ABOUT THE EDITOR
My name is Alex de la Rose. I am a multi-lingual British individual who has had the good fortune to travel extensively in Southern Europe over the last 25 years. I have always sought out small, family-run hotels where the priorities are good food, a comfortable bed and reasonable peace and quiet.
Above all, I like places with personality. Usually this comes from committed, hands-on owners whose professionalism, enthusiasm and good humour rub off on their guests. I also appreciate a generous dollop of eccentricity as a welcome relief from the monotony of some slavish addiction to the latest hotel fad. If you can identify with any of this, please read on.
ABOUT HOTEL GUIDES
Memorable Hotels was born out of a general frustration with existing guides. I get bored with guides that just bang on at length about the finer details of the décor or the cuisine – some even list the fancy names of each bedroom. And then there's the question of bias. “Ah, la raquette des Guides” sighed one hotelier as I bemoaned the fact that I had found some pretty naff establishments in the printed guide to which she also subscribed. It seems that many guides purport to be independent but in fact their financial survival is dependent on the very hotels that they claim to have ‘selected’.
I would not go as far as to call this a racket. Usually, by scouring the small print, you will find an admission of the financial link between guide and hotel. And any guide worth its salt has a policy of regular inspection to ensure that minimum standards are observed. Yet in my view, a guide’s ‘independence’ is compromised if there is any financial transaction between the guide and the hotel. This can take various forms: a straight-forward bung to be included in the guide, a commission on any reservations emanating from the guide and/or a contribution towards the guide’s website running costs. I have even heard of guides pedalling their ‘consultancy’ services to hoteliers!
MEMORABLE HOTEL GUIDE - PROUD TO BE INDEPENDENT
There is no financial link between the Memorable Hotel Guide and its featured hotels. None whatsoever. Hotel inspections are anonymous. Accommodation and meals are paid for in full. When I write the reviews, I try to impart what an hotel is really like, what makes it tick. For a relatively small initial outlay, the internet has given me the opportunity to create a guide to memorable hotels without having to go cap in hand to the owners.
I continue to be an inveterate traveller and still spend almost six months of each year abroad. All but a handful of hotels in the guide are known to me personally; the remainder were recommended by Francophile friends whose judgement I trust. As the guide expands, it benefits from readers’ feedback on featured hotels and on their recommendations of new establishments. A schedule of inspection is then drawn up and executed. At present the guide is privately funded. The plan is to cover further website development and hotel inspection trips by attracting advertising and creating a market for affiliates. In this way the guide can remain independent. The aim is to be the most reliable, most concise and the most honest index of hotels which are in some way memorable. It’s a tough call but I relish the challenge.