Rim spent her fair share of time on the road in her previous career, staying at large hotel chains that could be trusted for their comfort but lacked personal touches. It wasn’t until a particular stay challenged her outlook on the power of accommodation and allowed her to rethink her idea of luxury.
Built on a foundation of curiosity and respect, The Boutique Vibe collection brings guests along an incredible journey of discovery. On the way, large hotel chains are replaced with intimate lodgings, and generic breakfast buffets are traded for homemade bread brought to your door. Here, you learn the name and story of the family who has dedicated their lives to welcoming you to their slice of paradise, and they learn your name and story too.
We’ve sat down with Rim, the CEO and founder of The Boutique Vibe collection, to hear her story of revelation. How one stay changed her entire outlook on travel and how a love of the Mediterranean sparked her desire to invite guests to enjoy the hidden splendours tucked seemingly just out of reach.
Discovering the charm of boutique hotels
Rim spent her fair share of time on the road in her previous career, staying at large hotel chains that could be trusted for their comfort but lacked personal touches. It wasn’t until a particular stay challenged her outlook on the power of accommodation and allowed her to rethink her idea of luxury. Rim discovered the term Boutique Hotel 10 years ago when she was travelling in the vibrant city of Chang Mai in Northern Thailand. ‘I was impressed by the attention to detail in the room but also in the service. The owner would prepare the breakfast himself, teach you where you can buy local products and help organise your day’s journey.’
I am always sensitive to their special touches, creative architecture details to make the most of the room space, the breakfast brought in a basket and a drink offered by the owner on the terrace of the hotel
From that moment on, Rim knew there was something magical about discovering the lesser-known boutique hotels well outnumbered by the larger chains.
The DNA behind The Boutique Vibe collection
With a new passion for intimate travel, Rim went with her gut instinct to start her entrepreneurial journey and craft a platform where others can share in the same experience – and The Boutique Vibe was born. Created on the idea of BLISS pillars: Boutique, Local, Independent, Small, Sustainable, travellers can choose accommodations that speak to their wanderlust and give back to the local community at the same time.
‘At The Boutique Vibe, we believe that you get the best of your destination while staying at small hotels, talking to the owner, mingling with the locals and getting the essence of the traditions.’
By choosing a boutique hotel, you’re not foregoing only your comforts. Instead, guests will come to love the personalised service, incredible gastronomy experiences and unique activities offered by the hotels. By choosing a boutique hotel, you’re choosing to support a range of local businesses that otherwise may slip by unnoticed.
Travelling like a local
Now when she plans her trips, Rim focuses on discovering landscapes through the eyes of a local. For Rim, to explore most of a region, road trips are her travel style of choice.
I like visiting museums to understand the local history, tasting typical food, checking the “must-do” attractions, yes, but discovering hidden gems and typical local touches is much more important.
By combining unique experiences, from staying in a remote guesthouse in the mountains, a simple hotel in the countryside and a luxury boutique beach or city hotel, one can gain a deeper appreciation for each destination.
She believes that sticking to large hotels limits the diversity of your discoveries, and it’s much too easy only to scratch the service of the true character of a region. Road trips with friends and families enable Rim to learn about hidden landscapes and allow her to spend quality time with them.
Lifelong ties with the Mediterranean
Even though Rim lived in different regions, her heart will always belong in the Mediterranean. Born in Tunisia, Rim is Tunisian through and through. A few years back, she travelled through Lebanon, Greece, France and Tunisia over the summer months. It was on this trip she realised just how much the Mediterranean way of life spoke to her. Each country is, of course, different, but all have this ‘common je-ne-sais-quoi. A Mediterranean feel’ explained Rim.
The Mediterranean for me is the pink bougainvillaea and pine trees, the fresh figs in summer, the sunny blue sky in winter. It is home.
Now Rim embraces life as a digital nomad. Spending weeks at a time living in Tunisia, then on to France or Greece. No matter where life takes her, it’s this connection to the Mediterranean that inspires her to seek out the finest accommodation and give fellow travellers the gift of The Boutique Vibe collection.
Where are you dreaming of going next? Croatia and Slovenia
What makes you happy? Sharing special moments with my family, every day
Where do you get your energy from? People’s smiles
What’s the best moment of the day: Breakfast! I like having a morning feast