We have asked Dolores Semeraro of Travels and Retreats to share her thoughts with us about her love for travel and hotels, and Amberlair, of course. And before you ask, a #BohoLover is a Boutique Hotel lover … just like us!
How do you choose a hotel when you travel?
I love to stay at places where I feel connected to the local vibe. When I plan a holiday I usually look into boutique hotels, studios or independent mini houses with a host. I recently traveled to New Zealand where I fell in love with the warm hospitality of the local people, I felt truly welcomed.
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special (boutique) hotels you have ever stayed at and what made them so special?
The first place that comes to my mind is Botswana, Africa. A boutique lodge called ‘Oddballs Camp’ where the most magical scenery at the core of the Okavango Delta and the sweetest hosts made my stay truly memorable to the point that I was literally in tears on the day of departure. I travel a lot and never cried when leaving a place. Ever. That says it all.
I also loved Thaulle Boutique Resort in Sri Lanka, quiet and private right next to Yala National Park. I wanted to take some time off and traveled to Sri Lanka while I was working in the Maldives. Thaulle was just perfect. There was a tiny Ayurveda Center and the treatments done by the local therapists were incredible.
Not to mention a place I will never forget is Samode Haveli, a traditional Indian mansion in Jaipur, India. The place was converted into a boutique hotel from a former royal residence and kept all the unbelievable decadence of its original style. The dinner was so romantic and the room was postcard-perfect.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
If I had a boutique hotel, I would make sure that my guests would find a local host to welcome them. I believe it’s important and it builds trust. I would also have books in the room so that guests could catch up on some reading if they wanted to and a fantastic breakfast. Best way to start the day.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
Great service is the most important thing when I stay in a hotel. It takes so little and means so much. However, I was impressed by a few other things over the years:
- The gift that are given upon arrival and departure at the LUX* Resorts, so thoughtful and personalized.
- The eco-friendly and cruelty-free bathroom amenities that every hotel I stayed in New Zealand had.
- A cool bar to hang out in the evening, I love a good vodka tonic and a chat.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
In hotels, cleanliness is imperative and my skin gets rashes almost anytime the bedsheets are dusty or not properly cleaned. Unfortunately, I experienced a bad skin rash while staying in a small hotel in Sri Lanka and had to change room twice and leave the day after. It was that bad. Never again.
Getting food poisoned is also not great, especially when you are away from your comfort food and hospitals are not an option. Like in Asia for example, and that happens a lot.
Last but not least, bad service from a staff member that simply doesn’t care. It just kills the whole vibe of your holiday, I believe time is very precious so why waste it?
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
Amberlair is a great concept that finally empowers boutique hotels lovers to express their opinions and create something unique. I think that today’s travelers have fundamentally changed the way hoteliers need to operate their ventures. They want different things, act differently while on holiday, value new aspect of their time off work. Amberlair concept is able to listen to these needs and turn them into reality with their project.
Where are you off to next?
I am currently based in Mauritius where I work as digital marketing consultant. This summer I am hoping to schedule a little escape to Kenya and immerse myself in nature and wildlife once again. I am still dreaming about Botswana so I can’t wait to go back to Africa. I love it.
Dolores Semeraro is a citizen of the world with more than ten years in PR & Marketing for hospitality across Asia and the Indian Ocean. Passionate about all things social media and creative communications for travel and tourism, she is a positive soul with an undeniable travel bug.
Dolores has just launched her crowdfunding campaign #pugliafeelsgood on Indiegogo.
“I have always had this crazy dream to create the ultimate holiday experience. A place where you could be whoever you want to be, a painter, a rock climber, a yogi, a farmer or the cool kid taking ‘selfies by the pool’. I am originally from Puglia, so I couldn’t think of a better place to look for the perfect place than my homeland! So I went ahead and bought a Trulli property near Martina Franca, right at the core of Puglia. From there it was all about getting the restoration permits, working on the project and the design concept. It has been a long journey but now I am very excited to run my first crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise the necessary funds to restore the property and turn it into a Trulli Retreat. This is why I named this campaign #pugliafeelsgood. Because there is always something about Puglia that feels good, whether is the amazing food, the crisp air, the sense of relaxation overall. If you, like me, also think that Puglia feels good, please contribute to my campaign and get yourself a fantastic week holiday in Puglia heading to the campaign page on 10 MAY 2018, launching on Indiegogo.”