We have asked Pamela Chieffallo of Travel Like a Chieff to share her thoughts with us about her 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?
When choosing a hotel my husband and I look for the following:
- Five Star accommodations
- Well located; proximity to shops, restaurants and city attractions when it is a city escape or if it is a beach vacation the pool is very important as well as the proximity of the beach.
- Great reviews
- I cross reference several lists like: Travel and Leisure World’s Best Hotels, Conde Nast The Gold List, Telegraph 50 Greatest Hotels In The World and Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Luxury Hotels
- Look at traveler photos on TripAdvisor
- Restaurant options in resorts is also a deciding factor
- Modern minimalist décor is our preference but not a deal breaker if the hotel doesn’t fit that design style
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special (boutique) hotels you have ever stayed at and what made them so special?
Four Seasons Bora Bora: The over water bungalow overlooking the turquoise lagoon and mount Otemanu are what dreams are made of. The staff were friendly and the service was excellent. This little paradise was the perfect setting for our honeymoon and we enjoyed the serenity and beauty of the resort. We experienced the most romantic private island dinning experience on a white sand motu lit by tiki torches which began with a short canoe ride from the shore. It was followed by a spectacular Polynesian fire dance performance. Our one-bedroom mountain view overwater bungalow suite was luxurious and spacious with a deck overlooking mount Otemanu where you can relax while sipping champagne on the chaise longues.
Amanzoe Greece: This luxury five-star resort is perfection! The Pavilions are positioned to ensure maximum privacy and are a little over 2200sf. We had the Pool Pavilion with Premium Views of the Aegean Sea and olive groves with a private 6m pool. The décor is modern, with pale walls, natural stone features and a touch of pine, exactly how we like it. The service was impeccable, the hotel amenities were the best we’ve had and the attention to detail was second to none. The restaurant options on the resort were excellent even for foodies like us. Amanzoe also offers a variety of activities like personal training, Pilates, a fabulous spa and many other excursions. For more on this hotel you can check out my hotel review on the blog.
Hoshinoya Tokyo: This is our most unique hotel experience to date. The Hoshinoya Tokyo is a five-star ryokan hotel located in the city’s financial district. A ryokan is a traditional Japanese hotel that originated in the Edo period. Guests are required to remove their shoes upon entering the hotel, are provided with a kimono and encouraged to wear it throughout the hotel. Every floor is covered by a seamless mosaic of tatami mats making it enjoyable to walk around barefoot. The rooms offer a minimalist traditional design with bamboo closets, and shoji paper sliding doors. Every floor has an ochanoma—a lounge that serves as an exclusive living and dining room for guests. There is a hot spring (onsen) located on the top floor of the hotel. The service was exceptional and the hotel staff went out of their way to accommodate restaurant reservations and bookings before our stay and during.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- A unique welcome gift that is specific to the region.
- A pillow menu, sleep is incredibly important to us and we’ve had sleepless nights due to terrible pillows.
- A spa is always welcome and particularly ones that offer great facial treatments. I also prefer when they are open late since I like to experience the spa before bed.
- Late check-out and early check-in options even if it is at an extra fee.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
- Amanzoe offers personal training services and a state of the art Pilates studio where you can participate in group classes or take a private lesson. We loved this!
- We don’t book full board (breakfast included) in hotels anymore unless it is room service breakfast since we never make it on time. I like to eat my breakfast in my pyjamas.
- Free laundry service is always nice to have! More room in the suitcase for shopping!
- I must add one more! Separate bathrooms, one ensuite with a separate powder room is one of our favorite things in hotels.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
- Loud air conditioners drive me nuts! I’ve stayed in hotels where it sounds like you’re sleeping by the highway with your windows open. And yes, these were 5-star hotels.
- No hand-held shower head, this is my biggest pet peeve! Can we please have a rain shower AND hand-held in ALL hotels.
- Poor WIFI connection.
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
This is a wonderful concept! I love the idea of having a hotel designed by the customer for the customer. This is the future of travel and it is so exciting to be part of such and innovative project. Avid travelers will have the opportunity to contribute to the design which can only make the Ambelair a one of a kind hotel. Think about it! You’re gathering ideas from an experienced travel community from all over the world and combining those ideas to create something magical! And it’s in Italy, it doesn’t get better than that! I can’t wait to see the final project!
Where are you off to next?
Our next big adventure is a safari in the Masai Mara game reserve and Serengeti National Park in Kenya; we’ll be staying at the Cottar’s 1920s Camp. We will also be visiting Zanzibar, Tanzania and staying at the Park Hyatt and the Residence. We are staying at two different hotels because I don’t want to miss out on Stone Town and the hubby wants pure relaxation; marriage is all about compromise! I’ll probably sneak another weekend trip in before then so if you have any suggestions on where we should go in Europe in November and/or December please send me a message
This is Pamela Chieffallo, also known as the Chieff in Travel Like A Chieff. I left my career behind after moving to Dublin, Ireland from Toronto, Canada, became a housewife, nearly lost my mind and then started a blog. And that’s how Travel Like a Chieff was born! My mission is to discover the highest quality experiences, services and brands, share them with people all over the world and inspire them to do the same. Follow my adventures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or if you want to connect professionally check out my LinkedIn profile.