We have asked New York based Sarah and Lindsay of boutique travel company Compass + Twine, to share their thoughts with us about their love for boutique 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?
Local character. We love to find a well-managed hotel that gives you a true sense of the place you’re visiting. Also, good location and quality bed linens may seem like obvious answers, but they can make or break an experience. In general, you can tell a lot about a place based off the initial reservation experience, so we like to book over the phone with boutiques. The call tends to route directly to the hotel instead of a central booking line, enabling you to ask questions, get a sense of the hospitality, and request insight on recommended local spots to check out.
If you had to choose 3, which were the most special (boutique) hotels you have ever stayed at?
Casa San Agustin in Cartagena, Colombia
The breath-taking courtyard pool and charming colonial character of Casa San Agustin.
Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine
The basket of hot coffee and pastries delivered to your cottage each morning at Hidden Pond.
The Inn at Windmill Lane in the Hamptons, NY
The luxurious, well-appointed rooms at the Inn at Windmill lane; with a private fireplace, Duxiana bed, Matouk linens, and spacious marble bathroom with steam and rain showers, you won’t want to leave.
If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?
- We tend to fall in love with properties that have an open-air design element to them or seamless indoor/outdoor flow. In particular to the outside area, you can never go wrong with a picturesque setting for sunset cocktails.
- Top-notch service is instrumental to a good experience. When employees are professional, welcoming and invested in their establishment, it shows.
- A statement tub or rain shower is always a fun amenity. Upon walking into a room, one of the first things we do is peak into the bathroom, as if expecting some sort of surprise. It never fails to excite when there is one.
Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…
- Boutiques like the Modern Honolulu in Hawaii or Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego have embraced the two-pool concept. We appreciate the option to either play with our nieces and nephews in the family pool or spend a relaxing afternoon lounging by the adults-only pool.
- To be out in nature in a beautiful location is unbeatable. We love that hotels like the Spruceton Inn in the Catskills and Hidden Pond in Maine have outfitted their properties with fire pits for guests to soak in the stars, roast s’mores and swap stories with fellow travelers.
- A good turndown service is a nice and appreciated extra touch. The Lodge at Torrey Pines and the Banyan Tree Mayakoba leave behind different items on your pillow each night, from lavender face spray to locally made goodies and note with tomorrow’s forecast.
Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.
Dirty rooms or bathrooms take the cake. Otherwise, it can be disappointing when housekeeping hasn’t come after a long day out or room-service dining options are lacking. There also seems to be a new trend of having duvets, only, as a bed cover. Yikes. Duvets can get warm, but we mainly want a top sheet as an extra layer of clean linen.
How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?
Brilliantly interactive, the Amberlair concept feels like the next step in the evolution of boutique hotels. It’s like sourcing all the best practices and take-aways from avid travellers and then making them come to life in one idyllic property.
Where are you off to next?
We can’t wait to visit the Carneros Inn in Napa Valley next month. After that we hope to check out Mukul in Nicaragua, Cuixmala in Mexico and Cuba sometime soon.
Sarah and Lindsay are the owners of the boutique travel company, Compass + Twine. While their respective backgrounds are in the financial industry and media, it was their shared love for travel that prompted them to create their own business, driven by their passion. After dozens of inquires from family and friends to assist with trip planning, the pair merged their skills and C+T was born.
Compass + Twine, based in New York City, plans tailored trips for their clients all across the globe. They use their website as a place to share a curated list of their favorite finds, hoping to inspire others along the way. The pair is always looking to experience the true character of a place, from finding a charming boutique hotel run by a local family, to the hole in the wall wine bar where all the neighborhood chefs go on their night off. They design trips for clients which are inspired by local insight and experiences.