We have asked Nicole Smith, CEO and founder of flytographer, 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?
I love to tap my friends and local Flytographer photographers to get the inside scoop on what the best options are, especially if it’s a destination I have not been to before. It also depends if the kids are coming on not. If they are, then I always try to find one with a pool. I also read blogs by travel experts like Wendy Perrin, Mrs. O Around the World and others.
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 One & Only Palmilla in Los Cabos was a beautiful property and our suite came with a personal butler. The nightly tequila service and towel origami on the bed were memorable as was the bottle of chilled champagne on arrival. A fun perk was the “sunglasses cleaner” who would roam around the pool to make sure everyone’s view was picture perfect.
The Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver is a contemporary west coast masterpiece. From their friendly bellhops to the gorgeous scent that subtly wafts through the hip, modern lobby, it’s hard to not get excited just walking into the hotel. What I most loved, was how they really know how to make kids feel special. We had robes, slippers and even a chocolate treat welcoming us. Having an inexpensive but thoughtful welcome kid’s amenity really creates a magical experience that they don’t soon forget (and keeps them begging to go back). We were lucky enough to get a corner suite with a deep tub that overlooked the ocean and mountains. The views are breathtaking.The kids’ biggest thrill was the candy bar wall in G Cafe in the lobby. Nobody wanted to check out after that stay.
The Hassler Hotel in Rome was in a fantastic location, with old school glamour, just steps from the Spanish Steps. The outdoor courtyard for dining was like something out of a movie and the concierge team was incredible fast and helpful. I was traveling solo and they arranged an amazing private tour guide the night before, which turned out to be the highlight of my trip.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- Interesting and tasty locally-sourced products in the mini-bar.
- Strong, free wifi everywhere
- An incredible bed with incredible sheets and an incredible pillow.
(I catch up on sleep on vacations, so this is critical)
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
When traveling with my young sons, having robes/slippers and a sweet treat waiting for them. I love anything that makes travel feel more magical for kids.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
- Poor wifi
- Dirty glassware in the bar
- Noisy neighbours
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
I think it’s very intriguing. Gathering input from the community you are targeting can really help ensure the things that truly matter are included in the design. I think it’s very original and can’t wait to see the end-result.
Where are you off to next?
A wedding in Maui, and then I head to Barcelona straight from there for our next Global Flytographer Meetup . My best girlfriends are flying in to meet me after the meetup for three days of fun. In fact, we are researching good boutique hotels there right now!
Nicole Smith is the CEO & Founder of Flytographer. Called the “The Future of Travel Photography” by Conde Nast Traveler and “The #1 Gift for Travellers” by Forbes, Flytographer connects travelers with local photographers around the globe for fun, candid photo shoots. Local photographers are carefully chosen for skill and personality, and share unique insider tips while discreetly capturing beautiful memories of everyone together. Travelers receive their digital photos within five days, often before they’ve even unpacked. Flytographer is available in over 160 cities across six continents.