Mr & Mrs Smith founder on scouring the world for boutique hotels

Tamara Heber-Percy, co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith, picks her top hotel - the Upper House in Hong Kong - and reveals her favourite city.

Last Updated: 25 Nov 2013

Inspiring Women 2013

Tamara Heber-Percy will speak at our Inspiring Women conference on November 27, 2013 - click here to find out more.

Where do you travel?

I scour the world for boutique hotels that we can recommend to our members. When I started Mr & Mrs Smith with my husband 10 years ago, we travelled all the time. Now we have teams in Melbourne, Hong Kong and New York to help. But I still go away once a month, visiting hotels across Europe, America and Australia.

Describe a typical trip.

There isn't one, really. We recommend hotels for families as well as boutiques, so I often travel with my two children, who are five and three. I recently visited a new hotel in Tuscany, where the kids learned how to make pizza. I go to Melbourne once or twice a year, usually for a month at a time, so that we can make a trip to Sydney and Singapore at the same time.

How do you travel?

I travel economy around Europe. I won't go business class unless it's a really long flight and I have an important meeting soon after landing. My kids are quite tech-savvy. They choose new games and videos to load up onto their iPads before we set off. That seems to keep them quiet on a long trip - most of the time.

Most essential travel item?

My Lily and Lionel scarf. It's a comfort thing to wear when I'm on the plane.

Rio de Janeiro is Tamara Heber-Percy's favourite city

Favourite hotel?

The Upper House hotel in Hong Kong. There is a Michelin-starred restaurant at the top with panoramic views, and the rooms have corner bathrooms that overlook the Hong Kong skyline. It was designed by the master of feng shui, Andre Fu. But what makes it really special is the service. The staff go the extra mile to make sure you have what you need.

Favourite city?

Rio de Janeiro is an incredible place. There's a really relaxed vibe in Brazil, the colours are incredible and you're surrounded by rainforests. I spent a year working in San Paolo, so that's also a special place for me.

Ever had a hair-raising trip?

I recently went whitewater rafting down the Zambezi river in Africa. I'd done it before and had a real adrenaline rush. Second time around, the water was much lower, so the rapids were quite steep and even more treacherous. I won't forget that experience in a hurry.

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