We have asked Melvin Böcher, the founder of TravelDudes.org to share his thoughts with us about his love for travel and 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 I do my research online. Then I see if there are any recommendations, which could be on blogs, review sites and booking platforms. Depending on the trip and destination, I look for different criterias. If it’s a city trip, I try to stay central or in a cool district with a good connection to public transport. I usually don’t read the reviews, but see that there are enough and the rating is in general OK. Then I’ll check the images and also check the location on the map. That way I get a good overall impression.
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special (boutique) hotels you have ever stayed at and what made them so special?
Oh… that is a very tough question. I have stayed in quite a few very nice hotels already. Two which stood out were both on Mauritius, the Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel and the 20 Degrees Sud. The third one was the Tintswalo Atlantic in Hout Bay, Cape Town.
Mauritius itself is an amazing destination. The color of the water is stunning and the green mountains gives it that very special extra touch. 20 Degrees Sud was relatively small and had a very homely and cozy touch. You see that the owner put a lot of love into this place. Paradise Cove had a perfect location, with its own little bay and a wonderful infinity pool.
The Tintswalo Atlantic Hotel is a cozy and small boutique hotel and hundreds of tourists pass it every day, though without noticing it. And the good thing is, you as a hotel guest won’t notice the tourists either.
The hotel lies directly at the Chapmans Peak Drive in Cape Town, but at the bottom at the sea and not next to the road itself. There are only 11 rooms and you have to park your car at the top. A transfer then takes you down.
The rooms face all towards the Hout Bay, perfect sunset spot, and the place is very hard to spot, even if you know where it is, as it fits nicely into the countryside. The place is a dream. The rooms a luxurious and provide a warm and cozy atmosphere and each one is different designed. The food is really good and you can get here for sure one of the best meals in Cape Town. The staff is also top and are always around, ready to help, but without being really present.
The Tintswalo Atlantic is place is where I want to stay again, no matter if it’s on a city trip to Cape Town or at the end of a Garden Route road trip.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- First of all free and super fast WiFi. hahaha I’m really surprised in a negative way that there are still accommodations who don’t provide that. It’s like hot water nowadays and simply a must, unless you run a www detox hotel, which can also be nice.
- Then it’s important that guests feel really comfortable and homely. The design and decoration plays an important role here, but especially the staff. I like to have staff which is not just there to serve, but also to have discussions with and that they are natural and themselves, so that it does not feel like a hotel – guest relationship and more of host – guest.
- Then my rooms would have a good stereo device, which works with all different devices. I hate if you see a good looking stereo and you try to connect it with your phone, but it’s the wrong plugs. That’s a no-go and I wonder how hotels can do that part so wrong. And then my guests would always have a free bottle of water on the room. It’s really not that costly to provide that and can easily be included in the room rate.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
- If a hotel provides you with a tablet or PC and good internet connection in the room, that’s already special.
- Big showers with some good water pressure is nice to have.
- But what really rocks is, if you find out that the hotel really cares about the environment and have its own solar panels, recycles, supports the local community, has its own organic garden etc. That’s when a hotel really wins me.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
To arrive and realize that it’s simply a terrible and dirty place with unfriendly staff and nowhere else to go that night. Luckily that didn’t happen often.
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
It’s ambitious, special and really cool! Absolutely love it, as it’s not the usual hotel business. The spot and property seems to be well chosen and the plans look very exciting and the way to achieve those are unique. It will be very interesting to see them develop and especially to see the final result.
Where are you off to next?
I’m heading to South Africa. It’s a destination I’ve been to now a couple of times and I simply can’t get enough of. The people I’ve met were so nice and the landscapes are stunning. So this time we’ll rent a car in Joburg, head to the Drakensberg, drive to the Indian Ocean and from there all the way to the Atlantic (Cape Town). Along we’ll have several stops to enjoy nature, explore the region and meet the locals.
Melvin Böcher is the founder and CEO of TravelDudes.org, the first Social Travel platform. He loves to travel, to discover the world, to travel free & untroubled & still be informed like an insider! In addition he is also the founder of onlineROIcalculator, the COO of iambassador and the creater of an award winning marketing campaign Blog Ville.