About 100 miles north of Phoenix, The Strawberry Inn is a unique boutique hotel located in Arizona’s scenic Rim Country that’s designed for roadtrippers, adventure seekers and nature-lovers. Owners Carson Eilers and Amber Eilers are a husband and wife team who are self-described “serial entrepreneurs” who also manage Original Realty Co., a full service boutique real estate brokerage in Scottsdale.
“We have been working together since the very beginning of our relationship,” says Amber, reflecting on the couple’s 11-year marriage and two children. “Together, we’ve flipped hundreds of houses, built several businesses and are always looking for new opportunities. When we’re not working, we both love trying new restaurants, grabbing drinks with friends, going to concerts, and traveling to new places.”
What does it mean to be an innovator to you?
“We both really try to be forward thinkers and anticipate industry shifts,” says Amber. “With the hotel, we saw an opportunity to create something really unique and new for the area. People flocked to it because it filled a gap in what travelers were looking for! We’re over six years in now, and we continue to try to adapt to create incredible experiences for guests. With the real estate brokerage, we discovered that the research said that most new agents quit after less than a year in the industry. We wanted to change that and create opportunities for agents to grow and thrive, while still serving clients with excellence!”
Sundance Mountain Resort, UT
Founded by Robert Redford in 1969, Sundance Mountain Resort is an all-season resort that offers multiple outdoor activities, including downhill skiing, ziplining, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and fly-fishing. The resort has artistic roots, authenticity and a strong connection to nature. “I loved that everything was curated and ready for guests right on site,” says Amber. www.sundanceresort.com, @sundanceresort
Limelight Hotel Ketchum, ID
The Limelight Hotel Ketchum features 99 hotel rooms, 14 residences, plus a Limelight Lounge restaurant and lobby. The hotel is in close proximity to downtown shops and restaurants as well as Sun Valley Ski Resort’s River Run Base area. The hotel is consistent with the Limelight brand featuring amenities and extras such as an expanded continental breakfast, après ski deals in the Lounge, adventure activities for guests as well as pet-friendly rooms. www.limelighthotels.com/ketchum, @limelighthotel
La Playa Carmel, CA
La Playa Carmel is a 75-room historic luxury boutique hotel, newly restored to preserve its turn-of-the-century charm while updating it to modern-day standards. Located two blocks from the beach and village shops, art galleries and restaurants, the hotel is situated in the heart of Carmel, Calif. and anchors its most prestigious residential neighborhood. The grounds encompass meticulously tended gardens, intimate patios, secluded courtyards and a tranquil terrace swimming pool. “Our favorite part was the lush, amazing landscape that is straight out of a fairy tale,” says Amber. www.laplayahotel.com, @laplayaca
AutoCamp Russian River, Guerneville, CA
Located just 90 minutes north of San Francisco in the heart of Sonoma wine country, AutoCamp Russian River is the ideal destination for those who want to relax on the beach, take scenic drives along the coast or explore the Redwood Forests. Each accommodation includes a separate bedroom and living room, as well as luxurious bathrooms with spacious showers, while every suite comes with its own private picnic table and fire pit. wwww.autocamp.com/russian-river, @autocamp
Hotel Emma, San Antonio, TX
Once a 19th-century brewhouse, the AAA Five Diamond Hotel Emma is a unique 146-room boutique hotel in the Pearl District of downtown San Antonio that includes seven top-floor suites, a handsome bar and club room, an excellent restaurant, a purveyor of fine foods, and public spaces reminiscent of fine old hotels in far-flung locales. “We loved all of the amazing high-end finishes throughout the hotel and area, and it’s perfect for a couples getaway,” says Amber. www.thehotelemma.com, @thehotelemma