Would you consider staying in a notel in stead of a hotel?

You might consider a notel after visiting a new site on the block: Hotel Haiku, curated by Garri Rayne.

Hotel Haiku has taken up the idea of describing Hotels and, more importantly notels in a real Zen way, with a Haiku:

haiku [ˈhaɪkuː] n. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

I’m particularly attracted to the term notel, because when I started out as a hotelier and was developing our own unique 3 suites only “hotel” Haagsche Suites, I had for some time the idea of naming it Not a Hotel. Eventually I decided to name it “Haagsche Suites” (i.e. suites of The Hague), because Not A Hotel sounded a bit negative. Never thought of notel.

I congratulate Hotel Haiku with the invention of this term notel. As they describe it:

notel [nəʊˈtɛl] n. An exceptional, often architecturally designed, holiday and vacation rental property that draws inspiration from the design hotel phenomenon.

So notel is beyond Hotel, beyond Hip Hotel, beyond Boutique Hotel, beyond Design Hotel or beyond what hotel have you and at the same time it is below the usual hotel radar. Thank you Hotel Haiku!

First Hotel Haiku (@hotelhaiku) found me via Twitter and I noticed it without paying much attention. Then I found out more about the site via our friends over at Tnooz. I refer to their review of the Hotel Haiku site.

I’m set to explore the phenomenon further and created even a notel category, because I’ve featured some notels here on the blog already.

As Garri pointed out in his comment the undercast n is essential for the idea behind the term notel , so I have edited all, but couldn’t withstand to add little bit of my own: red 🙂

Short Stays – 3 Nice videos for Hotel Promotion

Short Stays (Trailer) from Short Stays on Vimeo.

I came across Juliana Loh’s site JulianaLoh.com and found the link to these 3 poetic short stay films, used to draw attention to Chinese hotels.


Philip-C-Wolf-of-Phocuswright-IMG_9490Philip C Wolf of PhoCusWright

What the hell is Moxie?

One of the gurus in travel marketing is the very passionate Philip C. Wolf, president and CEO of PhoCusWright, a travel marketing think tank. At one of his conferences, at ITB Berlin 2009 he teached his audience that under the present economic circumstances “You need a lot of Moxie”. I didn’t have a clue what that meant. It was later explained to me that maybe you can translate this into “You need a lot of balls” or, “You need a lot of creativity”, or “You need a lot of perseverance”. So far so good.

Until today another passionate marketing guru and gifted blogger and speaker, Seth Godin posted a story on his blog: Everyone is clueless about a guy with a lot of Moxie, John Ness of Galoco’s Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles:

You don’t want to [adress] everyone. You want [to address] the right someone.

Someone who cares about what you do. Someone who will make a contribution that matters. Someone who will spread the word.

As soon as you start focusing on finding the right someone, things get better, fast. That’s because you can ignore everyone and settle in and focus on the people you actually want.

Actually that’s my whole point. That’s what I’m trying to as a hotelier when I want to convince someone to stay in my little luxury hotel.

At the end of the video below John Ness explains where Moxie comes from. You can drink it and he sells it: “It’s is the only soda that made it into the dictionary with it’s own meaning”.

Great story of John Ness. Wow! If only I could get such a thumbs up by Seth Godin:-)

So I learned a bit more about Moxie. Thank you Philip, Seth and John Ness for sharing this. (afterthought: John would be an excellent blogger)

How would you explain Moxie?

The Mr & Mrs Smith Presentation (Winding Down from the T-List – PhocusWright Travel Blogger Summit #ITB09 in Berlin part 2)


It is really refreshing when you are sitting at a conference with presentations and discussions of travel and hospitality and tech types who only seem interested in their good self or their own product or service and are not outgoing and not interested in the guest, their clientèle, or only maybe in the money of the guest, to get a presentation of a really passionate couple. James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy (see also my interview with Tamara) , the husband and wife who founded the Mr and Mrs Smith Collections under the caption: Luxury and Romance meet Technology.

