

'Our aim is the same as when we created Mr & Mrs Smith - where we once set out to bring you a personally visited and curated collection of fabulous boutiques and luxury hotels, this time we've unearthed the very best family stays.'

To give you an idea of the hotels which are included in Smith and Family, here are some examples:

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily, Italy


Rocco Forte spent years nurturing this stunning resort. Facilities include a spa and thalassotherapy pools, a kids' club, golf course, helipad and private beach. Potties, stair gates, toys, books and swimming aids are available for the little ones; Wii consoles, bikes, movies and surfboards for older kids.

Rates: Doubles from £172


Hotel Puente Romano, Marbella, Spain



On Marbella's Golden Mile, this hotel might be big but the layout helps maintain a cosy atmosphere. Show-stopping tennis courts, four pools and an equestrian centre nearby. My favourite accommodation configuration, interconnecting rooms, can be booked or Junior Suites and Suites, giving plenty of options for families of different sizes. Six restaurants with children welcome in all of them.

Rates: Doubles from £216, not including breakfast



Amirandes, Crete, Greece



A palatial, child-friendly paradise. Family bungalows have a bedroom and living area separated by a sliding door (see photo). Deluxe rooms even come kitted out with their own fitness room. Lots of activities on offer from aerobics to scuba diving. Pre-book items such as baby bath and bouncy chair from the GrecoBaby service to keep your luggage lighter.

Rates: Doubles from £212 usually including breakfast.


If you want a family holiday where luxury and child-friendly facilities go hand in hand, Smith & Family is certainly worth a look. They have some fabulous properties in the UK and Europe and they've all been road-tested so you can be confident of the quality.

For more information about these hotels please visit SmithandFamily.co.uk or call the expert Travel Team on 0845 034 0700


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17 comments:

  1. Oh, I wish this had popped into my reader sooner - I just booked our Bali holiday this afternoon - although it doesn't look like the Smiths have gotten to Asia yet, so it's probably just as well. Had to laugh at your absolutely accurate description of trying to figure out the layout of the hotel room and understand the vague language that doesn't quite tell you where the kids will be sleeping: I spent some time slowly banging my head against the table today for just that reason.
    What a brilliant idea for a website. Wish they'd had things like that when my kids were much smaller!

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    1. Smith & Family haven't got to Bali yet but the original website, Mr & Mrs Smith certainly have. I've just been having a look and there's lots to choose from on the website. Ah but you've already booked! You could still have a look and make use of their information.

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  2. When I read the title of your post, I thought you were talking about the movie with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie..lol!

    I have never heard of this company before, but you can bet I will check it out now. Thanks for the info and hopefully they see how great of a writer you are and sign you up immediately! :)

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    1. It didn't cross my mind people might think it was a movie follow-up!

      You're so right, Sonja, they really should sign me up! ;-)

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  3. I've decided to change my settings to 'comment moderation' for a while as I'm getting so much spam coming through. So if you comment on this post and don't see it, bear with me and I'll publish it when I can.

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  4. I have heard of them because a girl at work who doesn't have children used to book holidays through them....we never considered them as we had kids...but now of course....mmm the places look fabulous.....and by the way if this is a sponsored post and they give you a freebie hol can I be your bag carrier??

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    1. This isn't a sponsored post, Libby. I did wonder about putting 'they've not paid me for this, honest' on the end of it. They sent me a press release about the new company and I decided to put the info on my blog, as I liked the sound of it. I'm so nice like that ;-). Wouldn't say no to a holiday though. Will let you know, lady porter!

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  5. They don't half feature some gorgeous places! I am very very jealous of Mr & Mrs Smith! :)

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    1. They do get about, don't they. I'm thinking they really need a 'Dr & Mrs Smith with Teen in Tow' section.

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  6. How lovely - we are finally approaching the stage of being able to do totally child-free holidays so must visit Mr & Mrs Smith!

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    1. We are planning a weekend break while Rory is on a Geography field trip in April, so I will be having a look too.

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  7. OK, it is official: I need a holiday! Now! Great review. xx

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    1. Thank you! Looking at these fabulous photos makes you want to get your passport out pronto!

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  8. I'm liking the look of the Sicily one - gorgeous

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    1. Beautiful, isn't it.
      I have fond memories of a holiday in Italy when my husband and I were just a couple. In fact, you've reminded me of it so I must find some photos and write about it even though it was about 20 years ago!

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  9. I hadn't heard of this until yesterday (!) so thanks for highlighting. x

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    1. I think it will do well - with the Mr & Mrs Smith pedigree, it will be a trusted site.

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