#BoHoLover: Meet luxury aficionado Rosie Leach @rosie_routledge

We have asked luxury travel aficionado, Rosie Leach to share her thoughts with us about hotels and Amberlair. Just like us, she’s a #BohoLover (Boutique Hotel lover)!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel Rosie Leach Sparkling Wine

 

 

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

There are several important factors I take into consideration when selecting a hotel. In no particular order, location is key, be it beach front, city centre, etc. I tend to gravitate towards favourite hotel brands, as you generally know what to expect and the familiarity is comforting. Hotel rating is also important to me, as I am sure it is to many seasoned travellers. Recommendations and first hand experience from friends and a knowledgeable travel professional are also very important. Whilst I do not place too much emphasis on price, it is a consideration and it is important that your stay represents value for money.

 

 

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

This is an incredibly hard question to answer, as there are so many great hotels in the world that are special to me and represent a home away from home. After much deliberation, here are my three in no particular order: The W in Maldives, the Belmond Cipriani in Venice and the Sandy Lane in Barbados

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Rosie Leach at W Hotel in the Maldives #boholover

Rosie Leach at W Hotel in the Maldives.

 

However, I do feel that I need to mention Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence as a very close contender. Having just spent my birthday weekend at this wonderful hotel it would be wrong of me not to sneak it in!

 

 

What made them so special?

The W Maldives is where Mr. L and I had our honeymoon, so for that reason alone it was special. More specifically, from the moment you arrive by sea plane and are welcomed by the resident DJ playing some upbeat tunes and a cocktail on the jetty, you immediately relax and melt into your surroundings. It goes without saying, that the environment is stunning but our lagoon oasis room far exceeded our expectations from its size, to the personal cocktail bar, deck, plunge pool and direct access to the glorious water below.

A nice touch was the option to have a private BBQ on your own deck where staff discreetly serve you the dishes and drinks of your choice. As a surprise, I had also booked exclusive use for a day of the W’s yacht, ‘Escape’. We had a memorable day sailing around some smaller islands and dining in style. In the event of rain, a mixology course could be arranged at short notice and great fun! Another quirky aspect of the hotel was the ‘tuck boxes’ dotted about the island full to the brim of ice cream and soft drinks.

If you fancy a dance, the W features an underground club, ‘Fifteen below’, which boasts one of the largest, if not the largest collection of vodkas I have ever seen. As someone who is partial to the odd vodka and tonic, this was a real treat! The spa at The W is a sight to behold. Each treatment room looks out onto the ocean and includes its own deck and outdoor living area and shower, true bliss!

 

Belmond Villa San Michele in Italy.

Belmond Villa San Michele in Italy. Photo by hotel.

 

We have stayed a number of times at The Cipriani, not least combined with a trip on The Simplon Orient Express. Venice is, for many people, a magical place and it is no different for us. From the first moment we arrived by boat we fell in love with the hotel and the staff. Belmond hotels around the world are exceptional and it is a brand that I always seek out when visiting a location or, in fact, choose a location based on which of their hotels I would like to try next!! I am lucky to have stayed at a number around the world but would like to complete the set one day.

One of the things I love is that the concierges in particular seem to dedicate their lives to the properties and they are always a familiar, friendly face when you return. The hotel and the service at The Cipriani are great and I always love returning to the hotel’s large swimming pool for an Aperol Spritz after the hustle and bustle of Venice. The hotel always recognise their repeat guests with a room upgrade where available and a bottle of fizz and delicious desert creations in your room. It is an oasis of calm. Cips, one of the restaurants, as well as great food, boasts a stunning view across The Grand Canal to St Marks Square. Definitely worth booking and an extremely romantic setting.

We were fortunate to be staying at The Cipriani during last year’s Venice Film festival, which was very exciting. At every turn we ran into a movie star or producer, which combined with the surroundings of The Cipriani transported you back to the glamorous era of Hollywood!

 

Whilst I occasionally feel that I should try an alternative hotel in Barbados at least once, I never actually find the courage to do so – and why would I want to? Sandy Lane is a wonderful hotel, a home from home for us. We try to escape there for a long weekend or week at least two to three times a year and every time is as pleasurable as the last.

Whilst you enjoy your first cocktail of the trip on at the beach your luggage is unpacked for you, and as a complimentary service, any pressing is done. The rooms and bathrooms are generous in size and well-equipped, although you can also pre-order your favourite snacks and beverages. The breakfast is extensive and includes a juice bar, which is great after one of the complimentary workout sessions each morning for hotel guests.

The staff cannot do enough to make your stay memorable and tend to your every need, welcoming you back each time with enthusiasm, truly making it a home from home. Sunday brunch is something of a tradition for us now and due to the extensive menu, normally extends to the whole afternoon! The spa at Sandy Lane has an exceptional reputation which I can only concur with. The spa features a vast array of treatments using Aromatherapy Associates products, which I adore. Some of the treatment rooms have private outdoor plunge pools and sun terraces.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet luxury aficionado Rosie Leach at Sandy Lane in Barbados. #boholover

Sandy Lane in Barbados. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

My needs are relatively simple. One of my staple needs and something that can often sway my choice of hotel is an in-room Nespresso machine. In my opinion no machine comes close and it is a real pleasure to relax in your room or on the balcony/terrace with an espresso at any time of the day! A juice bar would also be a welcome addition to any hotel should I feel the need to detox. Finally, a good Sunday brunch with local live music would make any stay special.

 

 

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before.

A complimentary packing and unpacking service, is a godsend, especially if you spend your life travelling. You can partake in a cocktail or grab some last minute sunshine whilst the packing or unpacking is done for you. Mr. L says he wishes the contents of my drawers were always this neat and tidy!!

Another hotel service I loved was in Cusco, Peru where guests are allocated a private butler who arrives at sundown to mix you the cocktail of your choice, I definitely recommend the Pisco Sours! Another service that I have experienced at several hotels is complimentary coffee, tea or other beverage brought to your room every morning with a newspaper of your choice at a pre-agreed time. A great way to start your day and delivered when you need it, no need to order and wait!

