How do you choose a hotel when you travel?
We look for a hotel that is a little different, that has an angle that is unique, or has done something amazing that warrants our attention. We will look for trending boutique hotels that have just launched, re-launched, have history and character. Generally we find out information by some strategic searching, and often serendipity just kicks in.
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special (boutique) hotels you have ever stayed at?
I would have to say Hotel Westminster Paris for its sheer Parisian charm. Hotel Tugu Bali, Canggu for its living museum eccentricity, and Jamala Wildlife Lodge in Canberra, Australia. Not only did we have a giraffe in the room, but also every part of the hotel is designed with authentic pieces from Africa.
What made them so special?
The Hotel Westminster Paris, a Warwick Hotel oozes old world Parisian charm. It is located in the amazing Rue de la Paix The service is understated yet on task and they have the amazing The Golden Key Hotel Concierge – Les Clefs d’Or, Nicolas Fresneau. Who can literally get you anything.
Hotel Tugu Bali was created by an accidental hotelier. His avid collecting meant he had nowhere to store his unique history of Bali and Indonesia, so he created the hotel and the Hotel Tugu Lombok as living museums with cultural and heritage significance.
Jamala Wildlife Lodge in Canberra, Australia is just such a unique concept. The proceeds of the luxury lodge goes into caring for the animals and to an extensive conservation and breeding program that is undertaken.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- Style, and character that is indicative of where I am staying and not just any other hotel room in any part of the world. Without looking like a postcard, I want to wake up and feel like I am in this country or city.
- Free, lightening fast Internet; sad but this is our reality.
- Coffee; excellent barista quality coffee. Employ an Australian barista and solve all of the problems.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
- They are representative of where they are and look the part.
- Pleasant and efficient service, which we do mostly see now.
- Where they go that little bit further and make you feel as if you are the only guest that exists.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
- Scratchy bathrobes – pet peeve
- Cheap toilet paper, come on you are a high end hotel, don’t save money on crap paper
- Bad coffee
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
This is exciting. From all of the knowledge and experiences of people who know, will come, the ultimate boutique hotel. This is a considered idea to what the guests want and need in a hotel. It gives us a sense of having been a part of something special and unique.
Where are you off to next?
We are going to the US and Canada for 2 months, where we are working with numerous boutique hotels and inns. This will be a very busy trip, but there is a lot of fun as we kick it off as guests of the 49ers in San Francisco and we will ski in Vermont at the end of the trip.
Paula and her husband are Destination and Experience Marketers. They write at their award winning travel site, Contented Traveller, a site for fit, free and financial travelers who really don’t like to compromise. They share with their reader’s different ways to travel and different things to see and to do.
They are boho chic travellers who will eat at a Michelin star restaurant one day and the next day be sitting with local people eating street food in Bangkok. They have a home base on the beach in Australia, which is why they know excellent coffee. They are great believers in serendipity when they travel.