We have asked Matt Long, DC-based adventure and luxury travel blogger of LandLopers to share his thoughts with us about hotels and Amberlair. Just like us, Matt is a #BohoLover, which means a Boutique Hotel lover!
How do you choose a hotel when you travel?
For me it’s a function of location and comfort. I am a firm believer in the importance of a well-located hotel when traveling. It saves times and angst, and just leads to a much more pleasant travel experience. Of course, I’m also a fan of luxury hotels, so the property itself is also very important to me. My partner and I have always paid more for a nice hotel because, for us, it’s a key aspect of the trip.
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?
That is a surprisingly hard choice and of course it’s also in flux, but here are my three:
InterContinental in Hong Kong. A great hotel no matter what room you’re in. I had the experience of a lifetime when I was upgraded to their Presidential Suite. This massive, 7,000 square foot residence has everything from a private rooftop pool and hot tub to butler service to a grand piano, and enough space to guarantee you’ll get lost in your own hotel room.
Four Seasons Lanai. This is an emotional pick for me in addition to being one based on the superb quality of the hotel itself. My partner and I have stayed at both Four Seasons Hotels on the small Hawaiian island of Lanai several times and they are one of our favorite escapes anywhere in the world.
Homestead Resort in Virginia. This massive property is one of the oldest hotels in the US, and it’s also one of its nicest. Located near natural hot springs, Jefferson once visited the area and ever since it’s been on the radar for thousands of folks looking for a relaxing escape. I love it especially because while you can certainly relax, there are many fun activities to guarantee that you’ll never get bored.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
Sockets next to the bed so I can plug in my phone at bedtime, but can still use it as an alarm and to check the time. Fast, free and reliable Wi-Fi. Complimentary water, sodas, beers and snacks in the rooms. Some very high-end hotels offer this and it signals to me that they don’t want to nickel and dime their guests (who have already paid a lot to stay there) and instead want to offer them a wonderful experience.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
I love pillow menus, it’s great to choose the exact kind you want. Toiletries are important, and I loved the amenity bag and full-size bottles offered by many, including at the Upper House in Hong Kong. Easy to navigate. Big properties can be nice, but there’s a lot to be said for the ease of smaller hotels too.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
NOISE! I am a light sleeper and a big pet peeve is noise from neighboring rooms, hallways or elsewhere in the hotel. Rudeness. Hotels are all about hospitality and there is no excuse for poorly trained staff. Dirt. A clean room makes for a happy guest. It’s so simple to execute yet so many fall short.
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
I think it’s a fascinating idea and can’t wait to see the results. In a world where we expect crowd-sourced personalization, it’s a logical progression in the world of hospitality.
Where are you off to next?
I leave soon for a UniWorld river cruise in France, which I’m very excited about!
An experiential luxury traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his adventures with thousands of readers every day through his award winning site Landlopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.