 

 

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

One of the things that I cannot stand is lazy, apathetic staff that fail to provide exceptional service and go the extra mile for their guests. Sadly I have experienced this in several luxury properties and it really does have a negative impact on your stay. Another pet hate of mine is when the GM and or senior management of a hotel are hardly visible during your stay or introduce themselves as if it is the first time they have met you, even though you have stayed at the property a number of times before.

Another issue of mine which I am sure will resonate with the majority of seasoned travellers is painfully slow wifi which requires you to relog on each time. It is surprising in this day and age and surely with the widespread use of social media to ensure a robust and easily accessible wifi network can only be a positive move for hotels. Last but not least, I will never fail to see the point of having an empty mini bar in your room!! These are all of course first world problems but when travelling one has certain expectations, which I feel should be met.

 

 

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

Amberlair is an interesting, unique and exciting concept which I am honoured to have been invited to be a part of. I am looking forward to finding out where the first location will be! I can see how it would work in principle and I like the fact that it has multiple stakeholders who all have an input into the hotel from the location, to the décor, to how it is run.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Rosie Leach #boholover

 

 

Where are you off to next?

I am off to Barcelona for the weekend. This is my first leisure visit to the city so I am looking forward to it.
I am also excited to be sampling the delights of the W hotel. From Barcelona I am flying back to Marbella and looking forward to visiting Finca Cortesin on Mrs O’s recommendations, it looks great and I cannot wait to try it. Following a short visit to the UK, I am off to Malta, a place that I have enjoyed and loved from the first time I visited some four years ago.

Following 15 years in corporate travel as Global Brand Manager and General Manager, in Africa, the Middle East and West Asia, Rosie decided to take a career break to pursue her passion for travel and study for an MBA.
Rosie Leach is most likely to be found on the ski slopes in winter (one of the advantages of being based in Geneva!) or alternatively, somewhere in Africa, a continent where she has lived and feels most at home. Travel is an education and an adventure so, although on a personal, rather than professional level, Rosie loves to share her travel experiences hoping to provide inspiration to others. Follow along with her travel adventures on Twitter.

#BoHoLover: Meet Raffaela of Das Lindenberg Hotel in Frankfurt

We have asked Raffaela Filippelli of the Frankfurt Main based hotel “Das Lindenberg” to share her thoughts with us about hotels and Amberlair. Just like us, a #BohoLover is a Boutique Hotel lover!
Of course Kristin loves the name of the hotel. She was welcomed as the first guest who has the same name!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel Raffaela Flowers

 

 

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

A hotel needs to feel like home. I need to walk into it and feel as if I’ve been there forever. I tend to choose hotels that give me that great first impression, and I feel totally comfortable there. If it’s too stiff or I’ve seen it before in another hotel, I will move on. That said, recommendations are critical when I’m selecting a hotel for my own travel. That’s why I like to ask guests of Das Lindenburg for their advice – they travel the same way I do.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel Das Lindenberg Lulu

Lulu room at “Das Lindenberg” in Frankfurt / Main in Germany.

 

 

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

Of all the wonderful boutique hotels I’ve experienced, I’d have to say the Ace Hotel in London Shoreditch, Hotel Des Indes in Den Haag and the J.K. Place in Florence were real stand outs for me.

 

 

What made them so special?

Ace Hotel in London Shoreditch: It’s minimalistic and there’s a people-oriented approach here that plays off of the artistic, eclectic neighborhood that surrounds it.

Hotel Des Indes Den Haag: This space is able to transform the spirit of an old grand hotel to the here and now. And the five-and-a-half meter high ceilings are just breathtakingly beautiful!

J.K. Place Florence: This hotel makes you feel cozy and right at home. There’s a direct reflection of the city into the interior design, which makes you feel romantic and well-cared-for at the same time.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel Des Indes

Hotel des Indes in Den Haag. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

Well, luckily I do love our Das Lindenberg concept, which takes the idea of a boutique hotel to a new level. We are proud to feature all sorts of different aspects that make us a unique choice for travelers. Das Lindenberg is a hideway that captures the small-town feel that resonates throughout Frankfurt. But, of course, it also blends that with the design and feel of this pulsating international destination. Above all, though, it’s a home away from home for our guests.

 

 

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

There’s nothing better than a plush, cozy bed that you can’t wait to jump into after a long day of traveling. Also, a hotel with an attentive staff is a great bonus that brightens your day without you really even noticing. Though you really notice when that kind of service isn’t there. And, of course, I do love a good cup of coffee in the morning. It’s those little details that stand out for me.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel Penthouse JKPalace

J.K. Place Firenze in Italy. Photo by hotel.

 

 

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

I’m not a fan of grumpy staff who take it out on unsuspecting guests. That is maybe the least forgivable when it comes to hotel stays. That, and ill-kempt rooms would probably be the worst. Cleanliness is key, people!

 

 

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

As we are a guest community, it is lovely to encounter people who share their thoughts on independent and individual hotel concepts. I love to interact with our guests and learn how we can improve their experience at our hotel. I think it’s similar to the Amberlair concept. The guests–they’re the ones staying at the hotel so why shouldn’t they be the ones to come up with the location, design, look and feel? It’s a great idea that I think will really resonate with people.

 

 

Where are you off to next?

Next, I’m off to our second house Libertine, which is opening at the end of summer 2015 in Frankfurt. It’s been a busy process, but we are super excited for this launch, and I can’t wait to welcome our new guests!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel Raffaela of Das Lindenberg

 

 

Raffaela Filippelli, with Italian roots but Frankfurter at heart, is the guest manager at the famous “Das Lindenberg” Hotel in Frankfurt am Main in Germany. She loves her job in the hospitality industry, because she has the chance to welcome all kind of different people from around the world in their tiny apartment like hotel property where the guest is king. You can find her on Facebook and on Instagram.

