“She was powerful, not because she wasn’t scared but because she went on so strongly, despite the fear.” - Atticus
Whilst each of our hotels tell a unique story of how they became what they are today, a stay at one of these female-run establishments will make your vacation even more memorable. From magnificent Alpine hideaways in the Dolomite Mountains, to the rolling hills of Mougins where Picasso once frequented, celebrate International Women's Month with an inspiring women-owned retreat.
“Our mission is to provide the impetus for a sustainable lifestyle in order to preserve the impressive natural power of our planet in its purity. We believe that the concept of sustainability goes beyond environmental protection. Our tradition and culture must also be preserved.”
For those in search of the ultimate fairytale setting, look no further than this enchanting eco-friendly hotel in the heart of the Dolomites. Perched 1,100 metres above sea level in San Genesio, Eco Hotel Saltus encourages its guests to indulge in the tranquillity of the surrounding region and switch off from their everyday stresses.
Following in their grandfather Franz Wenter’s footsteps, who opened the hotel back in 1954, Nadja and Claudia, along with their mother Hedwig, decided to turn the hotel into the ultimate wellness retreat. The building has been completely constructed from larch wood, using only the most natural materials from South Tyrol. They implemented Wabi-Sabi principles throughout the rooms and suites; from textured walls and floors made from lime and porphyry, to repurposed authentic furnishings. With backgrounds that include a primary school teacher, a yoga instructor, a trade unionist and sommelier, this strong trio of women brought a wealth of skills to the table and have now successfully created a retreat perfect for the wellbeing of both guests and planet Earth.
Float amongst the treetops in natural mountain water in the Saltus’ heavenly 17- metre infinity pool, activate your self-healing powers in the Wald Spa, enjoy deliciously fresh ingredients from the callets of South Tyrol in the Tschögglbergerhof restaurant and marvel over the magnificent mountain peaks. Everything Eco Hotel Saltus offers will give you a true sense of regeneration. And that’s all thanks to mamma Hedwig, Nadja and Claudia Wenter!
To read more about the Eco Hotel Saltus owner’s story, please read here.
“I want people to FEEL Sri Lanka. The warmth of the people, the history, the diverse landscape”. - Dee Gibson
Being exposed to the incredible sights and sounds of Sri Lanka’s capital at such an early age, Dee Gibson watched the creative determination of her civil engineer grandfather, through his work across the island, and inspired her later in life. Since working as an interior design consultant for the last two decades in the UK, her passion for colours, textures and values of eco-consciousness, as well as a love for Sri Lankan culture, ignited a spark within.
Dee had come across a derelict bungalow just 100m from Turtle Bay in Weligama, and has since turned Kalukanda House into what it is today - a colonial-style villa set within the tropical grounds of flora and fauna. Ms Gibson wanted to maintain the property’s history, keeping as much of the original structure as she could, and has reused and repurposed items such as clay roof tiles, shutters, doors and even the rotting fretwork! Formed of just four incredibly designed en-suite bedrooms, this boutique hotel boasts everything from handmade artwork created from traditional Sri Lankan costumes, restored antique furniture, mesmerising high ceilings and British rail prints on the walls. Dee Gibson has not only created a private space for guests to unwind and experience the true meaning of slow travel, but its prime location allows guests to explore the local village and fall in love with the sights, sounds and smells that she once fell in love with as child.
So what are you waiting for? Slow down and retreat to Kalukanda House, enjoy a cocktail or two by the pool, tantalise your tastebuds with some fresh local dishes made by the in-house chef and start your morning the right way with some sun salutations in the new yoga shala. There are numerous other activities to enjoy here too - bodyboarding, surfing, safari’s and so much more! There’s no better place to enjoy ‘experiential travel’ than here.
To read more about the Kalukanda House owner’s story, please read here.
