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Mr & Mrs Smith

Founders James & Tamara Lohan

We’re in love with Mr & Mrs Smith for travel inspiration and finding the perfect hotel. And now they’re giving thawing out Chicagoans a sunny break—finally! Flee the Frost features three beachy hotel stays with American Airlines flights to Miami. And to help us thaw out, we used this sun-drenched deal to bring you our Miami Getaway Issue! And who better to round out our travel issue then the power duo behind Mr & Mrs Smith, James and Tamara Lohan. The London-based couple launched its booking service in 2005, and now has more than 950 hotel members worldwide. They even have an entire collection of budget boutique hotels that include places like Brody House in Budapest where rooms are only $64 a night. Needless to say, we couldn’t wait to ask them what’s in their bag, what warm locale they’re itching to go and what makes them so giddy about traveling. Read on to get inspired, then pack those bags and go!

skincare: AESOP // james’ dopp kit: MULBERRY WASH BAG // tamara’s carry-all makeup bag: STELLA MCCARTNEY SUPERHERO POUCH // tamara’s lips and nails: MAC HONEYLOVE LIPSTICK and  CHANEL ROUGE NOIR // flight lifesaver: DR. LIPP LIP BALM and LA PRARIE ESSENCE CAVIAR EYE COMPLEX

Thanks to you —we camped out at the Thompson Miami Beach. What do you love about the property?
James: The Thompson Miami Beach is quirky and fun. It’s that perfect mix of sunny serenity and the pulsing South Beach scene. I love the 1930s House, which is actually a hacienda that used to sit across from the hotel. Rather than lose this amazing piece of history, the hotel transplanted the space to its own grounds and turned it into a speakeasy-style crudo bar with croquetas, snacks and craft cocktails.

What’s on the top of your list for warm weekend getaways this season?
Both: California. For a stay at the incredible Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. Admittedly we can’t quite make California from London for a weekend, but we could manage it if we head over to Los Angeles later in the year for work. On the agenda? Stay at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur or the Oceana Beach Club Hotel in Santa Monica. Eat at Gjelina at 1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. No trip to LA is complete without a concert at the iconic Hollywood Bowl outdoor amphitheatre.

Advice for getting the most out of your hotel stay?
If you are traveling for a special occasion, make sure you let the hotel know—a good hotelier will always look for an excuse to make a customer happy. If you are booking the restaurant ahead of time, make sure you ask for a special table. I always say that spontaneity is all in the planning. The really great bars and restaurants in buzzing neighborhoods get booked up way ahead of time, so plan your trip early and book in to these special places so you don’t have to settle for second best when you get there. There’s always our Smith team too, of course. A good travel agent will know the insider details on how to make sure you get the best possible room and make recommendations that are tailored to you: like which is the bedroom with the best view or the most privacy or the quietest.

Funniest vacation story from a recent trip? Where were you + what happened?!
James: Our seven-year-old asked recently if there will be a butler looking after us on next trip.  We were treated to one on our last holiday as when we were upgraded to a 10-bed villa, as the hotel was full when we checked in. So now he thinks every holiday should come with one as standard. We’ve decided to take our kids camping for Easter just to reset the balance of expectations and to let them know holidays rarely come with that kind of service!

Everyone needs a good travel companion. What makes you fit for each other?
James:  Tam speaks five languages, so on holiday she does all the talking whereas at home I do more.

Tamara: I think we look for the same things from travel: inspiration and just something different. We are both quite active, too. I couldn’t travel with someone who wanted to lie on the same lounger on the same beach day in day out.

Why do you love to travel? What is it exactly that makes you giddy doing it?
James: I love being inspired.  We were lucky enough to stay at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives recently and their sustainability program on the island is incredible – from the solar panel field, to recycling the polystyrene boxes that the fresh fish arrive in every day as insulation in the villas, to chipping the glass bottles to use as part of the mix for cement – everything was re or upcycled. They also have an observatory on the island and they hooked up a fabulous view of of Jupiter for us after dinner in their treehouse restaurant one night – it was a pretty cool nightcap.

Tamara: You’ll never run out of places to go. I grew up in Ibiza and my first job after university was in Brazil, so I’ve always traveled. Even in cities we’ve been to many times before like New York, and at home here in London, there are always so many new things popping up that it’s impossible to be bored. I think I could just keep travelling and living out of a suitcase. I’m not very good at sitting still and, like James, I love being inspired by what other people are doing differently.

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