Everplaces rebrands to focus on app-making-platform for travel brands and DMOs
For the last year, Everplaces has been powering two products simultaneously, the well-known travel tool app simply called “Everplaces” and a B2B tool for companies to make travel apps in a faster and better way.
From 1 January 2015 this will change, as we make changes in our business to split the products, and move focus to the app making platform.
Everplaces the app, which is used and loved all over the world, will continue running to support the community of travellers to find the very best insider tips for places to eat, sleep and play. It will retain the name and brand “Everplaces” and will be run by our wonderful designer cofounder Angelica Vargas, who will also find the time to work with other startups and brands to develop amazing designs, especially on mobile.
This strategic move enables us to focus our efforts inside the company on one product, rather than two. This is good news for all of our clients, such as German National Tourism Board, Urban Adventures, Epoque Hotels, etc., whose amazing travel apps are built on the platform. It will enable us to create travel related apps with even more advanced features, faster, easier and cheaper than ever before.
Till now, the app-making-platform has lived a life somewhat in the shadow of its larger sibling, Everplaces, a position it has now outgrown. The product will now get its own name, brand and resources. In this process, cofounder Christoffer Kaalund is stepping up as CEO. Christoffer is the technical mind behind the app-making-platform and knows it better than anyone else. Current CEO Tine Thygesen has decided to move on, and will only be involved in a non-operational capacity going forward.
Sometimes when you have two good things you have to make the hard choice to separate them, so each can grow and develop in its respective way. This is what this split allows us to do, and we are thoroughly convinced that it is the best way to serve our investors, clients and community. In fact, we are very excited about the new stage.
Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have further questions.
Tine Thygesen, Christoffer Kaalund and Angelica Vargas
Everplaces travel app: everplaces.com, and Apple App Store.
Mobile travel: Hilton launch “select your own room”
84% of business travelers indicated they would welcome the ability to select their own room. And given the popularity of selecting your own seat at the movies, airplane and concerts it’s hardly a surprise that added control is in high demand. That’s why HIlton has decided to make this the focus of their new service innovation, trying to stay ahead of the competition.
Mobile App is perfect for service innovation
The mobile app is the perfect tool for such product innovation in the service industry, and this is also what Hilton is using to roll out the new service.
Guests who are a part of the frequent guest programme can use the HHonors app to select their room on the day of their arrival.
Apps are good for loyalty
Where mobile web is a good tool for awareness, mobil apps, with their increased speed, memory and personalization, are perfect for doing more for your existing customers.
Whether you want to
- Up-sell minibar, restaurant and services to guests;
- Service better during the stay (to increase return visits);
- Spread the word about your company (generate trusted awareness through social sharing)
A mobile app can help you do that through useful features for frequent guests and select visitors. This app is another good example of this.
Want to build an app to make more business from your existing clientele? We can help, email [email protected]
More info in Skift here
Share your favorite places directly on your blog
Great news for you who have a blog and would like to share your recommendations with your readers.
We have just released a Wordpress plugin that will help you embed any of your Everplaces collections directly in your blog, either as a map or as pictures.
Say you’ve created a collection with the best places you discovered in your last trip to Italy and would like to share it on your blog, now you can easily do it by embedding your collection in a blog post or on theside bar of your blog.
It’s super easy to use and the perfect way to help your readers save and share your tips.
Apps with in-destination information are an opportunity for DMOs, says eMarketer
“As smartphones become ubiquitous among travelers, DMOs and SMBs can attract and retain customers by offering mobile features that guide travelers through their destination, not just to their destination”
This was the verdict of eMarketer, based on a new analysis of the usage of mobile to do local searches for restaurants and things to do while traveling.
Almost half have travel apps now
Almost half (43%) of US travelers with smart phones have installed travel apps, and 30% has several of them.
That’s in line with the general trend, as most travelers today get their mobile out during their trip. MMGY Global, a travel marketing agency, and Harrison Group have discovered that among US leisure travelers, 62% used their smartphones and 43% used tablets.
