Imagine a hotel that’s been designed to suit your every need. You’d have a say in its decor, amenities and guest experiences. Well it’s not just a dream, but a reality as Amberlair launch their exciting new boutique hotel concept. Investors and guests will have significant impact on the design and facilities of all their properties. The duo behind this innovative idea are Kristin and Marcus, a charming couple who believe that the most unforgettable guest experiences are to be had when staying at independent hotels. Their background in tourism and strategic planning makes them uniquely qualified to bring this exciting project to life. Whilst many hotels collect guest feedback after a stay via questionnaires, Amberlair’s approach is more thorough. Travellers were encouraged to help choose the location of their first boutique hotel.
When I first heard of the project, I hoped that Italy might be the chosen destination. Whilst it has some excellent contemporary and traditional hotels, there’s been a distinct lack of establishments blending old and new style. Italy has a great combination of decent weather all-year round, fabulous food and cultural attractions galore.
Friends of Amberlair, known affectionately as boho-lovers, were encouraged to suggest suitable land or properties that would be ripe for conversion. After an extensive search, Kristin and Marcus happened upon an exceptional place, of which more later…
‘We always thought it was a great idea to tap into the knowledge of avid travelers. We wondered why we shouldn’t just start with the people who love boutique hotels? Going down this path, we discovered that crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are actually great ways to develop a product made for the customer and by the customer. We instantly loved the idea’, said Kristin.
‘We’ve launched this crowdfunding campaign to give you the chance to back the first ever crowdsourced boutique hotel. After the campaign’s completion, we’ll be hard at work (with your input!) preparing for a very exciting grand opening in 2020. We’ll need help deciding on style and amenities – you won’t want to miss out!’, says Marcus.
Excitingly, the first Amberlair hotel will be built in the stunning region of Puglia. This area was voted one of the world’s Top 10 Destinations for Wine Tourism by Wine Enthusiast USA and is also known for its organic food. One of the best hidden gems in Italy, it’s lacking boutique hotels yet has some of Italy’s best beaches, being nestled between the Adriatic and Ionian seas.
It’s also easily accessible by air with two airports nearby, Bari and Brindisi. There are many Puglia points of interest, with white-washed hill top towns, like Cisternino, Martina Franca and Ostuni as well as picturesque fishing ports.
Puglia is also famous for its little buildings known as trulli, with their distinctive cone shaped roofs.
Another compelling reason to visit Puglia is for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Trulli Of Alberobello and Castel del Monte. The Baroque city of Lecce is also shortlisted to join the list, thanks to its magnificent architecture.
Lecce also has some impressive Roman remains such as Sant’Oronzo square, an amphitheatre dating from the 2nd century AD.
There are quite a few interesting events held in Puglia including the Putignano carnival, with colourful floats poaking fun at political figures and TV personalities. It’s been held since 1394 and is not to be missed if you’re in the area from end of January to mid February.
With so many attractions in the area, Puglia is a brilliant choice for Amberlair’s first boutique hotel. Not only that, but they’ve found a building that’s as unique as the region – drumroll please…
This colourful property dates from the 19th century and is designed in an unusual Moorish style. It was the summer residence of a noble Italian family – apparently the Moorish architecture was popular with landowners at the time and it certainly looks as stunning today as it must have done then. The villa was left abandoned for over 70 years before being used as a shelter by US military during World War Two. A testament of that history is the villa’s original American Bar!
It stands in spacious grounds and there are a number of equally attractive outbuildings that will be converted into luxury accommodation. The plan as it stands is to have 30 rooms in the main house, 10 rooms in a characterful farmhouse building, 10 luxury glamping tents and 10 cave or spa rooms. Amberlair will take on board suggestions from their investors regarding the design and decoration, via brainstorming sessions and contests. Perhaps you think that the villa’s cross-vaulted ceilings are best painted white? Or do you feel they should be left in their natural glory?
Another question could be what to do with the old birdhouse situated in front of the villa. The type of activities that Amberlair should offer is another interesting debate – whether sports based, cooking or art classes.
There’s plenty of scope to arrange outdoor activities in the grounds of this charming Puglia property. The crowdfunding project is rewards-based, with perks such as discounted stays at the future hotel.
The nearby church is already popular for weddings, so Amberlair itself will no doubt be in huge demand too.
It’s great that Amberlair are breathing new life into this unique property. So how can you get involved in this ground-breaking project? Head to their crowdfunding page to find out more and sign up for regular updates. We can’t wait to see this fantastic new boutique hotel blossom. A boho lover’s dream, shaped by its future guests in a spectacular area of Italy – what more could anyone want! Please do help to spread the word about the campaign with family and friends.
Check out their video here: