The Mr & Mrs Smith Presentation (Winding Down from the T-List – PhocusWright Travel Blogger Summit #ITB09 in Berlin part 2)


It is really refreshing when you are sitting at a conference with presentations and discussions of travel and hospitality and tech types who only seem interested in their good self or their own product or service and are not outgoing and not interested in the guest, their clientèle, or only maybe in the money of the guest, to get a presentation of a really passionate couple. James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy (see also my interview with Tamara) , the husband and wife who founded the Mr and Mrs Smith Collections under the caption: Luxury and Romance meet Technology.

Yes, I agree. It’s all about Respect!

They both come from a completely different background than travel and hospitality. Again their success shows that innovations in this industry frequently come from those outside the industry.

They started out with the production of the Mr & Mrs Smith guides. They described their difficulties with getting the guides published. Never before was a guide produced with one editor and one photographer for all properties. Eventually they decided to pyblish the guide all by themselves. The interesting thing is that added to the guides is a Mr and Mrs Smith membership card which gives the holder some extras as upgrades or a little present from their shop. That gives the brand a tremendous crowd to source from.

They are adamant about the properties being inspected by themselves or a member of their team of +40 in the meantime, because they strongly believe you cannot review a hotel properly without having experienced the look and feel of the place. In addition they sometimes team up with unusual partners for the hotel industry like lingerie brands. They also understand that you sometimes want to stay in a self catering accommodation or luxury chalet, rather than a hotel.

They seamlessly have merged their Blog (in the air since July 2005) into their main site. However Tamara was already out there scoring whatever was said about the brand in 2004: Shortly after I became aware of their guides via a post of my fellow editor Willem Vos at the Dutch language Weekend Hotel Blog she already commented there – note the date of the comment is not correct, as Willem had some problems in 2008 to migrate the blog to his new platform running on Ruby on Rail…whatever that may be, but I know I made the comment already in 2004-.

Here you see some footage of one of the rather unconventional and hilarious ad they presented at the keynote.

If even Gesa Noormann of Escapio says in a comment under Kevin’s Travolution coverage of the presentation:

Thanks Kevin for the fab article. Despite the fact that Mr and Mrs Smith are Escapio’s UK competitor, I can’t deny that their presentation was fantastic!

then you know your presentation was good even if you were dead tired.

Some personal notes:
I don’t understand jot from what Kevin’s caption means: “Corporate Barbarism does not begin at home say The Smiths”, but that could be my Dunglish.

If you are curious to see who the guy behind Escapio is look here. Even if I say it myself, I like the picture.

I think Willem should start talking with the two portfolios mentioned here, Mr & Mrs Smith and Escapio, or alternatively they should start talking with Willem, to see if there are possibilities to team up to cover The Netherlands and Belgium better than they do now separately.

Added March 24, 2009:

Via twitter I got the link of the same video on their site: Mr & Mrs Smith | Get a Room!. It has a bit better quality than the YouTube one

5 Star Luxury Hotels Blog

David Ourisman

When I noticed 5 Star Luxury Hotels Blog I thought: “A star is Born, just what I missed: An easy to access repository of 5 Star Luxury Hotels”.

David J. Ourisman of Travel Horizons started this Blog somewhere in May 2007.

Update: and barely a year after this post David stopped posting…..

Oops and I thought he was from Down Under, but actually he is from the US.


Unfortunalely, barely a year after this post David stopped posting…

Last edited by GJE on April 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Hospitality and Travel Bloggers Community: T-Listers and L-Listers Unite!

WiWiH Hospitality and Travel Bloggers Community

After my July review of the current situation in T-List and L-List Blogland (T-List and L-List: The Next Step: Community Building), I noted the following developments:

  • Albert Barra has created an English language channel on his Spanish Blog (pff I lost the link but here it is: Travel Web Cafe)
  • I found myself temporarily booted from Facebook
  • I looked further into WiWiH and found out that already 19 T-Listers are a member of WiWiH (see Happy Hotelier on WiWiH )
  • Travolution Blog tried to separate the dogs from the sheep in their post The Recommended
  • There will be a e-connect conference in Vancouver
  • The conference will be covered with a book with T-List tips

Probably I missed a few.

Because I felt uncomfortable with some solutions or felt they were not working as they should and because I felt comfortable within WiWiH and with some of their forums I participate in, I asked the WiWiH people if they would be willing to host a Hospitality and Travel Bloggers Community.

They gracefully honored the request.

Invitation for You!

So I am proud to invite all professional Hospitality and Travel Bloggers to join WiWiH | Hospitality and Travel Community. If you are a WiWiH member already just knock to get in, otherwise register free at WiWiH and then knock to get in.

Hope to see you there!

Perfect Escapes and The Suite Life Blog

The Suite Life

Perfect Escapes is a site with a collection of luxury hotels I can live with as afficianado. Today I found out they even have their own Blog called The Suite Life Blog which I have added to my T-List and L-List. Enjoy reading!


Either it is a hosting problem, or they really discontinued…links are not working…

Last edited by GJE on November 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Paris: Dinner of the 16 Chefs in Palais de Versailles or Black and White Ball?

Palais de Versailles

On September 17 there will be another Epicurean happening: The US $ 30,000.- pp Dinner of the Chefs. A gastronomic experience, bringing together 38 Michelin stars (16 three stars donated chefs) in the Palais de Versaille.

On arrival at the airport in Paris, the sixty guests will be shuttled in their own limousine to their luxury hotel, where they will stay for the night of September 17.

Madame Giscard d’Estaing herself is to host the venue.

Philippe Model will decorate the venue.

A special Chopin recital will be performed in the Pavillon Français by the esteemed pianist Princess Caroline Murat- Haffner and by another young virtuoso Jack Liebeck, from the Purcell School of Music in London.

The dinner will take place in the banquet hall of Le Grand Trianon, Louis XIV’s private rooms, and will count fifteen courses, served by sixteen of the world’s most renowned Chefs. Each will be explaining their own creations, giving a unique insight into the gastronomic processes from source to table.

The net profit of this special event will be donated to the Fondation pour l’Enfance (child Foundation), which aims to combat child abuse.

Or the October 8, 2007 Black and White Ball?

Black and White Ball Fondation-Enfance.jpg

If the dinner is a bit to expensive for you, you can opt for a Euro 1,200.- invitation for the Black & White Ball in the Orangerie of Palais de Versailles, celebrating the 15th International Evening for Children and the 30th anniversary of the same Fondation pour l’Enfance (Child Foundation) and also hosted by madame Giscard d’Estaing.