We have asked Christina Saull of My View from the Middle Seat, to share her thoughts with us about her love for 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?
Usually on location – I figure out where I want to be and then start researching boutique hotels in the neighborhood. Less often, I’ll hear about a great hotel and choose the hotel first, then figure out how the location fits into my trip.
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special (boutique) hotels you have ever stayed at and what made them so special?
It’s so hard just to pick 3 because I am a true hotel nerd! If I must:
Inn at the Market in Seattle, Washington
My husband and I visited for our anniversary a few years ago and everything was perfection. The service was outstanding, the room comfortable and stylish and the views from their rooftop deck are stunning. Couple all this with their location which is literally in Pike Place Market, and you have a very special property.
Library Hotel in New York City
I am a sucker for books and amenities and this hotel does both extremely well. Rooms are categorized by the Dewey decimal system and while they’re on the smaller size, they’re well appointed. The second floor reading room (with 24/7 complimentary snacks, books, breakfast and a wine happy hour) and rooftop bar make this my favorite hotel in Manhattan. If I’m in town and not staying there, sometimes I’ll just stop in to have a drink
Adare Manor in Adare, Ireland
This manor house turned boutique hotel is a very special property. You just feel like royalty staying there! The staff was great and the dining room is superb. An added bonus is their location just outside of town – close enough to walk, but far enough to feel secluded. They’re undergoing a major renovation currently, but will reopen in 2017 and I can’t wait to visit again.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- Gourmet in-room coffee: I hate having to put on clothes to go downstairs for coffee or (even worse) have to leave the hotel for a decent cup.
- A lending library: I love picking up (and leaving behind) random books when I travel.
- A great concierge: some of my best recommendations have come from great concierge around the world – a hidden jazz club, an impossible restaurant reservation, an awesome food truck.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
- Complimentary wifi. This should be a no-brainer this day in age.
- Complimentary bottled water. Or even better: do what Kimpton does and let me raid the mini bar! That way I can get bottle water (sensible) and Pringles (indulgent) at 4am.
- Top notch customer service. No request is too crazy and guests are addressed by name. I feel so special when this happens.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
- Why can’t hotels make their doors close quietly? Quit slamming doors, people!
- No in-room coffee. As I mentioned above, this is a real drag, especially when in traveling solo.
- Surprise fees at check-out. $25 resort fee? Parking is $40? Just be upfront about it.
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
I love it! All the good things about a hotel and none of the bad.
Where are you off to next?
2016 was an amazing year of travel: a relaxing Caribbean cruise (we’ve knocked off almost all the islands!), a bucket list trip to Iceland (yes, it’s as wonderful as everyone says) and ending the year with a Viking River Cruise to visit Europe’s Christmas Markets. In 2017, my husband and I celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, so we’re trying to decide what big trip to go on – maybe Hawaii? Maybe Italy? Maybe a safari? Jury is still out on that one. In the meantime, I’ll be spending my birthday in March plane spotting in Sint Maarten.
Christina Saull is a Washington, DC-based PR professional by day, award winning travel blogger by night. She knows the limitations that a job and mortgage put on wanderlust because she and her husband work 50+ hours a week in traditional careers & own a 75 year old house that needs constant love.
Christina’s goal on My View from the Middle Seat is to help others in the same boat to use their two or three weeks vacation – & a few well planned long weekends – to see the world. You can find her across social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.