The votes were very clear: everyone wants more Italy in their lives. And a very special hotel. So we are now embarking on a national search for the perfect location of the world’s first crowdsourced boutique hotel. It is a tough job, but some one has got to do it.
But where in Italy? We asked some of our #boholovers (aka boutique hotel lovers) and there doesn’t seem to be a consensus… because Italy is that amazing. Shall we hear what they have to say? We look forward to your thoughts, so do leave a comment, or share your ideas on our profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!
“And what’s not to love? The food, the people, the WINE… it’s everything we love, rolled up into one, fancy boot. We can’t pick a favorite region, because we’ve honestly loved every place we’ve visited in Italy! Tuscany is probably near the top of our list right now, especially because most recently, Ashley visited Chianti. We will say, though, that Florence seems to get a bad rap as too touristy, but we both fell in love with the city. The key seems to be visiting in the off season, and don’t overload on the attractions. Keep it simple and just plan to eat & drink your way through the cobble-stoned streets and along the Arno. Sounds perfect, no?
We’ve each visited Italy’s big cities — Rome, Venice, Florence. We vote Amberlair goes coastal! Somewhere southern, warm and with panoramic Mediterranean views sounds pretty perfect right now. Puglia is stunning, but neither one of us has visited Positano, Sicily or Ischia… Maybe this could be our excuse?! For the first Amberlair Hotel, we would never say no to a welcome glass of local vino, immediately upon arrival.”
Keith Jenkins, founder of Velvet Escape has visited Italy more than a dozen times and explored the entire length of the boot, from the Dolomites down to Puglia, and the two main islands, Sardinia and Sicily
“Italy is one of my favourite destinations in the world for many reasons: the culture, history, architecture, food and wines, picturesque towns and stunning scenery. It has so much to offer to every type of visitor.
Each region has its special uniqueness so it’s hard to pinpoint a favourite region. For the location of the first Amberlair hotel, I suggest a place away from the main tourist areas yet within easy reach of the country’s biggest attractions. In this sense, I’m thinking of Bologna, a lovely city steeped in history. It’s so easy to be swept away by the charms of Bologna – the excellent food plays a big part in this – and the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region. Bologna has great (high-speed) rail connections with its famous sisters, including Rome, Milan, Florence and Venice.”
“While it’s been many years since I have visited Italy, I have such fond memories of my time there and would jump at the opportunity to return. Italy has a style all its own – from its geography, to its art, food, design & lifestyle. Who isn’t enraptured by the romance and rhythm of it all? I have been to Milan, Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Venice, Pisa and the Cinque Terre, which were all magnificent in their own unique way. Every region has a distinct personality that transports you, but there is something about both the countryside in Tuscany, and the colorful homes along the water in the Cinque Terre that feel extra special to me, almost magical.
Carrie Mitchell from Stylegroove thinks the first Amberlair hotel should be located on the water for some of that extra vacation allure. “I hear incredible things about the Amalfi Coast so that could be ideal. In terms of special features, I think you would want a bright and airy bedroom – decorated according to the local art/color traditions for authenticity – with large windows or doors opening to the outside, so your space feels seamless with your unique surroundings. I think a view in Italy is key, and obviously phenomenal fresh food. I’m ready!”
Will Cecil, from The Luxe Travel visits Italy once or twice a year, typically for a long weekend break. According to him (and we are not surprised!), “the culture, scenery and ambiance are all very special; the rolling hills of Tuscany really are not done justice until you experience them. The rugged Sicilian coastal towns leave you speechless at every turn. The experience of Italy is something that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Our favourite region is Tuscany after our recent trip to Fonteverde, a spa retreat there. The atmosphere, scenery and food really won us over!
I would love to see an Amberlair hotel in Tuscany with a modern-eco style. While its many gorgeous hotels and resorts offer so much, you often find that even high-end 5-star hotels can be a bit dated and are overdue for some renovation. The eco trend is very well-suited to the Italian value for farm-sourced cuisine and natural wellness. The eco build and orientation combined with modern luxury style could bring something new and great to the Tuscan scene.
I would absolutely demand, of course, that there be a substantial terrace overlooking the countryside for breakfast, lunch and dinner year round.”
“I love that Italy has so much history it’s embedded in everyday life (just look at Rome!) I love the Italians’ way of life and their passion for fresh food. Italy also always brings back warm memories for me. I had a lovely reunion with my mum last year in Milan and it was truly memorable.
I’ve had special moments in the few cities I’ve been to in Italy but Sorrento was quite memorable. I love the laid-back atmosphere and everything seems to be so sunny. Rome also fascinates me to no end. There’s no other city where ancient history and modern day-to-day living are intertwined as much.
I’d love for the first Amberlair hotel location to be somewhere in Positano / Amalfi Coast. The concept of Amberlair’s personalised service suits the location, where guests are there to really get away and relax in their own time and style.”
So the question we ask you is… what do you think of our #boholovers suggestions? Where would you like the first Amberlair to be located?