Mr. and Mrs. Smith have arrived in Canada. No, not Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, although James Lohan and Tamara Herber-Percy are used to the mixup.
The couple, a highly entertaining husband and wife team from England, took their love of travel and interesting hotels to a new level ten years ago when they formed a company called Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
We’re not entirely in on the joke here in Canada I suspect, but in Britain a “Mr. and Mrs. Smith weekend” implies something racy; a couple checking in under an assumed name and wink-wink-nudge-nudge and all that.
They showed a hilarious video with a tremendously hot, young couple trying to get it on at home on after work, only to be interrupted by their dog, who seemingly has worms and is dying for a visit to the vet and scrapes his butt along the carpet outside the couple's bedroom door just as they're about to, well, you know. Thus, the need for a getaway to a smart hotel somewhere.
Herber-Percy and Lohan specialize in helping folks book unique and sexy hotels around the world; usually smaller places (but not always) that don’t have a large marketing staff of their own. It’s a great concept, and you can book some absolutely tremendous places all over the world; some 850 in all. Bookings can be made in Canadian dollars as of June 1 or so at smithhotels.com, or you can call 1-800-464-2040 and TALK TO A REAL, LIVE PERSON. What a concept!
Properties range from handsome inns on Nantucket Island, near Cape Cod, to the Shangri-La hotels in Vancouver and Toronto, the Drake in Toronto, the awesome Wickaninnish Inn in B.C (see photo above right), the Standard and the Crosby in New York and Hotel St. Paul in Montreal.
In Europe, you can book places such as The Grazing Goat, a small pub with rooms in London, or Cliffside dwellings in Basilicata Italy or mountain retreats in Corsica, an island I visited a few years ago that’s absolutely tremendous.
They showed off a wide array of properties at a posh reception at the Shangri-La Toronto last night, topping it off with a reception in the 17th floor Shangri-La suite with its terrace view of bustling University Avenue.
The emphasis for Smith hotels are luxury properties, but Lohan said many go for well under $200 a night.
All properties are evaluated by them and then by a writer who goes in and checks things out, sometimes a local but occasionally someone famous such as Stella McCartney or Modesty Blaze.
The emphasis is on “buzzy” places and boutique properties with cool design.
“We don’t care if they can make a swan out of a napkin,” Lohan said. “We want a place that makes a perfect martini, where you will get wet when you take a shower and with a bathtub that can fit two people.”
AIR CANADA GETS READY TO ROUGE
Air Canada has taken possession of its first Airbus aircraft in advance of the debut of its discount airline rouge, which hits the air July 1 (aw, Canada Day1) with flights to Europe and the Caribbean. They’ll be unveiling their new flight uniforms next Monday at the Distillery District in downtown Toronto and will be talking about the flight training workers have been given, reportedly under the direction of Disney folks in Orlando. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of cute rodents make the trek north for the announcement.
CANADA MEANS BUSINESS
The Canadian Tourism Commission has launched a new arm aimed at bringing more business travel and convention biz to our country. Called Business Events Canada, it's said to place a "new focus on seven priority sectors where Canada holds a competitive advantage. CTC’s BEC team will be leading its sales approach on aerospace, agriculture and food, clean technology, infrastructure/engineering, information/communication technology, life sciences and natural resources;" areas where the CTC says Canada has a leading role.
The new BEC brand reflects the growing significance of the meetings industry to Canada’s economy. Meetings, conventions and incentive travel attracts close to two million visitors each year to Canada with total spending of $1.7 billion—almost a quarter of all money spent by inbound overnight travellers. Canada is the No. 1 location for outbound meetings business from the US, which brings in about $1.4 billion annually.
Interesting addition here: In case you missed it, Toronto City Council voted the other day (when they were killing the casino idea) to look at adding more convention space in our fair town. It's a good call given the competition from the likes of Chicago and San Francisco, for sure.
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt.ca, a division of Torstar, has a deal today for a great trip to beautiful Antigua, priced at $1,262, including $363 in taxes.
- EXCLUSIVE TO JAUNT: Savings of $166 per couple!
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- All-inclusive 7-night stay at the 4-Star The Verandah Resort & Spa located in Long Bay, Antigua
- FREE CONNECTOR FLIGHTS: The cost of your connector flight from Kingston (ON), Ottawa or Montreal to Toronto is FREE (subject to departure gateway tax)
- The Verandah is the perfect place to visit for honeymoons or vow renewals
- Antigua is a breathtaking, serene island
- Valid for travel on June 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 2013
- Includes return airfare from Toronto to Antigua and round-trip airport/hotel transfers in Antigua
- Accommodations in a Super Saver Room, featuring 1 king-size bed and 1 queen-size sofa bed and Kitchenette facilities. Maximum occupancy: 4
- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Pricing (Rates are per person, plus tax and includes all tips, taxes and service charges):
1st Child (2-11yrs): $599
2nd Child (2-11yrs): $699
Other DATES and GATEWAYS available.
Call us at 1-855-687-5925.
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- Valid passport required for travel from Canada
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