Travelers who search are open for suggestions
Travelers use their phones to search for places to sleep, eat and things to do, says a comScore report, which found that two-thirds of local business searches for hotel and travel information in December 2012 were nonspecific, suggesting that people looking for travel information on the local level are seeking suggestions, rather than planning pre-decided activities. This means they are open for new restaurants, hotels and experiences to woo them. This is great news for businesses that have made sure to optimize for mobile search with mobile optimized pages.
Travel info missing in most hotel apps
Despite the demand for travel-related information most organizations in travel, in particular hotels, have so far failed to provide their guests with this service, this provides an opportunity for DMOs and hotels to engage travelers with this kind of information.
Guests appreciate curated recommendations
One hotel which is leading the charge on this is Hotel Alexandra, a boutique hotel in Copenhagen. The hotel has a distinct Design-focused identity with classic furniture and art all over the hotel. As such, they attract many design-interested travelers.
Hotel Alexandra recently decided to service their design-loving target audience with a custom city guide focusing on design. It includes places to eat and visit that provide a great design experience. All the locations in the guide are personally selected by staff and management at the hotel, who’ve also taken into account what guests ask for at the front desk most often.
Their app is free, you can check it out here
Read more about the report from eMarketer
By Tine Thygesen, CEO of Everplaces
If you’re considering making a in-destination app we’d love to help. Here’s some of the 60 apps we’ve already made with our partners and clients.
Summer Weekend in Zürich
Switzerland is always enticing for travellers with its pristine nature and pretty cities. Everplaces ambassador and guest blogger, Mela Mörtenbäck, is just back from Zürich and shares her discoveries in this wonderful Zürich collection.
Zurich – the city at the river Limmat is one of the most livable cities in the world. With considerable culture and shopping offers, the close-by Lake Zurich and the mountains, the 400.000 inhabitants-counting city has every kind of possibilities. If you’re spending a weekend in Zurich, be sure to not miss the upcoming neighborhood Zurich West besides all those classic sights.
Historic places, picturesque streets and districts, churches and art objects: that’s all visitors appreciate in Zurich. With all its small stores, cafés and restaurants, a stroll through the Niederdörfli is a must when visiting the Swiss capital. Continue your walk on the other side of the Limmat, through the Augustinergasse up to Lindenhof and enjoy a stunning view over the city up there. The popular district Schipfe is worth a stroll as well, as you’ll reach the numerous bridges across the Limmat to get a glimpse of the historic buildings from the water. Climb up the 187 steps at the Karlsturm to enjoy a 360-degree view over the city.
Apart from the historic city center there is happening much in other districts as well; particularly the developing district Zurich West is worth a visit. The recently opened 25hours Hotel Zurich West is the perfect starting point – both a design hotel in the middle of a trendy area and calm anchor. The former industrial district Zurich West is developing like no other district in Zurich and thanks to dedicated projects it’s becoming an attractive area.
A characteristic location is – without a doubt – the flagship store of the iconic label Freitag. Located right at the train station Hardbrücke, 26 cargo containers rise up to the sky and are both home for the world’s biggest selection of Freitag bags, as well as an observation deck. And this observation deck reveals the view over Frau Gerolds Garten – my personal highlight during a stay in Zurich. In summer 2012 Frau Gerolds Garten opened its doors and since then it became a popular city garden with a kitchen garden, a restaurant and bar, small shops and a place for artists and culture. Here fresh herbs, salads, vegetables and fruits are grown and directly processed in the own kitchen, which is offering daily changing menus. And at Gerolds Markt, young creatives sell fashion and accessories in small shops and in an American trailer.
Continuing the stroll through Zurich West, be sure to check out both Bogen33 and Walter Vintage Möbel and Accessories. You’ll find a great selection of second hand and vintage interior objects there. Also a must see in this corner are the Viaduktbögen. Underneath the railway viaduct you’ll find a bustling urban life: places to stroll around, to shop, to stay and to enjoy something to eat and to drink. 36 arches became a small shopping-paradise with a mixture of fashion labels, interior design, delicatessen shops and ateliers. And at the end of the viaduct, twenty farmers are selling regional products at the Markthalle.