 

#BoHoLover: Meet Stéphanie Bonnet of From the @PoolsideBlog

Boutique hotel lover and French mum, Stéphanie Bonnet of From the Poolside blog, tells us about hotels, travel, and her thoughts on Amberlair. Just like us, she’s a #BohoLover, a Boutique Hotel lover.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Stephanie Bonnet of From the Poolside blog #boholover

 

 

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

We have a list of requirements as long as our arms!!! The first and foremost is that there is a true sense of intimacy and being “special”, as in “you’re the only one who ever found this place and you’re so lucky”. That means that location is a key criteria: isolated but beautiful scenery, close to villages with local culture and with lots of peace and quiet. Intimacy is all about being a true independent or boutique hotel. I run away as soon as I read 65 rooms in a hotel description. Family-friendliness is crucial, as well, as we travel 90% of the time with our 8-year-old daughter.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Stephanie Bonnet of From the Poolside blog at Domaine de la Baume in Provence France #boholover

Domaine de Murtoli in Corsica, France. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

Domaine de Murtoli in Corsica, Hotel Endsleigh in Devon, and Perivolas in Santorini.

 

 

What made them so special?

Murtoli is truly paradise on earth. The greatest luxury of all here is nature in all its glory and silence. Rolling hills and mountains, poppies, buttercups and all kind of purple flowers dotting the green lush grass, soft white sand and the turquoise water of the beach.There is no noise apart from the birds songs, the wind in the trees or the lizards running fast across the rocks. It is truly a place to see all your worries fly away and relax completely.

Hotel Endsleigh is the quintessential English country hotel. It’s a beautiful manor surrounded by gardens designed by Repton where the interior decoration is just right. The service is what makes it truly amazing. You feel like you are in your own private house. We have been there many times and love it so much that this is where we got married last October. Couldn’t have thought of a better place.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet boutique hotel blogger Stephanie Bonnet of From the Poolside blog at Hotel Endsleigh in England #boholover

Hotel Endsleigh in Devon, England. Photo by hotel.

 

Perivolas – the view, the pool, the white, the blue! Enough said. All the magic of Santorini but without the crowds and the hassle. Also, I had the best massage I have ever received in my life.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet boutique hotel blogger Stephanie Bonnet of From the Poolside blog at Perivolas Hotel in Santorini Greece #boholover

Perivolas Hotel Santorini, Greece. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

  1. A pool lunch restaurant menu with nothing complicated, just simple local produce cooked or prepared very well.
  2. Delivery of fresh tea in the morning without having to ask for it. (i.e based on preferred times indicated at check-in)
  3. Friendly conversations with the staff, enough to make you feel welcome, like a friend, but not too much that it would be spooky.

 

 

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

  1. The no limit on kids’ time in the pool at Lucknam Park and the pony hacks. Kids love it there.
  2. The apéritif at Domaine de la Baume and Bastide de Marie (both are part of the Sibuet family of hotels). A table is set with various delicacies that are different each night. You help yourself to them and the staff comes to ask you which drinks you would like with them.
  3. The turn-up service at La Coquillade, which always left a little something different for our daughter on her bed.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet boutique hotel blogger Stephanie Bonnet of From the Poolside blog at La Coquillade in France #boholover

La Coquillade in Gargas, France. Photo by hotel.

 

 

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

Overpriced food. An impersonal welcome. Not respecting the client’s requests or booking confirmation without helping to find a better accommodation, (yup, that happened to us during our mini-honeymoon!)

 

 

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

I love it! When I first learned about it, I thought, “that’s exactly what I would have liked to do”. The concept of creating the perfect boutique hotel that represents the total sum of stylish travellers’ desires is just spot on. I can’t wait to see where it’s going to be and to start voting on the other items.

 

 

Where are you off to next?

We are spending the last months of autumn in the UK, with a great trip to Scotland, discovering Killyhuntie and then Gleneagles, and we’ll finish the year in style at the newly opened Heckfield Place. I can’t wait!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Stephanie Bonnet of From the Poolside blog #boholover

 

 

Stéphanie Bonnet is a boutique hotel lover and a French mum living in London. On her blog, From the Poolside, she helps style-loving women (that’s you!) find gorgeous holiday places combining French chic + interior design flair + family friendly service.

She strives to locate boutique hotels, pretty B&Bs but also stylish villa rentals that will guarantee the kind of holidays memories are made of.

A bit of a geek, Stéphanie Bonnet loves trying all the new digital platforms, So whether you are an Instagram addict, a Twitter lurker, a Facebook devotee or on Pinterest, she’ll be delighted to connect with you and share her tips.

 

#BoHoLover: Meet Deborah Thompson of New Jetsetters @newjetsetters

We asked Deborah Thompson of  New Jetsetters to share her thoughts with us about hotels and Amberlair. She’s a #BohoLover – Boutique Hotel Lover,  just like us!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet luxury travel blogger Deborah Thompson of New Jetsetters #boholover

 

 

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

Our priority when choosing a hotel is finding one with a few special qualities that set it apart from the rest, and this differs depending on the destination itself. In a city we look for “sanctuary” hotels that are located in the heart of the action; we want to walk to (or easily get to) the top attractions, yet upon returning to our room feel any “city tension” melt away. We want it to be a quiet, relaxing refuge, far from the maddening crowds.

For “getaway” hotels we look for a hotel that celebrates and respects the area we are hoping to explore. For example, a jungle lodge that is respectful of the wildlife and nature surrounding it, that offers spa treatments and personal (not group) activities that promote the local wonders. We also look for hotels that incorporate the beauty of the landscape or city into the guest experience. You’ll find some examples below when I answer what made our top 3 hotels so special.

 

 

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

For a hotel that is both a city hotel and a destination hotel, we would choose Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. For a destination hotel, we would choose St. Regis Punta Mita in Mexico. For a city hotel, Shangri-La Pudong in Hong Kong.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet luxury travel blogger Deborah Thompson of New Jetsetters at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok #boholover

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel. Photo by hotel.

 

 

What made them so special?

These are three very different hotels in three very different parts of the world, but they all have one major factor in common. Singularly outstanding treatment of guests.

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has it all. A bustling city hotel in one of the busiest cities in the world, the it offers a simply amazing level of personalized guest attention and services. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok looks after you from the moment you arrive at the airport with a meet, greet and escort to your executive car or limousine, right to the moment you retrace your steps back to the airport for your flight home. Our driver actually brought all our luggage into the terminal and checked us in for our flight himself. We just had to walk through security and into the first class lounge to wait for our flight. It seemed that ever step we took there was someone looking after our comfort.

