Sincerely, BLLA

An Interview with Luca Zambello

The CEO & Co-Founder of Jurny speaks his truth on boutique hotel investment. BLLA: How did you come to enter the hospitality industry? LZ: “A...

The CEO & Co-Founder of Jurny speaks his truth on boutique hotel investment.

BLLA: How did you come to enter the hospitality industry?

LZ: “About 12 years ago, I noticed that, despite the fact that there were short-term rentals available in Los Angeles, they weren’t advertised online. When I first got involved with this industry, I created a website that allowed people to find luxury villas in Los Angeles, bootstrapped that business to over $1m in revenue, and then pivoted to a company that managed more than 200 vacation rental properties and 6 boutique hotels before launching the hospitality technology company Jurny.”

BLLA: What does boutique mean to you?

LZ: “For me, boutique means the opposite of a large brand or a standard hotel experience–something tailored made, a custom experience that hopefully won’t be forgotten. A boutique hotel experience is crafted by individuals who care rather than a soulless corporation. In my mind, this is a family-run company or a company that operates with family-like dynamics.”

BLLA: How would you define the word “luxury” in the hospitality industry?

LZ: “Over the past decade, the definition of luxury has drastically changed in hospitality, and it continues to change today. In the past, luxury used to be provided by people like butlers, concierges, and porters. Luxury now consists of unique and personalized experiences, in-unit amenities, and a higher level of living. The traditional five-star hotel experience is a changing and dying trend, something less appreciated by the younger generation.”

BLLA: What are the top three trends that you see in the boutique hotel investment space?

LZ: “1) Utilizing technology to reduce overhead costs and maximize operational efficiency, resulting in the ability to manage smaller assets with a much higher profit margin.

2) Hotel boutiques that are the most successful cater to the modern guest, offering custom experiences and in-unit amenities without a lot of staff–the units are luxurious, but personnel is limited.

3) The use of alternative channels in order to maximize occupancy and revenue per user.”

BLLA: What are you hoping to get out of your participation in the Boutique Hotel Investment Conference?

LZ: “With over a decade of experience working with boutique hotels at the forefront of hospitality technology and seeing many success stories, I hope to share my experience and help prevent others from making the same mistakes I and others have made.”

BLLA: Where are you seeing the most boutique hotel development these days?

LZ: “Miami and Miami Beach are among the most active urban markets for boutique hotel development in the United States. Places near or even within nature, or in small, rural towns and off-the-beaten-path locations. Music culture spots like Nashville, adjacent to the hot baths in Iceland, and lush countries like Panama. The predominance of initial discovery and consideration is often fostered by travel influencers and friends posting their stories of recent stays, becoming a trending bucket list item or must-stay location.”

BLLA: Why do you believe boutique hotels are a good investment?

LZ: “Right now, boutique hotels are in a great position, as they can outperform large band hotels due to the use of new technology.”

This interview was originally published on

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