This post is brought to you in partnership with Amberlair
I first met Kristin and Marcus, the founders of Amberlair, in 2014 – when the dream of conceiving the world’s first crowdsourced and crowdfunded boutique hotel was it its very very infant stages.
Fast forward a few years – and a milestone has been achieved. After launching the project and starting to form a community of like-minded luxury travellers – who are affectionately called ‘boholovers’, short for ’boutique hotel lovers’.
You may understand why I have been involved from day 1 – as a friend, backer and consultant. I love hotels – and I love the idea of being involved in designing one from its very beginning. Wouldn’t you?
After the first round of crowdsourcing, where the community voted for the location, Italy is where both founders set foot. Italy beat both Spain and South Africa as semi finalists and it was in Puglia where they discovered the most amazing palazzo, which would be just perfect to develop a stunning luxury boutique hotel.
In Puglia, the Amberlair team will be renovating historical buildings set within the plot— each offering a different room style— to create the first luxury boutique hotel in the region and give guests an experience they won’t find anywhere else.
The current project allows for 60 rooms: 30 rooms in the historical villa, 10 rooms in a unique farmhouse building situated amidst olive groves and vineyards, 10 cave or spa rooms and 10 luxury tents.
Amberlair’s first boutique hotel in Puglia is at the heart of this crowdfunding request. Travelers today are looking for authentic experiences, and Puglia is a region renowned for its authenticity and continues to be a destination in high demand with the discerning traveler segment.
Puglia is remotely located between two seas – the Ionian and the Adriatic, and it is within easy reach of beaches, UNESCO world heritage sites and international airports (Bari and Brindisi).
I have been to Puglia once before and I loved it – it is very pleasant to the eye, the food is, of course fantastic, and let’s not even get started with its eye (I do love a bit of Primitivo). So it is fair to say, I am really looking forward to going back again and again.
The crowdfunding process
Amberlair have set up its first funding round, aiming to raise 15,000 EUR, which will used to draw the complex architectural development plans. The next steps will be announced in early 2018 – when it gets very very exciting.
In order to contribute, you can make a pledge for a set amount at Amberlair’s IndieGogo page – and they have created a series of experiences as your reward. From a 15 EUR bottle of wine to share with them when you first visit, to a highly discounted 2-night stay at the historic villa (for 290 EUR if you are a super early bird).
For those who want to be more involved, there will also be opportunities to name a suite (I do quite like the idea of the Mrs. O Around the World suite), attend brainstorming sessions in London with the founders and yours truly and also visit the site, during the construction and design phases in Puglia – and really helps shape its future.
What do you get out of this?
Besides being part of this community, made up of global citizens who really love boutique hotels, you will really be helping make decisions. Along the development process, that means until the hotel has opened its doors, the Amberlair team will run various contests and brainstorming exercises where backers have the chance to submit your ideas and to vote on your favorite ones:
- what does the perfect bathroom look like?
- how shall the perfect bedroom be designed?
- what kind of room service do you prefer?
- what would you like to eat in the restaurant?
- what would be the perfect amenities?
- what kind of activities would you prefer? Would it be cooking classes with nona, a series of sports activities (yoga, biking, etc.) or nothing at all?
- what should they do with the old birdhouse located in front of the villa?