They also celebrate their location with gorgeous suites overlooking the busy river Chao Phraya river, and despite being in downtown Bangkok, as soon as you are greeted at the lobby doors by numerous, beautifully dressed staff acknowledging you with a “wai”, you will forget the millions of honking cars, zooming motorbikes and crowds of people as the lobby envelopes you in peace and quiet. A floor butler that would rush to call the elevator for you when he heard your door open, hand you an umbrella or a newspaper or whatever else you didn’t realize you needed until that moment. Also their spa is incredible, located in lush gardens on the far side of the Chao Phraya river, with treatment rooms overlooking little tinkling streams. Attention to guest satisfaction here is beyond compare.

Again, service levels at St. Regis Punta Mita are outstanding. We were brought by private car onto this property, which is gated and private from the surrounding area. Guests are invited to sip cocktails while checking in, staff are happy to introduce themselves. Their rooms and suites are built into the surrounding landscape to take advantage of the lush, jungle-like property. Most rooms and suites have at least a partial ocean view and their Presidential Suites are simply breathtaking.

Looking out over the deep blue of the ocean from your king-size bed, or slipping into your private swimming pool or enormous jacuzzi overlooking the beach at night before bed is unforgettable. Butler service is discrete but friendly and, again, anticipatory of your needs. We loved being able to book a private tour (through our butler) of the Marietta Islands and could walk right from our suite to the dock where the boat departed. We loved their “pop-up” dinners on the beach and exploring their vast property to look for tropical birds and native wildlife. We also loved that the General Manager was on site and meeting and greeting guests regularly while we were there; making sure guests were having not just a good time, but a great time.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet luxury travel blogger Deborah Thompson of New Jetsetters at the Shangrila #boholover

Deborah’s arrival at Shangri-La Pudong.

 

Dare I say it again? Service is at every turn at Shangri-La Pudong. We were brought to the hotel and greeted with warmth, smiles and feeling like we were truly welcome. Similar to the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, this hotel is directly at the epicenter of big-city chaos. Horns honk. Buses roar. Immense groups of people surge elbow-to-elbow through malls, overflowing out onto exhaust-filled streets, pulling over-tired children into the next mall. It’s noisy and overwhelming, but you are within walking distance to some of the most amazing architectural sights in Shanghai, and it offers gorgeous suites that overlook one of the most beautiful parts of the Huang Po River, with views over to the world-famous Bund and the diverse architectural styles that make the skyline here so interesting.

A tiny, ancient little fellow, named Larry, was at the elevator every single day. He did not speak a word of English but with a smile in his eyes he would rush to get the elevator for us and once we were inside he would make sure we remembered to insert our card for the club floor and warble away in his language in the most adorable way. Every day, we couldn’t wait to say hello to Larry. We loved that they pressed a certain amount of items every day for free; that they accommodated their turn down service to your desired times, that they sent a welcome amenity to our room to say a special hello to us, and that their Club Floor Concierge greeted us by name every single morning, took the time to remember that we liked to have two black coffees and two orange juices before we looked at the menu. We also saw the general manager circulating regularly throughout the property, greeting guests, speaking with groups and making his exceptional presence known.

 

 

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

Outstanding employees, trained to exceed industry standards for hospitality and guest relations. Second, suites with as many luxe features as possible: super-fast WIFI, super-comfortable dream beds, top end linens, fresh flowers, top-end coffee system with limitless access to great coffee, sound-systems to work with the latest personal electronic devices, and LOTS OF EASILY ACCESSIBLE WALL PLUGS to plug all the possible gadgets that today’s guests travel with. Last, superb amenities in the bathroom including a large soaker tub with a view, if possible, an excellent steam shower, and very plush towels.

 

 

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

Huge king beds that are so comfortable it is actually hard to want to get up – and you LOVE the idea of going to bed at night! Delivery of custom-ordered breakfast every morning via an exterior cupboard, so I didn’t have to get dressed before my first sip of coffee! Or the butler service that set up breakfast on the terrace in the morning and rang a bell on the way out to let us know it was ready! Lastly, being greeted as a treasured guest, escorted directly to our suite where check-in is done while sipping champagne. Truly civilized.

 

 

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

Having to wait in a line-up to check-in, only to feel rather unwelcomed when greeted by front desk staff. Tiny, dark bathrooms with no decent bathtub and crusty towels! An unappealing view and uncomfortable mattress.

 

 

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

It is quite fascinating, and truly a concept whose “time has come”.

 

 

Where are you off to next?

In a few weeks, we will be guests at two gorgeous properties in Arizona, The ultra-luxurious “Phoenician” where we will be staying at the exclusive Canyon Suites, and at the seductive Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain where we will be staying in one of their most luxurious spa suites. We will be indulging in some spa treatments and assessing the gastronomic scene at some of the best restaurants, both at the hotels and in the surrounding area. Of course, we will be doing a Notable Chef interview or two while we are there, one of New Jetsetters specialties! We also have a special invitation from the general manager of the W Hotel in Scottsdale to come for dinner at their renowned sushi restaurant and check out the pool scene on the WET deck. We can’t wait to share everything on all our social media channels. We will also be featuring these hotels and experiences on New Jetsetters and in a future issue of our luxurious digital New Jetsetters “Gloss” Magazine.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet luxury travel blogger Deborah Thompson of New Jetsetters #boholover

 

 

From the moment Deborah Thompson first experienced the world of luxury travel as a child when her family stayed at the distinguished Elbow Beach Resort on the tiny island of Bermuda, she was smitten with the travel bug.  Soon she was filling leather-bound journals with details of the beautiful places she was able to visit.

Now she is thrilled to share her words and photographs with the world as she visits some of the most luxurious hotels in the world and indulges in some of the most amazing experiences. With her unique, engaging writing style and ability to connect with some of the top movers and shakers in the luxury travel industry, Deborah is fast becoming one of the top Luxury Travel Influencers in social media today. 

As Managing Partner and Editor-in-Chief of Newjetsetters, Deborah Thompson is also proud to co-produce New Jetsetters “Gloss” Digital Magazine which features select properties and experiences from around the globe in beautiful HD photography and all-original content which includes not only luxury hotel, airline and restaurant reviews, but also interviews with some of the world’s most interesting people in the restaurant and hospitality field.  She invites you to connect with her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, Pinterest.

 

#BoHoLover: Meet Katie Lara of @TheKatieLara

We have asked Katie Lara, NYC-based luxury travel blogger of the same name Katie Lara to share hers thoughts with us about hotels and Amberlair. Just like us, Katie is a #BohoLover, which means a Boutique Hotel lover!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - #boholover Katie Lara of Travelingpanties at the french Riviera.

 

 

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

When choosing a hotel, the first thing I do is check with my fellow travel bloggers. I find professional-quality photos and honest opinions on blogs. I’ve found some of my favorite spots this way. Unlike websites that often feature advertisers/partners without making it clear, blogs are very forthcoming in what they have received so I feel like I can trust them. I also peruse online to check out other people’s photos and reviews on sites like Trip Advisor. But really, most of my trust is put into recommendations from bloggers as well as friends and family whose opinions I trust.

 

 

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

The service at Singita Lebombo at Kruger National Park in South Africa was like nothing I have ever experienced before. Personalized menus based on your preferences, a private butler, and endless gourmet food and drink. After our safari rides each evening there were drawn bubble baths complete with South African bubbly and rose petals. The romance factor here could not have been higher.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Katie Lara of Travelingpanties at Singita Lebombo Lodge #boholover

Singita Lebombo Lodge in South Africa. Photo by hotel.

 

At the Nam Hai in Hoi An, Vietnam they actually tend to each blade of grass by hand to make sure that the landscaping is absolutely perfect. Rooms have stunning views of the water, outdoor showers, state-of-the-art technology and at turn down each night they surround the room with candles (strategically, I assure you, it’s not a fire hazard). And the spa here is incredible. I had a four-handed massage that was truly heavenly.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Bedroom in the Nam Hai Hotel in Vietnam.

Bedroom in the Nam Hai Hotel in Vietnam. Photo by hotel.

 

The Four Seasons in Koh Samui, Thailand was everything you would expect from a Four Seasons resort – and then some! We had our own private pool overlooking the bay. The views were like nothing I have ever seen before. You could order room service to your room and dine privately on your balcony so you never had to leave the comfort of your own privacy.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet travel writer Katie Lara of Travelingpanties in Koh Samui Thailand #boholover

The Four Seasons – Koh Samui in Thailand. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

  • Pre-stay emails: You can increase guests satisfaction ten-fold by simply asking people what they want. The mere effort of doing so makes them happy too, so it’s truly win-win.
  • Welcome cocktails!
  • State-of-the-art technology: High-powered hairdryers and light-up magnifying makeup mirrors are something I really appreciate. Also, having plenty of plugs that are easily accessible (plug inside the safe for laptop charging please!) are also a must, and if it is an international destination, I would make sure to have adapters in each room for guests’ convenience.

I would also be sure to bring in the local culture as much as possible into the hotel in menus, decor and anywhere else you can imagine. As a guest, I love learning as much as possible about traditions and incorporating this into the stay makes it that much more special.

 

 

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

  • Bubble baths at Singita and Royal Malewane.
  • Indoor fireplace at the Stein Ericksen Lodge in Park City, Utah. When we returned from dinner, we had a trail of rose petals covering the floor all the way to a cozy fire at the foot of our bed.
  • An organic perfume blending class at the Four Seasons Lanai.
  • A cooking class we did at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai. It was an entire day, we visited the market with an expert guide who took us on a tasting adventure, then we learned how to cook a feast, which we then enjoyed overlooking the property’s working rice paddies.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - #boholover Katie Lara of Travelingpanties in Argentina

 

 

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

I hope to never see another bedbug as long as I live! I won’t name where, because after diligent research I believe it was an isolated incident but I don’t think anything compared to the horror of discovering those. Even the thought makes my skin crawl.

I think that covers my 1, 2, and 3!

 

 

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

I love the Amberlair concept. Such an innovative way to bring the travel community together. I can’t wait to see where the first location will be!

 

 

Where are you off to next?

My next trip will be for my birthday! I’m heading to Cincinatti, Ohio. It’s a big up-and-coming foodie destination and since I love nothing more than eating, I can’t wait. The South and West Open will also be there, so I’ll be checking that out too. I love tennis! Though there won’t be much playing for me. I’ll be in the VIP tent so there will be more champagne than tennis, but is there any better way to enjoy any sport?

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet travel writer Katie Lara of Travelingpanties in Venice Italy #boholover

 

 

Katie Lara is is an award-winning travel blogger of her Alter Ego Katie Lara. Katie is also the New York Travel Correspondent for Forbes, an accomplished travel video host for sites like About.com and a regular contributor for U.S. News and World Report, The Huffington Post and Fodor’s.

Katie Lara has been jetting around the world her entire life trying to take in everything that life has to offer. She scours the globe looking for the best places to eat, stay and play – and makes sure they’re the best for her loyal followers. Keep up with Katie’s adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

 

#BoHoLover: Meet Becky of Global Grasshopper @GlobalGrasshopr

We have asked travel blogging and photographer extraordinaire Becky, aka Global Grasshopper. She shares 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!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Becky Global Grashoppers

 

 

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

I am not a fan of sterile chain hotels. So I either research on the internet for boutique / unique hotels or rely on recommendations from travellers I trust.

 

 

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

I love the Hotel 41, the Hoxton in London and the Empire in Brunei.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet travel blogger couple Becky and Gray of Global Grasshopper at Hotel 41 in London #boholover

Hotel 41 in London. Photo by hotel.

 

 

What made them so special?

I loved the Hotel 41 and the Hoxton and for their unusual designs and attention to detail. The Empire purely because it’s definitely one of the most opulent places I’ve ever stayed.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet travel blogger couple Becky and Gray of Global Grasshopper at the Hoxton in London #boholover

The Hoxton in London. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

Hmm very good question, probably wall to ceiling windows, excellent service and a trendy decor. Good design is very important to me.

 

 

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

A soap butler in Hotel 41 (yes really), a spa bath big enough for two on a balcony and a fragrance menu.

 

 

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

All the usual really, poor service, dirty rooms and rude staff.

 

 

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

I think it’s an excellent idea and can’t believe someone hasn’t thought of it already. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel Globalgrasshopper Becky Gray

 

 

Where are you off to next?

Sailing around the Greek islands, can’t wait!

