Tamara on James

He's the more romantic one

Mr and Mrs James Lohan on holiday in the Maldives.
Mr and Mrs James Lohan on holiday in the Maldives.PHOTO: MR AND MRS SMITH

Her future husband, Mr James Lohan, made her laugh when they met in their 20s on the Spanish island of Ibiza, and he remains his fun-loving, charismatic self today.

A mutual friend had given Ms Tamara Heber-Percy his telephone number in 1997, after learning that they would be on holiday on Ibiza.

She called him and when they met at a bar with friends, she thought he was funny and handsome.

Mr Lohan, 45, quips that she was won over by his dance moves. He remembers that the "exotic" young Briton, who grew up on Ibiza and studied in Oxford, looked interesting.

"He brings fun to everything,'' says Mrs Lohan of her spouse and co-founder of the Mr and Mrs Smith booking site for boutique and luxury hotels.

"Mr and Mrs Smith sounds, looks and feels the way it does because of him," she says.

Like him, the brand is irreverent, but also deeply serious.

"We can't be frivolous with someone's holiday,'' says Mrs Lohan, who is in her early 40s.

She loves his eye for design and detail. In 2003, when the brand launched its first product, a popular guidebook to boutique hotels in the United Kingdom, he wanted the photos to be like a "good trailer" that excites weekend travellers and tells the story of each hotel.

"He comes up with ideas for branding and marketing,'' says Mrs Lohan, the brand's chief technical officer.

It is "sexy" to see her husband being successful at work. The couple married in 2006 on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

He has an incredible sense of occasion and is the more romantic partner who plans getaways, she says.

He concurs. "We are not here for long, so making memories is important,'' he says. "That's why we travel and enjoy experiences such as eating chicken rice in Singapore."

She sees the ultimate partner in him. "When we have a bad day, we can talk about it over wine. When one of us is overwhelmed, the other one becomes strong."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2016, with the headline 'He's the more romantic one'. Print Edition | Subscribe