Boutique hotel lover, travel and lifestyle blogger, Mela Mörtenbäck of Individualicious, tells us about hotels, travel, and her thoughts on Amberlair. Just like us, she’s a #BohoLover, a Boutique Hotel lover.
How do you choose a hotel when you travel?
Phew, that’s just the right question for me, as this is the one thing I spend most of the time when planning my travels. I spend hours on the web searching for a hotel that matches my ideas. The most important thing is that the accommodation has to be unique in its very own way. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a hotel or a bed and breakfast – the accommodation just has to be special when it comes to concept, style and details.
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?
Casa Cook, Rhodes – I love the boho-style, the laid-back atmosphere and the fact that every room has access to the pool.
Casa Mãe, Lagos – the staff makes you feel home from the very first minute, the food and interior is simply wonderful.
Masseria Agnello, Sicily – a very special hideaway with great service in the southern part of the island, close to the sea.
What made them so special?
In a nutshell, it was the individual concept and style. All of them are quite different, but also very unique with love for detail, a very friendly service and marvelous hosts. I immediately felt comfortable and the interior design makes these hotels the perfect (summer) hideaway.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- First of all, I’d make sure to have a strong and consistent brand, from product and website design to interior concept to hospitality. The website is often the first touch point with the hotel and it’s the decisive factor whether a hotel addresses me or not.
- Secondly, I’d focus on a hearty welcome. At the very moment when a guest enters the hotel he/she has to feel at home. That said, I’d make the check-in process as smooth and relaxing as can be and welcome my guests with little treats. I’d probably also provide a small neighborhood guide with tips on cool locations.
- If I had a boutique hotel, my house wouldn’t have too many rooms, I’d prefer a smaller house with a personal note and very personal service.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
Casa Mãe in the Algarve had a great and welcoming staff. After the check-in process I was offered a glass of wine at the bar before a staff member showed me some personal recommendations on a map and brought me to my room. I love such little things, it makes you feel slowed down after traveling to the destination before even entering your hotel room.
At the San Giorgio in Mykonos, I loved the interior and bohemian style of the rooms as well as the concept of the hotel itself. The hotel owners want it to be a communication space, that’s why you’ll find big wooden tables at the poolside to connect with other guests.
Apart from that, the food concept of both Casa Mãe and San Giorgio Mykonos is great. They only offer regional products and you won’t get the standard breakfast you’ll find everywhere else. Also, it’s a served breakfast, which makes the atmosphere more relaxed as well. I never had such a delicious breakfast in any other hotel than in these two.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
My worst hotel experience ever was a self-called bed and breakfast in London that turned out to be a grubby home for workmen. In Dublin I stayed at a really nice and small hotel in the city center that turned out to be extremely loud at night because of the bar at the ground-floor. I couldn’t sleep all night long. Horrible! Um, can’t think of a number 3, so I guess dirt and noise sums it up best.
How do you feel about the first Amberlair boutique hotel being located in Puglia?
As I fell in love with Italy, especially Tuscany, during my stay abroad, I’m more than happy that the first Amberlair hotel will be in Italy! Puglia is one of the most beautiful regions of Italy and I can’t wait to see how the Amberlair concept will fit into this stunning landscape.
Which trends in traveling are currently important to you?
Currently, I pay a lot of attention to the issue of overtourism and think a lot about my role as a traveler and what I personally can do. Traveling off-season as well as traveling to lesser known/touristic places and to second cities instead of crowded capitals makes me feel more comfortable and satisfied at the moment.
Also, I care a lot about hotels and restaurants with a local and sustainable approach when it comes to food and interior. There are a lot of great examples out there and I’d love to explore as many of them as possible.
Where are you off to next?
Surprisingly I don’t have any upcoming travels booked by now, something that hardly ever happens. However, I’m currently looking for ideas and inspiration for a long weekend at the end of the year – and it’s quite likely that I will travel to Puglia!
Austrian-born and Tirol-based, Mela Mörtenbäck spends almost a third of the year traveling. She grew up in Upper Austria, studied and worked in Vienna with a one-year break in beautiful Tuscany before moving to the Alps already seven years ago.
Mela is not only PR-Manager for one of the biggest tourism destinations in Europe, but also editor at the travel and lifestyle blog individualicious. Full of snippets and snapshots, her blog showcases unique hotels and places and features road trips and weekend getaways mostly in Europe.