We have asked globetrotter Kristin Lindenberg, co-founder the world’s first crowdsourced and crowdfunded boutique hotel Amberlair, to share her thoughts with us about her love for boutique 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 am always searching on the internet persistently to find boutique hotels, and often that takes a lot of time. Design and boutique hotel platforms like i-escape, Mr and Mrs Smith and Design Hotels help me to narrow down my search before travelling.
On occasions, I chose not to travel to a place at all, simply because I couldn’t find a nice boutique hotel. Other times, if my destination lacks a boutique hotel, I tend to stay at apartments or private homes. Whatever I choose, all accommodations need to satisfy my high demands for coziness, interior design, local character and good service. You can read more about Marcus’ and my definition of a boutique hotel in this blog post.
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?
Marcus and I travelled the world for more than 2 years without coming home, and we stayed in a number of beautiful hotels that offered that wow factor I’m always looking for – and more! Though it is hard to choose, these three stand out as my ultimate favourites:
What made them so special?
They all had one thing in common: local character with a ‘home-away-from-home’ feeling.
The Inle Princess is a pearl at the beautiful Inle lake in Myanmar. Everything was eco-friendly and handmade, sourced from the local village. The villas were so cozy with a beautiful view to the lake, an outdoor shower and a chimney.
Built on a cliff overlooking the sweeping Aegean Sea, Aenaon Villas is a breathtaking Greek escape including seven whitewash villas, each built with the care of traditional Cycladic architecture. White walls, furniture and décor help to further define the dramatic sea views that are plainly seen from each secluded villa.
Riad Tarabel is a stylish Moroccan Riad with beautiful interior design located right in the souk of Marrakech. Here you get the authentic and complete Marrakech feeling, but it’s still a quiet oasis in the busy area of the old medina quarter.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- First and foremost, a friendly and helpful staff who love their jobs. Nothing is more annoying than staff with a ‘that’s-not-my-job-attitude’.
- A big lounge area or welcoming room to chill instead doing so at the reception area.
- Breakfast served until ‘very late’, with a local and organic selection.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
- I love a warm and friendly welcome that makes me feel at home or like I’m just visiting friends.
- Different kinds of lounge areas scattered all over the property really add to a hotel’s charm.
- It’s the tiny little details – the ones that make your day – like a selection of high quality toiletries, different types of pillows according to personal preference, hot water bags in your bed when it’s cold outside and fresh flowers in your room.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
- Arrogant and lazy staff.
- Large buffets. Less is more – please serve high quality, fresh and local food!
- A hotel that tested its fire alarm system at 5:00 in the morning at 100 decibels for half an hour.
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
I strongly believe there is a huge boutique hotel lover community around the world – like-minded people who see what we see – that there is a lack of quality boutique hotels around the world. To involve our future guests from the beginning is tempting because, to me, that’s who we are doing this for. Together I am sure we can create ‘homes-away-from-home’, retreats, hideaways, or just perfect boutique hotels.
As Walt Disney said, “You can design and create, and built the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream reality.”
Where are you off to next?
I’ve just come back from a 5-week trip through Italy, and no plans yet for my next trip.
Kristin Lindenberg is the the co-founder of Amberlair – together with her partner Marcus – the world’s first crowdsourced boutique hotel. She left her former life in the tourism industry and event management to study boutique hotels all over the world. Her vision is to set up crowdsourced Amberlair boutique hotels in special locations around the the world.