Becky is the UK-based founder behind Global Grasshopper – a global magazine and resource for independent travellers. She is also joined by a team of self-confessed travel snobs. Together we’re on a mission to discover the world’s most underrated and beautiful places. Check out their site for photography, guides and travel inspiration with a slightly off-beat outlook or find them on Twitter or Facebook.

 

#BoHoLover: Meet Kristin Lindenberg, co-founder of Amberlair @tintienlin

We have asked globetrotter Kristin Lindenberg, co-founder the world’s first crowdsourced and crowdfunded boutique hotel Amberlair, to share her thoughts with us about her love for boutique hotels, and Amberlair, of course. And before you ask, a #BohoLover is a Boutique Hotel lover… just like us!

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Kristin Lindenberg at the beach of St. Peter Ording, Germany

Kristin at the beach of St. Peter Ording in Germany.

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

I am always searching on the internet persistently to find boutique hotels, and often that takes a lot of time. Design and boutique hotel platforms like i-escape, Mr and Mrs Smith and Design Hotels help me to narrow down my search before travelling.

On occasions, I chose not to travel to a place at all, simply because I couldn’t find a nice boutique hotel. Other times, if my destination lacks a boutique hotel, I tend to stay at apartments or private homes. Whatever I choose, all accommodations need to satisfy my high demands for coziness, interior design, local character and good service. You can read more about Marcus’ and my definition of a boutique hotel in this blog post.

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Marcus and Kristin in Abruzzo, Gan Sasso on the vineyard of Emidio Pepe, Italy.

Marcus and Kristin in Abruzzo, Gan Sasso on the vineyard of Emidio Pepe, Italy.

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

Marcus and I travelled the world for more than 2 years without coming home, and we stayed in a number of beautiful hotels that offered that wow factor I’m always looking for – and more! Though it is hard to choose, these three stand out as my ultimate favourites:

Inle Princess Lake Hotel in Myanmar
Aenaon Villas – Mykonos in Greece
Riad Tarabel – Marrakech in Morocco

What made them so special?

They all had one thing in common: local character with a ‘home-away-from-home’ feeling.

The Inle Princess is a pearl at the beautiful Inle lake in Myanmar. Everything was eco-friendly and handmade, sourced from the local village. The villas were so cozy with a beautiful view to the lake, an outdoor shower and a chimney.

Inle Princess Lake Resort in Myanmar. Photo by hotel.

Built on a cliff overlooking the sweeping Aegean Sea, Aenaon Villas is a breathtaking Greek escape including seven whitewash villas, each built with the care of traditional Cycladic architecture. White walls, furniture and décor help to further define the dramatic sea views that are plainly seen from each secluded villa.

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Kristin, the co-founder of Amberlair at Aenaon Villas in Greece #boholover

Aenaon Villas – Santorini in Greece. Photo by hotel.

Riad Tarabel is a stylish Moroccan Riad with beautiful interior design located right in the souk of Marrakech. Here you get the authentic and complete Marrakech feeling, but it’s still a quiet oasis in the busy area of the old medina quarter.

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Kristin Lindenberg of Amberlair at Riad Tarabal in Marrakech in Morocco #boholover

Riad Tarabel – Marrakech in Morocco. Photo by hotel.

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

  • First and foremost, a friendly and helpful staff who love their jobs. Nothing is more annoying than staff with a ‘that’s-not-my-job-attitude’.
  • A big lounge area or welcoming room to chill instead doing so at the reception area.
  • Breakfast served until ‘very late’, with a local and organic selection.

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

  • I love a warm and friendly welcome that makes me feel at home or like I’m just visiting friends.
  • Different kinds of lounge areas scattered all over the property really add to a hotel’s charm.
  • It’s the tiny little details – the ones that make your day – like a selection of high quality toiletries, different types of pillows according to personal preference, hot water bags in your bed when it’s cold outside and fresh flowers in your room.

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

  • Arrogant and lazy staff.
  • Large buffets. Less is more – please serve high quality, fresh and local food!
  • A hotel that tested its fire alarm system at 5:00 in the morning at 100 decibels for half an hour.

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

I strongly believe there is a huge boutique hotel lover community around the world – like-minded people who see what we see – that there is a lack of quality boutique hotels around the world. To involve our future guests from the beginning is tempting because, to me, that’s who we are doing this for. Together I am sure we can create ‘homes-away-from-home’, retreats, hideaways, or just perfect boutique hotels.
As Walt Disney said, “You can design and create, and built the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream reality.”

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Kristin Lindenberg in Cappadocia

Kristin in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Where are you off to next?

I’ve just come back from a 5-week trip through Italy, and no plans yet for my next trip.

Kristin Lindenberg is the the co-founder of Amberlair – together with her partner Marcus – the world’s first crowdsourced boutique hotel. She left her former life in the tourism industry and event management to study boutique hotels all over the world. Her vision is to set up crowdsourced Amberlair boutique hotels in special locations around the the world.

Kristin is based in Hamburg, Germany, she loves to explore new places around the world curiously and persistently. Check out her profile on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.

#BoHoLover: Meet Marcus Orbé, co-founder of Amberlair @marcusorbe

We have asked globetrotter Marcus Orbé, co-founder of Amberlair boutique hotels to share his thoughts with us about his love for boutique hotels, and Amberlair, of course. And before you ask, a #BohoLover is a Boutique Hotel lover… just like us!

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Marcus Orbe at Blanc in Gallippoli, Italy

Marcus at Blanc Café in Gallipoli, Italy.

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

I love to walk in and get a first impression of the hotel. If the boutique hotel doesn’t meet my standards, I will leave and find another one. This is mostly the reason why I don’t like to book more than two nights in advance. Even the best hotels you booked in advance can turn out to be rundown, have bad service or something else is wrong – like they’re in the middle of construction work. Before I start, I do a little research online to get an idea of the local hotels at a destination–with sites like i-escape, Mr and Mrs Smith and Design Hotels. I’m always on the lookout for something genuine and authentic, rich with local influence and plenty of charm. It should meet more or less my definition of a boutique hotel.

