09 Mar Creamhotel Interview: Boutique Vacation Rentals
During my last trip to the Riviera Maya, we were able to catch up with Stephan and Virginia, the pair behind the Creamhotel brand. Creamhotel is an independent hospitality company and lifestyle brand launched in NYC, now headquartered in Barcelona. After a day with them, I could see their passion for travel, art and culture and how it has helped them curate a selection of boutique rental properties that stand out from the typical, found in hotspots around Europe and the Americas.
Stephan and Virginia treated us to a sunny day out in Tulum to check out a few of their vacation rental properties in the area. Like Tulum itself, the properties I saw were beautiful and memorable. The highlight was traveling down the Tulum beach strip (Boca Paila Road) all the way south to the secluded Sian Ka’an beach. The villa we were visiting was just past all this, down a bumpy road into the Biosphere natural reserve.
While relatively close to the main beach road, the oceanfront villa was truly secluded, which plenty of space between each private villa (in this case over 400m of private beach) From the rooftop you can take in an absolutely spectacular 360-degree view of the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Sian Ka’an’s lagoon on the other. It makes for an unforgettable tropical getaway for a family or a group of friends.
While secluded, it’s just 10 minutes car ride back up the beach road Boca Paila and you’ll find a great selection of restaurants, bars, beach clubs and shopping boutiques. Here the bars, shops and restaurants were all generally low-key but are still world-class. Head over to Food Republic for a nice short list of restaurants there or feel free to ask me for some recommendations. Writing this right now in rainy Vancouver, I’m dreaming of enjoying some ceviche and cervezas on the white sand. Tulum is definitely one of my favourite locations in the world and I’d recommend it to anyone. [Special thanks to Anna Sofia from image2brand for her photography]
After our trip, Stephan and Virgina also agreed to answer a few questions about Creamhotel:
Simon: Hi Stephan and Virginia, to start, can you share the history of Creamhotel?
S&V: Everything started in New York City in 2011. Stephan used to work as a real estate broker and Virginia as an art curator. We’ve both always been passionate about traveling and we would agree on how standard and mainstream the travel industry was. In particular, we were tired of the anonymity of the accommodation offer that, in general, looked and felt the same in every country, significantly lacking character. For this reason, we felt people couldn’t experience the authenticity and learn about the local culture of the destination they chose to visit, which is something that we try to do everywhere we go.
That’s how Creamhotel began taking shape: we blended Stephan’s real estate market knowledge and Virginia’s contemporary art and culture expertise: the result is a hospitality company that provides vacation homes globally, which are unique and absolutely local in their architecture, displayed art, interior design and location. They are the expression of a certain place’s flavor, customs, creativity and taste. Creamhotel fosters a lifestyle that is respectful of the differences and believes that the exchange among cultures and the connection between people are at the core of contemporary society.
Simon: The concept and spirit behind Creamhotel made it stand out to me among most vacation rental companies. Can you sum up what makes you different?
S&V: First of all, we are savvy travelers ourselves and the company reflects our passion and our way of traveling: we seek new experiences rather than looking for accommodations and activities that feel familiar. In this way, the company has a very personal and independent dimension as opposed to corporate, anonymous businesses and standard solutions. Creamhotel embodies an entrepreneurial spirit based on connecting minds, ideas, talents and cultures on a collaborative and exchange level.
Simon: With your brand’s focus on art and design, how does that influence the properties you manage?
S&V: By exhibiting the work of local contemporary artists and designers we allow our guests to discover the creative side of their vacation destination just by being in their temporary home. In addition, given that the pieces of art and design are also for sale, guests have the opportunity to purchase such objects or others from the artists on view. On one hand we connect people to the art and design worlds, while on the other we give the chance to many young artists and designers to be known by an international and diverse crowd. Last but not least, art and design greatly contribute to make our properties stylish, original and comfortable.
Simon: Have a few favorite or new properties you’d like to share with our readers?
S&V: We are very proud of a couple of new listings we gathered during our last trip to the Yucatan Peninsula: the Sian Ka’an villa on the beach we took you to:.
and a fantastic, absolutely unique architectural masterpiece located in a Hacienda right outside of Merida.
Simon: What’s next for Creamhotel? Any upcoming projects or expansion plans you can share?
S&V: We are currently working on 2 “branches” of the company that will be officially launched in spring: Cream Adorned – a very special travel agency through which we offer bespoke, non-touristic travel packages and tailor-made travel experiences based on clients’ wishes for their trip.
The second project is the Creamfactory: a media-house that provides creative services, such as graphic design, production and photography, among others, in several cities internationally. Services can be booked by locals or by professionals traveling for business and who are looking for creative resources on location.
Simon: Thanks for your time guys! For more info and to check out their boutique vacation properties around the world, please visit Creamhotel.com. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.