“For a long time I had in mind a project capable of enhancing the natural heritage of Lake Orta, founded on the first values of the family business: kindness and hospitality. Casa Fantini was born from the love for the spirit of the place, for what is genuine and handcrafted and represents the culture of Lake Orta, where my roots are.” - Daniela Fantini
Escape to Italy’s most romantic lake and indulge in the serenity of Lake Orta at the enchanting casafantini / lake time. A picturesque property that has been in the Fantini family for over three generations, Daniela Fantini’s goal was to turn it into an Eden-like retreat that showcases all the natural beauty of the surrounding lake, while pampering guests in an environment of unbridled luxury.
Daniela hired renowned Milanese architect, Piero Lissoni, to help build this dream with blissful relaxation in mind, where he modernised the property whilst maintaining its sense of history. Since opening its doors in 2017, casafantini has become the epitome of a dreamy lakeside escape, offering its guests nine rooms and two suites with mesmerising panoramic views from their private balconies. Daniela’s dream came true as the hotel is now a place of harmony and relaxation. From its masterful mix of warm wood elements and modern materials, that contrast so beautifully with its chrome and glass features, the hotel strives to attain “lake time” for its guests and has an abundance of spaces where you can contemplate, read, draw and relax.
Whether you want to lounge by the pool with a cocktail in hand, discover the secret pockets of Lake Orta on a private boat ride, enjoy some traditional Italian cuisine or possibly looking to book out the entire place, the opportunities at casafantini / lake time are endless. Daniela Fantini has truly succeeded in offering her guests an unprecedented combination of luxury living and unmitigated relaxation!
To read more about the casafantini / lake time owner’s story, please read here.
“I say to my clients, “Ignorance is bliss.” I am very happy that I had no idea what I was getting myself into as if I had known, I would never have embarked on this journey. Now I am no longer afraid of anything.” - Camilla Richards
Imagine green open fields, infinite blue skies, lotus flowers covering a lake and stunningly landscaped gardens at your doorstep – sounds like a dream, right? A picture-perfect escape in the rolling hills of Mougins, Le Manoir de L’Etang is an enchanting experience, enjoying the French Riviera at its finest. Located behind the infamous town of Cannes, this stately manor house, that was once home to an English lord, perfectly places you in the ideal location to soak up the tranquillity of this region.
Le Manoir has been run by women since the early 19th century. Between 1929 to 1940, Elisabeth Buzzard lived rent-free in this stunning property, where she spent her years painting the stunning manicured gardens that surrounded her, and had renowned guests come to stay such as Rosella Hightower, a famous ballerina, and author Rudyard Kipling, who famously wrote ‘The Jungle Book’. In the 1950’s, an acclaimed architect from Paris fell in love with the property and wanted to spend his next thirty years restoring it. However, due to his passing, his daughter Monique Gridaine, wanted to keep the place alive and decided to convert it into a hotel for travellers to enjoy. By 2003, Camilla Richards met Monique and visited her frequently until she managed to convince her to sell it to her, over other buyers. Camilla was pregnant with her second son at the time, and wanted to grow her family with a slower and more relaxed lifestyle – rather than amid the hustle and bustle of London. After a year of renovation, Camilla transformed this property into the ultimate countryside escape, opening its doors in 2004.
Le Manoir de L’Etang is now made up of an array of tranquil terraces that overlook the divine countryside of the South of France, 22 gorgeously decorated rooms that feature some of the building’s original brickwork, a decadent restaurant serving only the highest quality ingredients, and of course, superb hospitality. From a dip in the pool, to a drink on the terrace, take advantage of the 300 days of pure sunshine that this hotel benefits from, and be inspired by its charming history.
To read more about the Le Manoir de L’Etang owner’s story, please read here.
“More is more, less is a bore” - Kristin Boman
If there’s one way to describe this eclectic hotel, it is that it’s anything but ordinary. Bomans Hotell is a homely tavern that wears its history in the form of unique décor, magnificent art, opulent fabrics and incredible hospitality.
