ABOUT US

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Our Story

The story of our journey towards making Travel Better is that we are as passionate as we are lucky. We started out with a simple dream from which our idea grew, but somehow we were lucky enough to bump into the best people who have helped us to make it all possible.

We first came together, a small group of people wanting to change the way we travel, by helping a few clients and friends along with the support of some generous IT partners.

It was the immense trust of those first team members and partners that set a foundation so strong; that we could see it grow into a movement, a community.

The trust our ambassadors have in us never ceases to amaze. To have people want to get involved in our project just because they believe, is indescribable… because without our ambassadors and Hosts we simply would not exist.

And when we now look at these people, and their places (many of them winning awards), their level of passion, suddenly we realise that we are the lucky ones and it is our privilege to support them. And as this circle has grown, our core team has chosen to blend in fully with our ambassadors and Hosts; as you can see on our Hosts page (link), we are just mere tools and supporters.

We are nothing more than some dots that connect a lot of dots. But with so many coming together we have created a force that is upheld by many instead of a few – and that unstoppable force is set to make TRAVEL BETTER.

We always planned to bring amazing people together but what we have right now is something that is already far bigger than we ever could have ever dared to dream. What started out as wanting to help 25 friends and clients and their small independent hotels in Europe has become something so much bigger, far beyond ourselves.

But as we learned early on along our path, we need YOU as well!

Your energy and your values, to have an impact, to make travel better and of course to change the world.

Give us a chance on that imperfect road – join, be yourself, and help us to become better as we continue to grow :)

Our Why

Throughout these last few years, it has become alarmingly apparent that something has to change with the way in which we travel the world. As we all know, travel is something that unites us in our desire to see, explore and understand worlds that are so very different to the ones we were raised in and already know well. The individuality of each destination is paramount to this; which is why our booking platform champions independent Hosts who showcase their local flavours in their own individual way. 

And this is precisely what makes travel so exciting, the individuality of each destination. Imagine a world where from one stop to the next the differences are imperceptible thanks to cookie-cutter ideas and designs, replicated over and over ad nauseam. This is why we choose to support incredible, independent Hosts and to truly celebrate their individuality within our community. No one is asked to blend in or to conform to any branding rules, to water-down their flavour, but instead we welcome each and every one as they are. Giving our Hosts the benefits, support and solidarity that can only come from belonging to a network, but at the same time not asking them to sacrifice their freedom, unique flair and independence.

Our only desire for each of our Hosts joining our platform is to see real and proactive change from each enterprise to move towards sustainable business practices. Now is the time for change, actual change, not just talking about it, which is why we are here to support and guide each of our Hosts along their imperfect road towards sustainability, and eventually, regeneration.

We say imperfect because that’s precisely how this journey will feel. Most of us have tried to improve our eco efforts before with grandiose leaps of change, where perhaps from one day to the next you completely switched up your shopping habits to create a 100% zero waste process, only to falter a few weeks later, become filled with guilt and spend the next while berating yourself over your “failure”, leaving you so disheartened that you haven’t wanted to try again.

But what if you took each step one at a time, instead of one full “perfect” leap towards sustainability, what if you took many imperfect steps? Perhaps swapping plastic bags for reusable cotton bags or committing to buying as much of your food from locally sourced producers as you can. It may take a good while longer, but as long as those steps are heading in the right direction then they all add up to the same destination. But at least this time you will get there and the new process will be sustainable because you grow yourself, reconfirm your decision and generate more energy and will to change. 

This is the philosophy that we run with at Singular Places. We are not demanding our Hosts make huge, expensive changes, or apply for global standard certifications. We prefer they take smaller but very relevant (to their locality) steps in the right direction. Will mistakes happen? Of course! Will we learn a lot along the way about how not to do things? Absolutely! But the most important thing, we feel, is that by joining forces with many different people and listening to their ideas we are able to speed up and smooth out the processby learning from each other. No matter how imperfect our journey may be, we have created a momentum in which the impact of many great ideas combined will overcome the mistakes we make.

And will we be there to support our Hosts every imperfect step of the way? One hundred percent! As long as our Hosts are willing and show active improvement along their route towards a regenerative business approach, then we will provide ongoing support, wisdom shared between our network of Hosts, best practices, guidance and most of all, a non-judgemental listening ear.

As Hosts ourselves, it is in our very nature to take care of people (team, community and visitors). Whatever our Hosts are going through, we’ve likely been there too or certainly know someone who has whose hard-earned wisdom we can share.

Ultimately, we want to start a movement, and in all honesty, this movement has already begun; in the quiet discontents of travellers wanting to have a positive impact and seeking a different way, to the full on roar of a desperate youth fed up of seeing companies standing by, companies agreeing that there is indeed a problem but not doing anything about it. The time for simply talking has passed, it’s time for measurable change

It is our desire to provide the tool for such a movement, to ensure it continues to grow, to light a fire beneath it, to show the world that there is a better way to travel:

What if your travel could have a positive impact on your destination of choice? What if, instead of mass tourism depleting the local landscape, resources and people, we could spread out a bit, contribute to locals who deserve your money, who will not only do good with it but can actually show you where the money goes, whose lives your money improves? Most of our Hosts support local initiatives close to their hearts or connect with local Non Government Organisations (NGOs) to drive real change in their local area, to give back to their community and to start changing the world starting with their own backyard.

There’s a lot of value in planting trees on the other side of the world to reduce carbon emissions, and we are not knocking that at all, but what we want to see is each Host taking care of their own area. To feed into their communities, to contribute, to come together to make their own place even better, stronger, connected. This is how we ensure there is still a thriving destination to visit for future generations to come. It starts at home. Nourish your own area and your community, society – and businesses – will prosper.

As each Host has different challenges and opportunities related to their own unique situation and destination we don’t ask for perfection, instead we conduct an honest assessment of our Hosts based on the following criteria: 

  • Power saving initiatives in place
  • Water saving measures in place
  • Plastic avoidance in place
  • Ecological construction
  • Ecological suppliers preferred
  • Environmental information for guests
  • Regenerative energy initiatives in place
  • Vegetarian menu available
  • Vegan menu available
  • Waste policy in place
  • Car charging station
  • Uses local suppliers
  • Local NGO supported
  • Local charity activity in place
  • Sells & promotes local products
  • Promotes other local SMEs & entrepreneurs
  • Equal opportunity & fair job policy in place
  • Provides local transport information
  • Recommends local cultural places of interest
  • Supports community development & local infrastructure
  • Networks with other small local business to enhance visitors experiences

We don’t judge if a Host is unable to meet all of these criteria because we look far beyond a few tick boxes, but we do take that as a good basis to start from. Not connected to a local community impact project? No problem, let’s find one that resonates with you and get involved! Not set up to collect and recycle rainwater? No problem, we know exactly how to do that and can help you get set up today!

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FEELING CURIOUS?

Check out some of our Singular Places

Entrance of Almayer hotel

ALMAYER HOTEL

ZADAR | CROATIA

A rooftop jacuzzi at sunset with views over the nearby town

ALMA HISTORICA

MONTEVIDEO | URUGUAY

NIMALI MARA

KOGATENDE | TANZANIA

VILA MONTE FARM HOUSE

OLHÃO | PORTUGAL