Don’t miss the various locations at the water during a weekend in Zurich. Be it at one of the numerous “Bädli” at the river Limmat in the middle of the city or in one of the lake resorts at the Lake Zurich: everyone will find what’s right for him/her. The original art nouveau resort Frauenbadi in the heart of Zurich is a highlight for itself. During the day a resort only for women, it opens its doors for everyone in the evening and becomes a Barfussbar. And yes, you have to take it literally, shoes must be left at the entrance. To go for a swim, I personally prefer the lake like many locals do. Along the waterfront, you’ll find many official lake resorts or meadows to lie in the sun, take a nap or cool down in the sea. Some minutes out-of-town, Fischer’s Fritz is an unconventional location to hang out at the sea.
It is fair to say that Zurich is one of the most expensive cities of the world. Nevertheless it’s an appropriate alternative to other european million-metropolis in summer. Not too big but with every comfort you’d wish from a trendy city.
You can check out and save Mela’s Zürich collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Mela is a passionate traveller and hobby photographer from Tyrol, Austria. She loves to combine travelling and photography by exploring new cities. You can follow her adventures on Everplaces here.
Explore Undiscovered Montenegro
Our Community Manager, Ani, has just returned from her trip to Montenegro and judging from the photos it looks simply gorgeous.
Stunning is the only word that comes close to describing Montenegro. A country that despite its small size, houses so many pretty landscapes, from rugged, towering mountains to clear waters. Add to this its amazing and kind people, and the good and hearty food, and it is all you need for a perfect trip. It was love at first sight for me.
In spite of its breathtaking beauty and affordable prices, Montenegro has managed to escape the touristic radar of many, except the local Balkan visitors of course. To a large extent, I was very grateful for the lack of booming tourism. I would recommend traveling there in late May / June or the early autumn, when you are sure to escape the “crowded” summer months.
Here are my top picks when traveling in Montenegro:
Kotor Bay - breathtaking to say the least. The small villages dotting the bay coastline, the yachts flowing in and out, the beautiful mountains - it just has to be experienced! Pretty Budva, with its nice beaches, old town and famous nightlife, is the definite and the most popular, hence crowded, star of the Adriatic coast. However if you are in for a more idyllic time I would recommend staying in one of the small towns of the Kotor Bay, especially Perast or Kotor.
Kotor has a very charming old town that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a good place to base yourself for exploring the coastal area. Rent a car, it’s quite cheap and make sure to drive around. There are some amazing drives waiting for you, such as a 30-hairpin ride to Lovcen National Park or a very idyllic ride among olive groves and beautiful views of the bay to Luštica Peninsula.
Ostrog Monastery - during my travels I have visited many monasteries carved in the rock, I come from Armenia, a land famous for such monasteries, and I must admit Ostrog was quite impressive. A snow-white structure perched 900 m high up an almost vertical rock, you got to give credit. It is a very important religious site for the Orthodox Christians around the world. The drive up to the monastery is amazing in itself, with beautiful views of the mountains and the valley down making sure your adrenalin level is kept at high. Besides the religious value of the monastery, the view opening from its upper terrace was unbeatable.
Njeguš - During your gastronomic adventures in the country, you will often come across a famous item on the menu, called Njeguški prsut, which means Njeguški ham. It tastes similar, in my opinion better, to prosciutto. It is delicious, and comes from this little village. On your way to Ostrog make sure to stop at Njeguš village to taste the prsut.
Durmitor National Park - the second part of our trip was spent hiking in the beautiful mountain range of Montenegro, Durmitor, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Žabljak town makes for a great base for exploring this area. The hiking trails are well marked and color-dotted based on the level of difficulty. There are a few pretty lakes in the area and camping sites.
Tara Canyon - this natural wonder with its turquoise water is just mesmerizing. It is the second deepest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. It is famous among the lovers of rafting, so let your adventurous spirit loose and enjoy the experience!
Montenegro now has a very special place in my heart. Travel there before it becomes the next Croatia.
You can check out and save Ani's Montenegro collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
A Day in Barcelona with a Local
Planning a summer getaway to Barcelona? Look no further. Everplaces guest blogger and Barcelona native Emma Vila takes us on an exciting tour in her neighborhood Gràcia with this wonderful dawn to dusk Gràcia collection.
