TLSelectHotels.com launched Monday as a website out to "tempt savvy travelers" with four- and five-star hotel options. To make a reservation, you must use a travel agent, your own or one the website will provide for you.
It's run by Travel Leaders Group, one of the big dogs in the travel agency business. Travelers can browse the 850 properties by answering questions: Where you'd like to go, when you'd like to go, and what you'd like to do.
When I tried out the website and said I'd like to go "near to home," I received options to inspire me to take a trip to the Caribbean and Central America. I also received links under "places we adore" to several California hotels, including the Montage Laguna Beach.
With this offer at the Montage Laguna Beach, I would receive a $60 breakfast credit for two on each day of my stay, a $100 spa credit, early check-in, late check-out and an upgrade, if a nicer room is available.
No prices are listed; travelers contact a travel agent to seal the deal.
Mr & Mrs Smith was founded not by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt but a different real-life couple: James and Tamara Lohan based in Britain. It began in 2003 as a guidebook to boutique travel experiences and grew into a digital travel company that specializes in bespoke travel.
The company, which recently opened an office in L.A., uses pedigree "tastemakers" -- actors, chefs, etc. -- to vet the properties they list, and to add insider tips too. You have the option of consulting with a travel expert anytime 24/7.
Join the BlackSmith travel club for free (premium memberships come with a cash-back option) and receive extras such as a bottle of wine, a picnic or a spa treatment.
There's a traditional search feature as well as "collections," such as On the offbeat, Historic is hip and East Coast escapes.