We have asked Gabriella Mandrik of Traveloth, 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?
For me the main viewpoints for choosing a hotel are location, price, rating and the pictures I can find. I usually check the hotel’s website and TripAdvisor for ratings and pictures. Regarding the location, the hotel doesn’t have to be necessarily in the center, however it has to be easily accessible by public transport. The travel time should not exceed 20-30 minutes to the center or the main attractions. Being a student, I’m very price sensitive, however recently the design of the hotels became more and more important for me. Additional services such as breakfast or spa are only secondary preferences for me. I usually travel for the location and I prefer to discover the local facilities.
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 boutique hotel on my wish list is the Aria Hotel Budapest. I heard and read a lot of nice things about it and I like the design of the hotel very much. I also love the location of the hotel, the rooftop bar and the building itself, the old tenement houses in Budapest have a very special atmosphere.
La Sultana Marrakech: I love the oriental style of the hotel, the beautiful rooftop, the view and the patio with swimming pool.
Cap Rocat, Mallorca: The hotel itself is an attraction, the fact that it was a military fortress. Now it is a beautifully designed luxury shelter makes it very attractive. I also love the pool and the private beach.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- A beautiful garden or if it’s not possible, a lot of plants. They are so inviting and make the interior more comfortable. When I was in Milan for example, my favorite thing about the city were the balconies, full of plants and flowers, it gave the city a different atmosphere.
- I would definitely use environmental friendly solutions because the travelers become more and more conscious. The waste in the tourism industry always bothered me.
- A proper wifi system, because I think that in 2017 it shouldn’t be complimentary. In many places, even if you buy the wifi access, it doesn’t work properly.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
- When I asked a question and the employees not just simply answered me, but offered extra help (printing out documents, help to book a ticket etc.) It’s just a little courtesy, but makes the difference.
- I also like when employees recognize me, remember my name and ask about my day and start a small conversation. I also like when they are friendly and make jokes.
- When I went to a Mediterranean destination, I often experienced that cats lived in the hotel lobby or in the garden. I know that there are lots of stray animals in that region and people got used to them. But I think it is still nice, that the hotel management didn’t throw out these animals, instead of letting them live there.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
- At many hotels I stayed, I didn’t feel so welcome. Sometimes I had a question or problem, I felt that the employees weren’t helpful and didn’t really pay much attention. The lack of smile from the employees is also an issue at many places. This is just a small thing, but can change a lot, and really doesn’t cost anything. Now at many places the employees never smile and it is not so welcoming either.
- The wifi system, there are still many hotels which simply don’t get the concept of the wifi and don’t provide proper access, even when you pay for it.
- A lot of hotels I simply put two single beds together, making a double one. That could work, but the beds often had wheels that made them slide. I continuously ended up in the hole in the middle during the night, which was very annoying and uncomfortable.
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
I think today it is very important to know the preferences of the guests. If people can contribute their ideas, that can definitely increase the loyalty and engagement of the guests. I also think that those who travel constantly know their preferences. And creating a hotel with their help is better than paying a lot of money for alleged experts who just repeat the same formulas over and over again. They use the same solutions everywhere, but doesn’t really contribute to something outstanding. The knowledge and the ideas of the community can be more useful than the opinion of a few people. To create a hotel is not anymore a privilege for those who have the money.
Where are you off to next?
London and Berlin
My name is Gabriella, I am 25 years old and originally from Budapest. At the moment I live in Copenhagen. I’m interested in films, books and in travel from a very young age. I inherited this passion from my grandmother, who never really had the opportunity to travel abroad. Unfortunately she spent most of her life in a communist country. She always encouraged me to have an education and to travel as much as I can. I remember how fascinated I was by her colorful travel books about different countries. She had plenty of them, and I decided that I’ll visit all of them someday. For a long time I wanted to be a writer or a journalist. But when I was 18, I felt drawn to tourism, because I like to socialize and meet new people. From that time on I always worked in the hospitality business.
I’m a Tourism master student at the Aalborg University Copenhagen, and Amberlair was my topic for my Semester Project in 2016. Recently I launched a small travel startup Traveloth that aims to create quality content about our own trips. I am happy to connect with you on Facebook or Instagram.