Gràcia is the neighbourhood in Barcelona where I’ve lived my entire and still short (hey, I’m still young, ok?) life. To me, it is the best neighbourhood in Barcelona (you could argue I’m a little biased), as it still has that sense of antiquity, that village atmosphere as though it wasn’t part of the busy, modern city that lies just a few minutes away.
If you are planning on spending a few days in Barcelona, Gràcia is, without doubt, one of the must-sees. I’ve prepared for you a one day trip in Gràcia, and all I can say is: I wish all my days were like this!
You could start the day having breakfast at La Nena, a chocolaterie where you’ll be able to taste one of the best hot chocolates in town (with a French croissant, just to make sure you take in all the calories possible). After refuelling, you can head over to the Park Güell, a magnificent park designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and the best expression of Catalan Modernism. There, you can soak up the art and enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
When you’ve taken all the possible photos you can imagine, you can start descending to the heart of Gràcia and maybe have an aperitif in one of the many little squares. My personal recommendation is to take a seat on one of the terraces in Plaça Virreina, one of my favourites due to its calm, lovely atmosphere. You can just imagine how life was 50 years ago while sitting in that terrace.
Now the time comes for what you’ve been waiting for all morning: lunch! Where should you have lunch? Well, Gràcia is full (and by full, I mean, literally!) of little restaurants from all over the world. I would feel bad just recommending one, so my advice for you would be to walk around Verdi Street (and its surroundings) and take a look at what you prefer: Egyptian? Syrian? Italian? Palestinian? You name it, you can find it. However, if you want to taste Catalan cuisine, I would suggest a visit to Cal Boter.
After eating properly, it wouldn’t be advisable to start wandering the streets again (especially if you’re doing this day trip in the summer!), so why not go to the cinema? Verdi cinema is my favourite theatre in the whole city. Wonder why? Well, first of all, all movies are shown in their original version, with subtitles – unusual in Spain as all movies are dubbed (I am a translator and I just hate dubbed movies!). Secondly, Verdi usually shows independent movies (as well as the occasional commercial one), so it gives you the chance to watch things that are a bit different.
Like to shop? Gràcia gives you that opportunity too. After the cinema, I suggest taking a walk in Astúries Street, full of little shops where you can buy jewellery (don’t get me wrong: Gràcia is kind of bohemian, so you won’t find the famous brands here –if you want that, go downtown!), clothes, shoes, natural food products, etc. I recommend taking a look at a shop called Olokuti. Apart from having sustainable products of all kinds, at the end of the shop there’s a little, lovely, calm garden where you can relax and have a drink.
If you fancy a drink before dinner, I suggest you go to La Cervesera Artesana, the best place to taste beers from all over the world - they are the experts! Although if you are not a fan of this drink, you could go to Canigó, one of the oldest bars in Gràcia (since 1922) - and always full of people. Please also consider having a drink just a few meters away, in Teatreneu. A theatre/bar that is absolutely charming. After that, you’ll be right in the heart of Gràcia again, so you can choose among many restaurants to go to, and, to finish the day, check out Heliogàbalfor a little music. Chill out… and enjoy.
(Only if you’re travelling in August: please don’t miss out the so-called “Festes de Gràcia”, when all streets are beautifully decorated!).
You can check out and save Emma’s Gràcia collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Emma is a blogger and content editor at Only-apartments.com, a global apartment rentals specialist based in Barcelona.
& the next big destination for adventurers is … says Lonely Planet founder
Last night we had the pleasure of meeting Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet. Tony is currently promoting his new book, Tony Wheeler’s Dark Lands, an account of traveling in the world’s least hospitable places, and if you’re lucky enough you might be able to meet him too.
On behalf of all the adventurous souls using Everplaces, we wanted to pick Tony’s brains and hear his thoughts on the next big off-the-beaten-track destination. A professional traveller for over 40 years and with over 150 countries under his belt, Tony has the finger on the pulse of the wild and unusual. And so, here it is:
Congo and Gorillas!
The border between Congo and Rwanda is one of the last places on the planet that you can see gorillas in their natural habitat, and deep inside the wild rainforests of Odzala-Kokoua National Park you can observe them in the splendor they call home.
