A digital camera with a storage space of a proud eight photos in the middle of the wilderness of Spain? A heavy backpack full of floppy disks? Looking for a hotel that steps out of line? Today, it all sounds quite funny, but in fact, it was the crazy reality in our beginnings!
Take a photo with a smartphone or just google the location? Not Possible. How to find a hotel if there is neither a website nor Facebook? You can probably guess….the trips end regularly in the middle of nowhere.
But these experiences did not discourage us. We had a clear goal in our mind: we wanted to discover a collection of the most beautiful and unique places where you can relax and think outside the box! Diving into foreign cultures and exploring pristine beaches which are far away from the tourist trails.
Of course, we spared no effort and were ready to fight our way through deserted areas.
Gratifying was the moment when the door was opened with joy….a door to a secret place. The door to thousands of little stories that gave us a direct incentive for the next discovery.
Our silver lining: the Internet made great progress!
It was incredibly important to us to have a base and any travel agency in Portugal was required by law to have its own store, including shop windows, balconies and lavatories. This change got the ball rolling, as countless clients were waiting for mysterious and wonderful resorts in the vastness of the Internet.
Of course, the prizes we won for the innovative design of our website spurred us on! In 2001, we received the first Bronze lion for Portugal at the Cannes Film Festival and the following year we received the Silver medal of the New York Advertisement Festival.
At first, we thought a lot about how we will design our hotel guide: which countries invite you on an authentic journey? What information is important for other travellers? Which design works best? It was an inspiring process, but of course we came across some challenges and had to overcome plenty of hurdles. But our efforts have paid off!
Fast forward to today and we feature more than 1,100 unique accommodations and have around 1.3 million visitors per year on our website. If you have any doubts, difficulties and wishes, please feel free to contact us. We will assist you and provide you with suggestions for individual itineraries. Behind Secretplaces is a team which can advise you in German, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French to make it easier for our customers to get in touch with us.
What we enjoy the most is the desire to travel, which brings back our own memories of the highlights we have experienced in Europe, Morocco and Brazil.
Above all, Secretplaces is a hotel guide for those who enjoy the finer things in life, who like to discover something new and are interested in the cultures and ways of life of other countries. Our lodgings are characterized by a unique character and guarantee a truly special stay. Whether it is a hotel for foodies or design lovers, the modern city loft with sea views, the wooden house in the middle of the jungle or the flat in the gardenia garden. No one will be bored here. Whether connoisseurs, athletes or adventurers, we know where the places are which you won’t want to leave!