Yes, I agree. It’s all about Respect!

They both come from a completely different background than travel and hospitality. Again their success shows that innovations in this industry frequently come from those outside the industry.

They started out with the production of the Mr & Mrs Smith guides. They described their difficulties with getting the guides published. Never before was a guide produced with one editor and one photographer for all properties. Eventually they decided to pyblish the guide all by themselves. The interesting thing is that added to the guides is a Mr and Mrs Smith membership card which gives the holder some extras as upgrades or a little present from their shop. That gives the brand a tremendous crowd to source from.

They are adamant about the properties being inspected by themselves or a member of their team of +40 in the meantime, because they strongly believe you cannot review a hotel properly without having experienced the look and feel of the place. In addition they sometimes team up with unusual partners for the hotel industry like lingerie brands. They also understand that you sometimes want to stay in a self catering accommodation or luxury chalet, rather than a hotel.

They seamlessly have merged their Blog (in the air since July 2005) into their main site. However Tamara was already out there scoring whatever was said about the brand in 2004: Shortly after I became aware of their guides via a post of my fellow editor Willem Vos at the Dutch language Weekend Hotel Blog she already commented there – note the date of the comment is not correct, as Willem had some problems in 2008 to migrate the blog to his new platform running on Ruby on Rail…whatever that may be, but I know I made the comment already in 2004-.

Here you see some footage of one of the rather unconventional and hilarious ad they presented at the keynote.

If even Gesa Noormann of Escapio says in a comment under Kevin’s Travolution coverage of the presentation:

Thanks Kevin for the fab article. Despite the fact that Mr and Mrs Smith are Escapio’s UK competitor, I can’t deny that their presentation was fantastic!

then you know your presentation was good even if you were dead tired.

Some personal notes:
I don’t understand jot from what Kevin’s caption means: “Corporate Barbarism does not begin at home say The Smiths”, but that could be my Dunglish.

If you are curious to see who the guy behind Escapio is look here. Even if I say it myself, I like the picture.

I think Willem should start talking with the two portfolios mentioned here, Mr & Mrs Smith and Escapio, or alternatively they should start talking with Willem, to see if there are possibilities to team up to cover The Netherlands and Belgium better than they do now separately.

Added March 24, 2009:

Via twitter I got the link of the same video on their site: Mr & Mrs Smith | Get a Room!. It has a bit better quality than the YouTube one

Travel (or Cruise) to Knit

I admit I’m a bit influenced by my Dear Quilting Wife, but I keep repeating my only prediction for 2009 and beyond: The Future is: Back to Knitting.

Now I can connect knitting with travel, since I found the Blog Textile Travel: They advocate Travel to Knit!

First I thought “How on earth can textile be an excuse for traveling?” Stupid thought, I concluded, when I remembered that DW used to organize bus tours to various Quilt Exhibitions across Europe successfully for a couple of years, and that I even traveled with her to one in Barcelona, which was actually my first and only visit of Barcelona.

Via Textile Travel I found out in August 2009 there is a cruise scheduled in the Mediterranean by the Holland America Line (Yes originally a Dutch firm, presently with its seat in the Dutch Antilles) for yarn aficionados like knitters and crocheters. Here is the Travel plan and Registration From. So they also Cruise to Knit!

From there to the site of one of the Cruise Guides Knot Just Knitting by Prudence Mapstone who has an amazing creativity and who Travels by Knitting if you look at her Workshops and Tours for 2009….

But you can also reverse the caption in Knit to travel. If you consider how much the tiny pieces of textile they call a bikini cost you as opposed when you knit or crochet it yourself:-)

Prudence could also inspire you to knit and to travel and leave your knitting as an enrichment of the landscape:

Photo by Christl Rijkeboer

Another fiber artist, but now a Dutch lady who is intrigued by Human Hair, Christl Rijkeboer, could inspire you to keep yourself warm when traveling with this bivouac.

Hah and in between I found a Down Under Guerrilla Knittin Lady Blog: Grrl + Dog Lol.

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