“It is while walking and kayaking through the untouched Congo Basin, with parrots squawking, chimpanzees screeching, orchids lighting up the muggy greenery with vibrant pink hues, that you’re reminded of the real treat: of the privilege, in our crowded planet, of exploring such a beautiful, ancient virgin space” said The Telegraph’s Lisa Grainger after visiting.
Congo has a rough reputation so receives hardly any visitors, and you’ll encounter few foreigners, if any. Come to think of it, you probably won’t meet many locals either, since the country is sparsely populated and few chose to live in the humid tropical jungle area.
Sleep on the rim of an active volcano
While you’re in Congo, how about a hike up Mount Nyamulagira, in the Virunga National Park? This active volcano has recently been opened for treks and over night stays.
On the northern side of the volcano, you can watch lava spew out of the Earth directly from your camping group. It’s only 1.5 kilometers away from the action, but has been deemed safe by a volcanologist. Might want to sleep with your fingers crossed!
Image credits, in order of apperance: Michael Nichols of National Geographic, skyscrapercity.com, gocongo.com, enjoycongo.info
We met Tony at travel book shop Tranquebar: http://www.tranquebar.net/arrangementer
I ummed and aahed about whether it was ‘The Congo’ or plain 'Congo’. I ended up settling on this.
The 8 most romantic cities in the world
In this sweet week of Valentine everyone is looking for the perfect romantic gesture. If you have the time and budget, then travel is perfect! Exploring somewhere new together is one of the most special and romantic experiences around.
Here are the most romantic destinations in the world.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Why visit: Lisbon has an arty, romantic old soul. You can feel it clearly as you explore the old cobbled streets, dilapidated colonial palaces and wander by the river from which the conquistadores sailed out to discover the new world. The narrow streets have a distinct latin touch with tiny music venues, inexpensive cocktails bars and Mediterranean restaurants.
What to see: http://bit.ly/RomanticLisbon
Image credits: Mela Mörtenbäck
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Why visit: The city of tango, roses and wine offers a modern and romantic South American experience. Visit the tomb of Evita at Cementerio de la Recoleta, learn to tango or sit and talk until sunrise in little bars while enjoying world-class Argentinian red wine.
What to see: http://bit.ly/RomanticBuenosAires
Image credits: Emilie Holmgaard
3. Cape Town, South Africa
Why visit: Cape Town’s location near Stellenbosch, the wine district, is one of the big reasons it has made it to the top of the list. The area is filled with independent vineyards, many of which with beautiful gardens and sumptuous restaurants. The Cape Town vicinity is particularly charming if you visit the small villages dotted along the coastline, in general the landscape is perfect for romantic road trips with its mountainous roads along bays, small towns and perfect blue sea.
What to see: http://bit.ly/RomanticCapeTown
Image credits: Francois Botha
4. Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Why visit: The much loved Mediterranean island of Mallorca has seen a revival in and is once again among the hippest locations in Europe. Palma is the capital and oozes of European sophistication with design hotels, medieval old squares where you sip cold wine and fine dining opportunities for the evening. Because of the limited size of Mallorca you’re never far from a quiet corner, whether you prefer old fincas or secluded bays.
What to see: http://bit.ly/RomanticPalma
Image credits: John Deveraux
5. Marrakesh, Morocco
Why visit: Morocco is a classic when it comes to romantic spots, and Marrakesh is more spectacular than Casablanca where Bogart famously loved Bergman. Treat yourself to stay in an old Riad, a classic Moroccan villa with inside gardens, many are turned into the most beautiful hotels. Their calm interior is a good contrast to the vibrant, noisy world outside the gates. The medina is a must-visit and a world heritage site, come prepared to haggle!
What to see: http://bit.ly/RomanticMarrakesh
Image credits: Chris Kaalund
6. Wellington, New Zealand
Why visit: New Zealand’s capital is beautifully situated on the steep ridges of the harbor, with quaint wooden houses dotted in the lush green bush. The charming old houses, often painted in bright colors, house many great cafes as the locals are crazy about coffee. A visit to the Cook Straight where you can feel the antarctic winds and to a Maori site is a great way to get appetite for a dinner of New Zealand roast lamb accompanied by some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc, produced just across the straight.
