Who are you Monica?
I’m a British travel blogger with a love for adventure. I’ve been blogging for five years and last year I gave up my career in Social Media Marketing to become a full time blogger. I have a base in the UK but I travel once, twice or even three times a month to a new destination.
I’m also soon to become a mum as I’m six months pregnant with my first baby. I plan to carry on traveling as much as I can once the baby arrives but I think it will be more relaxing trips than the adventures I’m used to.
Can you talk about your blog “The Travel Hack”?
The Travel Hack is one of the UK’s top 10 travel blogs. I blog about affordable luxury and like to encourage people to travel more with tips and tricks on how to save money and make the most out of your holidays.
The Travel Hack has followed my travel journey from budget backpacking in 2009 to budget breaks when I was a student in 2012. I then progressed in my career so my budget changed accordingly for a more luxurious but affordable style. I’ll soon be blogging about traveling with a baby in tow and doing everything I can to prove it’s possible!
What are your favorite destinations while traveling?
It’s so hard to choose one destination. I always compare this question to asking someone what their favorite food is. It’s impossible to answer because it depends on your mood.
I love Venice for an interesting city break, New York for shopping, Dominica for adventure travel, Iceland for raw beauty and India for an incredibly different experience.
If I had to choose one destination I’d say Thailand. I love the food, the beaches, the culture, the people, the scenery, the scuba diving, the yoga, the quirky accommodation and the ease of traveling in Thailand. It has it all and it’s just so beautiful.
What are your criteria to select a hotel in a target destination?
I always look for a hotel with something memorable. I stay in a lot of hotels so I dislike the boring, mid-range hotels that look exactly the same all over the world. I like boutique hotels with interesting designs and unusual features. I like a hotel to have homely features so I feel relaxed and comfortable but I want them to have an air of luxury too.
What are the main criteria for you while selecting a room category in a hotel?
It depends where I am. If I’m in a city I’m unlikely to spend too much time in my room so price is my main concern. If it’s a beach holiday I like to be as close to the sea as possible. There’s nothing better than falling asleep to the sound of the waves!
What is the best hotel experience you ever had?
I once stayed in a tree house resort in Dominica, Jungle Bay. Each room was a luxury hut sat on stilts in the forest. I had a large veranda perched in the trees and overlooking the ocean and there was a hammock where I could swing and watch the world go by. The bathroom was outdoors but so concealed in the trees you wouldn’t even know it was there. The resort had a focus on well-being so each day began with yoga followed by a large healthy breakfast and a hike through the forest. It wasn’t your typical hotel but I’ll remember it for a lifetime!
What is the hotel where you would dream to spend a night?
I’d love to stay at the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore. The main reason is because of that incredible infinity pool! The huge pool is on the 57th floor and has the most amazing views of the city.
What are your preferred hotels?
I really loved the Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town. There’s a “trailer park” on the roof of the hotel where vintage trailers provide a private spot for wining and dining. You also have gorgeous views to Table Mountain and the whole city. It’s a great spot!
And the hotels restaurants, which ones did you like?
The restaurant at Cannizaro House in Wimbledon is amazing. The 5-course tasting menu is delicious and they have the orangery for more relaxing brunches with champagne.
What is the hotel where you had the best sleep and you thought after that “I want to have this bed at home”?
Definitely the Metropolitan by Como in Miami Beach. I was so jet lagged but I managed to sleep like a baby in that gorgeous room.
What are the services or specific consideration that you have especially enjoyed?
I like personalized services. For example, I’m pregnant at the moment and I’ve been craving Coco Pops. I’d mentioned it on Twitter and when I checked into a hotel last weekend there was a box of Coco Pops and icy milk waiting for me. Little personal touches make all the difference.
What is your preferred loyalty program for hotel brands and why?
I prefer to stay in boutique hotels so I’m not a member of any loyalty programs.