Between the 1930’s and the 1950’s, Stina Boman’s grandchild Birgitta spent most of her childhood at the Bomans Dining Room in Sweden's charming Nyköping, and dreamt of one day owning a hotel of her own. Once she was older, Birgitta joined forces with her husband and daughter Kristin, who decided to return to Sweden after working in New York City for a few years, to purchase Hotel Strömsborg in Trosa. The idea behind this dream tavern was to create an environment where guests could enjoy the luxury of a boutique hotel, whilst experiencing the perfect home-away-from-home. “The feeling of being at home should be stronger than the feeling of being away”. Changing its name to Bomans Hotell in 1988, Kristin later took over the hotel and has now turned this homely tavern into a unique and unforgettable stay.
Kristin’s love for playfulness has married into the design of the hotel. Every room and every corner has a completely different personality; from Bono’s Knight Commander to the Princess On The Pea suites, the tasteful details that have gone into Bomans Hotell is truly inspiring. Here you can discover anything from handmade furnishings exclusively made for the hotel, to bottles of perfume and Marshall speakers – forgot to pack heels? Maybe even a decorative scarf? Not to worry! There are around thirty pairs of designer shoes and Hermès scarves throughout the hotel for guests to wear at dinner.
“Five is the magic number. There are five of us in the family, so one of us is always flitting around.”
Discover the tale of the Galanther family through the hearty South Tyrolean hospitality here at Hotel Muchele. A designer hotel just 5km from the beautiful spa town of Merano, Muchele is one of the best places to take in the Dolomites and all of its grandeur. Formed of just 40 rooms and suites, the easy-going and family-orientated atmosphere of this boutique hotel makes for the perfect stay.
Hotel Muchele has been in the hands of the Galanther family for over three generations. From Johann Galanther and his wife, Theresa Wolf having opened the hotel in 1952, to their son Hansjörg and his wife Franziska taking over in 1980, their daughters Martina, Priska and Anna are now the third generation of owner’s to this incredible alpine hideaway – continuing to emanate the hotel’s magical history. The three sister’s passions have collectively made Hotel Muchele into the perfect home-away-from-home. Martina’s creativity comes forth through her love for design, Anna spreads joy and a true sense of relaxation at their ‘Anna Spa’, and Priska is a qualified sommelier - her passion for good food and wine makes dining at the hotel restaurant even more special. This architectural beauty now blends seamlessly into the natural backdrop of Burgstall and now provides its guests with the ultimate sustainably-conscious stay. From its porphyry façade to its free-spirited nature, each room and suite inside this hotel comes alive with unique furnishings and décor created by the design experts at Moroso. Everything within Muchele adds its own touch of personality and elegance, and that’s all thanks to this magical family of five!
To read more about the Hotel Muchele owner’s story, please read here.
“Where there is a woman, there is magic.” - Ntozake Shange
It’s all in the name. The word ‘Zenana’, which translates to ‘of the women’, already attests how unique and important this hotel is to its owners. Currently run by an inspiring South African female duo, Anna and Maria, Boutique Hotel Zenana’s history dates back to the 18th century. Back in 1753, this small boutique hotel was once the house of a local tailor, before becoming the store of a glove maker 70 years later. By 1859, the building had turned into a Viennese café, popular with locals and travellers alike. Today Zenana has been transformed into a wonderfully quaint property. When Anna and Mara were living in South Africa, they famously ran a fine-dining restaurant called ‘Lombardy’, before reaching Italy’s dramatic mountaintops. The duo had fallen in love with everything the charming village of San Candido had to offer, and are now thrilled to share their personal experience with you.
Characterised by the family’s values and preservation of its original ambience, a stay at this historical townhouse will fill you with love and joy from the moment you step inside. Formed of nine individually-decorated rooms, full of different styles and décor, every detail tells a story. Indulge in the eclectic furnishings, admire the colourful vintage pieces, and let the unique personality of Boutique Hotel Zenana inspire you. Take advantage of the Dolomite Mountains being on your doorstep and discover everything it has to offer, even its hidden secrets. This cosy historic townhouse is not only a delightful place to lay your head, but the passion and love that has gone into creating it, is truly inspiring.
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