What to see: http://bit.ly/RomanticWellington
Image credits: Alaina Lockowandt
7. Sausalito, United States
Why visit: Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and you immediately leave the hustle and bustle of San Francisco behind you. Instead, you’re surrounded by green hills and lush marinas filled with the white yachts of the dotcom jet set. The ambiance here is calm and restful and there are many cafes and restaurants perfect for romantic dinners. The views in the area fantastic so alternatively pack a picnic basket and go for a road trip up and down the green hills.
What to see: http://bit.ly/RomanticSausalito
Image credits: Maury Postal
8. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Why visit: Ancient Dubrovnik is built around the harbor and the combination of water and old buildings is a part of its special magic. Lord Byron called it “the pearl of the Adriatic”, perhaps because of the town’s finely carved stone facades and sunny squares, or maybe because of the blue waters and fine beaches nearby.
What to see: http://bit.ly/RomanticDubrovnik
Image credits: Kimberley Chan
9. Your favorite?
Tell us your favorite romantic place and win a bottle of champagne to share with your loved one at a romantic occasion.
How to enter: Save the place on your Everplaces profile and share it on Facebook.com/Everplaces or on Twitter @everplaces.
The winner will be announced on Valentines day.
AUTHENTIC FOOD IN NEW YORK CITY
Guest post by Penny Sudtunyarat (Pinrat), an NYC foodie who loves to turn her travels into culinary discoveries
I am lucky enough to live in one of the most dynamic places in the world - New York City! NYC offers you so many wonderful things from great museums and shopping to awesome food. When I can get out and see the rest of the world it’s usually my stomach that guides me. For me the only reason to travel is to eat well elsewhere. Some touristy spots can be just as good as the ones off the beaten path. I use Everplaces to help me find those gems. Along with restaurants I can find cafés and specialty stores that pique my interest.
When my husband and I were in Brussels we looked up places to buy specialty beers for him and found what is probably my favorite cookie place in the world - Maison J. Dandoy. They carry the most delicious thin almond cookie I have ever had!
Everplaces helps fill in the gaps of a traditional guidebook and also helps me capture my favorite places so that I can share with others.
Below is a short list of a few places I love going to in NYC and my most favorite place to eat in the world! I hope you’ll get to experience them one day and find them to be just as yummy as I do.
The Breslin - I was lucky enough to get invited to The Chef’s Table for suckling pig. The fixed menu dinner is held 3 times a night and requires a dedicated party of 8-12 people per group, which means you can’t just walk in and join a dinner. You have to plan it or get invited. The actual table is located in the middle of the room right in front of the open kitchen. The pig and it’s fixin’s are made to perfection by Chef April Bloomfield and her team. The dessert and wine selection are equally as impressive.
Crif Dogs - When my husband and I went on our first official date together he took me to Crif Dogs in the East Village. This is not your cheap run of the mill hot dog place. Rather it’s a gourmet hot dog served in a dive. My husband’s favorite is the Spicy Redneck (house dog, bacon wrapped, with chili, cole slaw, and jalapenos) and mine is the Chihuahua (bacon wrapped dog covered with avocados and sour cream). Also if you’re lucky enough to get into PDT their entrance is in Crif Dogs through the phone booth.
Pylos - Recommended by a Greek friend who says this is the #1 authentic Greek restaurant in NYC and it did not disappoint. The restaurant has clay pots hanging from the ceiling with a fun laid-back atmosphere. I haven’t had much Greek food but if this is the real thing then I never want any other. I overate but the 2 dishes that stood out to me were the taramosalata (robust and lemony fish roe dip) and the Avgolemono Me Sampania Soup (champagne avgolemono, pylos’ smooth as silk classic egg-lemon soup with chicken stock and rice).
Morimoto - Owned by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto this is where I go to have amazing food! On my first dining experience there I decided to have the morimoto omakase which is the “chef’s choice” multi-course tasting menu. It was one of the most decadent and delicious meals I have ever had. Anything I ate after that paled in comparison.
This is just a sneak peek into the culinary experiences Penny is discovering in New York City. Check out her food collection on Everplaces to draw inspiration by her wonderful recommendations.
Pylos image by 10best.com