I met Paula from Soothed in the City at Traverse last year when we were both sitting waiting to chat to seasoned professional travel bloggers. What struck me about Paula was that her travel blog had a niche and it’s one that I still haven’t come across since. Paula blogs about serene and restful travel, chilled travel that soothes the senses which I think in life you just sometimes need. Everyone needs quiet time, everyone needs alone time but it shouldn’t hinder the desire to travel and see the world. And that’s what Paula and her blog are all about. So if you need to escape but still want to come home relaxed and rejuvenated, Paula is your only woman.
What’s your must have hotel amenity?
A bath, especially if I’m away at a conference or for work. Unwinding at end of a long day in a bath with a good book, a glass of wine and bubble bath helps me stay sane and refreshed!
What’s the most creative or quirky hotel amenity you’ve come across?
I like Rough Luxe near King’s Cross which mixes luxury amenities with a very distressed feel. It’s a clever concept.
What hotel could you happily return to again and again?
Flemings in Mayfair. There’s something about the rooms and indeed the whole place that reminds me of a 1940s movie set and it just exudes glamour.
For you, what makes a great hotel?
I’m big on aesthetics so there has to be something about the way it looks, but also have soundproof rooms (hate hearing the bloke next door snoring!) and of course, great customer service.
What is your welcome amenity of choice?
Hmm, chocolates. Every time!
Do you interact with hotels on social media before arrival?
Not very often, no.
In your opinion which hotel is continuously great at social media?
I keep seeing The Hoxton everywhere so I guess that answers that.
What are your basic expectations for every hotel?
A clean bathroom and somewhere to work. Also, decent lighting. I hate it when it’s all mood lighting but you can’t actually read anything.
Which hotel has the wow factor for you?
The St. Pancras Renaissance. It’s just steeped in history and has a very unique feel to it.
Hotel wifi – do you ever pay for it?
Nope, if I’m on holiday I am actively trying to avoid being online. Even if I am on a press trip I take the time to soak up the atmosphere, write notes in a real notebook and then type them up when I get home. I really don’t know how these people on social media all the time can really get the feel for a place and as my site is all about mindful travel and really feeling where you are, being online is too much of a distraction.
What is your hotel pet peeve?
Rubbish toiletries that don’t foam, and no bath and shower gel.
What’s an absolute hotel no no?
Hen and stag parties!
Do you use hotel minibars or avoid them like the plague?
I don’t tend to use them, no.
Luxury to one person may not be luxury to another. How do you define it in relation to hotels?
Just feeling looked after is important.
Do you generally stay in budget, design, standard or luxury hotels?
Design or luxury, but I’m not above staying in a budget hotel when I need to.
Do you prefer boutique or chain properties?
Boutique. I love it when you actually get to chat to the owners over breakfast!
If/when something goes wrong during your stay, do you complain or grin and bear it?
I complain, definitely.
Which hotel is on your wish list?
Ummm… the Chocolate Hotel! I’m a real chocoholic and think this could be lots of fun… or turn me off the stuff for life! In addition, I loved my visit to Agape Cottage and would love to go again. It’s more than a hotel; it’s a therapeutic retreat complete with your own hot tub and going there really nurtured me at a time when I was feeling busy and a little burned out. The owner, Sharon Agates, is a therapist, and has created a lovely retreat where you can work through problems or just reflect and relax.