Marcus and Kristin in Umbria

Marcus and Kristin in Umbria

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

Of all the hotels Kristin and I stayed in (and there were so many during the two years we spent travelling the world), it’s hard to say which one was best. They all were so different and unique. There were three, though, that were the opposite of boring and really represented the epitome of a boutique hotel:

Inle Princess – Inle Lake in Myanmar
Devi Garh – Udaipiur in India
San Giorgio Hotel – Mykonos in Greece

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - San Giorgio Mykonos

San Giorgio in Mykonos. Photo by hotel.

What made them so special?

That they are all not alike. All of them had their specialties, each place offered a truly unique experience. One of a kind. It was obvious that they were designed with local influence and authenticity in mind.

The Inle Princess is the best and my favourite luxury boutique hotel in Myanmar, with a beautiful view to the Inle Lake. Everything is eco-friendly and handmade from the local village. The villas are equipped with an outdoor shower and a chimney fired by organic briquets.

Devi Garh is a gorgeously restored old castle close to Udaipur in India. In 10 years they turned a dilapidated castle into a luxury boutique hotel. It has an incredibly serene and relaxing atmosphere.

San Giorgio is a beautifully furnished bohemian style hotel where I could spend the whole summer, located on one of the hip islands in Greece, Mykonos.

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Myanmar, Inle Lake - Inle Princess Lake Resort

Inle Princess Lake Resort, Myanmar.

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

  • Personable and happy staff. It’s amazing how much staff who love what they do can elevate the entire guest experience.
  • A help-yourself kitchen where guests can hang out and enjoy each other any time of day or night. Just like home.
  • Local, authentic design elements by local, authentic designers. Down to the pillow shams.

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

  • I love personalized service that makes me feel like a special guest right from the word go.
  • I feel most comfortable in a hotel with plenty of places to hang out around the hotel so I’m not confined to my room.
  • Simple things like a fireplace in my room or a complementary bottle of local red wine upon arrival. Those are the memorable things.
Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Nilaya Hermitage in Goa, India

Nilaya Hermitage in Goa, India.

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

  • A hotel that tries to satisfy any conceivable demand of their guests destroys everything. Be authentic!
  • Fresh out-of-the-box design, plastic sun loungers and chairs, hard and stained bed linen.
  • Housekeeping staff that knocks on your door early in the morning.

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

What can I say? :-) I have a strong conviction that we can call on boutique hotel lovers from around the world to join us and create the perfect boutique hotel together. Our future guests are the most important resource we have, so I prefer to let them bring in their ideas from the beginning and give them a chance to build and identify with our brand.

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Marcus at Gran Sasso, Italy

Marcus at Gran Sasso, Italy.

Where are you off to next?

Kristin and I just returned from a 5-week trip to Italy, so we’re still brainstorming our next trip. In the meantime, though, we’ve received lots of love from travellers around the world to help us find our future boutique hotel location, and we’re planning to launch our crowdfunding campaign this fall.

Marcus Orbé is the the co-founder along with his partner Kristin of Amberlair, the world’s first crowdsourced boutique hotel. He quit his job as a project manger in the aircraft industry to study boutique hotels all over the world. His vision is to set up crowdsourced Amberlair boutique hotels at any great place in the world. Marcus Orbé is based in Hamburg, Germany, when he is not discussing Amberlair with Kristin, he loves reading challenging books and tasting vintage wine.

If he had a motto, it would have to be, “Only dead fish swim with the stream.” And you can check out his career profile on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.

#BoHoLover: Meet Matt Long of LandLopers @landlopers

We have asked Matt Long, DC-based adventure and luxury travel blogger of LandLopers to share his thoughts with us about hotels and Amberlair. Just like us, Matt is a #BohoLover, which means a Boutique Hotel lover!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet travel blogger Matt Long of Land Lopers #boholover

 

 

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

For me it’s a function of location and comfort. I am a firm believer in the importance of a well-located hotel when traveling. It saves times and angst, and just leads to a much more pleasant travel experience. Of course, I’m also a fan of luxury hotels, so the property itself is also very important to me. My partner and I have always paid more for a nice hotel because, for us, it’s a key aspect of the trip.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet luxury travel blogger Matt Long of Land Lopers at the InterContinental Hong Kong Presidential Suite. #boholover

The InterContinental Hong Kong Presidential Suite. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

That is a surprisingly hard choice and of course it’s also in flux, but here are my three:

InterContinental in Hong Kong. A great hotel no matter what room you’re in. I had the experience of a lifetime when I was upgraded to their Presidential Suite. This massive, 7,000 square foot residence has everything from a private rooftop pool and hot tub to butler service to a grand piano, and enough space to guarantee you’ll get lost in your own hotel room.

Four Seasons Lanai. This is an emotional pick for me in addition to being one based on the superb quality of the hotel itself. My partner and I have stayed at both Four Seasons Hotels on the small Hawaiian island of Lanai several times and they are one of our favorite escapes anywhere in the world.

Homestead Resort in Virginia. This massive property is one of the oldest hotels in the US, and it’s also one of its nicest. Located near natural hot springs, Jefferson once visited the area and ever since it’s been on the radar for thousands of folks looking for a relaxing escape. I love it especially because while you can certainly relax, there are many fun activities to guarantee that you’ll never get bored.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet luxury travel blogger Matt Long of Land Lopers at Homestead Resort in Virginia #boholover

Homestead Resort in Virginia. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

Sockets next to the bed so I can plug in my phone at bedtime, but can still use it as an alarm and to check the time. Fast, free and reliable Wi-Fi. Complimentary water, sodas, beers and snacks in the rooms. Some very high-end hotels offer this and it signals to me that they don’t want to nickel and dime their guests (who have already paid a lot to stay there) and instead want to offer them a wonderful experience.

 

 

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

I love pillow menus, it’s great to choose the exact kind you want. Toiletries are important, and I loved the amenity bag and full-size bottles offered by many, including at the Upper House in Hong Kong. Easy to navigate. Big properties can be nice, but there’s a lot to be said for the ease of smaller hotels too.

 

 

Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

NOISE! I am a light sleeper and a big pet peeve is noise from neighboring rooms, hallways or elsewhere in the hotel. Rudeness. Hotels are all about hospitality and there is no excuse for poorly trained staff. Dirt. A clean room makes for a happy guest. It’s so simple to execute yet so many fall short.

