It means so much to us to be able to share our story with you! Our last two blogs, Part 1 and Part 2 gave you the general backstory of what inspired our idea of a crowdsourced boutique hotel and how the concept developed. Today, we’re back to give you a download of where we are now!
Social Media Presence
After we chose the name Amberlair among an overwhelming 700 crowdsourced submissions, we were on a roll. It became immediately clear that social media was a great tool to connect with global travelers and boutique hotel enthusiasts – our community! So our first step to make the first crowdsourced boutique hotel a reality was to spread the word far and wide on social media and build our online presence as much as possible. We were inspired by Mark Schaefer’s book, The Tao of Twitter, and decided to reach out to him for advice. It was through him that we connected with Mrs. O Around the World, our social media strategist. Mrs. O helped us create #boholover, a hashtag we use to identify all you fantastic boutique hotel fans.
The Search for a Location
With the launch of our social media and online presence, it was time to get the ball rolling on the next crowdsourced decision: the location. We asked global travellers if they knew of a piece of land or property anywhere in the world that would be suitable for Amberlair. The response was even more widespread and successful than our first crowdfunded decision, and we were ecstatic! We posted the top submissions online – which fascinatingly turned out to be Spain, Italy and South Africa – and sent them back out to the crowd, giving everyone a chance to vote for their favorite.
With a huge amount of support and participation, we watched the numbers come in. It was a nailbiter, but in the end, we had a winner. The world’s first crowdsourced boutique hotel would be in Italy! Completely overjoyed, we packed our bags and spent six weeks traveling through Italy, exploring every last inch of the country. The result? We fell in love with Puglia.
The southeastern heel of the Italian boot, Puglia is rich in history, which we noticed right away in its beautiful, ancient architecture and friendly people. We could almost see the Amberlair boutique hotel – your hotel – resting somewhere amidst a sea of olive trees and vineyards. Because Puglia offers world class wine and cuisine, fascinating cultural experiences and gorgeous scenery, we knew we had made the right choice. [A map and image of Puglia would be great here!]
This month, we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to give you the chance to invest in the first ever crowdsourced boutique hotel. After the campaign’s completion, we’ll be hard at work (with your input!) preparing for a very exciting grand opening sometime in 2020. We’ll need help deciding on style, decor and amenities – you won’t want to miss out!
We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves, but the future of Amberlair looks bright! Once we’re on our way to a successful hotel opening in Puglia, we will start preparing to have openings around the world. Of course our main purpose is to listen to you, our trusted travel community, when it comes to choosing new locations and fine tuning the details of the perfect boutique hotel. Our success is riding on your support. These hotels are made for you, by you and because of you.
As always, thank you for your continued support and belief in us!
Marcus & Kristin