No matter where you choose to vacation in the world, often the dealbreaker is whether you have a gorgeous bedroom to return to at the end of the day — that’s why it’s called a home away from home, after all.
An authority on swoon-worthy bedrooms is none other than travel club Mr & Mrs Smith, which was founded by couple James and Tamara Lohan 15 years ago, with the moniker a nod to the age-old saucy weekend pseudonym that couples use for check-in. 15 years on, they’ve curated a collection of over 1,200 stunning boutique hotels and retreats all over the globe.
Celebrating their anniversary, Mr & Mrs Smith has returned to its publishing roots as a travel guide to launch its latest coffee table book The World’s Sexiest Bedrooms, taking a flirtatious peek at 35 of the greatest honeymoon-worthy hotels in the portfolio with photography by London-based Polly Brown. In the 296-page hardcover, sun-drenched bathtubs, dreamy private pool villas, cosy, crisp white sheets with breakfast in bed are all photographed to almost a painterly quality by Brown, giving us some serious travel lust.
“We were looking for hotel rooms with something completely unique and special about them, whether that was having your own cliff-clinging, private pool-adorned suite carved directly into the rock face like at Mallorca’s Cap Rocat; awe-inspiring views from the bathtub for two in the wildly romantic Val d’Orcia suite at Monteverdi; or sleeping outside under the South African stars, suspended above the N’wanetsi River (and its paddling wildebeeste) at Singita Lebombo,” shared James Lohan.
“In the end, it was usually the more intangible features of a room that secured its place in the book; things we hope we’ve been able convey, both through the words inside and the images of in-demand art photographer Polly Brown.” Each purchase of the book also comes with a HK$310 Mr & Mrs Smith voucher that is redeemable with any stay in the collection.
Perhaps these snaps by Brown will inspire you to book your own cheeky bolthole with your SO and hang up the do-not-disturb sign for the weekend.
Located in Berkshire, this neoclassical manor is said to have always been a playground for politicians and the rich and famous — it is said that Cliveden was first built to house the mistress of the Duke of Buckingham. The tinge of scandal might fuel your sexy weekend here with undeniably romantic rooms, each named after a personality who was part of the manor’s history. The Henry James Suite features views of verdant rolling countryside, all visible from the marble bathtub.
“We try to avoid cookie-cutter hotels: the room needs to feel unique, and chime with the atmosphere of the destination,” said James Lohan, Mr and Mrs Smith founder. One of the Sentinel Suites in the Mallorcan former military fortress that is Cap Rocat is certainly anything but cookie-cutter: At your private pool patio carved right into the dramatic cliffside — former lookout stations — you’re waking up to sunrises over the Palma bay, sleeping in late in your dreamy boutique ensuite and enjoying a decadent dinner for two at La Fortaleza for classy Spanish fare.
Awarded runner-up in Mr & Mrs Smith’s World’s Sexiest Bedroom Awards this year, the Palazzo Margherita is a Francis Ford Coppola-redesigned, 19th century property that the Godfather director discovered while exploring the medieval hilltop town of Bernalda, Matera. Suites are a collaborative effort from the entire Coppola clan (Suite Four was done by his accomplished daughter Sofia Coppola) and feature extravagant touches. Naturally, there’s a screening room too with a movie library, or Apple TV in-room perfect for some vacay Netflix and chill.
Imagine a late morning dip in a bathtub for two, with views into a romantic private garden. This ensuite at Hotel Monteverdi is situated on a hilltop looking over vineyards in the medieval Tuscan village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro. Between lounging in the rustic romance of the suite, tastings of local Vino Nobile or Brunello or afternoons horse riding, there are also plenty of revitalising spa treatments to look forward to.
Owner Jeanette Mix worked with Ilse Crawford to come up with the glamorous surrounds in this 12-room red brick townhouse in the heart of Stockholm’s trendy Lärkstaden neighbourhood. Designed like a home (Ett Hem means “a home” in Swedish), you’re at liberty to grab a bottle of wine from the fridge; help yourself to a slice of cake and coffee to enjoy in the conservatory, or get toasty by the fire. Championing laid-back Swedish hospitality, a stay here is equal parts cosy and stylish — we’d imagine a lot of blissful nothing gets done here.
Hong Kong’s own Upper House gets a worthwhile mention in the running for sexiest bedrooms, and it’s not hard to see why: not many places have you waking up to the glorious vista of the world’s most spectacular skyscrapers — pulsing with the power of the financial district at 49 floors above Pacific Place. Nor will they have a spacious bath for two that looks out onto that same view. Whether you’re looking to offer up some voyeurism for the neighbours, or rather lounge back and enjoy a quiet moment with the outside view all to yourself, The Upper House oozes contemporary luxe comforts that are hard to leave at the end of your getaway.
You, your SO, a spacious tub and greenery stretching to the horizon: sounds like the perfect start and end to a restful retreat with your favourite person. With clifftop views overlooking Hanson Bay and contemporary, cosy interiors, Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge is surrounded by nature and by association, ultimate privacy.
Winning the crown of world’s sexiest bedrooms is none other than this magical over-water villa in the Maldives, Soneva Jani. With a retractable roof for romantic stargazing and lulling waves as far as the eye can see, each villa gets its own private pool with direct access to the private lagoon. Facilities worth leaving the room for include an over-water silent cinema and meditative labyrinth, not to mention ice cream, cheese and chocolate rooms.