Do you remember the first time you stayed at a hotel? My first time was when I was just a kid. I recall my first experience with continental breakfast, specifically the unlimited hot-cocoa packets and futuristic waffle machine. I didn’t realize social etiquette required I probably shouldn’t take all the packets they set out in the lobby every day. But come on, who says no to free cocoa? Waking up, plopping the batter in the waffle machine, turning it on and excitedly waiting the three minutes was like a visit to Disneyland for me. While I wouldn’t bat an eye at those things now, I still believe it’s the little things in life that help us rise and shine and be our best selves every day.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 2014
If there’s one industry that keeps on keepin’ on, it’s the hotel biz. Whether you’re visiting Toledo or Toronto, everyone needs a place to stay. But ladies, have you ever thought about owning a hotel? Seriously. Women already make up more than half of the hospitality industry, so it makes sense we should own the whole dang thing, right? If you don’t know where to get started, there are lots of resources that can help. In fact, in 2014, hotel giant Marriott held its first WOW Summit, a program specifically meant to encourage hotel ownership for women.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Liz Lambert, Hotelier and Founder of Bunkhouse Group
Since packaged hot cocoa doesn’t quite do the trick now, boutique hotels these days often offer more tantalizing delights and experiences. That’s definitely the M.O. of today’s enterprising Woman to Watch, Liz Lambert, the founder of Bunkhouse Group, a collective of imaginative temporary dwellings. At Liz’s locales, you won’t find the standard bad hotel art, stained carpet and unidentifiable scents lingering in the air. Instead, it’s all funky digs, cozy getaway spots and lots of authentic local culture.
From a bungalow-style property featuring a secret garden courtyard to a nomadic hotel and campground in the high dessert, Liz offers a new wave of accommodations that modern travelers can’t get enough of.
Despite her keen knack for creating unique lodging establishments, Liz didn’t set out to be in the hotel biz. In fact, her expertise was in a far different field: the law. She worked as a fierce prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office before moving to Texas to work in the attorney general’s office.
But while hanging out at her favorite South Austin music club, Liz became smitten with a rundown 1930s hotel across the street, a property in need of some serious TLC. She scooped it up, assuming she’d whip it back into shape in no time. Instead, Liz took the next several years scavenging the funds necessary to take on such a feat. During that time, the hotel remained a seedy spot, but Liz diligently worked to renovate the property. And thanks to her knack for understanding what guests really want from a hotel experience, she was able to entirely transform the hotel into a lush and sought-after destination.
Now Bunkhouse boasts an array of spectacular and super-hip yet homey boutique hotels throughout the U.S. and in Mexico.
Perhaps part of Liz’s success comes from having a unique perspective. With every new endeavor she takes on, she says she thinks of the story behind the property and lets it guide her every design decision, enabling her to create magical and truly one-of-a-kind hotel spaces. Who’s ready for a vacay?!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Liz Lambert definitely embodies this quote from Albert Einstein:
“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.
Head shot by Matthew Johnson.