 

 

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

I think it’s a fascinating idea and can’t wait to see the results. In a world where we expect crowd-sourced personalization, it’s a logical progression in the world of hospitality.

 

 

Where are you off to next?

I leave soon for a UniWorld river cruise in France, which I’m very excited about!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet luxury travel blogger Matt Long of Land Lopers at Machu Picchu #boholover

 

 

An experiential luxury traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his adventures with thousands of readers every day through his award winning site Landlopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

Based in Washington, DC, Matt Long has been to more than 70 countries and all 7 continents. Follow his adventures on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

#BoHoLover: Meet Nelson Carvalheiro @nelsoncarvalheiro

We asked award-winning food & travel blogger Nelson Carvalheiro to share his thoughts with us about his love for people, travel, hotels and Amberlair, of course. Before you ask, a #BohoLover is a Boutique Hotel Lover…just like us!

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel #BohoLover: Meet Nelson Carvalheiro @nelsoncarvalheiro

 

 

How do you choose a hotel when you travel?

Having managed boutique luxury properties, I always look for a hotel with plenty of personality. I prefer private boutique properties to chain/franchised/branded hotels, and establishments where one notices that the owners have put a bit, or a lot, of themselves into what makes it unique amongst its peers. Where once can notice the special and exclusive in everything, from the core values of the brand, to the identity of its image, to the color pallet of its décor, to the staff they hired and right down to what kind of products they use for breakfast.

 

 

If you had to choose 3, which were the most special hotels you have ever stayed at?

Holding a permanent position on the top of my list is Palacio Belmonte in Lisbon, Portugal’s most exclusive and expensive property with average rates of 1000€ per night. I consider them as the pinnacle of my career as a Hotel Director, from 2010 to 2013, being lucky enough to host some of the world most influential guests, who look for luxury through simplicity, value an organic way of living, and for whom having the opportunity to sleep in a suite converted from an 8th century Moorish tower with the best view of Lisbon, is worth 10 times the presidential suite at the Ritz.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel - Meet Nelson Carvalheiro @nelsoncarvalheiro at Palacio Belmonte in Lisbon Portugal #boholover

Luxury Boutique Hotel Palacio Belmonte in Lisbon. Photo by hotel.

 

In second place is the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles. I have been a die-hard fan of the Dorchester collection since it was just one hotel, and it continues to be my favorite branded hotel chain in the world. Simply because they get everything right. From the moment the bell boy opens the car door, to the way you are greeted at the bar and lounge, the décor of this outlet is magical, the way the rooms are set up, the Frette linen….I could go on for days. In my entire career in hospitality, they are the only ones who manage to make a mesmerizing intro video of the property and of the Dorchester collection.

 

Strangely, or not really, my last choice goes to another hotel in California, The Post Ranch Inn. This is the kind of place where you spend $2500 for a Pacific Ocean view suite and another $500 for a meal at the Sierra Mar restaurant. Surrounded by nature, the cabins are made entirely of natural materials. There is no gold, crystal or anything opulent. It’s just about being able to wake up to nothing with an 180-degree horizon of ocean and clouds.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel #BohoLover: Meet Nelson Carvalheiro @nelsoncarvalheiro at Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur in California

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur in California. Photo by hotel.

 

 

If you had your own boutique hotel, what 3 things would you make sure existed?

Staff members who care. I think this is more important than anything else. In hospitality, it is all about people engaging with people, regardless if you are staying in a surf hostel or at the Bellagio. The second would be complete sound, temperature and light isolation from whatever could make my guests lose a second of sleep. This comes after my own problem of not being able to sleep if there is not complete silence, complete darkness and the right temperature. The third would be an organic farm to table restaurant. As a blogger, I am all about food as the main reason to get to know a destination, and I would want to impress my guests with the best that nature offers.

 

 

Name 3 things you loved in hotels you stayed in before…

The breakfast at the Eden Rock Hotel in Ascona, Switzerland. By far the best, most complete, tastiest, better served breakfast in Europe. Secondly, the welcome and personal service of the Oberoi New Delhi, with the flowers, the bindi and everything that makes India the excess that it is. And, thirdly, the architecture of the Four Seasons in Bahrain.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel #BohoLover: Meet Nelson Carvalheiro @nelsoncarvalheiro at the Oberoi Hotel in India

Nelson at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi.

 


Name 3 things you wouldn’t want to experience in a hotel ever again.

At the top of the list is the “snobiness” of the staff working at the Lanesborough in London. At times, it made me feel I should be taking care of the staff, not the other way around. Second and third place is a cold $100 steak at the Fairmont in San Francisco and stained laundry at the Vineyard at Stockcross.

 

 

How do you feel about the Amberlair concept?

I believe it is a revolutionary idea, especially in an industry like hospitality where change is always received with skepticism. Nevertheless with some hotels nowadays accepting your social circle and influence as payment, it would be good to see this idea implemented.

 

 

Where are you off to next?

Switzerland, Italy and a whole lot of Portugal.

 

Amberlair Crowdsourced Crowdfunded Boutique Hotel #BohoLover: Meet Nelson Carvalheiro @nelsoncarvalheiro in Portugal

Nelson Carvalheiro at Ritz Lisboa.

 

 

Nelson Carvalheiro grew up with his grandparents in a small farming village in central Portugal and soon learned to value the “Portuguese gastronomical heritage”.

At the start of 2014, a mere 6 months after founding his blog, he was declared FITUR’s European Travel Blogger. In 2015, he won the 2015 World FITUR Travel Blogger. He writes in English to the world, showcasing Portugal as his identity and a brand which he takes with him wherever he travels.

People, travel and food are the reasons why Nelson decided to hit the road, and fundamentally what led him to trade the world of luxury hospitality for a pen, some paper and a camera.

Nelson Carvalheiro is a firm believer in cultural identity through gastronomy. He constantly seeks little and intimate details, as he believes they are a destination’s culture in its raw state. He fell in love in a trip to Germany and now Berlin is his home.

His “The Portuguese Travel Cookbook” is his most recent project, in partnership with APTECE. It is his way to pay tribute to the true bastions of Traditional Portuguese Cuisine, who make it their daily mission to give life through food to the greatest form of Portuguese Identity.

Follow Nelson Carvalheiro on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.